Hunter and Joe Biden allegedly “coerced” Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky to pay them millions in exchange for getting the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the company fired. The allegations are contained in an unclassified FBI document released by GOP Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa Thursday.
Grassley said he released the document describing an alleged criminal bribery scheme involving a Ukrainian business executive and then-Vice President Biden so that the American people could “read this document for themselves without the filter of politicians of bureaucrats.”
The document is an FBI-generated FD-1023 form Grassley acquired by legally protected disclosures by Justice Department whistleblowers, according to the office of the Senator.
The confidential human source (CHS) reporting document — FD-1023 — reflects the FBI’s interview with a “highly credible” confidential source who gave details of several conversations and meetings she or he had with a top executive of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings over several years beginning in 2015. At the time, Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma.
In the form, Zlochevsky tells the source he has “many text messages and ‘recordings’ to “show he was coerced to make such payments” to the Biden family.
Biden acknowledged that when he was vice president, he pressured Ukraine successfully to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, and Hunter Biden had a lucrative role on the board, receiving thousands of dollars a month. Then-vice president Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
Allies with Biden maintain that the then-vice president pushed for the firing of Shokin because of concerns the Ukrainian prosecutor went easy on corruption and said his firing was the policy position of the international community and the U.S.
The unclassified document, dated June 30, 2020, says contact with the source was “telephonic.”
The source reported to the FBI, “In late 2015 or 2016, during the Obama/Biden Administration, CHS was first introduced to officials at Ukraine natural gas business Burisma Holdings through [redacted] Oleksandr Ostapenko.” The form reflects another FD-1023 that details information brought by the source, dated January 2, 2018.
“CHS and Ostapenko traveled to Ukraine and went to Burisma’s office…the purpose of the meeting was to discuss Burisma’s interest in purchasing a U.S.-based oil and gas business, for purposes of merging it with Burisma for purposes of conducting IPO in the U.S.,” states the form. “Burisma was willing to purchase a U.S.-based entity for $20-30 million.”
The form states the CHS attended the meeting with Karina Zlochevsky, daughter of the founder and CEO Mykola Zlochevsky, and Burisma’s CFO, Vadim Pojarskii.
According to the form, “During the meeting, Pojarskii asked CHS whether CHS was aware of Burisma’s Board of Directors. CHS replied ‘no,’ and Pojarskii advised the board members, including 1) the former president or prime minister of Poland; and 2) Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
“Pojarskii said Burisma hired the former president or prime minister of Poland to leverage his contacts in Europe for prospective oil and gas deals,” states the form.
Burisma said they “hired Hunter Biden ‘to protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.'”
The source asked why Burisma needed assistance regarding the company’s merger based in the U.S. when Biden was on their board. Pojarskii replied: “Hunter Biden was not smart, and they wanted to get additional counsel.”
Zlochevsky: “It costs 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden
The form also details another incident where “CHS suggested it would be best if Burisma simply litigate the matter in Ukraine, and pay some attorney $50,000. But, Zlochevsky said Burisma “would likely lose the trial because he could not show that Burisma was innocent.”
“Zlochevsky also laughed at CHS’s number of $50,000 (not because of the small amounts but because the number contained a ‘5’) and said, ‘It costs 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden.”
At one point in the form, it noted that when Shokin had already been fired, Zlochevsky said, “Nobody would find out about his financial dealings with Bidens.”
“CHS then stated, ‘I hope you have some back-up (proof) for your words (namely, that Zlochevsky was ‘forced’ to pay the Bidens.).”
“Zlochevsky replied he has many text messages and ‘recordings’ that show that he was coerced to make such payments,” states the form. “CHS told Zlochevsky he should make certain that he should retain those recordings.”
“CHS mentioned Zlochevsky might have difficulty explaining suspicious wire transfers that may evidence any (illicit) payments to the Bidens,” states the form. “Zlochevsky responded he did not send any funds directly to the ‘Big Guy’ (which CHS understood was a reference to Joe Biden.).”
The forms say CHS also asked Zlochevsky how many bank accounts and companies he controlled, to which he responded it would “take them (investigators) 10 years to find the records (i.e., illicit payments to Joe Biden).”
The source detailed the conversations with Zlochevsky and told the FBI, “It is very common for businessmen in post-Soviet countries to brag or show off” and said it is “extremely common for businesses in Russia and Ukraine to make ‘bribe’ payments to various government officials.”
Zlochevsky said he had “a total of 17 recordings” involving the Bidens; “two of the recordings included Joe Biden and the remaining 15 recordings only included Hunter Biden.”
The source said the recordings “evidence Zlochevsky was somehow coerced into paying the Bidens to ensure” that Shokin was fired.
The sources also said Zlochevsky had “two documents (which CHS understood to be wire transfer statements, bank records, etc.), that evidence some payment(s) to the Bidens were made, presumably in exchange for Shokin’s firing.”