The Department of Justice began investigating Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings earlier this year after receiving information from President Donald Trump’s attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, according to a new report.
The New York Times reported on Friday that Attorney General William Barr directed the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania to vet information on the “Biden family” provided by Guiliani. The information provided to the DOJ purportedly dealt with Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas conglomerate.
As Breitbart News has previously reported, Biden joined Burisma’s board of directors in April 2014, shortly after his father was tapped to be the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine. Despite having no background in either eastern Europe or the energy industry, Biden was paid as much $83,000 per month for his services.
NBC News reported on Friday that Hunter Biden’s work for the company in 2014 alone netted him $400,000.
Hunter Biden’s appointment came as Burisma was actively courting western leaders to prevent scrutiny of its business practices. The same month that Biden was tapped for Burisma’s board, Mykola Zlochevsky, the firm’s founder, had his assets frozen in the United Kingdom on suspicion of money laundering. A Ukrainian official with ties to Zlochevsky admitted in October 2019 the only reason Biden received his appointment with Burisma was to “protect” the company from foreign scrutiny.
Zlochevsky eventually succeeded in having assets unfrozen by allegedly paying a $7 million bribe to Ukraine’s then-prosecutor general in December 2014, according to testimony Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent delivered to Congress earlier this year. Kent, who was then serving as the deputy chief of mission in Ukraine, only became aware of Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma after the bribe was supposedly paid. At the time, Kent raised concerns with his superiors in the Obama-era State Department that the situation presented the perception of a conflict of interest.
It is in the context of Burisma and Zlochevsky’s legal troubles that the Biden family’s influence has aroused questions. Joe Biden, in particular, has faced scrutiny for demanding the Ukrainian government fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in 2016. Shokin, who at the time had an open probe into Burisma and Zlochevsky, was eventually ousted after Joe Biden threatened to withhold more than $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.
The former vice president, who has publicly bragged about the firing, has claimed the demand came from then-President Barack Obama, who had allegedly lost faith in the prosecutor’s ability to tackle corruption.
It is unclear if the investigation that the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania opened earlier this year deals directly with that topic. Furthermore, it is also uncertain if the investigation is still ongoing.
The Times’ report comes only days after Hunter Biden admitted that he had been informed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware that they had opened a separate probe into his “tax affairs.” Although the specifics of that probe remain unclear at the moment, sources indicate it is linked to income that Hunter Biden earned overseas through ventures in Ukraine and China.
Hunter Biden is not the only member of his family being eyed by federal law enforcement. Politico reported earlier this week that the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania is also investigating Joe Biden’s younger brother, James, for his role in a now-bankrupt healthcare firm.