Dollars to Dining: Bank records show proximity of Joe Biden meetings to son's foreign payments
Money changed hands mere weeks or days before Joe Biden’s dinners with son’s clients, Congress alleges in explosive new memo.
In the weeks before she dined with Joe Biden at a swanky Washington D.C. restaurant in April 2014, Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina deposited $3.5 million into a bank account tied to Hunter Biden’s businesses and also committed to invest in a New York City real estate project with Biden's partners, bank records collected by Congress and emails among the younger Biden's business partners show.
"Any news on this?" Hunter Biden emailed his partner Devon Archer on April 13, 2014, seeking an update on a real estate deal in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
Archer, who recently testified to Congress, wrote back the future presidential son that the Russian businesswoman and wife of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov was committed to the project. "Seller is flaking. Asked for 90 days. We made a $41mm offer. Yelena confirmed green light to fund deposit,” he replied.
The emails and bank records make clear that Hunter Biden's ability to provide foreign suitors access to his father, then the vice president, particularly came at times when deals were pending. The pattern, according to evidence made public Wednesday by the House Oversight Committee, was unmistakable.
“It's a huge concern,” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told the Just the News, No Noise television show Wednesday night. “Everything timed out. With these payments, Joe Biden was always within range."
“Every single person that wired the Bidens tens of millions of dollars from around the world had some type of communication with Joe Biden. Joe Biden is the brand. That's what Devon Archer testified under oath. Joe Biden is the brand, and his family was selling the brand,” Comer added.
The pattern seen in the Baturina anecdote was repeated for other foreign clients in Kazakhstan and Ukraine as well, the committee stated.
"The Biden family’s and associates' dealings with foreign nationals from Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine show a pattern of Hunter Biden and Devon Archer courting wealthy oligarchs with political and financial influence but tainted backgrounds," the new member to lawmakers on the committee stated.
"Thus far, the Committee has identified over $20 million from foreign sources that benefitted the Biden family and their business associates," it added.
For instance, Kazakhstani oligarch Kenes Rakishev wired a Hunter Biden-connected entity $142,300 on April 21, 2014. The following day, the same amount was wired to a New Jersey car dealership to pay for an expensive Porsche sportscar for Hunter Biden, the committee reported.
“I know I'm being a pain in the ass but what do I need to do re Porsche?” Hunter Biden asked Devon Archer in an email one day before the first wire. “LET ME CALL NURLAN,” Devon Archer wrote back, referencing an associate of Rakishev, who appeared in other correspondence between Biden, Archer, and the oligarch.
In an almost comical exchange, a representative from the car dealership alerted Hunter Biden’s assistants that “The DC DMV denied the lease” for the vehicle, explaining that “The reason is the business appears to be based in Delaware,” temporarily thwarting attempts to classify the Porsche as a company car in Washington, D.C.
Rakishev attended the same dinner meeting with Yelena Baturina that spring, meeting then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to Archer’s testimony.
Earlier in February 2014, Rakishev had requested that Secretary of State John Kerry visit Kazakhstan. “He is ready to visit KZ. If we have some business started as planned I will ensure its planned soonest,” Archer told Rakishev, appearing to tie their business ventures directly to a visit by Kerry.
In yet another instance, the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings paid Devon Archer and Hunter Biden each $1 million per year after joining the board of directors in spring 2014, according to the committee report. Over several years, the total exceeded $6 million, the committee wrote.
One year later, Hunter Biden invited Vadim Pozharskyi—a company executive and the primary intermediary between Hunter Biden and Burisma founder and CEO Mykola Zlochevsky—to an April 16, 2015 dinner at the same Washington restaurant as the other oligarchs. Then-Vice President Joe Biden attended that dinner.
Democrats and a pliant media have tried to suggest such efforts were simply creating the “illusion” of access. But Pozharskyi put in writing that he did, in fact, get access to Joe Biden.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent (sic) some time together,” Pozharskyi wrote Hunter Biden in an email the following morning. “It's realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
Then-Vice President Biden’s presence at the meeting was confirmed by Archer in his testimony to the Oversight Committee.
Later that year, in December, as Archer testified to congressional investigators, Pozharkskyi and Zlochevsky requested a meeting so that Hunter Biden could “help them with some of that pressure” that the Ukrainian government was putting on Burisma with its investigations.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden visited Ukraine mere days after this meeting and began to call for Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin—the official in charge of investigating Burisma—to be fired. Later, Vice President Biden would threaten to withhold a $1 billion loan guarantee from the country if Shokin was not removed. Biden bragged about it in a Counsel on Foreign Relations interview in 2018.
President Biden's defenders admit that while Biden took the action, he allegedly did so as official U.S. policy and not to benefit Hunter Biden’s client, a USAToday "fact-check" stated. Congress is digging for evidence to see if that is true.