The beautiful innocence of Hunter Biden 1

Here are some extracts from Hunter Biden’s Wikipedia entry, showing that with all the many accusations of his being engaged in corrupt dealings, no evidence has ever been found that even a single one of them is true!

According to Adam Entous of The New Yorker, Biden and his father established a relationship in which “Biden wouldn’t ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn’t tell his father about them.”

Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, one of the largest private natural gas producers in Ukraine, from 2014 until his term expired in April 2019. Since the early months of 2019, Biden and his father have been the subjects of unevidenced claims of corrupt activities in a Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory pushed by then-U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies, concerning Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s anti-corruption efforts there on behalf of the United States during the time he was vice president. United States intelligence community analysis released in March 2021 found that proxies of Russian intelligence promoted and laundered misleading or unsubstantiated narratives about the Bidens “to US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration”. 

In December 2020, Biden made a public announcement via his attorney that his tax affairs are under federal criminal investigation. The New York Times and CNN, citing sources familiar with the investigation, described the investigation as having started in late 2018 and being related to potential violations of tax and money laundering laws and his business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.The Wall Street Journal reported that Biden had provided legal and consulting services that generated foreign-earned income, citing a Senate Republicans’ report that says millions of dollars in wire transfers from entities linked to Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming were paying for such services.The New York Times reported that according to people familiar with the inquiry, FBI investigators had been unable to establish sufficient evidence for a prosecution of potential money laundering crimes, including after the seizure of a laptop purportedly belonging to Biden, and so the investigation progressed onto tax issues.

From 2013 to 2020, Biden served as a member of the board of the China-based private equity fund BHR Partners, of which he acquired a 10% stake in 2017 at a discount. The founders of BHR Partners included Biden’s Rosemont Seneca Partners investment firm (20% equity), along with US-based Thornton Group LLC (10% equity) and two asset managers registered in China. The Chinese-registered asset managers are the Bank of China (via BOC International Holdings-backed Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management) and Deutsche Bank-backed Harvest Fund Management. The BHR Partners fund invests Chinese venture capital into tech startups like an early-stage investment in Chinese car hailing app DiDi and cross-border acquisitions, in automotive and mining, such as the purchase of a stake in Democratic Republic of Congo copper and cobalt producer Tenke Fungurume Mining.

In September 2019, while President Trump was accusing Hunter Biden of malfeasance in Ukraine, he also falsely claimed that Biden “walk[ed] out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund” and earned “millions” of dollars from the BHR deal. Trump publicly called upon China to investigate Hunter Biden’s business activities there while his father was vice president. Hunter Biden announced on October 13, 2019 his resignation from the board of directors for BHR Partners, effective at the end of the month, citing “the barrage of false charges” by then-U.S. President Trump. According to his lawyer, Biden had “not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors” nor had he received any return on his equity share in BHR. Biden’s lawyer George Mesires told The Washington Post that BHR Partners had been “capitalized from various sources with a total of 30 million RMB [Chinese Renminbi], or about $4.2 million, not $1.5 billion“.[31]

Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings owned by Ukrainian oligarch and former politician Mykola Zlochevsky, who was facing a money laundering investigation just after the Ukrainian revolution, in April 2014. Biden was hired to help Burisma with corporate governance best practices, while still an attorney with Boies Schiller Flexner, and a consulting firm in which Biden is a partner was also retained by Burisma.

Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019, receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months. Because Joe Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Joe Biden’s anti-corruption work in Ukraine. While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country’s top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations. The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016.

Former President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed in 2019, without evidence, that Joe Biden had sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings. Actually, it was the official policy of the United States and the European Union to seek Shokin’s removal.

We do wonder how the European Union came to be perturbed by Shokin’s doings. Is it possible that Joe Biden told them things that caused their uneasiness?

There has also been no evidence produced of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden in Ukraine. The Ukrainian anti-corruption investigation agency stated in September 2019 that its current investigation of Burisma was restricted solely to investigating the period from 2010 to 2012, before Hunter Biden joined Burisma in 2014. Shokin, in May 2019, claimed that he was fired because he had been actively investigating Burisma, but U.S. and Ukrainian officials have stated that the investigation into Burisma was dormant at the time of Shokin’s dismissal. Ukrainian and United States State Department sources note that Shokin was fired for failing to address corruption, including within his office.

In July 2019, Trump ordered the freezing of $391 million in military aid shortly before a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to initiate an investigation of the Bidens. Trump falsely told Zelensky that “[Joe] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution” of his son; Joe Biden did not stop any prosecution, did not brag about doing so, and there is no evidence his son was ever under investigation. The United States House of Representatives initiated a formal impeachment inquiry on September 24, 2019 against Trump on the grounds that he may have sought to use U.S. foreign aid and the Ukrainian government to damage Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko said in May 2019 that Hunter Biden had not violated Ukrainian law. After Lutsenko was replaced by Ruslan Riaboshapka as prosecutor general, Lutsenko and Riaboshapka said in September and October 2019 respectively that they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.

During 2019 and into 2020, Republican senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley investigated Hunter Biden’s involvement with Burisma, as well as allegations that Democrats colluded with the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials briefed senators in late 2019 about Russian efforts to frame Ukraine for 2016 election interference. Johnson said he would release findings in spring 2020, as Democrats would be selecting their 2020 presidential nominee, but instead ramped up the investigation at Trump’s urging in May 2020, after it became clear that Joe Biden would be the nominee.Trump tweeted a press report about the investigations, later stating that he would make allegations of corruption by the Bidens a central theme of his re-election campaign. Johnson decided in March 2020 against issuing a subpoena for former Ukrainian official Andrii Telizhenko, a Giuliani associate who had made appearances on the pro-Trump cable channel One America News, after the FBI briefed him about concerns Telizhenko could be spreading Russian disinformation. The State Department revoked Telizhenko’s visa in October 2020, and CNN reported the American government was considering sanctioning him as a Russian agent. CNN reported that Vladislav Davidzon, the editor of Ukrainian magazine The Odessa Review, told CNN that in 2018 Telizhenko offered him money to lobby Republican senators in support of pro-Russian television stations in Ukraine. When Johnson released the final report on the investigation, it contained no evidence that Joe Biden had pushed for Shokin’s removal in order to benefit Hunter or Burisma.

In June 2020, former Ukrainian prosecutor general Ruslan Riaboshapka stated that an audit of thousands of old case files he had ordered in October 2019 had found no wrongdoing by Hunter Biden. Riaboshapka was described by Zelensky as “100 percent my person” during the July 2019 call in which Trump asked him to investigate Biden.

Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, an associate of Rudy Giuliani with links to Russian intelligence, released in May 2020 alleged snippets of recordings of Joe Biden speaking with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko during the years Hunter Biden worked for Burisma. The recordings, which were not verified as authentic and appeared heavily edited, depicted Biden linking loan guarantees for Ukraine to the ouster of the country’s prosecutor general. The recordings did not provide evidence to support the ongoing conspiracy theory that Biden wanted the prosecutor fired to protect his son. Poroshenko denied in June 2020 that Joe Biden ever approached him about Burisma.The United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Derkach in September 2020, stating he “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services”. The Treasury Department added Derkach “waged a covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election” including by the release of “edited audio tapes and other unsupported information with the intent to discredit U.S. officials”. Close associates of Derkach were also sanctioned by the Treasury Department in January 2021. United States intelligence community analysis released in March 2021 found that Derkach was among proxies of Russian intelligence who promoted and laundered misleading or unsubstantiated narratives about Biden “to US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration”.

Two Republicans on a Senate investigation committee in 2020 claimed that Russian businessperson Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, wire-transferred $3.5 million in 2014 to an investment firm linked to Hunter Biden. The report cited unspecified confidential documents. The report gives no indication that Hunter Biden personally accepted the funds.Biden’s attorney denied the report, saying Biden had no financial relationship with the woman and no stake in the partnership that received the money, nor did he co-found the partnership. However, Trump’s White House spokeswoman Alyssa Farah repeated the claim, and in a press conference President Trump repeatedly claimed that Biden received millions of dollars from the former mayor’s wife. 

With all that lack of evidence, and all accusers turning out to be liars and/or Russian agents, it is hard on the poor man that reports still keep emerging which cast doubt on his innocence.

From the Western Journal:

It’s the [Hunter Biden] laptop that just keeps on giving.

According to a report published Wednesday by the New York Post, emails found on [it] show that now-President Joe Biden’s son brought his father to a dinner with Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakhstani business associates in Washington during Biden’s tenure as vice president.

While previous emails found on the laptop had hinted at meetings between some of the shadier associates Hunter Biden picked up during his time on the board of the Ukrainian energy holding company Burisma, the report throws serious doubt on Joe Biden’s claim he had little knowledge of his son’s business dealings in Eastern Europe.

The meeting took place on April 16, 2015, in the so-called “Garden Room” at Cafe Milano, a restaurant described in a 2017 New York Times article as “the Georgetown restaurant where some of the world’s most powerful people go to be noticed but not approached. “

The importance of the date is that it came one day before one of the more controversial emails found on the infamous laptop, where Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi thanked Hunter Biden for an introduction to the then-vice president.

“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. “It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.” 
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The guest list prepared by Hunter three weeks before the Café Milano dinner included Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, corrupt former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, who since has died. Baturina wired $3.5 million on Feb. 14, 2014, to Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC, a Delaware-based investment firm co-founded by Hunter and Devon Archer, a former adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry. [But] Archer told Hunter that Baturina wouldn’t be attending; “Yelena doesn’t want to steal Yuri’s Thunder, so she’ll be in town to meet with us but doesn’t want to come to dinner,” he wrote in a March 20 email. “That was just her thoughts. We could insist.”

“Obviously save a seat for your guy (and mine if he’s in town),” he added.

In a reply, Hunter said, “I think your guy being there is more trouble than it’s worth – unless you have some other idea.”

It’s unclear whether Archer’s “guy” was John Kerry, although we can assume Hunter’s “guy” was his own father.  
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Furthermore, while the impetus behind the dinner was supposed to be about food security — hence the World Food Program USA’s presence — Hunter’s language seemed to indicate this was more pretext than purpose.    
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“Ok – the reason for the dinner is ostensibly to discuss food security,” Hunter wrote in a March 26 email, according to the Post. “Dad will be there but keep that between us for now. Thanks.”

The reported dinner is yet another complication to the official Joe Biden line: “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said in October of 2019.

And yet there are the emails, the golf outing with a Burisma executive in 2014, this dinner and other red flags.

As The Wall Street Journal noted in an Oct. 15 editorial, a Senate report found multiple Obama administration officials knew about Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma and that one official emailed colleagues saying that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”

It is not kind to recall that Joe Biden “bragged that he got chief Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who once investigated Burisma, fired as a precondition for international aid in 2016 when the then-vice president was the Obama administration’s point-man on Ukraine”. (The crime of which  President Trump was accused without evidence and for which he was impeached.)

In fact, Hunter Biden’s Wikipedia entry is one long exoneration, explaining away crimes he’s been accused of. His life seems to have consisted of little more than doing things that look unethical or positively criminal. But all of them, you see, can be explained. Every one of them. Explained.

For more about all these unevidenced accusations and others against Joe and Hunter Biden see our posts: The Biden scandal, October 17, 2020 (here), and The Bidens: models of decency, October 27, 2020 (here).

The press and CNN report – or don’t report; Wikipedia asserts; you judge.

Collusion? 1

Was there collusion between the Obama administration and the Kremlin to entrap members of Donald Trump’s family and campaign team ?

John Solomon and Jonathan Easley write at The Hill:

The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

Just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.

She also engaged in a pro-Russia lobbying campaign and attended an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where Russian supporters showed a movie that challenged the underpinnings of the U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitsky Act, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has reviled and tried to reverse.

The Magnitsky Act imposed financial and other sanctions on Russia for alleged human rights violations connected to the death of a Russian lawyer who claimed to uncover fraud during Putin’s reign. Russia retaliated after the law was passed in 2012 by suspending Americans’ ability to adopt Russian children.

At least five congressional staffers and State Department officials attended that movie showing, according to a Foreign Agent Registration Act complaint filed with the Justice Department about Veselnitskaya’s efforts.

And Veselnitskaya also attended a dinner with the chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing Russia policy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and roughly 20 other guests at a dinner club frequented by Republicans.

In an interview with The Hill on Wednesday, Rohrabacher said, “There was a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club here with about 20 people. I think I was the only congressman there. They were talking about the Magnitsky case. But that wasn’t just the topic. There was a lot of other things going on. So I think she was there, but I don’t remember any type of conversation with her between us. But I understand she was at the table.”

Rohrabacher said he believed Veselnitskaya and her U.S. colleagues, which included former Rep. Ronald Dellums (D-Calif.), were lobbying other lawmakers to reverse the Magnitsky Act and restore the ability of Americans to adopt Russian children that Moscow had suspended.

“I don’t think this was very heavily lobbied at all compared with the other issues we deal with,” he said.

As for his former congressional colleague Dellums, Rohrabacher said he recalled having a conversation about the Magnitsky Act and the adoption issue: “Ron and I like each other … I have to believe he was a hired lobbyist but I don’t know.”

Veselnitskaya did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday at her Moscow office. Dellums also did not return a call to his office seeking comment.

But in an interview with NBC News earlier this week, Veselnitskaya acknowledged her contacts with Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act”.

That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records.

The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, her client, defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City.

During a court hearing in early January 2016, as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.

“In October the government bypassed 
the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary 
permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing on Jan. 6, 2016.

“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we 
did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the 
further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the 
country to assist,” he added.

The prosecutor said the Justice Department was willing to allow the Russian lawyer to enter the United States again as the trial in the case approached so she could help prepare and attend the proceedings.

The court record indicates the presiding judge asked the Justice Department to extend Veselnitskaya’s immigration parole another week until he decided motions in the case. There are no other records in the court file indicating what happened with that request or how Veselnitskaya appeared in the country later that spring.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York confirmed Wednesday to The Hill that it let Veselnitskaya into the country on a grant of immigration parole from October 2015 to early January 2016.

Justice Department and State Department officials could not immediately explain how the Russian lawyer was still in the country in June for the meeting with Trump Jr. and the events in Washington.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has demanded the U.S. government provide him all records on how Veselnitskaya entered and traveled in the U.S., a request that could shed additional light on her activities.

Interviews with a half dozen Americans who came in contact with Veselnitskaya or monitored her U.S. activities in 2016 make clear that one of her primary goals was to see if the Congress and/or other political leaders would be interested in repealing the 2012 Magnitsky Act punishing Russia or at least ensure the Magnitsky name would not be used on a new law working its way through Congress in 2016 to punish human rights violators across the globe.

“There’s zero doubt that she and her U.S. colleagues were lobbying to repeal Magnitsky or at least ensure his name was removed from the global law Congress was considering,” said U.S. businessman William Browder, who was the main proponent for the Magnitsky Act and who filed a FARA complaint against Veselnitskaya, Dellums and other U.S. officials, claiming they should have registered as foreign agent lobbyists because of the work.

The 2012 law punished Russia for the prison death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Moscow lawyer and accountant who U.S. authorities allege uncovered a massive $230 million money laundering scheme involving Russian government officials that hurt U.S. companies.

Magnitsky became a cause celeb in the United States after his mysterious death in a Russian prison, but Russian officials have disputed his version of events and in 2011 posthumously convicted him of fraud in Russia.

It is that alternate theory of the Magnitsky fraud cause that Veselnitskaya and her U.S. allies tried to get into the hands of American officials, including Rohrabacher, the Trump team and other leaders.

Browder’s complaint, which alleges that Washington lobbyists working with Veselnitskaya failed to register as foreign agents, is still pending at the Justice Department. It identified several events in Washington that Veselnitskaya and her allies attended or staged in June 2016.

All of them occurred in the days immediately after the Russian lawyer used a music promoter friend to get an audience June 9 with Trump Jr. promising dirt on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton but instead using the meeting to talk about Magnitsky and the adoption issue, according to Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya.

On June 13, 2016, Veselnitskaya attended the screening of an anti-Magnitsky movie at the Newseum, which drew a handful of congressional staffers and State Department officials, according to Browder’s complaint.

The next day, she appeared in the front row of a hearing chaired by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), sitting right behind a former U.S. ambassador who testified on the future of U.S-Russia policy.

Rohrabacher said he recalled around the same time a conversation with Dellums about Magnitsky and the adoption issue and then attending a dinner that included Veselnitskaya at the Capitol Hill Club with about 20 people.

Sources close to the lobbying effort to rename the Magnitsky Act, conducted over the summer of 2016, said it fizzled after only a month or two. They described Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, as a mysterious and shadowy figure. They said they were confused as to whether she had an official role in the lobbying campaign, although she was present for several meetings.

The sources also described their interactions with Veselnitskaya in the same way that Trump Jr. did. They claimed not to know who she worked for or what her motives were.

“Natalia didn’t speak a word of English,” said one source. “Don’t let anyone tell you this was a sophisticated lobbying effort. It was the least professional campaign I’ve ever seen. If she’s the cream of the Moscow intelligence community then we have nothing to worry about.

*

Update:

Kristina Wong reports at Breitbart that the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who asked to meet with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016, and did so for 20 minutes, had worked for years with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS. That was the firm that produced the lying, absurd, and now entirely discredited dossier it made up for the Democrats to use against Donald Trump.

Plot after plot was laid to establish a connection between Donald Trump and Russia. One after another they have failed.

Meanwhile the very real collusion between the Democrats and Russians, and the treacherous sale of US uranium deposits to Russia that Hillary Clinton accepted bribes to permit when she was secretary of state, are apparently being disregarded by the Trump administration. Why?