Ukraine’s top prosecutor announced Wednesday that the country is widening its investigation into the founder of Burisma Holdings, the natural gas firm where Hunter Biden held a lucrative role on the board while his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, was leading Ukraine policy and “anti-corruption” efforts for the Obama administration.
Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky—whose whereabouts are currently unknown—is suspected of “theft of government funds on an especially large scale,” according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.
Zlochevsky has been under investigation for funneling government contracts to his businesses when he served as minister of ecology and natural resources from 2010 through 2012. The allegations include “tax violations, money-laundering and licences given to Burisma during the period where Zlochevsky was a minister,” according to Reuters.
Ryaboshapka made the announcement after a document from the general prosecutor’s office was leaked at a separate press conference by three members of Ukrainian parliament earlier on Wednesday. The lawmakers were demanding that the U.S. and Ukraine investigate allegations of financial crimes by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
According to Reuters, the document showed that former Ukraine prosecutor Kostiantyn Kulyk suspected Zlochevsky of using his official position to embezzle the equivalent of $33 million from the central bank.
Andriy Derkach, one of the lawmakers at the press conference, alleged that the $16.5 million Hunter Biden received as payment from Burisma was stolen from Ukrainian citizens.
The investigation is reportedly on hold because Ukrainian authorities have been unable to locate Zlochevsky.
Ryaboshapka told reporters that he launched an audit of fifteen criminal cases—thirteen of which involved Zlochevsky and Burisma—when he assumed the post of Ukraine’s prosecutor general in late August.
“Currently we are reviewing the criminal cases that have been previously pursued by the Prosecutor General’s Office,” Ryaboshapka said in October, according to the Kyiv Post. “The sphere you’re talking about features (Burisma owner and former Ecology Minister Mykola) Zlochevsky, (Yanukovych ally and tycoon Serhiy) Kurchenko and other people and companies – there are about 15 such cases.”
Most of the corporate media is either characterizing the scandals as “conspiracy theories,” or are completely ignoring them, leaving it to investigative journalists like John Solomon room to the public on new developments.
Solomon on Wednesday published a detailed timeline of key events in the Ukraine scandal, complete with the corroborating evidence.
Here are some key events on the timeline:
April 13, 2014:
Devon Archer, the business partner of Hunter Biden, son of the VP, and Christopher Heinz, stepson of Secretary of State John Kerry, is named an independent director of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
May 13, 2014
Hunter Biden announced as a board member for Ukraine’s largest natural gas company Burisma Holdings, which is run by Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Cabinet official for ousted president Victor Yanukovych.
May 13, 2014
Christopher Heinz, business partner to Devon Archer and Hunter Biden and stepson to John Kerry, sends email to Secretary of State’s top aides distancing himself from Archer, Biden appointments to Burisma Holdings board, according to FOIA released to Citizens United.
May 15, 2014
Burisma Holdings makes two equal $83,333.33 payments totaling $166,666.66 to the Morgan Stanley account of Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s firm Rosemont Seneca Bohai, according to the company’s official ledger and Rosemont Seneca Bohais bank records obtained by the FBI. Similar payments are made every month for more than a year.
Rosemont Seneca records seized by FBI: https://www.scribd.com/document/404001731/Rosemont-Seneca-Partners-Court-File
May 20, 2014
David Leiter, former chief of staff to John Kerry, hired as a lobbyist for Burisma Holdings, Senate lobbying records show. The firm is paid $90,000 in 2014 to lobby Congress and the State Department.
May 25, 2014
Poroshenko wins the Ukraine presidential election
July 5, 2014:
Burisma Holdings pays $250,000 retainer to Boies Schiller law firm where board member Hunter Biden also works.
In August of 2014, Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s office opened a criminal investigation of Burisma Holdings and Mykola Zlochevsky.
Less than two years later, a representative from Burisma met with the Obama State Dept. officials in Washington DC and lobbied to have the investigation halted. In March of 2016, VP Biden called Ukrainian president Poroshenko about the U.S. loan guarantees. “It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, who is overseeing the Burisma prosecution, or risk losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees,” Solomon writes.
Joe Biden told Fox News back in September that he never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings with him.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader. You should be looking at Trump.”
Additionally, Hunter Biden told The New Yorker over the summer that he and his father had spoken “just once” about Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine.
However, a photo obtained by Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” shows former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer, then the independent director of Burisma Holdings.
REMINDER: This is Devon Archer pictured with then Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Former VP Biden still claims that he has “never spoken” to his son about his overseas business dealings. pic.twitter.com/0y3lmQOzR1
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 9, 2019
Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky– in which he pressured Ukraine to launch investigations Ukraine election meddling and the Biden/Burisma scandal– prompted a whistleblower complaint and the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in the House.
The president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Reuters that while he was on a fact-finding mission, he met with Kostiantyn Kulyk in Paris where the former prosecutor told him about the allegations against Burisma. During the first half of 2019, Giuliani echoed what he had learned in numerous media appearances. Biden, in turn, has slammed Giuliani for peddling “false, debunked conspiracy theories.”