Two Republican senators claim that Democratic consultants working with Hunter Biden had deliberately made filings with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that misled the agency about the foreign lobbying work of a company Hunter was working for at the time.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the disclosures were made by a firm called Blue Star Strategies, which reported that its founders, Karen Tramontano and Sally Painter, had previously held two meetings with the State Department in 2016 to discuss the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
However, Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have claimed that Blue Star failed to reveal the fact that they had held at least nine other meetings with government officials, including two American ambassadors to Ukraine.
“It appears that Blue Star Strategies’ top executives, Karen Tramontano and Sally Painter, filed incomplete and misleading information with the Department of Justice,” the senators wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. They cited records from their own investigation into the work that Hunter Biden and Blue Star both did for Burisma as proof.
Hunter himself had recruited Tramontano and Painter to do consulting work for Burisma in November of 2015; their roles also included working directly with Burisma’s owner Mykola Zlochevsky, who was under investigation at the time for bribery.
The new accusations from the two senators also highlight the possibility that the DOJ may have prematurely closed its investigation into Blue Star and its foreign lobbying, perhaps as a result of the misleading filings. A lawyer working for the two consultants, who both previously served in the Clinton administration, even admitted that prosecutors shut down their investigation due to the firm’s filings under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
Hunter’s role in this lobbying work is just one aspect of his tenure at Burisma that has come under intense scrutiny from Republicans, especially since his father ran for president. The biggest controversy comes from Joe Biden’s own declaration that he used his position as then-Vice President to pressure the Ukrainian government into firing Viktor Shokin, the Prosecutor General who was investigating Burisma, including Hunter, for corruption. Biden said in a foreign policy panel that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine unless then-President Petro Poroshenko fired Shokin, which he ultimately did.