Complaint: Hunter Advised Office of VP Biden on Burisma, a Potential FARA Violation

President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he boards Air Force One with his son Hunter Biden at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. The President is traveling to Kiawah Island, S.C., for vacation. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Hunter Biden advised the Office of Vice President Joe Biden in 2014 on how to handle media inquiries regarding his position on the board of Ukrainian Energy company Burisma, a potential violation of federal law by failing to register as a foreign agent.

In April 2014, Hunter joined the board of Burisma, just two years before Joe Biden stated he forced the firing of prosecutor Viktor Shokin investigating Burisma. Despite Hunter’s lack of experience in Ukraine or the energy sector, he was paid $83,000 per month by the energy company or $1 million per year — just weeks after his father was announced “point person” on U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine.

Hunter’s position on the board made international headlines. On May 13, 2014, Hunter was contacted by Joe Biden’s press secretary Kendra Barkoff, one day after Hunter’s appointment to the board was announced, according to archives accessed via a complaint sent to the Justice Department on Friday by America First Legal Foundation, the New York Post reported.

Emails on the “Laptop from Hell’s” hard drive show Barkoff was in regular communication with Biden family business partners and specifically with Joe Biden’s private email accounts.

“Thanks for talking to me. [L]et me know who I should refer folks to,” she wrote to Hunter. “What exactly are they asking?” Hunter responded. “For the time being I’d just refer them to my office. FYI I joined the board of Burisma Holdings Ltd. ( an independent/private natural gas producer in Ukraine along with the former president of Poland. I think the press release is on their website.”

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, boards Air Force One with the president, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y. Biden is traveling to Camp David in Maryland after visiting with family members following the passing of Michael Hunter, the brother of the president's first wife, Neilia Hunter Biden. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, boards Air Force One with the president, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, NY. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Barkoff shared a request for comment from a BuzzFeed reporter alleging the Biden family had a conflict of interest with Hunter holding the position while his dad was vice president:

The news seems rather odd on its face and, if true, would present a fairly glaring conflict of interest given the VP’s role on Ukraine policy – particularly since the company is controlled by Nikolai Zlochevsky, who was energy minister and deputy NSC chief under [former pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych Is this true? What exactly is going on here?

“Interesting,” Hunter shot back to Barkoff. “Burisma is completely independent of the Ukrainian government with an independent board of directors. [Zlochevsky] served as Minister of Ecology and resigned in 2010. I joined the board as legal adviser and Burisma also engaged the law firm I am of counsel to Boies Schiller Flexner on matters pertaining to corporate governance, transparency, and expansion. Alana Apter former head of Morgan Stanley Europe is chairman of the board.”

Barkoff asked Hunter whom she could contact at his office for more information.“Eric- he’s cc’d here,” Hunter answered, referencing Eric Schwerin who has recently told the House Oversight Committee he would provide requested documents and communications about the Biden family business.

According to Hunter’s laptop, Schwerin and Hunter were constantly cc’d on email threads for years before their relationship began to deteriorate in 2018.

Schwerin responded to Barkoff: “Kendra, I am around the next few days if you need me.”

The legal complaint sent to the DOJ also alleges Hunter’s practice of advising the Office of the Vice President was “ongoing” for “nearly a month and a half.”

If the complaint is true, Hunter would have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938. FARA requires individuals lobbying on behalf of foreign organizations to register with the DOJ and disclose their activities, compensation, and relationship to the overseas concern.

Stephen Miller, founder of America First Legal Foundation, told the New York Post, “Hunter Biden is Burisma’s agent and subject to FARA registration because he was an officer of Burisma and represented Burisma’s interests to the Office of the Vice President in addition to advising on a public relations matter,” he said.

“Hunter Biden was acting as a foreign agent, peddling his family name, with no legitimate experience whatsoever, and yet DOJ apparently couldn’t care less,” Miller explained. “Corruption piled on top of corruption.”

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 08: With a poster of a New York Post front page story about Hunter Biden’s emails on display, Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) announces a recess because of a power outage during a hearing before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee at Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on February 8, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on "Protecting Speech from Government Interference and Social Media Bias, Part 1: Twitter's Role in Suppressing the Biden Laptop Story." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

With a poster of a New York Post front-page story about Hunter Biden’s emails on display, Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) announces a recess during a hearing before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee on February 8, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The revelations come as House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) has demanded James and Hunter Biden, along with Schwerin, comply with demands to disclose a host of both classified and unclassified documents, records, and communications between business associates and family members, including Joe Biden. Comer is investigating the Biden family business for nine violations, such as for wire fraud and money laundering.

“We have received correspondence from the attorneys representing Hunter Biden and James Biden. Oversight Committee staff will be in communication with them about Chairman Comer’s request,” a spokesperson for the committee told Breitbart News. “We are also in contact with Eric Schwerin’s attorney and expect him to start producing documents to the Oversight Committee soon.”

It is unclear what Schwerin will give the committee after his fallout with Hunter. Both Bidens appear to be less forthcoming with the committee’s requests.

In 2018 and 2020, Breitbart Senior Contributor and Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer published Secret Empires and Profiles in Corruption. Each book hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and exposed how Hunter Biden and Joe Biden flew aboard Air Force Two in 2013 to China before Hunter’s firm inked a $1.5 billion deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China less than two weeks after the trip. Schweizer’s work also uncovered the Biden family’s other vast and lucrative foreign deals and cronyism.

Breitbart Political Editor Emma-Jo Morris’s investigative work at the New York Post on the Hunter Biden “laptop from Hell” also captured international headlines when she, along with Miranda Devine, revealed that Joe Biden was intimately involved in Hunter’s businesses, appearing even to have a ten percent stake in a company the scion formed with officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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