Biden probe shifts to National Archives with discovery of private emails between Joe and Hunter
House Oversight Committee requests records, including emails from private accounts of Joe Biden
In a dramatic shift in the Biden family corruption probe, House investigators on Thursday demanded full access at the National Archives to Joe Biden's communications as vice president with his son Hunter and his business partners.
The demand came after the House Oversight Committee unearthed an email showing a White House staffer communicated plans for a phone call with Ukraine's president to Joe Biden on a private email account in 2016 and copied Hunter Biden, an unusual backdoor for a sensitive conversation with a foreign leader.
"The Committee’s need for these Vice-Presidential records is specific and well- documented," Chairman James Comer wrote Colleen Shogam the head of the the National Archives and Record Administration. "The Committee seeks to craft legislative solutions aimed at deficiencies it has identified in the current legal framework regarding ethics laws and disclosure of financial interests related to the immediate family members of Vice Presidents and Presidents— deficiencies that may place American national security and interests at risk."
You can read the full letter here.
The email in question was quietly released in January as part of the Obama presidential archives. In it, a White House staffer writes Joe Biden on a personal pseudonym email account named Robert L. Peters. about a planned call with then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The staffer copied Hunter Biden's email address at Rosemont Senaca Partners.
At the time, Hunter Biden served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company called Burisma Holdings that was deemed to be corrupt by the Obama-Biden State Department.
"Boss--8:45am prep for 9am phone call with Pres Poroshenko. Then we're off to Rhode Island for infrastructure event and then Wilmington for UDel commencement," the staffer wrote the then-Vice President. "Nate will have your draft remarks delivered later tonight or with your press clips in the morning."
You can read that email here:
The Archives released a handful of other emails, some redacted, with other private communications. Comer said he needed the fully unredacted emails, making what is known as a "special access" request to the National Archives.
"The Committee seeks unrestricted special access/ ... These records have been redacted for public release pursuant to the PRA and FOIA. For example, an email bearing the subject “Friday Schedule Card,” is withheld in part under a “P6” and “b(6)” restrictions, denoting personal information regarding the subject under the PRA and FOIA respectively." Comer wrote.
"Attached to this email, and made available on the NARA website, is a document that indicates at 9:00 a.m. on May 27, 2016, Vice President Biden took a call with the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko," he added/ "It is concerning to the Committee, however, that this document was sent to “Robert L. Peters”—a pseudonym the Committee has identified as then Vice- President Biden. Additionally, the Committee questions why the then-Vice President’s son, Hunter Biden—and only Hunter Biden—was copied on this email to then-Vice President Biden."
The letter requested special access to specific documents, including any:
- "Document or communication in which a pseudonym for Vice President Joe Biden was included either as a sender, recipient, copied or was included in the contents of the document or communication, including but not limited to Robert Peters, Robin Ware, and JRB Ware;
- "Document or communication in which Hunter Biden, Eric Schwerin, or Devon Archer was included either as a sender, recipient, copied, or was included in the contents of the document or communication; and
- "Rrafts from November 1, 2015 to December 9, 2015 of then-Vice President Biden’s speech delivered to the Ukrainian Rada on December 9, 2015."