In an exclusive report, Wednesday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham revealed that the New York Times last May quashed a story about a White House meeting in January of 2016 between Obama administration officials—including the so-called whistleblower—and Ukrainian officials that addressed Hunter Biden’s problematic position at Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.
Ingraham said she obtained a chain of State Department emails between NYT journalist Ken Vogel and State Department official Kate Schilling centering on the reporter’s request for comment on the story.
Hunter Biden, 49, the scandal-plagued son of Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden, is a central figure in the Ukraine scandal due to his high-paid no-show job at Burisma, a position he secured despite having no relevant experience in that field.
Democrats say the president withheld military aid from Ukraine until he could get a guarantee from the Ukrainian President Zelensky that the Bidens would be investigated. However, a document unearthed last October shows that Ukrainian officials had actually opened a new probe into Burisma months before President Trump’s July 2019 phone call with the Ukrainian president.
Some Republicans have called for Hunter Biden to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
Ken Vogel is the reporter who wrote the oft-cited January 2017 piece in Politico titled: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire. Subtitled: “Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.”
Media reports referring to Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 election did not become controversial until Biden announced his candidacy for president in April of 2019. Then, as President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani conducted his very public investigation into the matter throughout 2019, Democrats and their allies in the media started characterizing the claim that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election as a “conspiracy theory.”
In Vogel’s May 1, 2019 email to Schilling about the Obama White House meeting, the reporter reportedly mentioned the name of the CIA analyst widely believed to be the anti-Trump whistleblower, whose complaint against the president sparked the Democrats’ impeachment efforts.
Ingraham did not reveal his name because Fox News hosts are banned from doing so until the identity is confirmed, but she was likely was referring to Eric Ciaramella, who has been outed in conservative media as the whistleblower.
In the email, Vogel wrote, “We are going to report that (State Department official) Elizabeth Zentos attended a meeting at the White House on 1/19/2016 with Ukrainian prosecutors and embassy officials as well as … [redacted] from the NSC … the subjects discussed included efforts within the United State government to support prosecutions, in Ukraine and the United Kingdom, of Burisma Holdings … and concerns that Hunter Biden’s position with the company could complicate such efforts.”
“The State Department eventually declined to comment,” Ingraham said.
The Fox host noted that the email was forwarded to Schilling’s colleagues Zentos and diplomat George Kent, who has apparently been a source for Vogel in the past.
Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told House investigators last November that he had expressed concerns in 2015 that Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma raised the possibility of a perception of a conflict of interest. He testified that he reported his concern to the Office of the Vice President and nothing came of it.
The names Zentos and Ciaramella also came up during a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee about Puerto Rico’s debt on Oct. 22, 2019.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) asked Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine’s former finance minister, who is currently executive director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, whether she had any knowledge of the pair’s meeting with a Ukrainian official at a DC restaurant in 2016.
Gohmert told the Washington Examiner, “Specifically, I asked about an April 12, 2016, meeting between Ukrainian parliamentarian Olga Bielkova and Liz Zentos and Eric Ciaramella of the National Security Council, in which energy issues were discussed. I thought it was prudent to ask Ms. Jaresko on the record and under oath about this meeting, since the time frame and subject align with the concerning reports of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine.”
Bielkova met with Ciaramella and his colleague, Liz Zentos, then the director for Eastern Europe on the National Security Council, on April 12, 2016, at Le Pain Quotidien, on 17th Street N.W., a block from the White House. The same day, Bielkova also met with State Department official Michael Kimmage and, separately, with Kramer of the McCain Institute. Kramer figures prominently in the Trump-Russia saga — he met with Steele in December 2016 at Heathrow Airport to obtain a copy of the British ex-spy’s unverified dossier and provided information from it to over a dozen journalists after the presidential election.
Ingraham said her team was able to corroborate details of the January 2016 meeting mentioned in Vogel’s email by perusing archived Obama White House visitor logs. She reported that the logs confirmed that a number of Ukrainian officials were checked into the White House by the whistleblower [Ciaramella], who was at the time the Ukraine director on the NSC. This was the day Vogel claimed there was a meeting between Obama administration officials and Ukrainians to discuss “the complications of Hunter Bidens sweetheart gig” at Burisma, as Ingraham put it.
Vogel’s explosive story, which would have broken about a week after Joe Biden announced his candidacy, was never published.
Ingraham said she reached out to both the New York Times and Vogel to ask why the story was quashed. She said that Vogel never replied, but the Times’ director of communications simply stated that Vogel’s request for comment was consistent with their news-gathering process.
#IngrahamAngle WB checked into Obama WH Ukrainian officials January 19, 2016 – the day Vogel claims there was a meeting on Burisma and Biden.
Why wasn't the WB concerned with Biden overseeing Ukrainian policy – was it only troubling when Trump tried to get this investigated ?? pic.twitter.com/Ia2QddG6ms
— Heather Champion (@winningatmylife) January 23, 2020
Ingraham’s scoop shows that once again, due to the corporate media’s obsequious desire to assist Democrats, another important story was smothered.