Lawmaker reveals details of Burisma-Biden bribe allegation in secret FBI document
A House lawmaker has revealed allegations in a previously undisclosed FBI memo that Biden family members were paid millions of dollars to help thwart a prosecutor who was investigating Ukrainian energy company Burisma at a time when the firm gave a lucrative job to Hunter Biden.
According to a paid FBI informant considered both “trusted” and “highly credible,” a foreign national told him that he provided $5 million to then-Vice President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and another $5 million to a second, unnamed Biden family member.
The alleged payments from the foreign national were aimed at soliciting then-Vice President Biden’s help in removing the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma.
“It was all bribery, to get Shokin fired and end the investigation into Burisma,” the informant told the FBI in the memo.
Nobody would find out about the Biden family payments for at least a decade, the informant was told by the foreigner, “because of how many bank accounts there were.”
President Biden on Thursday said allegations that he took bribes from foreigners are “malarkey.”
“Where’s the money? I’m joking. It’s a bunch of malarkey,” Mr. Biden said at the end of a press conference with U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The president also defended the independence of the Justice Department as it targets former President Donald Trump in two separate investigations.
Details of the FBI informant’s allegations were revealed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, which was granted access to the memo Thursday in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. No recording equipment or note-taking was allowed, but Ms. Greene, Georgia Republican, said she quickly memorialized what she read from the memo into detailed notes so she could report it to the media.
The bribery scheme took place between 2015 and 2016, the informant said, when Burisma was “looking to buy a U.S.-based oil and gas company,” and wanted to “make the problems go away” with Shokin.
Ms. Greene said the informant revealed that the foreigner said he is in possession of “two pieces of evidence showing proof of payment to Hunter and specifically, Joe Biden.”
The revelations in the FBI document provide new details about allegations that have been circulating for years, involving claims that then-Vice President Biden worked to get Mr. Shokin fired on behalf of Hunter Biden, who at the time was paid a million-dollar annual salary to serve on Burisma’s board.
“They hired Hunter on the board to make the problems go away. That’s what they specifically said,” Ms. Greene said the informant reported in the memo.“Hunter advised that they could raise more money if they bought a U.S. company.”
A high-level source familiar with the FBI document confirmed to The Washington Times the information provided Thursday by Ms. Greene is accurate.
Ms. Greene called the information that she read in the memo “shocking.”
It follows a months-long investigation by the Oversight panel into the Biden family’s foreign business deals and a web of businesses and bank accounts that Republican investigators believe were created to hide a pay-for-play scheme involving President Biden that dates back more than a decade.
Bank records reveal that Biden family members and business associates received millions in foreign payments from China, Romania and other countries.
Some of the early allegations regarding the Burisma bribes came from Rudy Giuliani, a close ally of former President Trump, and have been discredited by Democrats, who say Mr. Shokin was fired without Mr. Biden’s involvement and due to his failure to prosecute corruption cases.
But Mr. Biden boasted about his effort to get Mr. Shokin removed during a Jan. 23, 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Biden said he threatened then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if he did not fire Mr. Shokin.
“If the prosecutor is not fired, you are not getting the money,” Mr. Biden said he told Mr. Poroshenko.
The Oversight panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, dismissed the allegations against Mr. Biden in the FBI memo as lies provided by Mr. Giuliani that have been rejected by the FBI as groundless.
“The Department of Justice team of prosecutors and FBI agents under U.S. Attorney Scott Brady determined that there were no grounds to escalate their probe from an initial assessment of the allegations surfaced by Rudy Giuliani to a preliminary or full-blown investigation and that it was therefore closed down,” Mr. Raskin said.
But Mr. Giuliani is not the source of the information, panel Chairman James Comer, of Kentucky, told The Washington Times.
Mr. Comer told The Times that the investigation has not closed down and pointed to media interviews with former Attorney General William Barr, who said Mr. Raskin was incorrect and the bribery allegations were forwarded to the U.S. Attorney in Delaware.
Mr. Comer told The Times the investigation has not been closed down.
“The allegations contained within this record are not closed as the White House and Democrats would have the American people believe,” Mr. Comer said. “Former Attorney General Barr confirmed this information was sent to the U.S. Attorney in Delaware for further investigation and the FBI has confirmed it is being used in an ongoing investigation. We also know the confidential human source who provided this information is highly credible and trusted, has worked with the FBI for over a decade, and has been paid six figures.”
President Biden has repeatedly denied any knowledge of or involvement in his family’s business deals.
A White House spokesperson said Republicans were wasting their time on an investigation without merit.
“Congressional Republicans, led by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and his committee, have spent six months wasting taxpayer resources to stage politically motivated stunts disguised as ‘investigations,’” said Ian Sams, White House spokesperson for oversight and investigations.
The FBI’s last-minute decision to provide the memo followed a threat from Mr. Comer that his panel would hold a Thursday vote to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn it over.
That vote has now been cancelled.