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Biden's bid to oust Ukraine prosecutor followed intense pressure by son's Burisma firm

Post 10818199 6 hours ago • View on 8kun

Biden's bid to oust Ukraine prosecutor followed intense pressure by son's Burisma firm Six high-level meetings included a previously undisclosed contact with U.S. ambassador in Kiev, records show. Hunter Biden and representatives of Burisma Holdings secured at least six high-levels meetings with senior Obama administration officials in the weeks just before Vice President Joe Biden forced the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the gas company, according to newly disclosed memos and testimony. During some of the meetings, a Democratic firm called Blue Star Strategies that was representing Burisma repeatedly pressed U.S. officials to help end corruption allegations that long had dogged the Ukrainian gas firm, which appointed Hunter Biden to its board in 2014. In one previously undisclosed contact in December 2015, Blue Star secured a meeting with then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in which the Burisma lobbyists made a case that the gas firm should not be prosecuted any longer. The meeting came at a sensitive time. Pyatt just a few months earlier had given a speech demanding that Burisma and its owner Mykola Zlochevsky be prosecuted for corruption, and Ukrainian prosecutors had begun stepping up activity in the case, including sending evidence to the National Anti-Corruption Bureau for further investigation and eventually securing a new asset forfeiture against Zlochevsky. The New York Times also had just reported a story saying Hunter Biden's presence on Burisma's board during the investigation was undercutting U.S. credibility in the fight against Ukrainian corruption. State Department officials divulged Joe Biden also made the first effort to fire the lead prosecutor in the Burisma case that same month. Amos Hochstein, a senior energy policy official at the State Department and confidant of Vice President Biden, told Senate investigators he took meetings with Blue Star in late 2015 and again in March 2016. He also met once with Hunter Bidem during the same time frame to discuss Burisma. In the latter of its meetings with Hochstein, Blue Star argued there was no longer a reason to pursue the gas firm or its founder Mykola Zolchevsky, Hochstein testified. "They told me that they believed that Zlochevsky was tried, prosecuted, and the charges against him were dismissed by the U.K. and, therefore, there was no reason to hold him responsible since the judicial system worked," Hochstein said, describing the March 2016 meeting. "I was very clear about my views that I disagreed," he added. "… They clearly did not agree with me, and I expressed my disappointment."

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