So the person from BLM calls the mother a liar. She says BLM/Until Freedom is therealagrieved party. They sacrificed, their poor families suffered as a result of the activists participating in the riots and protests.” WE GAVE AND GAVE AND GAVE AND GAVE AND GAVE.”
In truth, they did give a lot.
They gave riots. They gave looting. They gave property destruction. The gave injury and death to individuals and police.
I mean, that is a lot of giving…
At this point I’m scared these lunatics might storm the capital one day!
You’re kinda right, it shows the educated from the ignorant so it’s easier to discern.
Imagine thinking it’s “uneducated” to remove the blight of capital and it’s cronies from your community, lmao.
Dipshit should try a book sometime
Of course that’s why they wear black bloc when enacting “justice”, just lovely. Rejecting the book that has quotes from their own militants turned domestic. They cry for the silence of an individuals mind.
You’re speaking like the islamic state caliphate, allah will heal you of your sins if you simply accept peace at any point on your path. Your people are simple followers turned volunteer martyrs.
Think carefully where you follow the beast. Corporations dont work for the people for free.
Anyone else really confused how people think BLM is both marxist and controlled by big corparations at the same time ?
call me crazy but BLM isn’t about Black lives .IMO It’s about using tragic circumstances , to create a blackbox to gain financial benefit for one or more organizing parties. And this is a common tactic beyond BLM . This is a template across charities and other organizing forms of charities .
Yeah it’s also used by big banks and “elitist” groups to control big corporations. Always about power and money, always.
I’m shocked! I’ve had a few heated discussions with some white family members who were angry with me that I told them to be careful. BLM is marxist and corrupt. Marxist by their own admission on their website. And I knew the corruption eventually would see the light of day just based on their tactics. This all happened six or seven months ago. I feel sorry for the mother and other family members who thought they were going to get support from BLM.
They are just another group that pimps minorities. The left is full of them.
Can you link to where they say they are a Marxist org on their website? I just went through it and see no such thing:
My understanding is that they are a Civil Rights based org, and looking at their website directly hasn’t changed that belief. [-100]
There is no difference. The BLM organization was created to funnel money to democrats using race baiting tactics. If BLM were an actual movement, they’d be in places like Chicago chasing down gang members instead of burning down fast food restaurants and looting designer shops.
Well there is a difference. But we don’t need to get into that.
We have BLM stuff going on in Canada that isn’t burning/looting/etc.
looks mostly peaceful to me
I don’t live in Montreal, but cool.
The fact you can’t recognize that there are both terrible and good things going on in the ‘name of BLM’ if you will is a problem.
People/groups all over the world do good and bad in the name of varying things.
Some slaughter in the name of something, and some save by the same ideology.
So what you’re saying is that not all cops are bastards?
Blm is a reaction to generation after generation being brutalized by police. [-13]
No, BLM is a domestic terrorist organization, operated by convicted terrorists, marxists, and career criminals. Its purpose is to steer money from idiots into the DNC, and terrorizing the rest of the country into submission using perpetual victimhood and black supremacy. All opposition is crushed, EVERYONE who disagrees with them is arbitrarily a racist, and they are just as corrupt as any other self-serving marxist group. They were founded on a lie, and continue to propagate lies and extortion tactics to enrich their insurgency and their “leadership.” They, along with other far left extremists in media, tech, and government, have taken over the democrat party and set us on a path towards totalitarianism and mass suffering at scale.
brutalized by police.
Eh …outside of isolated cases, this isn’t true anymore. This isn’t the 1960’s. Today, more white people are killed by cops, usually because they are committing a fucking violent crime. And more black people brutalize black people (~2545 black v. black illegal homicides verses 6 police vs. black illegal homicides in 2019) …yet this is never discussed, and you become racist for bringing it up (typically because the individual you’re arguing with is just smart enough to remember to breath.)
Today, each time some street trash gets clipped by a cop, even if that person is a rapist, violent thug, crackhead, or an otherwise detestable garbage human being, an entire community who wouldn’t lift their fucking asses to improve their own community, come out of the woodwork, demanding money, special recognition & treatment, and national “change” that only they get to define.
BLM deifies the most egregious monsters in their community. All while protecting criminals, elevating them (a convicted copkiller was appointed to a police reform board in NY state) to near god-like status, and use skimmed donations to buy lavish, multi-million dollar homes.
So yeah; support BLM …do it; or we’ll burn down your wendy’s, loot your sunglass hut, auto zone, and jewelry store …because BLM wants and deserves “justus” for criminal trash.
Nobody intelligent buys this BLM bullshit, because that’s precisely what it is.
There are fraudsters in children’s charity, does that make wanting to help children a bad thing? The generational PTSD passed down makes for a different situation, police brutality against blacks is reminiscent of jim crow styles of thinking, that’s why you get mass protests, not everyone follows what the creators of the blm banner think. There are major anti violence marches in chicago all the time, lots of organizations that are trying to tackle violence. It’s not the black communities fault that they are sick and tired of unfair police treatment.
If I was being brutalized by police I don’t think my first thought would be “you know what, let’s loot and riot everything and throw a tantrum like little kids but with guns!!!”
I doubt that anyone is willing to read millions of angry letters.
Clearly you need to if you don’t know that it’s spelled nobody
Collection thread ( I’ll update every 2 hours . The thread was just uploaded 4hrs ago )
You know, I think the core values of ALM already encompasses those.
The core philosophy of BLM was originally marxist. The only part of BLM that seeks to actually help black lives is the name BLM.
Instead of a sometimes for-profit and sometimes charity we actually have an admirable organization that’ll benefit black lives?
BLM supporters have said bodycams are unacceptable after police shootings. They only have a vendetta against the civil servants, they want them to have no power at all over black lives, but that under no circumstances will be possible.
We need a state or federal organization made up of people who actually know what they’re doing and want to save black lives.
Think about it, BLM disliking bodycams on police officers. (The entire movement supported this change of view real quick)
It’s almost like no everyone there is a part of BLM. If you’re there the protest then you are, if you’re there to loot then you clearly aren’t a part of BLM and just want to loot. Is it that hard to understand?
Why are you making excuses for a domestic terrorist organization?
What sort of terrorism have they done? Not including the rioters since they are rioters, not BLM.
No true Scotsman.
If all conservatives are naziiiissss than all liberals are communists and rioters and blah blah blah and so forth. No room for any nuance or common sense anymore. In fact I’m declaring liberals are Nazi communist terrorist crab people because reasons and words don’t have meaning anymore. You can thank your side for this dumbassery by the way.
Let me guess; you believe that 95% of BLM’s riots were “mostly peaceful?”
No I think their protests were peaceful, the riots were obviously not peaceful
So then you have the same opinion of the January 6th protest at the Capitol right?
Well I don’t know if ALL of them should be thrown in prison, I think heavy fine is more appropriate. Prison time for anyone who stole or vandalized anything.
But for the most part I agree.
Like the peaceful protest that ended with 5 cops murdered in cold blood?
Or the ambush of cops in LA where BLM “protesters” gathered at the ER:
But the same can’t be said for the protesters who blocked the entrance to the hospital where the two are being treated, and chanted “we hope they die.”
Dude these people suck but you can’t make assumptions about a group based on a small amount of people.
Small amount of people did $2,000,000,000 in damage, destroyed 30,000 vehicles, and 15,000 businesses?
BUT FUCKING SOMEHOW …all cops are bastards?
March 4, 2021
(updated March 4, 2021)
Published by Josh
March 1, 2021
(updated March 1, 2021)
Published by Josh
Patriot Anons, let’s take a trip down memory lane. It was just 5.5 years ago that Trump announced he was running for President. We did not know just how important that was as most of us were still stuck and lost in the evil and fraudulent reality we’ve come to know as the Matrix. People have no clue just how close we were to the precipice of destruction should Hillary have been elected. The media, majority of our leaders, all our favorite celebrities, all our favorite athletes and Stars that we stupidly followed, activated and turned against him in an unrelenting fashion. Nobody but Trump could have survived that campaign, overcome the voter fraud, and beat the “most qualified (deep state) presidential candidate”. That was Miracle number one. On October 28, 2017 the anonymous poster now known as Q, a military intelligence team, went to the grungiest part of the Internet (4ch) and started to post of a plan to not only save America but to save the world. They spoke of getting rid of all evil and corruption world wide with only continuous statistical coincidences as proof of the validity of the plan. There were only a few hundred anons there that first night and over the course of a few weeks, after open source investigations by anons into answer questions posted by Q, anons started to piece together the truth about our reality. Information was packaged into memes, word spread, social media accounts began to disseminate this message. For 3.5 years we were spit on, called crazy, chastised, ostracized, fired from jobs, lost livelihoods, lost friends, lost loved ones, lost relationships, doxxed, threatened with our lives, belittled, battered, stalked, deleted and so much more, RELENTLESSLY by not only the media but our peers and neighbors. During all that our numbers of support grew to the hundreds of millions spanning over 100 countries across the world. Not only that but I personally, many people I woke up, and hundreds of thousands, if not more, of some of the most lost and wandering souls found God through the Great Awakening. That was miracle number 2. From the get go, Trump took all of what we got times 1000, directed right his entire family, himself, his businesses, his reputation, with nonsense Russian investigations, impeachment trials, 25th amendment threats, virtually zero support in Congress, nor the federal and local court systems. Even foreign countries, three letter agencies, and all 17 US intelligence agencies, plus Five Eyes, the UN, and the entire global media did everything in their power to stop and end Donald J Trump. Despite all of this, Trump’s support grew by the millions, as he secured peace in the Middle East, peace with NOKO/SOKO, set record stock market numbers over 100 times, stopped corporate corruption, arrested thousands upon thousands of hardened criminals, sex offenders, arrested and deported MS13 gangs and other violent illegal immigrants, prevented hundreds of thousands if not millions of dying from a chinese bioweapon, absorbed the federal reserve, and built a massive wall. Trump did more for America and humanity than the last 10 decades of US political leaders combined and he had MAX RESISTANCE the entire way. That is miracle number 3. Trump and Q team are not God nor Jesus, but their plan and their actions are undoubtedly, IMO, guided by Divine Providence. If all of the above is true, then the Best is SURELY yet to come. All these trials and tribulations we are going through, as they bring us to our knees we will learn to pray. In prayer and hope we will all find God. And only then we will come to realize that all this pain was just Blessings in disguise. Look where we have come from. Look where we are now. You MUST know: We were never alone. There is Another standing in the fire next to us and through Him we will all be guided down the lightened path to Freedom- as He intended. There is a reason we are here in the place and time we call “here and now”. There is a reason that despite everything, WE ARE STILL HERE. It’s a feeling that inside that just won’t go away.InevitableET @InevitableET
February 28, 2021
(updated February 28, 2021)
Published by Josh
NWO Plans Exposed By Insider In 1969 8-26-11
‘This is a transcript of two out of three tapes on the “New World System.” Tapes one and two were recorded in 1988 and are the recollections of Dr. Lawrence Dunegan regarding a lecture he attended on March 20, 1969 at a meeting of the Pittsburgh Paediatric Society. The lecturer at that gathering of paediatricians (identified in tape three recorded in 1991) was a Dr. Richard Day (who died in 1989). At the time, Dr. Day was Professor of Paediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. Previously he had served as Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Dunegan was formerly a student of Dr. Day at the University of Pittsburgh and was well acquainted with him, though not intimately. He describes Dr. Day as an insider of the “Order” and although Dr. Dunegan’s memory was somewhat dimmed by the intervening years, he is able to provide enough details of the lecture to enable any enlightened person to discern the real purposes behind the trends of our time. This is a transcript of a loose, conversational monologue that makes for better listening than reading.’ New World System This is a transcript of two out of three tapes on the “New World System.” Tapes one and two were recorded in 1988 and are the recollections of Dr. Lawrence Dunegan regarding a lecture he attended on March 20, 1969 at a meeting of the Pittsburgh Paediatric Society. The lecturer at that gathering of paediatricians (identified in tape three recorded in 1991) was a Dr. Richard Day (who died in 1989). At the time, Dr. Day was Professor of Paediatrics at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. Previously he had served as Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Dunegan was formerly a student of Dr. Day at the University of Pittsburgh and was well acquainted with him, though not intimately. He describes Dr. Day as an insider of the “Order” and although Dr. Dunegan’s memory was somewhat dimmed by the intervening years, he is able to provide enough details of the lecture to enable any enlightened person to discern the real purposes behind the trends of our time. This is a transcript of a loose, conversational monologue that makes for better listening than reading. The transcripts of Tape 1 and Tape 2 have been very slightly edited to remove verbal mannerisms and to improve readability. The original unedited transcript may be found using the following link <http://100777.com/node/19>http://100777.com/node/19Tape 3 is an interview by Randy Engel, Director of the U.S. Coalition for Life, with Dr. Larry Dunegan and was recorded on Oct. 10, 1991 in Pittsburgh, Penn.This set of three audio tapes may be ordered from the Florida Pro-family Forum, P.O. Box 1059, Highland City, FL 33846-1059 ($20.00). CONTENTS IS THERE A POWER, A FORCE OR A GROUP OF MEN ORGANIZING AND REDIRECTING CHANGE? EVERYTHING IS IN PLACE AND NOBODY CAN STOP US NOW PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO GET USED TO CHANGE THE REAL AND THE STATED GOALS POPULATION CONTROL PERMISSION TO HAVE BABIES REDIRECTING THE PURPOSE OF SEX CONTRACEPTION UNIVERSALLY AVAILABLE TO ALL SEX EDUCATION AS A TOOL OF WORLD GOVERNMENT TAX FUNDED ABORTION AS POPULATION CONTROL ENCOURAGING HOMOSEXUALITY TECHNOLOGY FAMILIES TO DIMINISH IN IMPORTANCE EUTHANASIA AND THE ‘DEMISE PILL’ LIMITING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE MEDICAL PLANNING THE CONTROL OVER MEDICINE ELIMINATION OF PRIVATE DOCTORS NEW DIFFICULT TO DIAGNOSE AND UNTREATABLE DISEASES SUPPRESSING CANCER CURES AS A MEANS OF POPULATION CONTROL INDUCING HEART ATTACKS AS A FORM OF ASSASSINATION EDUCATION AS A TOOL FOR ACCELERATING ONSET OF PUBERTY AND EVOLUTION BLENDING ALL RELIGIONS, THE OLD RELIGIONS WILL HAVE TO GO CHANGING THE BIBLE THROUGH REVISIONS OF KEY WORDS THE CHURCHES WILL HELP US RESTRUCTURING EDUCATION AS A TOOL OF INDOCTRINATION MORE TIME IN SCHOOLS, BUT THEY WOULDN’T LEARN ANYTHING CONTROLLING WHO HAS ACCESS TO INFORMATION SCHOOLS AS THE HUB OF THE COMMUNITY BOOKS WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR FROM THE LIBRARIES CHANGING LAWS THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF DRUG ABUSE TO CREATE A JUNGLE ATMOSPHERE ALCOHOL ABUSE RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL THE NEED FOR MORE JAILS, AND USING HOSPITALS AS JAILS NO MORE SECURITY CRIME USED TO MANAGE SOCIETY CURTAILMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL PRE-EMINENCE SHIFTING POPULATIONS AND ECONOMIES – TEARING THE SOCIAL ROOTS SPORTS AS A TOOL OF SOCIAL CHANGE SEX AND VIOLENCE INCULCATED THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND IMPLANTED ID FOOD CONTROL WEATHER CONTROL KNOW HOW PEOPLE RESPOND – MAKING THEM DO WHAT YOU WANT FALSIFIED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH TERRORISM FINANCIAL CONTROL SURVEILLANCE, IMPLANTS, AND TELEVISIONS THAT WATCH YOU HOME OWNERSHIP A THING OF THE PAST THE ARRIVAL OF THE TOTALITARIAN GLOBAL SYSTEM IS THERE A POWER, A FORCE OR A GROUP OF MEN ORGANIZING AND REDIRECTING CHANGE? There has been much written, and much said, by some people who have looked at all the changes that have occurred in American society in the past 20 years or so, and who have looked retrospectively to earlier history of the United States, and indeed, of the world, and come to the conclusion that there is a conspiracy of sorts which influences, indeed controls. major historical events, not only in the United States, but also around the world. This conspiratorial interpretation of history is based on people making observations from the outside, gathering evidence and concluding that from the outside they see a conspiracy. Their evidence and conclusions are based on evidence gathered in retrospect. I want to now describe what I heard from a speaker in 1969, which in several weeks will now be 20 years ago. The speaker did not speak in terms of retrospect, but rather predicting changes that would be brought about in the future. The speaker was not looking from the outside in, thinking that he saw conspiracy, rather, he was on the inside, admitting that, indeed, there was an organised power, force, group of men, who wielded enough influence to determine major events involving countries around the world. In addition, he predicted, or rather expounded on, changes that were planned for the remainder of this century. As you listen, if you can recall the situation, at least in the United States in 1969 and the few years there after, and then recall the kinds of changes which have occurred between then and now, almost 20 years later, I believe you will be impressed with the degree to which the things that were planned to be brought about have already been accomplished. Some of the things that were discussed were not intended to be accomplished yet by 1988. [Note: the year of this recording] but are intended to be accomplished before the end of this century. There is a timetable; and it was during this session that some of the elements of the timetable were brought out. Anyone who recalls early in the days of the Kennedy campaign when he spoke of progress in the decade of the 60’s”: That was kind of a cliché in those days – “the decade of the 60’s.” Well, by 1969 our speaker was talking about the decade of the 70’s, the decade of the 80’s, and the decade of the 90’s. Prior to that time, I don’t remember anybody saying “the decade of the 40’s and the decade of the 50’s. So I think this overall plan and timetable had taken important shape with more predictability to those who control it, sometime in the late 50’s. That’s speculation on my part. In any event, the speaker said that his purpose was to tell us about changes which would be brought about in the next 30 years or so, so that an entirely new world-wide system would be in operation before the turn of the century. As he put it, “We plan to enter the 21st Century with a running start.” [emphasis supplied] EVERYTHING IS IN PLACE AND NOBODY CAN STOP US NOW He said, as we listened to what he was about to present, “Some of you will think I’m talking about Communism. Well, what I’m talking about is much bigger than Communism!” At that time he indicated that there is much more co-operation between East and West than most people realise. In his introductory remarks, he commented that he was free to speak at this time. He would not have been able to say what he was about to say, even a few years earlier. But he was free to speak at this time because now, and I’m quoting here, “everything is in place and nobody can stop us now.” He went on to say that most people don’t understand how governments operate and even people in high positions in governments, including our own, don’t really understand how and where decisions are made. He went on to say that people who really influence decisions are names that for the most part would be familiar to most of us, but he would not use individuals’ names or names of any specific organisation. But that, if he did, most of the people would be names that were recognised by most of his audience. He went on to say that they were not primarily people in public office, but people of prominence who were primarily known in their private occupations or private positions. The speaker was Dr. Richard Day, a doctor of medicine and a former professor at a large Eastern university, and he was addressing a group of doctors of medicine, about 80 in number. His name would not be widely recognised by anybody likely to hear this. The only purpose in recording this is that it may give a perspective to those who hear it regarding the changes which have already been accomplished in the past 20 years or so, and a bit of a preview to what at least some people are planning for the remainder of this century, so that they would enter the 21st Century with a flying start. Some of us may not enter that Century. His purpose in telling our group about these changes that were to be brought about was to make it easier for us to adapt to these changes. Indeed, as he quite accurately said, “they would be changes that would be very surprising, and in some ways difficult for people to accept,” and he hoped that we, as sort of his friends, would make the adaptation more easily if we knew somewhat beforehand what to expect. PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO GET USED TO CHANGE Somewhere in the introductory remarks he insisted that nobody have a tape recorder and that nobody take notes, which for a professor was a very remarkable kind of thing to expect from an audience. Something in his remarks suggested that there could be negative repercussions against him if it became widely known that indeed he had spilled the beans, so to speak. When I first heard that, I thought maybe that was sort of an ego trip, somebody enhancing his own importance. But as the revelations unfolded, I began to understand why he might have had some concern about not having it widely known what was said although this was a fairly public forum where he was speaking. Nonetheless, he asked that no notes be taken, no tape recording be used. This was suggesting there might be some personal danger to himself if these revelations were widely publicised. Again, as the remarks began to unfold, and heard the rather outrageous things that were said, I made it a point to try to remember as much of what he said as I could and to connect my recollections to simple events around me to aid my memory for the future, in case I wanted to do what I’m doing now – recording this. I also wanted to try to maintain a perspective on what would be developing, if indeed, it followed the predicted pattern – which it has! At this point, so that I don’t forget to include it later, I’ll just include some statements that were made from time to time throughout the presentation. One of the statements was having to do with change. The statement was, “People will have to get used to the idea of change, so used to change, that they’ll be expecting change. Nothing will be permanent.” This often came out in the context of a society where people seemed to have no roots or moorings, but would be passively willing to accept change simply because it was all they had ever known. This was sort of in contrast to generations of people up until this time where certain things you expected to be, and remain in place as reference points for your life. So change was to be brought about, change was to be anticipated and expected, and accepted, no questions asked. Another comment that was made from time to time during the presentation was. “People are too trusting, people don’t ask the right questions.” Sometimes, being too trusting was equated with being too dumb. But sometimes when he would say that “People don’t ask the right questions,” it was almost with a sense of regret as if he were uneasy with what he was part of, and wished that people would challenge it and maybe not be so trusting. THE REAL AND THE STATED GOALS Another comment that was repeated from time to time, particularly in relation to changing laws and customs was, “Everything has two purposes. One is the ostensible purpose which will make it acceptable to people and second is the real purpose which would further the goals of establishing the new system. Frequently he would say, “There is just no other way, there’s just no other way!” This seemed to come as a sort of an apology, particularly at the conclusion of describing some particularly offensive changes. For example, the promotion of drug addiction which we’ll get into later. POPULATION CONTROL He was very active with population control groups, the population control movement, and population control was really the entry point into specifics following the introduction. He said the population is growing too fast. Numbers of people living at any one time on the planet must be limited or we will run out of space to live. We will outgrow our food supply and will pollute the world with our waste. PERMISSION TO HAVE BABIES People won’t be allowed to have babies just because they want to or because they are careless. Most families would be limited to two. Some people would be allowed only one, however outstanding people might be selected and allowed to have three. But most people would be allowed to have only two babies. That’s because the zero population growth rate is 2.1 children per completed family. So something like every 10th family might be allowed the privilege of the third baby. To me, up to this point, the words ‘population control’ primarily connoted limiting the number of babies to be born. But this remark about what people would be ‘allowed’ and then what followed, made it quite clear that when you hear ‘population control’ that means more than just controlling births. It means control of every endeavour of an entire world population; a much broader meaning to that term than I had ever attached to it before hearing this. As you listen and reflect back on some of the things you hear, you will begin to recognise how one aspect dovetails with other aspects in terms of controlling human endeavours. REDIRECTING THE PURPOSE OF SEX Well, from population control, the natural next step then was sex. He said sex must be separated from reproduction. Sex is too pleasurable, and the urges are too strong, to expect people to give it up. Chemicals in food and in the water supply to reduce the sex drive are not practical. The strategy then would be not to diminish sex activity, but to increase sex activity, but in such a way, that people won’t be having babies. CONTRACEPTION UNIVERSALLY AVAILABLE TO ALL The first consideration here was contraception. Contraception would be very strongly encouraged, and it would be connected closely in people’s minds with sex. They would automatically think contraception when they were thinking or preparing for sex, and contraception would be made universally available. Contraceptives would be displayed much more prominently in drug stores, right up with the cigarettes and chewing gum. Out in the open rather than hidden under the counter where people would have to ask for them and maybe be embarrassed. This kind of openness was a way of suggesting that contraceptives are just as much a part of life as any other items sold in the store. Contraceptives would be advertised and also dispensed in the schools in association with sex education! SEX EDUCATION AS A TOOL OF WORLD GOVERNMENT The sex education was to get kids interested early, making the connection between sex and the need for contraception early in their lives, even before they became very active. At this point I was recalling some of my teachers, particularly in high school and found it totally unbelievable to think of them agreeing, much less participating in, and distributing of contraceptives to students. But, that only reflected my lack of understanding of how these people operate. That was before the school-based clinic programs got started. Many cities in the United States by this time have already set up school-based clinics, which are primarily contraception, birth control, population control clinics. The idea then is that the connection between sex and contraception introduced and reinforced in school would carry over into marriage. Indeed, if young people when they matured decided to get married, marriage itself would be diminished in importance. He indicated some recognition that most people probably would want to be married, but this certainly would not be any longer considered necessary for sexual activity. TAX FUNDED ABORTION AS POPULATION CONTROL No surprise then that the next item was abortion. And this, now back in 1969, four years before Roe vs. Wade, he said, “Abortion will no longer be a crime.” Abortion will be accepted as normal, and would be paid for by taxes for people who could not pay for their own abortions. Contraceptives would be made available by tax money so that nobody would have to do without contraceptives. If school sex programs would lead to more pregnancies in children, that was really seen as no problem. Parents who think they are opposed to abortion on moral or religious grounds will change their minds when it is their own child who is pregnant. So this will help overcome opposition to abortion. Before long, only a few die-hards will still refuse to see abortion as acceptable, and they won’t matter anymore. ENCOURAGING HOMOSEXUALITY “People will be given permission to be homosexual,” that’s the way it was stated. They won’t have to hide it. In addition, elderly people will be encouraged to continue to have active sex lives into the very old ages, just as long as they can. Everyone will be given permission to have sex, to enjoy however they want. Anything goes. This is the way it was put. In addition, I remember thinking, “How arrogant for this individual, or whoever he represents, to feel that they can give or withhold permission for people to do things!” But that was the terminology that was used. In this regard, clothing was mentioned. Clothing styles would be made more stimulating and provocative. Back in 1969 was the time of the mini skirt, when those mini-skirts were very, very high and very revealing. He said, “It is not just the amount of skin that is exposed that makes clothing sexually seductive, but other, more subtle things are often suggestive.” Things like movement, and the cut of clothing, and the kind of fabric, the positioning of accessories on the clothing. “If a woman has an attractive body, why should she not show it?” was one of the statements. There was no detail on what was meant by ‘provocative clothing’, but since that time if you watched the change in clothing styles, blue jeans are cut in a way that they’re more tight-fitting in the crotch. They form wrinkles. Wrinkles are essentially arrows. Lines which direct one’s vision to certain anatomic areas. This was around the time of the ‘burn your bra’ activity. He indicated that a lot of women should not go without a bra. They need a bra to be attractive, so instead of banning bras and burning them, bras would come back. But they would be thinner and softer allowing more natural movement. It was not specifically stated, but certainly, a very thin bra is much more revealing of the nipple and what else is underneath, than the heavier bras that were in style up to that time. TECHNOLOGY Earlier he said that sex and reproduction would be separated. You would have sex without reproduction and then technology was reproduction without sex. This would be done in the laboratory. He indicated that already much, much research was underway about making babies in the laboratory. There was some elaboration on that, but I don’t remember the details. How much of that technology has come to my attention since that time. I don’t remember in a way that I can distinguish what was said from what I subsequently have learned as general medical information. FAMILIES TO DIMINISH IN IMPORTANCE Families would be limited in size. We already alluded to not being allowed more than two children. Divorce would be made easier and more prevalent. Most people who marry will marry more than once. More people will not marry. Unmarried people would stay in hotels and even live together. That would be very common – nobody would even ask questions about it. It would be widely accepted as no different from married people being together. More women will work outside the home. More men will be transferred to other cities and in their jobs, more men would travel. Therefore, it would be harder for families to stay together. This would tend to make the marriage relationship less stable and, therefore, tend to make people less willing to have babies. The extended families would be smaller, and more remote. Travel would be easier, less expensive, for a while, so that people who did have to travel would feel they could get back to their families, not that they were abruptly being made remote from their families. But one of the net effects of easier divorce laws combined with the promotion of travel, and transferring families from one city to another, was to create instability in the families. If both husband and wife are working and one partner is transferred, the other one may not be easily transferred. Soon, either gives up his or her job and stays behind while the other leaves, or else gives up the job and risks not finding employment in the new location. Rather a diabolical approach to this whole thing! EUTHANASIA AND THE ‘DEMISE PILL’ Everybody has a right to live only so long. The old are no longer useful. They become a burden. You should be ready to accept death. Most people are. An arbitrary age limit could be established. After all, you have a right to only so many steak dinners, so many orgasms, and so many good pleasures in life. After you have had enough of them and you’re no longer productive, working, and contributing, then you should be ready to step aside for the next generation. Some things that would help people realise that they had lived long enough, he mentioned several of these. I don’t remember them all but here are a few, the use of very pale printing ink on forms that people are necessary to fill out. Older people wouldn’t be able to read the pale ink as easily and would need to go to younger people for help. Automobile traffic patterns, there would be more high-speed traffic lanes that older people with their slower reflexes would have trouble dealing with and thus, loses some of their independence. LIMITING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE MEDICAL A big item that was elaborated on at some length was the cost of medical care would be made burdensomely high. Medical care would be connected very closely with one’s work but also would be made very, very high in cost so that it would simply be unavailable to people beyond a certain time. Unless they had a remarkably rich, supporting family, they would just have to do without care. And the idea was that if everybody says, “Enough! What a burden it is on the young to try to maintain the old people,” then the young would become agreeable to helping Mom and Dad along the way, provided this was done humanely and with dignity. Then the example was – there could be a nice, farewell party, a real celebration. Mom and Dad had done a good job. Then after the party’s over they take the ‘demise pill’. PLANNING THE CONTROL OVER MEDICINE The next topic is Medicine. There would be profound changes in the practice of medicine. Overall, medicine would be much more tightly controlled. The observation that was made in 1969 that, “Congress is not going to go along with national health insurance, is now, abundantly evident. But it’s not necessary, we have other ways to control health care”. These would come about more gradually, but all health care delivery would come under tight control. Medical care would be closely connected to work. If you don’t work or can’t work, you won’t have access to medical care. The days of hospitals giving away free care would gradually wind down, to where it was virtually non-existent. Costs would be forced up so that people won’t be able to afford to go without insurance. People pay for it, you’re entitled to it. It was only subsequently that I began to realise the extent to which you would not be paying for it. Your medical care would be paid for by others. Therefore, you would gratefully accept, on bended knee, what was offered to you as a privilege. Your role being responsible for your own care would be diminished. As an aside here, this is not something that was developed at that time; I didn’t understand it at the time that it was an aside. The way this works, everybody has made dependent on insurance and if you don’t have insurance then you pay directly; the cost of your care is enormous. The insurance company, however, paying for your care, does not pay that same amount. If you are charged, say, $600 for the use of an operating room, the insurance company does not pay $600; they only pay $300 or $400. That differential in billing has the desired effect: It enables the insurance company to pay for that which you could never pay for. They get a discount that’s unavailable to you. When you see your bill you’re grateful that the insurance company could do that. And in this way you are dependent, and virtually required to have insurance. The whole billing is fraudulent. Access to hospitals would be tightly controlled and identification would be needed to get into the building. The security in and around hospitals would be established and gradually increased so that nobody without identification could get in or move around inside the building. Theft of hospital equipment, things like typewriters and microscopes and so forth would be ‘allowed’ and exaggerated; reports of it would be exaggerated so that this would be the excuse needed to establish the need for strict security until people got used to it. Anybody moving about the hospital would be required to wear an identification badge with a photograph and telling why he was there, employee or lab technician or visitor or whatever. This is to be brought in gradually, getting everybody used to the idea of identifying themselves – until it was just accepted. This need for ID to move about would start in small ways: hospitals, some businesses, but gradually expand to include everybody in all places! It was observed that hospitals can be used to confine people and for the treatment of criminals. This did not mean, necessarily, medical treatment. At that time I did not know the term ‘Psycho-Prison’ they are in the Soviet Union, but, without trying to recall all the details, basically, he was describing the use of hospitals both for treating the sick, and for confinement of criminals for reasons other than the medical well-being of the criminal. The definition of criminal was not given. ELIMINATION OF PRIVATE DOCTORS The image of the doctor would change. No longer would he be seen as an individual professional in service to individual patients. But the doctor would be gradually recognized as a highly skilled technician – and his job would change. The job is to include things like executions by lethal injection. The image of the doctor being a powerful, independent person would have to be changed. He went on to say, “Doctors are making entirely too much money. They should advertise like any other product.” Lawyers would be advertising too. Keep in mind, this was an audience of doctors; being addressed by a doctor. And it was interesting that he would make some rather insulting statements to his audience without fear of antagonizing us. The solo practitioner would become a thing of the past. A few die-hards might try to hold out, but most doctors would be employed by an institution of one kind or another. Group practice would be encouraged, corporations would be encouraged, and then once the corporate image of medical care gradually became more and more acceptable, doctors would more and more become employees rather than independent contractors. Along with that, of course, unstated but necessary, is the employee serves his employer, not his patient. So we’ve already seen quite a lot of that in the last 20 years. And apparently more on the horizon. The term HMO was not used at that time, but as you look at HMO’s you see this is the way that medical care is being taken over since the National Health Insurance approach did not get through the Congress. A few die-hard doctors may try to make a go of it, remaining in solo practice, remaining independent, which, parenthetically, is me but they would suffer a great loss of income. They’d be able to scrape by, maybe, but never really live comfortably as would those who were willing to become employees of the system. Ultimately, there would be no room at all for the solo practitioner after the system is entrenched. NEW DIFFICULT TO DIAGNOSE AND UNTREATABLE DISEASES The next heading to talk about is Health and Disease. He said there would be new diseases to appear which had not ever been seen before. Would be very difficult to diagnose and be untreatable – at least for along time. No elaboration was made on this, but I remember, not long after hearing this presentation, when I had a puzzling diagnosis to make, I would be wondering, “Is this a case of what he was talking about?” Some years later AIDS developed. I think AIDS was at least one example of what he was talking about. I now think that AIDS probably was a manufactured disease. SUPPRESSING CANCER CURES AS A MEANS OF POPULATION CONTROL Cancer. He said. “We can cure almost every cancer right now. Information is on file in the Rockefeller Institute, if it’s ever decided that it should be released. But consider – if people stop dying of cancer, how rapidly we would become overpopulated. You may as well die of cancer as of something else.” Efforts at cancer treatment would be geared more toward comfort than toward cure. There was some statement that ultimately the cancer cures which were being hidden in the Rockefeller Institute would come to light because independent researchers might bring them out, despite these efforts to suppress them. But at least for the time being, letting people die of cancer was a good thing to do because it would slow down the problem of overpopulation. INDUCING HEART ATTACKS AS A FORM OF ASSASSINATION Another very interesting thing was heart attacks. He said, “There is now a way to simulate a real heart attack. It can be used as a means of assassination.” Only a very skilled pathologist who knew exactly what to look for at an autopsy, could distinguish this from the real thing. I thought that was a very surprising and shocking thing to hear from this particular man at that particular time. This, and the business of the cancer cure, really still stand out sharply in my memory, because they were so shocking and, at that time, seemed to me out of character. He then went on to talk about nutrition and exercise sort of in the same framework. People would have to eat right and exercise right to live as long as before. Most won’t. This in the connection of nutrition, there was no specific statement that I can recall as to particular nutrients that would be either inadequate or in excess. In retrospect, I tend to think he meant high salt diets and high fat diets would predispose toward high blood pressure and premature arteriosclerotic heart disease. And that if people who were too dumb or too lazy to exercise as they should then their circulating fats go up and predispose to disease. He also said something about diet information would be widely available, but most people, particularly stupid people, who had no right to continue living anyway, would ignore the advice and just go on and eat what was convenient and tasted good. There were some other unpleasant things said about food. I just can’t recall what they were. But I do remember having reflections about wanting to plant a garden in the backyard to get around whatever these contaminated foods would be. I regret I don’t remember the details about nutrition and hazardous nutrition. With regard to exercise, he went on to say that more people would be exercising more, especially running, because everybody can run. You don’t need any special equipment or place. You can run wherever you are. As he put it. “people will be running all over the place.” And in this vein, he pointed out how supply produces demand. And this was in reference to athletic clothing and equipment. As this would be made more widely available and glamorised, particularly as regards running shoes, this would stimulate people to develop an interest in running as part of a whole sort of public propaganda campaign. People would be encouraged then to buy the attractive sports equipment and to get into exercise. In connection with nutrition he also mentioned that public eating places would rapidly increase. That this had a connection with the family too. As more and more people eat out, eating at home would become less important. People would be less dependent on their kitchens at home. And then this also connected to convenience foods being made widely available – things like you could pop into the microwave. Whole meals would be available pre-fixed. And of course we’ve now seen this. But this whole different approach to eating out and to previously prepared meals being eaten in the home was predicted at that time to be brought about. The convenience foods would be part of the hazards. Anybody who was lazy enough to want the convenience foods rather than fixing his own also had better be energetic enough to exercise. Because if he was too lazy to exercise and too lazy to fix his own food, then he didn’t deserve to live very long. This was all presented as sort of a moral judgement about people and what they should do with their energies. People who are smart, who would learn about nutrition, and who are disciplined enough to eat right and exercise right are better people – and the kind you want to live longer. EDUCATION AS A TOOL FOR ACCELERATING ONSET OF PUBERTY AND EVOLUTION Somewhere along in here there was also something about accelerating the onset of puberty. And this was said in connection with health, and later in connection with education, and connecting to accelerating the process of evolutionary change. There was a statement that “we think that we can push evolution faster and in the direction we want it to go.” I remember this only as a general statement. I don’t recall if any details were given beyond that. BLENDING ALL RELIGIONS Another area of discussion was Religion. This is an avowed atheist speaking. He said, “Religion is not necessarily bad. A lot of people seem to need religion, with it’s mysteries and rituals – so they will have religion. But the major religions of today have to be changed because they are not compatible with the changes to come. The old religions will have to go especially Christianity. Once the Roman Catholic Church is brought down, the rest of Christianity will follow easily. Then a new religion can be accepted for use all over the world. It will incorporate something from all of the old ones to make it more easy for people to accept , and feel at home. Most people won’t be too concerned with religion. They will realise that they don’t need it.” CHANGING THE BIBLE THROUGH REVISIONS OF KEY WORDS In order to do this, the Bible will be changed. It will be rewritten to fit the new religion. Gradually, key words will be replaced with new words having various shades of meaning. Then the meaning attached to the new word can be close to the old word – and as time goes on, other shades of meaning of that word can be emphasised. and then gradually that word replaced with another word.” I don’t know if I’m making that clear, but the idea is that everything in Scripture need not be rewritten, just key words replaced by other words. The variability in meaning attached to any word can be used as a tool to change the entire meaning of Scripture, and therefore make it acceptable to this new religion. Most people won’t know the difference; and this was another one of the times where he said, “the few who do notice the difference won’t be enough to matter.” THE CHURCHES WILL HELP US Then followed one of the most surprising statements of the whole presentation: He said, “Some of you probably think the Churches won’t stand for this,” and he went on to say, “the churches will help us!” There was no elaboration on this, it was unclear just what he had in mind when he said, “the churches will help us!” In retrospect I think some of us now can understand what he might have meant at that time. I recall then only of thinking, “no they won’t!” and remembering our Lord’s words where he said to Peter, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” So yes, some people in the Churches might help and in the subsequent 20 years we’ve seen how some people in Churches have helped. But we also know that our Lord’s Words will stand, and the gates of Hell will not prevail. RESTRUCTURING EDUCATION AS A TOOL OF INDOCTRINATION Another area of discussion was Education. In connection with education and remembering what he said about religion, was in addition to changing the Bible he said that the classics in Literature would be changed. I seem to recall Mark Twain’s writings was given as one example. But he said that the casual reader reading a revised version of a classic would never even suspect that there was any change. Somebody would have to go through word by word to even recognise that any change was made in these classics, the changes would be so subtle. But the changes would be such as to promote the acceptability of the new system. MORE TIME IN SCHOOLS, BUT THEY WOULDN’T LEARN ANYTHING As regards education, he indicated that kids would spend more time in schools, but in many schools they wouldn’t learn anything. They’ll learn some things, but not as much as formerly. Better schools in better areas with better people, their kids will learn more. In the better schools Iearning would be accelerated. This is another time where he said, “We think we can push evolution.” By pushing kids to learn more he seemed to be suggesting that their brains would evolve, that their offspring would evolve; sort of pushing evolution where kids would learn and be more intelligent at a younger age. As if this pushing would alter their physiology. Overall, schooling would be prolonged. This meant prolonged through the school year. I’m not sure what he said about a long school day, I do remember he said that school was planned to go all summer, that the summer school vacation would become a thing of the past. Not only for schools, but for other reasons. People would begin to think of vacation times year round, not just in the summer. For most people it would take longer to complete their education. To get what originally had been in a bachelor’s program would now require advanced degrees and more schooling. So that a lot of school time would be just wasted time. Good schools would become more competitive. I inferred when he said that, that he was including all schools – elementary up through college – but I don’t recall if he actually said that. Students would have to decide at a younger age what they would want to study and get onto their track early. It would be harder to change to another field of study once you get started. Studies would be concentrated in much greater depth, but narrowed. You wouldn’t have access to material in other fields, outside your own area of study, without approval. This seem to be more where he talked about limited access to other fields. I seem to recall this as being more at the college level perhaps. People would be very specialised in their own area of expertise. But they won’t be able to get a broad education and won’t be able to understand what is going on overall. CONTROLLING WHO HAS ACCESS TO INFORMATION He was already talking about computers in education, and at that time he said anybody whowanted computer access, or access to books that were not directly related to their field of study would have to have a very good reason for so doing. Otherwise, access would be denied. SCHOOLS AS THE HUB OF THE COMMUNITY Another angle was that the schools would become more important in people’s overall life. Kids in addition to their academics would have to get into school activities unless they wanted to feel completely out of it. But spontaneous activities among kids; the thing that came to my mind when I heard this was – sand lot football and sand lot baseball teams that we worked up as kids growing up. I said the kids wanting any activities outside of school would be almost forced to get them through the school. There would be few opportunities outside. Now the pressures of the accelerated academic program, the accelerated demands where kids would feel they had to be part of something – one or another athletic club or some school activity – these pressures he recognized would cause some students to burn out. He said. “The smartest ones will learn how to cope with pressures and to survive. There will be some help available to students in handling stress, but the unfit won’t be able to make it. They will then move on to other things.” In this connection and later on with drug abuse and alcohol abuse he indicated that psychiatric services to help would be increased dramatically. In all the pushing for achievement, it was recognized that many people would need help, and the people worth keeping around would be able to accept and benefit from that help, and still be super achievers. Those who could not would fall by the wayside and therefore were sort of dispensable ‘expendable’ I guess is the word I want. Education would be lifelong and adults would be going to school. There’ll always be new information that adults must have to keep up. When you can’t keep up anymore, you’re too old. This was another way of letting older people know that the time had come for them to move on and take the demise pill. If you got too tired to keep up with your education, or you got too old to learn new information, then this was a signal – you begin to prepare to get ready to step aside. SOME BOOKS WOULD JUST DISAPPEAR FROM THE LIBRARIES In addition to revising the classics, which I alluded to awhile ago and with revising the Bible, he said, “Some books would just disappear from the libraries.” This was in the vein that some books contain information or contain ideas that should not be kept around. Therefore, those books would disappear. I don’t remember exactly if he said how this was to be accomplished. But I seem to recall carrying away this idea that this would include thefts. That certain people would be designated to go to certain libraries and pick up certain books and just get rid of them. Not necessarily as a matter of policy – just simply steal it. Further down the line, not everybody will be allowed to own books. And some books nobody will be allowed to own. CHANGING LAWS Another area of discussion was laws that would be changed. At that time a lot of States had blue laws about Sunday sales, certain Sunday activities. He said the blue laws [Sunday laws] would all be repealed. Gambling laws would be repeated or relaxed, so that gambling would be increased. He indicated then that governments would get into gambling. We’ve had a lot of state lotteries pop up around the country since then. And, at the time, we were already being told that would be the case. “Why should all that gambling money be kept in private hands when the State would benefit from it?” was the rational behind it. But people should be able to gamble if they want to. So it would become a civil activity, rather than a private, or illegal activity. Bankruptcy laws would be changed. I don’t remember the details, but just that they would be. And I know subsequent to that time they have been. Antitrust laws would be changed, or be interpreted differently, or both. In connection with the changing anti-trust laws, there was some statement that in a sense competition would be increased. But this would be increased competition within otherwise controlled circumstances. So it’s not a free competition. I recall of having the impression that it was like competition but within members of a club. There would be nobody outside the club who would be able to compete. Like teams competing within a professional sports league; if you’re the NFL or the American or National Baseball Leagues – you compete within the league but the league is all in agreement on what the rules of competition are – not a really free competition. THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF DRUG ABUSE TO CREATE A JUNGLE ATMOSPHERE Drug use would he increased. Alcohol use would be increased. Law enforcement efforts against drugs would be increased. On first hearing that it sounded like a contradiction. Why increase drug abuse and simultaneously increase law enforcement against drug abuse? But the idea is that, in part, the increased availability of drugs would provide a sort of law of the jungle whereby the weak and the unfit would be selected out. There was a statement made at the time: “Before the earth was overpopulated, there was a law of the jungle where only the fittest survived. You had to be able to protect yourself against the elements and wild animals and disease, but if you were fit you survived. But now we’ve become so civilised – we’re over civilised – and the unfit are enabled to survive only at the expense of those who are more fit.” The abuse of drugs would restore, in a certain sense, the law of the jungle and selection of the fittest for survival. News about drug abuse and law enforcement efforts would tend to keep drugs in the public consciousness. And would also tend to reduce this unwarranted American complacency that the world is a safe place, and a nice place. ALCOHOL ABUSE The same thing would happen with alcohol. Alcohol abuse would be both promoted and demoted at the same time. The vulnerable and the weak would respond to the promotions and therefore use and abuse more alcohol. Drunk driving would become more of a problem; and stricter rules about driving under the influence would be established so that more and more people would lose their privilege to drive. Again, much more in the way of psychological services would be made available to help those who got hooked on drugs and alcohol. The idea being, that in order to promote this – drug and alcohol are used to screen out some of the unfit – people who otherwise are pretty good would also be subject to getting hooked. And if they were really worth their salt they would have enough sense to seek psychological counselling and to benefit from it. So this was presented as sort of a redeeming value on the part of the planners. It was as if he was saying, “You think we’re bad in promoting these evil things – but look how nice we are – we’re also providing a way out!” RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL This also had connection with something we’ll get to later about overall restrictions on travel. Not everybody should be free to travel the way they do now in the United States. People don’t have a need to travel that way. It’s a privilege! It was kind of the high-handed the way it was put. THE NEED FOR MORE JAILS, AND USING HOSPITALS AS JAILSMore jails would be needed. Hospitals could serve as jails. Some new hospital construction would be designed so as to make them adaptable to jail-like use. End of Tape 1 TAPE 2 NO MORE SECURITY Nothing is permanent. Streets would be re-routed and renamed. Areas you had not seen in a while would become unfamiliar. Among other things, this would contribute to older people feeling that it was time to move on, they feel they couldn’t even keep up with the changes in areas that were once familiar. Buildings would be allowed to stand empty and deteriorate, and streets would be allowed to deteriorate in certain localities. The purpose of this was to provide the jungle, the depressed atmosphere for the unfit. Somewhere in this same connection he mentioned that buildings and bridges would be made so that they would collapse after a while, there would be more accidents involving aeroplanes and railroads and automobiles. All of this to contribute to the feeling of insecurity, that nothing was safe. Not too long after this presentation, and I think one or two even before in the area where I live, we had a newly constructed bridge break. Another newly constructed bridge defect was discovered before it too broke. I remember reading just scattered incidents around the country where shopping malls would fall in right where they were filled with shoppers. I also remember that one of the shopping malls in our area, the first building I’d ever been in where you could feel this vibration throughout the entire building when there were a lot of people in there. I remember wondering at that time whether this shopping mall was one of the buildings he was talking about. Talking to construction people and architects about it they would say, “Oh no, that’s good when the building vibrates like that, that means it’s flexible not rigid.” Well, maybe so, we’ll wait and see. Other areas there would be well maintained. Not every part of the city would be slums. CRIME USED TO MANAGE SOCIETY There would be the created slums and other areas well maintained. Those people able to leave the slums for better areas then would learn to better appreciate the importance of human accomplishment. This meant that if they left the jungle and came to civilisation, so to speak, they could be proud of their own accomplishments that they made it. There was no related sympathy for those who were left behind in the jungle of drugs and deteriorating neighbourhoods. Then a statement that was kind of surprising, “We think we can effectively limit crime to the slum areas, so it won’t be spread heavily into better areas”. I should maybe point out here that these are obviously not word for word quotations after 20 years, but where I say that I am quoting, I am giving the general drift of what was said close to word for word, perhaps not precisely so. I remember wondering, how can he be so confident that the criminal element is going to stay where he wants it to stay? But he went on to say that increased security would be needed in the better areas. That would mean more police, better co-ordinated police efforts. He did not say so, but I wondered at that time about the moves that were afoot to consolidate all the police departments of suburbs around the major cities. I think the John Birch Society was one that was saying “Support your local police, don’t let them be consolidated.” I remember wondering if that was one of the things he had in mind about security. It was not explicitly stated. Anyhow he went on to say there would be a whole new industry of residential security systems to develop with alarms and locks and alarms going into the police department so that people could protect their wealth and their well being. Because some of the criminal activity would spill out of the slums into better, more affluent looking areas that looked like they would be worth burglarizing. And again it was stated like it was a redeeming quality: See we’re generating all this more crime but look how good we are – we’re also generating the means for you to protect yourself against the crime. A sort of repeated thing throughout this presentation was the recognised evil and then the self forgiveness thing, “See we’ve given you a way out.” CURTAILMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL PRE-EMINENCE American industry came under discussion – it was the first that I’d heard the term global interdependence or that notion. The stated plan was that different parts of the world would be assigned different roles of industry and commerce in a unified global system. The continued pre-eminence of the United States and the relative independence and self-sufficiency of the United States would have to be changed. This was one of the several times that he said in order to create a new structure, you first have to tear down the old, and American industry was one example of that. Our system would have to be curtailed in order to give other countries a chance to build their industries, because otherwise they would not be able to compete against the United States. This was especially true of our heavy industries that would be cut back while the same industries were being developed in other countries, notably Japan. At this point there was some discussion of steel and particularly automobiles – I remember saying that automobiles would be imported from Japan on an equal footing with our own domestically produced automobiles, but the Japanese product would be better. Things would be made so they would break and fall apart, that is in the United States. so that people would tend to prefer the imported variety and this would give a bit of a boost to foreign competitors. One example was the Japanese. In 1969 Japanese automobiles, if they were sold here at all I don’t remember, but they certainly weren’t very popular. But the idea was you could get a little bit disgusted with your Ford, GM or Chrysler product or whatever because little things like window handles would fall off more and plastic parts would break which had they been made of metal would hold up. Your patriotism about buying American would soon give way to practicality that if you bought Japanese, German or imported that it would last longer and you would be better off. Patriotism would go down the drain. It was mentioned elsewhere things being made to fall apart too. I don’t remember specific items or if they were even stated other than automobiles, but I do recall of having the impression, sort of in my imagination, of a surgeon having something fall apart in his hands in the operating room at a critical time. Was he including this sort of thing in his discussion? But somewhere in this discussion about things being made deliberately defective and unreliable not only was to tear down patriotism but to be just a little source of irritation to people who would use such things. Again the idea that you not feel terribly secure, promoting the notion that the world isn’t a terribly reliable place. The United States was to be kept strong in information, communications, high technology, education and agriculture. The United States was seen as continuing to be sort of the keystone of this global system. But heavy industry would be transported out. One of the comments made about heavy industry was that we had had enough environmental damage from smoke stacks and industrial waste. Other people could put up with that for a while. This again was supposed to be a redeeming quality for Americans to accept. You took away our industry but you saved our environment. So we really didn’t lose on it. SHIFTING POPULATIONS AND ECONOMIES – TEARING THE SOCIAL ROOTS And along this line there were talks about people losing their jobs as a result of industry and opportunities for retraining, and particularly population shifts would be brought about. This is sort of an aside. I think I’ll explore the aside before I forget it. Population shifts were to be brought about so that people would be tending to move into the Sun Belt. They would be the sort of people without roots in their new locations, and traditions are easier to change in a place where there are a lot of transplanted people, as compared to trying to change traditions in a place where people grew up and had an extended family, and had roots. Things like new medical care systems, if you pick up from a Northeast industrial city and you transplant yourself to the South Sunbelt or Southwest, you’ll be more accepting of whatever kind of, for example, controlled medical care you find there than you would accept a change in the medical care system where you had roots and the support of your family. Also in this vein was mentioned (he used the plural personal pronoun we) we take control first of the port cities – New York, San Francisco, Seattle – the idea being that this is a piece of strategy, the idea being that if you control the port cities with your philosophy and your way of life, the heartland in between has to yield. I can’t elaborate more on that but it is interesting. The heartland, the Midwest, does seem to have maintained its conservatism. But as you take away industry and jobs and relocate people then this is a strategy to break down conservatism. When you take away industry and people are unemployed and poor they will accept whatever change seems, to offer them survival, and their morals and their commitment to things will all give way to survival. That’s not my philosophy, that’s the speaker’s philosophy. Anyhow, going back to industry, some heavy industry would remain, just enough to maintain a sort of a seed bed of industrial skills which could be expanded if the plan didn’t work out as it was intended. So the country would not be devoid of assets and skills. But this was just sort of a contingency plan. It was hoped and expected that the world-wide specialisation would be carried on. But, perhaps repeating myself, one of the upshots of all of this is that with this ‘global interdependence’ the national identities would tend to be de-emphasised. Each area depended on every other area for one or another elements of its life. We would all become citizens of the world rather than citizens of any one country. SPORTS AS A TOOL OF SOCIAL CHANGE And along these lines then we can talk about sports. Sports in the United States was to be changed, in part as a way of de-emphasising nationalism. Soccer, a world-wide sport, was to be emphasised and pushed in the United States. This was of interest because in this area the game of soccer was virtually unknown at that time. I had a few friends who attended an elementary school other than the one I attended where they played soccer and they were a real novelty. This was back in the 50’s. So to hear this man speak of soccer in this area was kind of surprising. Anyhow, soccer is seen as an international sport and would be promoted and the traditional sport of American baseball would be de-emphasised and possibly eliminated because it might be seen as too American. And he discussed eliminating this. One’s first reaction would be – well, they pay the players poorly and they don’t want to play for poor pay so they give up baseball and go into some other sport or some other activity. But he said that’s really not how it works. Actually, the way to break down baseball would be to make the salaries go very high. The idea behind this was that as the salaries got ridiculously high there would be a certain amount of discontent and antagonism as people resented the athletes being paid so much, and the athletes would begin more and more to resent among themselves what other players were paid and would tend to abandon the sport. And these high salaries also could break the owners and alienate the fans. And then the fans would support soccer and the baseball fields could be used as soccer fields. It wasn’t said definitely this would have to happen, but if the international flavour didn’t come around rapidly enough this could be done. There was some comment along the same lines about football, although I seem to recall he said football would be harder to dismantle because it was so widely played in colleges as well as in the professional leagues and would be harder to tear down. There was something else also about the violence in football that met a psychological need that was perceived, and people have a need for this vicarious violence. So football, for that reason, might be left around to meet that need. The same thing is true of hockey. Hockey had more of an international flavour and would be emphasised. There was some foreseeable international competition about hockey and particularly soccer. At that time hockey was international between the United States and Canada. I was kind of surprised because I thought the speaker just never impressed me as being a hockey fan, and I am. And it turns out he was not. He just knew about the game and what it would do to this changing sports program. But in any event soccer was to be the keystone of athletics because it is already a world wide sport in South America, Europe, and parts of Asia and the United States should get on the bandwagon. All this would foster international competition so that we would all become citizens of the world to a greater extent than citizens of our own narrow nations. There was some discussion about hunting, not surprisingly. Hunting requires guns and gun control is a big element in these plans. I don’t remember the details much, but the idea is that gun ownership is a privilege and not everybody should have guns. Hunting was an inadequate excuse for owning guns and everybody should be restricted in gun ownership. The few privileged people who should be allowed to hunt could maybe rent or borrow a gun from official quarters rather than own their own. After all, everybody doesn’t have a need for a gun, is the way it was put. Very important in sports was sports for girls. Athletics would be pushed for girls. This was intended to replace dolls. Baby dolls would still be around, a few of them, but you would not see the number and variety of dolls. Dolls would not be pushed because girls should not be thinking about babies and reproduction. Girls should be out on the athletic field just as the boys are. Girls and boys really don’t need to be all that different. Tea sets were to go the way of dolls, and all these things that traditionally were thought of as feminine would be de-emphasised as girls got into more masculine pursuits. Just one other thing I recall was that the sports pages would be full of the scores of girls teams just right along- there with the boys teams. And that’s recently begun to appear after 20 years in our local papers. The girls sports scores are right along with the boys sports scores. So all of this is to change the role model of what young girls should look to be. While she’s growing up she should look to be an athlete rather than to look forward to being a mother. SEX AND VIOLENCE INCULCATED THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment. Movies would gradually be made more explicit as regards sex and language. After all, sex and rough language are real and why pretend that they are not? There would be pornographic movies in the theatres and on television. VCR’s were not around at that time, but he had indicated that these cassettes would be available, and video cassette players would be available for use in the home and pornographic movies would be available for use on these as well as in the neighbourhood theatre and on your television. He said something like: “you’ll see people in the movies doing everything you can think of.” He went on to say that all of this is intended to bring sex out in the open. That was another comment that was made several times- the term “sex out in the open.” Violence would be made more graphic. This was intended to desensitise people to violence. There might need to be a time when people would witness real violence and be a part of it. Later on it will become clear where this is headed. So there would be more realistic violence in entertainment which would make it easier for people to adjust. People’s attitudes toward death would change. People would not be so fearful of it but more accepting of it, and they would not be so aghast at the sight of dead people or injured people. We don’t need to have a genteel population paralysed by what they might see. People would just learn to say, well I don’t want that to happen to me. This was the first statement suggesting that the plan includes numerous human casualties which the survivors would see. This particular aspect of the presentation came back in my memory very sharply a few years later when a movie about the Lone Ranger came out and I took my very young son to see it and early in the movie were some very violent scenes. One of the victims was shot in the forehead and there was sort of a splat where the bullet entered his forehead and blood and I remember regretting that I took my son and feeling anger toward the doctor who spoke. Not that he made the movie, but he agreed to be part of this movement, and I was repelled by the movie and it brought back this aspect of his presentation very sharply in my memory. As regards music, he made a rather straightforward statement like: Music will get worse. In 1969 Rock music was getting more and more unpleasant. It was interesting the way he expressed it, “it would get worse” acknowledging that it was already bad. Lyrics would become more openly sexual. No new sugary romantic music would be publicised like that which had been written before that time. All of the old music would be brought back on certain radio stations and records for older people to hear, and older folks would have sort of their own radio stations to hear and for younger people, their music as it got worse and worse would be on their stations. He seemed to indicate that one group would not hear the other group’s music. Older folks would just refuse to hear the junk that was offered to young people, and the young people would accept the junk because it identified them as their generation and helped them feel distinct from the older generation. I remember at the time thinking that would not last very long because even young kids wouldn’t like the junk when they got a chance to hear the older music that was prettier they would gravitate toward it. Unfortunately I was wrong about that, when the kids get through their teens and into their 20’s some of them improve their taste in music, but unfortunately he was right. They get used to this junk and that’s all they want. A lot of them can’t stand really pretty music. He went on to say that the music would carry a message to the young and nobody would even know the message was there they would just think it was loud music. At the time I didn’t understand quite what he meant by that, but in retrospect I think we know now what the messages are in the music for the young. And again he was right. This aspect was sort of summarised with the notion that entertainment would be a tool to influence young people. It won’t change the older people, they are already set in their ways, but the changes would all be aimed at the young who are in their formative years and the older generation would be passing. Not only could you not change them but they are relatively unimportant anyhow. Once they live out their lives and are gone the younger generation being formed are the ones that would be important for the future in the 21st century. He also indicated all the old movies would be brought back again and I remember on hearing that through my mind ran quickly the memory of a number of old movies. I wondered if they would be included, the ones that I thought I would like to see again. Along with bringing back old music and movies for older people there were other privileges that would also be accorded older folks: free transportation, breaks on purchases, discounts, tax discounts, – a number of privileges just because they were older. This was stated to be sort of a reward for the generation which had grown up through the depression and had survived the rigors of World War II. They had deserved it and they were going to be rewarded with all these goodies, and the bringing back of the good old music and the good old movies was going to help ease them through their final years in comfort. Then the presentation began to get rather grim, because once that generation passed, and that would be in the late 80’s and early 90’s where we are now, most of that group would be gone and then gradually things would tighten up and the tightening up would be accelerated. The old movies and old songs would be withdrawn, the gentler entertainment would be withdrawn. TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS AND IMPLANTED I.D. Travel, instead of being easy for old folks, travel then would become very restricted. People would need permission to travel and they would need a good reason to travel. If you didn’t have a good reason for your travel you would not be allowed to travel, and everyone would need ID. This would at first be an ID card you would carry on your person and you must show when you are asked for it. It was already planned that later on some sort of device would be developed to be implanted under the skin that would be coded specifically to identify the individual. This would eliminate the possibility of false ID and also eliminate the possibility of people saying “Well, I lost my ID.” The difficulty about these skin implant that ID was stated to be getting material that would stay in or under the skin without causing foreign body reaction whereby the body would reject it or cause infection, and that this would have to be material on which information could be recorded and retrieved by some sort of scanner while it was not rejected by the body. Silicon was mentioned. Silicon at that time was thought to be well tolerated. It was used to augment breasts. Women who felt their breasts were too small would get silicon implants, and I guess that still goes on. At any rate silicon was seen at that time as the promising material to do both: to be retained in the body without rejection and to be able to retain information retrievable by electronic means. FOOD CONTROL Food supplies would come under tight control. If population growth didn’t slow down, food shortages could be created in a hurry and people would realise the dangers of overpopulation. Ultimately, whether the population slows down or not the food supply is to be brought under centralised control so that people would have enough to be well-nourished but they would not have enough to support any fugitive from the new system. In other words, if you had a friend or relative who didn’t sign on, and growing ones own food would be outlawed. This would be done under some sort of pretext. In the beginning I mentioned there were two purposes for everything – one the ostensible purpose and one the real purpose, and the ostensible purpose here would be that growing your own vegetables was unsafe, it would spread disease or something like that. So the acceptable idea was to protect the consumer but the real idea was to limit the food supply and growing your own food would be illegal. And if you persist in illegal activities like growing your own food, then you’re a criminal. WEATHER CONTROL There was a mention then of weather. This was another really striking statement. He said, “We can or soon will be able to control the weather.” He said, “I’m not merely referring to dropping iodide crystals into the clouds to precipitate rain that’s already there, but REAL control.” And weather was seen as a weapon of war, a weapon of influencing public policy. It could make rain or withhold rain in order to influence certain areas and bring them under your control. There were two sides to this that were rather striking. He said, “On the one hand you can make drought during the growing season so that nothing will grow, and on the other hand you can make for very heavy rains during harvest season so the fields are too muddy to bring in the harvest, and indeed one might be able to do both.” There was no statement how this would be done. It was stated that either it was already possible or very, very close to being possible. Politics. He said that very few people really know how government works. Something to the effect that elected officials are influenced in ways that they don’t even realise and they carry out plans that have been made for them and they think that they are authors of the plans. But actually they are manipulated in ways they don’t understand. KNOW HOW PEOPLE RESPOND – MAKING THEM DO WHAT YOU WANT Somewhere in the presentation he made two statements that I want to insert at this time. I don’t remember just where they were made, but they’re valid in terms of the general overall view. One statement is, “People can carry in their minds and act upon two contradictory ideas at one time, provided that these two contradictory ideas are kept far enough apart.” The other statement is, “You can know pretty well how rational people are going to respond to certain circumstances or to certain information that they encounter. So, to determine the response you want you need only control the kind of data or information that they’re presented or the kinds of circumstance that they’re in; and being rational people they’ll do what you want them to do. They may not fully understand what they’re doing or why.” FALSIFIED SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH Somewhere in this connection, then, was the statement admitting that some scientific research data could be, and indeed has been, falsified in order to bring about desired results. Here he said, “People don’t ask the right questions. Some people are too trusting.” Now this was an interesting statement because the speaker and the audience all being doctors of medicine and supposedly very objective, dispassionately scientific and science being the be all and end-all. To falsify scientific research data in that setting is like blasphemy in the church, you just don’t do that. Anyhow, out of all of this was to come the New International Governing Body, probably to come through the U.N. and with a World Court, but not necessarily through those structures. It could be brought about in other ways. Acceptance of the U.N . at that time was seen as not being as wide as was hoped. Efforts would continue to give the United Nations increasing importance. People would be more and more used to the idea of relinquishing some national sovereignty. Economic interdependence would foster this goal from a peaceful standpoint. Avoidance of war would foster it from the standpoint of worrying about hostilities. It was recognised that doing it peaceably was better than doing it by war. It was stated at this point that war was “obsolete.” I thought that was an interesting phrase because obsolete means something that once was seen as useful is no longer useful. But war is obsolete, because of nuclear bombs, war is no longer controllable. Formerly wars could be controlled, but if nuclear weapons would fall into the wrong hands there could be an unintended nuclear disaster. It was not stated who the “wrong hands” are. We were free to infer that maybe this meant terrorists, but in more recent years I’m wondering whether the wrong hands might also include people that we’ve assumed they’ve had nuclear weapons all along, maybe they don’t have them. Just as it was stated that industry would be preserved in the United States – a little bit just in case the world wide plans didn’t work out; just in case some country or some other powerful person decided to bolt from the pack and go his own way, one wonders whether this might also be true with nuclear weapons. When he said they might fall into the wrong hands, there was some statement that the possession of nuclear weapons had been tightly controlled, sort of implying that anybody who had nuclear weapons was intended to have them. That would necessarily have included the Soviet Union, if indeed they have them. But I recall wondering at the time, “Are you telling us, or are you implying that this country willingly gave weapons to the Soviets?.” At that time that seemed like a terribly unthinkable thing to do, much less to admit. The leaders of the Soviet Union seem to be so dependent on the West though, one wonders whether there may have been some fear that they would try to assert independence if they indeed had these weapons. So, I don’t know. It’s something to speculate about perhaps. Who did he mean when he said, “If these weapons fall into the wrong hands”? Maybe just terrorists. Anyhow, the new system would be brought in, if not by peaceful co-operation with everybody willingly yielding national sovereignty and then by bringing the nation to the brink of nuclear war. Everybody would be so fearful as hysteria is created by the possibility of nuclear war that there would be a strong public outcry to negotiate a public peace and people would willingly give up national sovereignty in order to achieve peace, and thereby this would bring in the ‘New International Political System.’ This was stated and a very impressive thing to hear then, “If there were too many people in the right places who resisted this, there might be a need to use one or two or possibly more nuclear weapons.” As it was put this would be possibly needed to convince people that, “We mean business.” That was followed by the statement that, “By the time one or two of those went off then everybody, even the most reluctant, would yield.” He said something about, “This negotiated peace would be very convincing”, as in a framework or in a context that the whole thing was rehearsed but nobody would know it. People hearing about it would be convinced that it was a genuine negotiation between hostile enemies who finally had come to the realisation that peace was better than war. In this context discussing war, and war is obsolete, a statement was made that there were some good things about war. One was you’re going to die anyway and people sometimes in war get a chance to display great courage and heroism. If they die they’ve died well and if they survive they get recognition. So that in any case, the hardships of war on soldiers are worth it because that’s the reward they get out of their warring. Another justification expressed for war was, if you think of the many millions of casualties in WWI and WWII had not died but had continued to live and continued to have babies then there would be millions upon millions and we would already be overpopulated. So those two great wars served a benign purpose in delaying over-population. But now there are technological means for the individual and governments to control over-population so in this regard war is obsolete. It’s no longer needed. And then again it’s obsolete because nuclear weapons could destroy the whole universe. War, which once was controllable, could get out of control and so for these two reasons it’s now obsolete. TERRORISM There was a discussion of terrorism. Terrorism would be used widely in Europe and in other parts of the world. Terrorism at that time was thought would not be necessary in the United States. It could become necessary in the United States if the United States did not move rapidly enough into accepting the system. But at least in the foreseeable future it was not planned. And very benignly on their part. Maybe terrorism would not be required here, but the implication being that it would be indeed used if it was necessary. Along with this came a bit of a scolding that Americans had had it too good anyway and just a little bit of terrorism would help convince Americans that the world is indeed a dangerous place, or can be if we don’t relinquish control to the proper authorities. FINANCIAL CONTROL There was discussion of money and banking. One statement was, “Inflation is infinite. You can put an infinite number of zeros after any number and put the decimals points wherever you want”, as an indication that inflation is a tool of the controllers. Money would become predominately credit. It was already. Money is primarily a credit thing but exchange of money would be not cash or palpable things but electronic credit signal. People would carry money only in very small amounts for things like chewing gum and candy bars. Any purchase of any significant amount would be done electronically. Earnings would be electronically entered into your account. It would be a single banking system. It may have the appearance of being more than one but ultimately and basically it would be one single banking system, so that when you got paid your pay would be entered for you into your account balance and then when you purchased anything at the point of purchase it would be deducted from your account balance and you would actually carry nothing with you. Also computer records can be kept on whatever it was you purchased so that if you were purchasing too much of any particular item and some official wanted to know what you were doing with your money they could go back and review your purchases and determine what you were buying. There was a statement that any purchase of significant size like an automobile, bicycle, a refrigerator, a radio or television or whatever might have some sort of identification on it so it could be traced, so that very quickly anything which was either given away or stolen – whatever – authorities would be able to establish who purchased it and when. Computers would allow this to happen. The ability to save would be greatly curtailed. People would just not be able to save any considerable degree of wealth. There was some statement of recognition that wealth represents power and wealth in the hands of a lot of people is not good for the people in charge so if you save too much you might be taxed. The more you save the higher rate of tax on your savings so your savings really could never get very far. And also if you began to show a pattern of saving too much you might have your pay cut. We would say, “Well, your saving instead of spending. You really don’t need all that money.” That basically the idea being to prevent people from accumulating any wealth which might have long range disruptive influence on the system. People would be encouraged to use credit to borrow and then also be encouraged to renege on their debt so they would destroy their own credit. The idea here is that, again, if you’re too stupid to handle credit wisely, this gives the authorities the opportunity to come down hard on you once you’ve shot your credit. Electronic payments initially would all be based on different kinds of credit cards which were already in use in 1969 to some extent. Not as much as now, but people would have credit cards with the electronic strip on it and once they got used to that then it would be pointed out the advantage of having all of that combined into a single credit card, serving a single monetary system and then they won’t have to carry around all that plastic. SURVEILLANCE, IMPLANTS, AND TELEVISIONS THAT WATCH YOU So, the next step would be the single card and then the next step would be to replace the single card with a skin implant. The single card could be lost or stolen, give rise to problems; could be exchanged with somebody else to confuse identify. The skin implant on the other hand could not be not lost or counterfeited or transferable to another person so you and your accounts would be identified without any possibility of error. And the skin implants would have to be put some place that would be convenient to the skin; for example your right hand or your forehead. At that time when I heard this I was unfamiliar with the statements in the Book of Revelation. The speaker went on to say, “Now some of you people who read the Bible will attach significance to this to the Bible,” but he went on to disclaim any Biblical significance at all. This is just common sense of how the system could work and should work and there’s no need to read any superstitious Biblical principals into it. As I say, at the time I was not very familiar with the words of Revelations. Shortly after I became familiar with it and the significance of what he said really was striking. I’ll never forget it. There was some mention, also, of implants that would lend themselves to surveillance by providing radio signals. This could be under the skin or a dental implant, put in like a filling so that either fugitives or possibly other citizens could be identified by a certain frequency from his personal transmitter and could be located at any time or any place by any authority who wanted to find him. This would be particularly useful for somebody who broke out of prison. There was more discussion of personal surveillance. One more thing was said, “You’ll be watching television and somebody will be watching you at the same time at a central monitoring station.” Television sets would have a device to enable this. The T.V. set would not have to be on in order for this to be operative. Also, the television set can be used to monitor what you are watching. People can tell what you’re watching on TV and how you’re reacting to what you’re watching. And you would not know that you were being watched while you were watching your television. How would we get people to accept these things into their homes? Well, people would buy them when they buy their own television. They won’t know that they’re on there at first. This was described by being what we now know as Cable TV to replace the antenna TV. When you buy a TV set this monitor would just be part of the set and most people would not have enough knowledge to know it was there in the beginning. And then the cable would be the means of carrying the surveillance message to the monitor. By the time people found out that this monitoring was going on, they would also be very dependent upon television for a number of things. Just the way people are dependent upon the telephone today. One thing the television would be used for would be purchases. You wouldn’t have to leave your home to purchase. You just turn on your TV and there would be a way of interacting with your television channel to the store that you wanted to purchase. And you could flip the switch from place to place to choose a refrigerator or clothing. This would be both convenient, but it would also make you dependent on your television so the built-in monitor would be something you could not do without. There was some discussion of audio monitors too, just in case the authorities wanted to hear what was going on in rooms other than where the television monitor was. In regard to this the statement was made, “Any wire that went into your house, for example your telephone wire, could be used this way”. I remember this in particular because it was fairly near the end of the presentation and as we were leaving the meeting place I said something to one of my colleagues about going home and pulling all of the wires out of my house, except I knew I couldn’t get by without the telephone. And the colleague I spoke to just seemed numb. To this day I don’t think he even remembers what we talked about or what we hear that time, cause I’ve asked him. But at that time he seemed stunned. Before all these changes would take place with electronic monitoring, it was mentioned that there would be service trucks all over the place, working on the wires and putting in new cables. This is how people who were on the inside would know how things were progressing. HOME OWNERSHIP A THING OF THE PAST Privately owned housing would become a thing of the past. The cost of housing and financing housing would gradually be made so high that most people couldn’t afford it. People who already owned their houses would be allowed to keep them but as years go by it would be more and more difficult for young people to buy a house. Young people would more and more become renters, particularly in apartments or condominiums. More and more unsold houses would stand vacant. People just couldn’t buy them. But the cost of housing would not come down. You’d right away think, well the vacant house, the price would come down, the people would buy it. But there was some statement to the effect that the price would be held high even though there were many available so that free market places would not operate. People would not be able to buy these and gradually more and more of the population would be forced into small apartments. Small apartments which would not accommodate very many children. Then as the number of real home-owners diminished they would become a minority. There would be no sympathy for them from the majority who dwelled in the apartments and then these homes could be taken by increased taxes or other regulations that would be detrimental to home ownership and would be acceptable to the majority. Ultimately, people would be assigned where they would live and it would be common to have non-family members living with you. This by way of your not knowing just how far you could trust anybody. This would all be under the control of a central housing authority. Have this in mind in 1990 when they ask, “How many bedrooms in your house? How many bathrooms in your house? Do you have a finished game room? “This information is personal and is of no national interest to government under our existing Constitution. But you’ll be asked those questions and decide how you want to respond to them. THE ARRIVAL OF THE TOTALITARIAN GLOBAL SYSTEM When the new system takes over people will be expected to sign allegiance to it, indicating that they don’t have any reservations or holding back to the old system. “There just won’t be any room”, he said, “for people who won’t go along. We can’t have such people cluttering up the place so such people would be taken to special places”, and here I don’t remember the exact words, but the inference I drew was that at these special places where they were taken, then they would not live very long. He may have said something like, “disposed of humanely”, but I don’t remember very precisely, just the impression the system was not going to support them when they would not go along with the system. That would leave death as the only alternative. Somewhere in this vein he said there would not be any martyrs. When I first heard this I thought it meant the people would not be killed, but as the presentation developed what he meant was they would not be killed in such a way or disposed of in such a way that they could serve as inspiration to other people the way martyrs do. Rather he said something like this. “People will just disappear.” Just a few additional items sort of thrown in here in the end which I failed to include where they belong more perfectly. The bringing in of the new system he said probably would occur on a weekend in the winter. Everything would shut down on Friday evening and Monday morning when everybody wakened there would be an announcement that the New System was in place. During the process in getting the United States ready for these changes everybody would be busier with less leisure time and less opportunity to really look about and see what was going on around them. Also, there would be more changes and more difficulty in keeping up as far as one’s investments. Investment instruments would be changing. Interest rates would be changing so that it would be a difficult job with keeping up with what you had already earned. Interesting about automobiles; it would look as though there were many varieties of automobiles, but when you look very closely there would be great duplication. They would be made to look different with chrome and wheel covers and this sort of thing, but looking closely one would see that the same automobile was made by more than one manufacturer. This recently was brought down to me when I was in a parking lot and saw a small Ford – I forget the model – and a small Japanese automobile which were identical except for a number of things like the number of holes in the wheel cover and the chrome around the plate and the shape of the grill. But if you looked at the basic parts of the automobile, they were identical. They just happened to be parked side-by-side where I was struck with this and I was again reminded of what had been said many years ago. I’m hurrying here because I’m just about to the end of the tape. Let me just summarise here by saying, all of these things said by one individual at one time in one place relating to so many different human endeavours and then to look and see how many of these actually came about. Meaning the changes accomplished between then and now [1969 – 1988] and the things which are planned for the future. I think there is no denying that this is controlled and there is indeed a conspiracy. The question then becomes what to do. I think first off, we must put our faith in God and pray and ask for his guidance. And secondly do what we can to inform other individuals as much as possible, as much as they may be interested. Some people just don’t care, because they’re preoccupied with getting along in their own personal endeavours. But as much as possible I think we should try to inform other people who may be interested, and again put our faith and trust in God and pray constantly for his guidance and for the courage to accept what we may be facing in the near future. Rather than accept peace and justice which we hear so much now. It’s a cliché! Let’s insist on liberty and justice for all.
February 27, 2021
(updated February 27, 2021)
Published by Josh
I am a former believer in Q and this is what changed my mind
(throwaway to protect my identity)
I would like to offer you good people an additional angle when talking to Q believers that I haven’t seen here so far.
I will describe the thinking-process that led to my rejection of Qanon and then some pointers that may help inducing this process in others.
After descending deeper and deeper into everything Q, I was suffering a psychotic breakdown. I realized I could no longer discern truth from fiction and fell into a deep depression for two weeks. As an unintended side-effect, I went through a digital detox.
And here is the epiphany that got me back into real-life:
There are two possibilities: Either Q is right or Q is wrong. It would have to be one or the other. If Q is wrong, then there is no need for me to busy myself with it. If, however Q is right, then…what? Why would I need to follow every new piece of information being dropped? If it is all true, then all should be revealed soon, for everyone to see. In that case, there is also no need for me to busy myself with it.
This realisation might seem unsatisfying at first, but it taught me an almost spiritual lesson:
There are things in this world that I do not know and cannot know for sure. And that is ok.
I was lucky to come to that realisation by my own, but not everyone will. So here are some angles that might help move someone else there.
Information addiction is a real thing. Small bits of information that are just interesting enough but don’t challenge our short attention spans. Twitter et al. know this, news-channels know this, and so do conspiracy boards. So try to convince the person to do this. Hell, make it a challenge and join in yourself (this is beneficial for everyone).
Be humble and avoid authority arguments
Authority arguments (i.e. referring to scientists or whatever news outlet you deem reputable) cannot work because central part of Qanon is the untrustworthiness of those institutions. And be honest, your trust in those institutions is just that – trust (however legitimate it might be). Instead, be humble and go for the angle I described in my epiphany.
Don’t equate conservatism with Q
While reading some posts in this sub I got the impression that most users here hold left-leaning views, which is of course legitimate. I held conservative views before I got into Q and I still do. If questioning Q would have meant questioning my whole political identity, I doubt I would’ve gotten out. This is a mental health issue, not a political one.
EDIT 1: Please don’t derail this into a discussion about politics. I am aware that the vast majority if not all Q believers hold conservative views. My point is that it is easier to give up Q if that doesn’t mean you have to give up long held political views.
EDIT 2: I should have mentioned I am from Germany. We have a sizeable Q movement here. Please stop asking me about my opinions on US politics.48 CommentsGive AwardShareSaveHideReport96% UpvotedSORT BYBEST
I like your final point, that it is not about a particular politics. Are there any positives to the Q values, like independent thought or anti-authoritarianism, distrust of neoliberals, that are places we can agree, or is it too personalised and not one unified movement?VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I think the issue is that Q mostly espouses those values, but doesn’t actually practice them. Independent thought translates to “believe what my friends tell me instead of reality itself”, and anti-authoritarianism pretty clearly translates to “I want you to be ruled by MY authoritarian”, given how goddamn excited they were for months about the prospect of the cheeto overthrowing the US government and instituting literal martial law.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Wow, that’s a hell of a question. I’ll do my best.
Anti-authoritarianism and an appreciation for independent thought are values I think are very prevalent in Q believers. This is what lead to the loss of trust in traditional media and political elites (not unjustified imho), but also in institutions like the humanities (debatable) and natural sciences (problematic).
I think it’s also important to keep in mind that believe in Q has (as far I can tell) no correlation to intelligence. I have seen people of many different levels of education fall for it.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
If you will permit another view, we who do not believe in Q see Qanon as courting authoritarianism by backing a populist leader. Even the slogan Where We Go 1 We Go All appears to outsiders as a kind of groupthink, sheeplike mentality. I know that sounds insulting so I apologize for how blunt that sounds. I agree it’s not about intelligence, for the record. We are living in a parallel universe from Q believers. How do you think we can reconcile these disparate views?VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 5Comment removed by moderator18 minutes ago3 children
i would argue that it is political, as institutional mistrust is kind of a core principle of the small government party. those left wingers like some bernie bros who get into q invariably seem to end up with conservative ideals. we also see q literally represented in congress and only on one side. in my mind, not all conservatives are anons, but all anons are conservativeVoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I see your point and I agree on the overlap of conservatism and Q.
My point is, when you are talking to a Q believer, you are not having a political debate. You are talking to people with varying levels of psychosis. They no longer have a reference point to measure reality. So save the political discussion for after they have recovered.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Do you feel like when someone brings up political leanings, when talking about Q, that the Q believer feels like they are instantly being attacked? That their beliefs will be instantly dismissed, so that feeling of already starting defensive when talking about Q makes the believer dig their heels in?VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I think the point of the person you are responding to can also be reread as “Maybe you should identify why the same values that lead people to places like Qanon are the same values held by conservatives”.
Qanon is a natural consequence of conservatism, which I am happy to go into detail with in a better forum than this chain here if anyone is interested.
Addressing the psychosis helps the recovery, but addressing the politics and socio-economic systems prevents it in the first place. And as we all know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it seems all the most violent and extreme and popular and damaging conspiracies always come from conservative circles.
Regardless, glad you were lucky enough to be one that got out. I will take arguing the intrinsic evils of conservatism any day (because conservatism doesn’t mean small government and liberalism or even leftism doesn’t mean big government) over arguing about anti-Semitic conspiracies involving blood sacrifices.
Stay safe, take care, happy to take if you ever want to in more detail. You sound like a smart and intellectually engaged person, always a fun discussion.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
They get some left-wing anti-vaxxer hippie types. The ones that follow “gurus” are pretty susceptible to this kind of thing.VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1ThrowItAwayCake1 hour ago·edited 55 minutes ago
I do think being a conservative does make you more prone to falling for some fantastical beliefs and therefore falling for Q. I based this on the conservatives I know in my life who, even when not being in Q, always fall for conspiratorial thinking. In my life since a lot of the conservatives I know are hyper-religious it also makes sense why they are more prone to believing in fantastical beliefs, because if you were to earnestly believe in magic and supernatural creatures, then you could fall for almost anything.
I don’t think its a coincidence that this movement emerged being adjacent to Trump. Its also impossible to disconnect politics from Q since they are inherently connected.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I agree there are parallels between Q and religious narratives.
It might be the case that some belief in Q is politically motivated, I do not have any data to argue for or against this. I can only describe my experience and as I mentioned in my post, it ended with a psychotic breakdown. I will say that I simultaneously consumed mainstream media and twitter, which might have contributed to that so that is a fair point on your side.
My point is, that when you want to help someone with mental issues, this is not the time to argue politics.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Can I ask what specific conservative view you hold? As far as I can see conservatism has essentially crumbled down to nothing more than keeping minorities in there place and furthering the rich mans agenda. I’m not trying to be combative, I’m honestly confused how you could still identify as conservative after the way the conservatives have conducted themselves in the last six years.
I’m happy you got out of the cult but honestly you need to have a long hard look at the people who align their political ideals with yours. I cannot see one positive angle in 2021 to present yourself as conservative.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
There are a few other reasons besides being racist but that is the biggest driver to being a conservative. They are religious brainwashing (Abortion) or guns or simply wanting lower taxes at the expense of destroying society.
Even poor or middle class ppl tend to pay less tax under conservatives and for some, throwing away every shred of morality or building a better society is worth saving $800 a year.
That is exactly how my parents put it. They don’t care about the future becsuse they will be dead soon. They just like saving $800 per year. It’s amazing how cheaply ppl can be bought.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
This question is similar to another comment so I will just paste the same answer again:
I have to give a disclaimer here. I am from Germany. Due to a very polarised political situation over here we have a sizeable Q movement. Given that this is a different country, this would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.
I have stopped following US politics to protect my mental health, so I can’t comment on your remarks about the GOP.
I guess you could say my political and religious beliefs (pre and post Q) are largely in line with the kind of things you can hear and read from Jordan Peterson.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
It does sometimes seem to be a need for immediate “certainty “ which could be an aspect of mental health issue outside of political party spectrum .
I have a politically Independent leaning friend who seemed to have slipped into the Q world in the past few years , and though he says he doesn’t believe in Q, he still relays to me more than 3/4 of the Q conspiracies as truth. It is getting difficult to talk with him.
Some conspiracies end up true through out history of course , but not the majority of them . Q followers seem to be invested into believing all the current conspiracies as being true, which seems to reflect a need for absolute and immediate certainty .
This is maybe too far fetched , but I keep wondering how many people who are more susceptible to Q (and maybe susceptible to trump as well .. In terms of seeing him as a savior regarding all the Q conspiracies ) were raised by abusive / narcissist father (or maybe even mother, etc ) or otherwise experienced abuse they might deny or not consciously remember as abuse , or maybe even some of them were molested either at home or at away from home, say at school by an authority figure like a teacher or church by a priest , for example . Sorry if that is too out there , but the Q obsession with child sex trafficking and how trump will end all world child sexual trafficking is baffling to me to not wonder the deeper reasons people might be so ready to believe in these conspiracy theories .
It feels like Q believers engage in some heavy amounts of denial and also perhaps projection ..it reminds me of unhealed survivors of abuse , who often do the same thing within their own relationships and surroundings . Idk . Just my thoughts. I appreciate you posting your perspective and experience .
Also apologies if this is too much speculation. When I read you accepted that there are things you can’t know , it reminded me of thinking about the need for certainty being relieved by believing in the conspiracy , in this case multiple Q conspiracies .
Also want to add “certainty” = “safe “ for many people , and that is partly why I feel people gravitate toward this stuff , even if it is false certainty .VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I will say, IMO, as far as the political angle, that part of the issue with modern conservatism (say, post-1994 “Contract with America”) is that it has adopted many QAnon trappings, e.g., a distrust in authority (and expertise) and a mystical belief in conspiracies, which is why it has overtaken the GOP. Part of the reason is due to Fox News, which uses the “information addiction” angle that you mentioned, especially when they use the strategies to push outright disinformation (which is another aspect of QAnon) whether it’s about Obama’s birth certificate or claims of election fraud.
That being said, I don’t think any of this is necessarily related to the ideas of small government, economically fiscal conservatism, etc. — we can debate about those virtues via public policy — which is why some traditional conservatives have rejected Trumpism, which is practically hand-in-hand with QAnon now.
As it is, QAnon seems to be a “red pill” into right-wing beliefs under the guise of conservatism.
Of course, the irony is that elements of QAnon are also a part of CPAC, which is why conservatives who have rejected Trump are absent from the stage there.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Can I ask what your political and/or religious beliefs were prior to your “falling for Q”? We are obviously starting to see Q become mainstream in the Republican party (though clearly COVID has also had a gigantic effect that I think cannot be understated), so Im curious to what degree your prior believes may have affected your propensity to believe the ideas of Q.
Thanks for sharing, we appreciate hearing your story!VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I have to give a disclaimer here. I am from Germany. Due to a very polarised political situation over here we have a sizeable Q movement. Given that this is a different country, this would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.
I have stopped following US politics to protect my mental health, so I can’t comment on your remarks about the GOP.
I guess you could say my political and religious beliefs (edit: pre and post Q) are largely in line with the kind of things you can hear and read from Jordan Peterson.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Jordan Peterson is one of the leading entry points to the alt-right pipeline.
I wish more people realized how damaged he is and how damaging his rhetoric is. His only good points are the same ones you could find in any supermarket self-help book, the rest is either just wildly unfounded/demonstrably incorrect and/or transphobic etc..VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
I have also been deep in Q and while the rabbit holes are interesting and captured way too much of my time, it finally came down to this.. what am I gonna be able to do about it? At the end of the day my family is the most important and that is who I’d rather spend my time with.VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1BigDrewLittle1 hour ago
Thanks for the share.
Yeah, don’t worry; I would never call QAnon conservative.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
We need posts like this. Thank you for taking the time to lay everything out. I have a couple questions for you so that maybe we can clarify how Q members see the world. What was it about your political identity that you resisted others questioning? What made you uncomfortable about that?VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1AwmawNew User18 minutes ago
I appreciate YOU Darlin, Thank You For This Insight, We all know this isnt easy for you <3VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1stratamaniac9 minutes ago
Have you considered the possibility that there is no Q? Q is neither right nor wrong, because Q is nothing more than an amorphous set of baseless conspiracy theories swirling around in the social media toilet bowl?VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1Blastosist7 minutes ago
Glad you made it out. Tell your friends.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Nothing wrong with holding right leaning views even if it’s European right leaning. Just weird the conservative side seems to be latching onto conspiracy when that is dang near the complete opposite of being conservative.VoteGive AwardShareReportSavelevel 1humangirltype1 minute ago
Thank you for speaking to the mental health aspect of this. You are absolutely right that it’s a mental health issue and not a political matter. People stuck in the cycle need help, not judgement, which I think is true for any mental health crisis.VoteGive AwardShareReportSave
Also available at : https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/HSGAC_Finance_Report_FINAL.pdf
Also, here 🙂
Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Majority Staff Report 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY II. INTRODUCTION III. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IV. THE VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE AND STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS WERE AWARE OF BUT IGNORED CONCERNS RELATING TO HUNTER BIDEN’S ROLE ON BURISMA’S BOARD. V. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY FALSELY CLAIMED HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN’S ROLE ON BURISMA’S BOARD. VI. STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS VIEWED MYKOLA ZLOCHEVSKY AS A CORRUPT, “ODIOUS OLIGARCH,” BUT VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN WAS ADVISED NOT TO ACCUSE ZLOCHEVSKY OF CORRUPTION. VII. WHILE HUNTER BIDEN SERVED ON BURISMA’S BOARD, BURISMA’S OWNER, ZLOCHEVSKY, ALLEGEDLY PAID A $7 MILLION BRIBE TO UKRAINE’S PROSECUTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE TO CLOSE THE CASE. VIII. HUNTER BIDEN: A SECRET SERVICE PROTECTEE WHILE ON BURISMA’S BOARD. IX. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS AND A DEMOCRAT LOBBYING FIRM HAD CONSISTENT AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH FORMER UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL ANDRII TELIZHENKO. X. THE MINORITY FALSELY ACCUSED THE CHAIRMEN OF ENGAGING IN A RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN AND USED OTHER TACTICS TO INTERFERE IN THE INVESTIGATION. XI. HUNTER BIDEN’S AND HIS FAMILY’S FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS WITH UKRAINIAN, RUSSIAN, KAZAKH AND CHINESE NATIONALS RAISE CRIMINAL CONCERNS AND EXTORTION THREATS. XII. CONCLUSION 3 I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In late 2013 and into 2014, mass protests erupted in Kyiv, Ukraine, demanding integration into western economies and an end to systemic corruption that had plagued the country. At least 82 people were killed during the protests, which culminated on Feb. 21 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych abdicated by fleeing the country. Less than two months later, over the span of only 28 days, significant events involving the Bidens unfolded. On April 16, 2014, Vice President Biden met with his son’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. Five days later, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine, and he soon after was described in the press as the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.” The day after his visit, on April 22, Archer joined the board of Burisma. Six days later, on April 28, British officials seized $23 million from the London bank accounts of Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Fourteen days later, on May 12, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, and over the course of the next several years, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their participation on the board. The 2014 protests in Kyiv came to be known as the Revolution of Dignity — a revolution against corruption in Ukraine. Following that revolution, Ukrainian political figures were desperate for U.S. support. Zlochevsky would have made sure relevant Ukrainian officials were well aware of Hunter’s appointment to Burisma’s board as leverage. Hunter Biden’s position on the board created an immediate potential conflict of interest that would prove to be problematic for both U.S. and Ukrainian officials and would affect the implementation of Ukraine policy. The Chairmen’s investigation into potential conflicts of interest began in August 2019, with Chairman Grassley’s letter to the Department of Treasury regarding potential conflicts of interest with respect to Obama administration policy relating to the Henniges transaction.1 During the Obama administration, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved a transaction that gave control over Henniges, an American maker of antivibration technologies with military applications, to a Chinese government-owned aviation company and a China-based investment firm with established ties to the Chinese government. One of the companies involved in the Henniges transaction was a billion-dollar private investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). BHR was formed in November 2013 by a merger between the Chinese-government-linked firm Bohai Capital and a company named Rosemont Seneca Partners. Rosemont Seneca was formed in 2009 by Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, by Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry, and others.2
1 Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., Grassley Raises Concerns Over Obama Admin Approval of U.S. Tech Company Joint Sale to Chinese Government and Investment Firm Linked to Biden, Kerry Families (Aug. 15, 2019), https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/grassley-raises-concerns-over-obama-admin-approval-of-us-tech-companyjoint-sale-to-chinese-government-and-investment-firm-linked-to-biden-kerry-families. 2 Peter Schweizer, Inside the Shady Private Equity Firm Run by Kerry and Biden’s Kids, NEW YORK POST (Mar. 15, 2018), https://nypost.com/2018/03/15/inside-the-shady-private-equity-firm-run-by-kerry-and-bidens-kids/; Peter Schweizer, The Troubling Reason Why Biden is so Soft on China, NEW YORK POST (May 11, 2019), https://nypost.com/2019/05/11/the-troublingreason-why-biden-is-so-soft-on-china/; Tom Llamas et al., Biden Sidesteps Questions About His Son’s Foreign Business Dealings but Promises Ethics Pledge, ABC NEWS (June 20, 2019), https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-sidesteps-questionssons-foreign-business-dealings-promises/story?id=63820806 (Stating that Hunter Biden was a managing partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners.). 4 Access to relevant documents and testimony has been persistently hampered by criminal investigations, impeachment proceedings, COVID-19, and several instances of obstructive behavior. Accordingly, this investigation has taken longer than it should have. The Chairmen’s efforts have always been driven by our belief that the public has the right to know about wrongdoing and conflicts of interest occurring within government, and especially those conflicts brought about by the actions of governmental officials. This is a good-government oversight investigation that relies on documents and testimony from U.S. agencies and officials, not a Russian disinformation campaign, as our Democratic colleagues have falsely stated. What the Chairmen discovered during the course of this investigation is that the Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine. Moreover, this investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch. And, as will be discussed in later sections, Hunter Biden was not the only Biden who cashed in on Joe Biden’s vice presidency. This report not only details examples of extensive and complex financial transactions involving the Bidens, it also describes the quandary other U.S. governmental officials faced as they attempted to guide and support Ukraine’s anticorruption efforts. The Committees will continue to evaluate the information and evidence as it becomes available. Key Findings In early 2015 the former Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent, raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed, and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine. Although Kent believed that Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board was awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals — Kent and former U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein — who raised concerns to Vice President Joe Biden (Hochstein) or his staff (Kent). The awkwardness for Obama administration officials continued well past his presidency. Former Secretary of State John Kerry had knowledge of Hunter Biden’s role on 5 Burisma’s board, but when asked about it at a town hall event in Nashua, N.H. on Dec. 8, 2019, Kerry falsely said, “I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No.” Evidence to the contrary is detailed in Section V. Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testified that confronting oligarchs would send an anticorruption message in Ukraine. Kent told the Committees that Zlochevsky was an “odious oligarch.” However, in December 2015, instead of following U.S. objectives of confronting oligarchs, Vice President Biden’s staff advised him to avoid commenting on Zlochevsky and recommended he say, “I’m not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals.” Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board (supposedly consulting on corporate governance and transparency) when Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to “shut the case against Zlochevsky.” Kent testified that this bribe occurred in December 2014 (seven months after Hunter joined Burisma’s board), and, after learning about it, he and the Resident Legal Advisor reported this allegation to the FBI. Hunter Biden was a U.S. Secret Service protectee from Jan. 29, 2009 to July 8, 2014. A day before his last trip as a protectee, Time published an article describing Burisma’s ramped up lobbying efforts to U.S. officials and Hunter’s involvement in Burisma’s board. Before ending his protective detail, Hunter Biden received Secret Service protection on trips to multiple foreign locations, including Moscow, Beijing, Doha, Paris, Seoul, Manila, Tokyo, Mexico City, Milan, Florence, Shanghai, Geneva, London, Dublin, Munich, Berlin, Bogota, Abu Dhabi, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Taipei, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Johannesburg, Brussels, Madrid, Mumbai and Lake Como. Andrii Telizhenko, the Democrats’ personification of Russian disinformation, met with Obama administration officials, including Elisabeth Zentos, a member of Obama’s National Security Council, at least 10 times. A Democrat lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies, contracted with Telizhenko from 2016 to 2017 and continued to request his assistance as recent as the summer of 2019. A recent news article detailed other extensive contacts between Telizhenko and Obama administration officials. In addition to the over $4 million paid by Burisma for Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s board memberships, Hunter Biden, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds. Archer received $142,300 from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan, purportedly for a car, the same day Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea. Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. 6 Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden. Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow. Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.” 7 II. INTRODUCTION The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) and the Senate Committee on Finance undertook this investigation into potential conflicts of interest, and the involvement of the Biden family in foreign business ventures while Joe Biden was vice president, following allegations that the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy could have been affected by Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma, and that family members may have improperly sought to benefit from their relationship with the vice president. The first letter written regarding potential conflicts of interest was sent by Chairman Grassley on Aug. 14, 2019, relating to the Henniges transaction.3 That was an Obama-era Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved transaction which gave control over Henniges, an American maker of anti-vibration technologies with military applications, to a Chinese government-owned aviation company and a China-based investment firm with established ties to the communist Chinese government. One of the companies involved in the Henniges transaction was a billion-dollar private investment fund called Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). BHR was reportedly formed in November 2013 by a merger between the Chinese government-linked firm Bohai Capital and a U.S. company named Rosemont Seneca Partners. Rosemont Seneca Partners was reportedly formed in 2009 by Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, by Chris Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry, and by others.4
The direct involvement of Hunter Biden and Heinz in the acquisition of Henniges by the Chinese government creates a potential conflict of interest. Both are directly related to highranking Obama administration officials. The Department of State, then under Mr. Kerry’s leadership, is also a CFIUS member and played a direct role in the decision to approve the Henniges transaction. The appearance of a potential conflict of interest in this case was particularly troubling given Hunter Biden’s history of investing in and collaborating with Chinese companies, including at least one that clearly poses significant national security concerns. This history with China precedes and follows the 2015 Henniges transaction. This report will discuss Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s corporate entities and their links to the communist Chinese government in more detail. In 2019, newly released documents, made public as a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and investigative reporting, brought fresh public attention and scrutiny to
3 See Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., Grassley Raises Concerns Over Obama Admin Approval of U.S. Tech Company Joint Sale to Chinese Government and Investment Firm Linked to Biden, Kerry Families (Aug. 15, 2019), https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/grassley-raises-concerns-over-obama-admin-approval-of-us-tech-companyjoint-sale-to-chinese-government-and-investment-firm-linked-to-biden-kerry-families. 4 Peter Schweizer, Inside the Shady Private Equity Firm Run by Kerry and Biden’s Kids, NEW YORK POST (Mar. 15, 2018), https://nypost.com/2018/03/15/inside-the-shady-private-equity-firm-run-by-kerry-and-bidens-kids/; Peter Schweizer, The Troubling Reason Why Biden is so Soft on China, NEW YORK POST (May 11, 2019), https://nypost.com/2019/05/11/the-troublingreason-why-biden-is-so-soft-on-china/; Tom Llamas, et al., Biden Sidesteps Questions About His Son’s Foreign Business Dealings but Promises Ethics Pledge, ABC NEWS (June 20, 2019), https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/biden-sidesteps-questionssons-foreign-business-dealings-promises/story?id=63820806 (Stating that Hunter Biden was a managing partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners.). 8 potential conflicts of interest with respect to Ukraine policy in the Obama administration.5
Additionally, news reporting also raised questions about potential conflicts of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in China, Ukraine and Russia while Joe Biden was serving as vice president. 6 Accordingly, on Nov. 6, 2019, Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson wrote a letter to the Department of State regarding potential conflicts of interest due to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of the corrupt Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings Limited while Vice President Biden was the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.”7
The Committees’ investigation focused on determining whether Hunter Biden and Devon Archer sought to benefit financially from their relationship with then-Vice President Joe Biden or if they sought to influence U.S. policy in Ukraine on behalf of Burisma. Further, the Committees reviewed and evaluated the Obama administration’s handling of Ukraine policy to determine whether policy decisions related to Ukraine and Burisma were improperly influenced by the employment and financial interests of family members of the administration. For example, after joining Burisma’s board, Biden and Archer subsequently requested meetings with senior State Department officials, including then-Secretary of State John Kerry and then-Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken.8 Further, a Democratic lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies, working on behalf of Burisma, also invoked Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma while requesting a meeting with then-Under Secretary of State Catherine Novelli to discuss matters of concern related to the Department of State’s position that Burisma was a corrupt company.9
In 2016, Ukraine’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had an active and ongoing investigation into Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.10 At the time, Archer and Hunter
5 See Alana Goodman, John Kerry’s son cut business ties with Hunter Biden over Ukrainian oil deal, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER (Aug. 27, 2019), https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/john-kerrys-son-cut-business-ties-with-hunter-bidenover-ukrainian-oil-deal; see also John Solomon, These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden’s Ukraine story, THE HILL (Sept. 26, 2019), https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidensukraine-story; Jessica Donati, Firm Hired by Ukraine’s Burisma Tried to Use Hunter Biden as Leverage, Documents show, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Nov. 5, 2019), https://www.wsj.com/articles/firm-hired-by-ukraines-burisma-tried-to-use-hunter-bidenas-leverage-documents-show-11573009615. 6 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign; Joseph Simonson, Hunter Biden arranged meeting between father and Chinese business partner during vice presidential visit: Report, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER (July 1, 2019), https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/hunter-biden-arrangement-of-fathersmeeting-with-chinese-business-partner-draws-scrutiny; Ben Schreckinger, Biden Inc., POLITICO (Aug. 2, 2019), https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/02/joe-biden-investigation-hunter-brother-hedge-fund-money-2020-campaign227407. 7 Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., Johnson, Grassley Call for State Department to Release Documents on Hunter Biden and Burisma (Nov. 7, 2019), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/johnsongrassley-call-state-department-release-documents-hunter-biden-and-burisma. 8 Emails between Hunter Biden and U.S. Dep’t of St. employees (May 2015) (on file with Comms.), Email between U.S. Dep’t of St. employees (Mar. 2, 2016) (on file with Comms.). 9 John Solomon, Hunter Biden’s Ukraine gas firm pressed Obama administration to end corruption allegations, memos show, (Nov. 4, 2019), https://johnsolomonreports.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-pressed-obama-administration-to-endcorruption-allegations-memos-show/. 10 Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump Allies, THE NEW YORK TIMES (May 1, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html; Oleg Sukhov, 9 Biden continued to serve on Burisma’s board of directors. According to news reports, then-Vice President Biden “threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders did not dismiss [Shokin].” 11 After that threat, Ukraine’s Parliament fired Shokin. Pursuant to the scope of this investigation, the Committees requested relevant Obama administration records from several U.S. federal government agencies and interviewed current and former U.S. government officials with firsthand knowledge of the Obama administration’s handling of U.S. policy in Ukraine. The Committees sent requests for information to the Department of State, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Secret Service, Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Democratic consulting firm Blue Star Strategies.12 Accordingly, this investigation is based on Obama administration federal government records and records from a Democrat lobby shop, Blue Star Strategies. Senate Resolution 70 gives HSGAC express authority “to study or investigate… the efficiency and economy of operations of all branches of the government, including the possible
Powerful suspects escape justice on Lutsenko’s watch, KYIV POST (Apr. 13, 2018), https://www.kyivpost.com/ukrainepolitics/powerful-suspects-escape-justice-lutsenkos-watch.html?cn-reloaded=1. 11 Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump Allies, THE NEW YORK TIMES(May 1, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html; Glen Kessler, Correcting a media error: Biden’s Ukraine showdown was in December 2015, THE WASHINGTON POST (Oct. 2, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/02/correcting-media-error-bidens-ukraine-showdown-was-december/ (Another report indicates that Vice President Biden made this threat in late 2015); Tim Hains, FLASHBACK, 2018: Joe Biden Brags At CFR Meeting About Withholding Aid To Ukraine To Force Firing Of Prosecutor, REALCLEARPOLITICS (Sept. 27, 2019), https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/09/27/flashback_2018_joe_biden_brags_at_cfr_meeting_about_withholding_aid_t o_ukraine_to_force_firing_of_prosecutor.html. (Joe Biden was recorded, in a January 2018 appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations, bragging about threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to force the Ukrainian government to fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Joe Biden is recorded bragging that in response to his threat to withhold the aid, “[w]ell son of a bitch. [Viktor Shokin] got fired.”). 12 Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Se. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (Nov. 6, 2019), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-11- 06%20RHJ,%20CEG%20to%20Sec.%20Pompeo%20re%20Burisma%20Inquiry.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of Just. (Sep. 27, 2019), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09- 27%20CEG%20RHJ%20to%20DOJ%20%28Ukraine%20DNC%29.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Nat’l Archives and Records Administration (Nov. 21, 2019), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-11- 21%20RHJ,%20CEG%20to%20Archivist%20Ferriero%20re%20Records%20Request.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of Just. and Fed. Bureau of Investigation (Nov. 22, 2019), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2019-11- 22%20CEG%20RHJ%20to%20DOJ%20FBI%20%28Chalupa%20Records%29.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to Blue Star Strategies (Dec. 3, 2019), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-12- 3%20RHJ,%20CEG%20to%20Blue%20Star%20Strategies%20re%20Burisma.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Secret Serv. (Feb. 5, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02- 05%20CEG%20RHJ%20to%20Secret%20Service%20%28Biden%20Travel%29.pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (Apr. 30, 2020), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2020-04- 30%20RHJ%20CEG%20to%20State%20(Ukraine%20Follow%20Up).pdf; Letter from Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (Nov. 6, 2020), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2019-11- 06%20RHJ,%20CEG%20to%20Sec.%20Pompeo%20re%20Burisma%20Inquiry.pdf. 10 existence of… corruption or unethical practices… [and] conflicts of interest.”13 The Committee on Finance has broad jurisdiction over the United States government and, specifically, the Department of Treasury and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which includes oversight jurisdiction over potential financial crimes.14
13 S. Res. 70, 116th Cong. at 30 (2018), https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/sres70/BILLS-116sres70ats.pdf. 14 See U.S. S. Comm. on Fin., Jurisdiction, https://www.finance.senate.gov/about/jurisdiction. 11 III. CONFLICTS OF INTEREST Federal regulation prohibits federal government employees from “us[ing]  public office for  private gain … or for the private gain of … relatives.”15 This regulation also seek “[t]o ensure that the performance of  official duties does not give rise to an appearance of the use of public office for private gain or of giving preferential treatment[.]”16 This regulation, however, does not apply to the president or vice president.17 Other federal regulations require only the “consideration” of an appearance of a conflict of interest. “Where an employee … knows that a person with whom he has a covered relationship [e.g.,] is or represents a party to [a particular matter involving specific parties], and where the employee determines that the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality on the matter, the employee should not participate in the matter unless he has informed [a designated superior] and received authorization[.]”18 According to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), these rules and regulations help to ensure that federal employees “fulfill their responsibility to endeavor to act at all times in the public’s interest and avoid losing impartiality or appearing to lose impartiality in carrying out their official duties.”19 In the context of U.S. foreign policy, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) sets forth the policies and procedures for State Department employees working abroad. The FAM includes ethical regulations that take into account foreign policy considerations and treaty and statutory obligations.20 Specifically, when a U.S. citizen employee of the State Department21 is serving abroad and subject to the authority of that country’s Chief of Mission, that employee’s family members may be prohibited from employment or other outside activity in any foreign country if the Chief of Mission in that country determines it could damage the interests of the United States.22 The FAM also requires employees to bring any violations of the FAM or any other applicable regulations to the attention of the appropriate official.23 Although OGE’s authority to investigate and recommend solutions to most employees for conflicts of interest issues is well-established, Congress did not extend this authority to the president and vice president in OGE’s establishment statute. This does not mean there is an absence of any authority to hold the President and Vice President accountable for conflict of interest issues; rather, it demonstrates that the responsibility for holding the President and Vice President responsible for conduct that implicates conflicts of interest lies elsewhere, namely, with Congress and the American people.
15 5 C.F.R. § 2635.702. 16 Id. at § 2635.702(d). 17 Id. at § 2635.102. 18 Id. at § 2635.502. 19 Conflicts Analysis & Resolution, Office of Gov’t Ethics, https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/ethicsofficials_conflict-resolution. 20 3 FAM 4121.3. 21 The FAM rules referenced in this section apply to Foreign Service, Foreign Service National, and Civil Service employees. 3 FAM 4123.2-2; 3 FAM 4125. 22 3 FAM 4125. 23 3 FAM 4139.13. 12 In certain instances, like self-dealing, the harm is plain. In others, the harm — a loss or apparent loss of impartiality — may be less concrete, but the effect is still the same.24 When the impartiality of decision makers is drawn into question, it creates a chilling effect on the credibility of their decision-making processing and the ultimate decision. That, in turn, could undermine the effectiveness of U.S. policy. Although these consequences may sometimes be difficult to measure or quantify, they certainly have an effect, or else there would be little reason to regulate them in the first instance. In the context of foreign affairs, because these subtleties matter, the FAM provides the Chief of Mission with the discretion to make these assessments.
24 The House of Representatives appears to think these issues matter. A House committee has been investigating President Trump and his family for “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair [the President’s] ability to make impartial policy decisions.” Trump v. Mazars, 140 S. Ct. 2019 (July 9, 2020) (Quoting Rep. Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee.). 13 IV. THE VICE PRESIDENT’S OFFICE AND STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS WERE AWARE OF BUT IGNORED CONCERNS RELATING TO HUNTER BIDEN’S ROLE ON BURISMA’S BOARD. a. Introduction In early 2015, senior State Department official George Kent raised concerns to staff in the Office of the Vice President about Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent testified that he never heard anything back from the vice president’s office, and although Kent advised that Hunter Biden should step down from Burisma’s board to avoid the perception of a potential conflict of interest, his recommendation was not followed. Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board continued to be an issue State Department officials had to manage when executing U.S. / Ukraine policy. More than a year after Kent reported his concerns to the vice president’s staff, he wrote to his superiors that Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board was “very awkward” to those on the front lines pushing anticorruption efforts in Ukraine on a daily basis.25 Kent testified that he felt the need to “prepar[e] everybody for ‘what about-ism,’ because we’re pushing what’s right … and we have to be prepared for people who are critics, are opponents, to say, ‘Well, what about? What about Hunter Biden?’” 26
Indeed, Kent testified further that he “would have advised any American not to get on the board of Zlochevsky’s company.” 27 The Committees are also aware of at least one other senior State Department official, Amos Hochstein, who raised concerns directly to Vice President Biden about potential conflicts of interest relating to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board.28
Although Hochstein declined to testify about the substance of his conversation with Vice President Biden,29 the New Yorker reported that Hochstein “did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board.” 30 The Committees found that neither the Office of the Vice President nor the State Department ever took any action following these complaints. b. In February 2015, Kent raised concerns about the perception of a conflict of interest regarding Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. According to Kent, in early 2015 when he was still Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, he learned that Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma.31 Kent stated, “[s]oon after that, in a briefing call with the National Security staff in the Office of the Vice President on other matters, in February 2015, I raised my concern that Hunter Biden’s status as a board member could create the perception of a conflict of interest.”32 Kent continued:
25 Transcript of Interview at 224, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of George Kent (July 24, 2020). [Hereinafter George Kent Testimony]. 26 George Kent Testimony at 221. 27 George Kent Testimony at 110. 28 Transcript of Interview at 98, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of Victoria Nuland (Sept. 3, 2020). [Hereinafter Victoria Nuland Testimony]. 29 Amos Hochstein Testimony at 52-58. 30 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?, New Yorker (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 31 George Kent Testimony at 16. 32 George Kent Testimony at 16. 14 I said that I had learned that Hunter Biden had been appointed to a board of this company, that I had just raised U.S. concerns about the owner of the company, who we believed had been engaged in money-laundering. … [T]he bottom line was, I said I believe that this creates the perception of a potential conflict of interest, given Vice President Biden’s role and his very strong advocacy for anticorruption action, and that I thought that someone needed to talk to Hunter Biden, and he should [step] down from the board of Burisma. 33 When the Committees asked Kent who he spoke to in Vice President Biden’s office, he stated, “I can’t remember, to be perfectly honest. I don’t remember who I spoke to.” 34 Kent told the Committees that, after raising this concern, he never heard anything back from the vice president’s office.35 c. Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma continued to be an “awkward” conflict of interest State Department officials had to manage. Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma appeared in numerous State Department records, particularly when State officials discussed the company, its owner, and anticorruption efforts in Ukraine. According to records reviewed by the Committees, in 2016, Kent mentioned Hunter Biden when discussing Burisma with his colleagues. Kent told the Committees: For me it’s preparing everybody for “what about-ism,” because we’re pushing what’s right, and we do what’s right, and we have to be prepared for people who are critics, are opponents, to say, “Well, what about? What about Hunter Biden?” So there was no time, as I’ve testified, that the U.S. government, the U.S. embassy ever made a decision about Zlochevsky or Burisma where we took the presence of a private citizen on the board into account. We made the decision on the merits. But others might think otherwise. And so everyone needed to be aware of what we were dealing with as we made the right decisions.36 The extent to which Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board affected U.S. policy toward Ukraine is not clear. But what is clear from the records, however, is that State Department officials, particularly Kent himself, regularly considered how Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma might affect the execution of U.S. policy. Moreover, as described previously, this included having to respond to Russian actors attempting to exploit Hunter Biden’s position on
33 George Kent Testimony at 128-29 (emphasis added); see also George Kent Testimony at 110. 34 George Kent Testimony at 128. 35 George Kent Testimony at 226. 36 George Kent Testimony at 221 (emphasis added). 15 Burisma’s board to drive a wedge between Ukrainian and the U.S. in an effort to undermine U.S. policy toward Ukraine. For example, Kent raised Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma during multiple discussions over emails involving the Municipal Energy Reform Program (MERP).37 In those emails, Kent asked his colleagues, “[H]ow have we traditionally treated/engaged Burisma, given the Zlochevsky connection, but also perhaps US involvement beyond Hunter Biden?” 38
In another email chain, Kent also pointed out that “[Zlochevsky] put Hunter Biden on the board of his Burisma Energy company.”39 When inquiring about the extent to which State Department officials researched Burisma’s past, in order to determine whether to associate with the company, Kent asked his colleagues whether any ‘“know your partner’ due diligence was done” before the partnership between MERP and Burisma was established.40 Kent then described old news stories involving the company: “Zlochevsky as a corrupt mal actor was a 2014 story [and] his control of Burisma, and the very sticky wicket of the Hunter Biden connection on Burisma’s board was circulating in 2015.”41 As part of that same email chain, Kent asked his colleagues if the U.S. government continues its association with Burisma: [W]ould we want an article on the front page of the Washington Post (and in this case, the Kyiv Post, and on the FB pages of Sergiy Leshchenko and Mustafa Nayyem) commenting about this public private partnership with Burisma, the link to Hunter Biden, and the link to Zlochevsky, who almost certainly paid off the PGO in December 2014 (I had the then First deputy PG Danylenko tell me the bribe was $7 million) to have the case against him closed and his $23 million in assets frozen in the UK unfrozen?42
37 Kent told the Committee that he mentioned Hunter Biden’s name in this context because he believed that “all U.S. Government officials need to be aware of all the factors involved in an issue.” George Kent Testimony at 113. When asked why Kent did not raise the names of other individuals on Burisma’s board he said, “the one American that I was aware of that was on the board [in August 2016] was Hunter Biden.” George Kent Testimony at 114. The MERP was a program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). According to State Department documents, the MERP and Burisma entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on October 13, 2014. Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to George Kent, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Aug. 12, 2016, 16:47:00), [STATE-2019-18-0000357] (attaching Memorandum of Understanding between the MERP in Ukraine and Burisma Holdings Limited (Oct. 13, 2014), [STATE-2019-18-0000361-364]). Kent testified that, “in 2015, there had been a set of awards given by this program implementer that had been funded by Burisma. They were planning another set of awards, a second set of awards in mid-September [. . . .] We pulled the plug and there was no second.” George Kent Testimony at 124. USAID “withdrew its [MERP] cooperation with Burisma” in September 2016. Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Dec. 6, 2016, 00:18:23 -0500), [STATE-2019-18-0001205] (attaching Briefing Checklist: Ambassador Yovanovitch’s Meeting with Karen Tramontano, Blue Star Strategies [STATE-2019-18- 0001207]). 38 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Jeffrey Cole, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Aug. 13, 2016, 3:26 PM) [STATE-2019- 18-0000377-378]. 39 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to John Herbst, Atlantic Council, and William Taylor, U.S. Inst. of Peace (Aug. 29, 2016, 11:23 AM) [STATE-2019-18-0000365-368] (emphasis added). 40 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Deputy Mission Dir., U.S. Embassy Kyiv, et al. (Aug. 31, 2016, 21:55) [State2019-18-0000398-399]. 41 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Deputy Mission Dir., U.S. Embassy Kyiv, et al. (Aug. 31, 2016, 21:55) [State2019-18-0000398-399] (emphasis added). 42 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Deputy Mission Dir., U.S. Embassy Kyiv, et al. (Aug. 31, 2016, 21:55) [State2019-18-0000398-399] (emphasis added). 16 So even though the total amount of time State Department officials spent accounting for Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma is unclear, the records show that it was an issue that had to be addressed repeatedly. d. More than one year after Kent reported his concerns about Hunter Biden to the vice president’s office, he once again raised the issue — this time to his superiors at the State Department. On Sept. 6, 2016, Kent wrote an email to senior State Department officials, including Deputy Assistant Secretary Bridget Brink and U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, and offered his contemporaneous view of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Kent wrote, “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine.”43 In testimony Kent expanded on this comment: I meant that people who talk the talk need to walk the walk, and for the U.S. government, collectively, when we talk about the need to have high standards of integrity, again, as I’ve said, the presence of [Hunter Biden] on the board created the perception of a potential conflict of interest.44 The Committees learned, through document requests, that Victoria Nuland, thenAssistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, also received a forwarded copy of Kent’s September 2016 email outlining his concerns about Hunter Biden being on Burisma’s board. Nuland testified that she “was always open to hearing the concerns of subordinates and trying to address them in an open and transparent manner.”45 Yet when the Committee asked Nuland to explain what actions she took when she received Kent’s email, she said that Kent’s concerns about Hunter Biden were “clearly, way deep down in an email, late in 2016” and “they were not brought to my specific attention by George Kent, who is an old friend and had plenty of opportunity to do so, had he so wanted.”46 Despite senior State Department officials clearly being made aware of the situation, Kent’s concerns remained unaddressed. e. Hochstein spoke to Vice President Biden about concerns relating to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board because, according to Hochstein, Russians were using it to advance disinformation. According to testimony and public reports, Hochstein, then-U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board directly to Vice President Biden. Nuland told the Committees:
43 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Bridget Brink, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Sept. 6, 2016, 09:55:14 -0400) [STATE2019-18-0000345-347] (emphasis added). 44 George Kent Testimony at 220. 45 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 121. 46 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 121-22. 17 Amos Hochstein had had a conversation with the vice president and his staff about this, and he also had another conversation on the plane ride to Ukraine for that December 2015 trip.47 Public reporting also confirms Hochstein’s discussion with Vice President Biden. According to one report, “Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board.”48 When Hochstein testified before the Committees, he declined on advice of counsel to testify about the substance of his conversation with Vice President Biden. 49 The New Yorker, however, reported that Hochstein “did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board.”50 It is unclear how Vice President Biden responded to this conversation.
According to Hochstein, he raised this issue with Vice President Biden because he was concerned that the Russians were using Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma to sow disinformation.51 Hochstein recounted that he spoke with Vice President Biden in the West Wing of the White House in October 2015.52 When asked why he decided to raise the issue of Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board with Vice President Biden, Hochstein testified: Hochstein: We were starting to think about a trip to Ukraine, and I wanted to make sure that he [Vice President Biden] was aware that there was an increase in chatter on media outlets close to Russians and corrupt oligarchs-owned media outlets about undermining his message—to try to undermine his [Vice President Biden’s] message and including Hunter Biden being part of the board of Burisma. 53 Hochstein also raised his concerns about Russian disinformation with Hunter Biden. Shortly after his conversation with Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden contacted Hochstein and asked to meet. According to Hochstein, Hunter became aware of Hochstein’s West Wing conversation with the Vice President, who had mentioned it to Hunter. 54 Hochstein described what he and Hunter Biden discussed at this November 2015 meeting at a coffee shop in Georgetown:55 Question: And could you expand on that? Why did you discuss Burisma with him [Hunter Biden]?
47 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 98. 48 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 49 Amos Hochstein Testimony at 52-58. 50 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?, New Yorker (July 1, 2019). 51 Transcript of Interview at 50, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of Amos Hochstein Testimony (Sept. 17, 2020). [Hereinafter Amos Hochstein Testimony]. 52 Id. at 51. 53 Id. at 112-13. (emphasis added). 54 Id. at 117. 55 Id. at 118. 18 Hochstein: Well, he [Hunter Biden] asked me for a meeting. I think he wanted to know my views on Burisma and Zlochevsky. And so I shared with him that the Russians were using his name in order to sow disinformation—attempt to sow disinformation among Ukrainians. 56 During the November 2015 conversation with Hunter Biden, Hochstein did not recommend that Hunter leave Burisma’s board because he did not “believe that was my place to have that discussion, one way or the other.”57 f. Conclusion Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board hindered the efforts of dedicated career-service individuals who were fighting for anticorruption measures in Ukraine. Because the vice president’s son had a direct link to a corrupt company and its owner, State Department officials were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Unfortunately, U.S. officials had no other choice but to endure the “awkward[ness]” of continuing to push an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine while the vice president’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with a corrupt owner, earning tens of thousands of dollars a month. As Kent testified, he “would have advised any American not to get on the board of Zlochevsky’s company.” 58 Yet even though Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board cast a shadow over the work of those advancing anticorruption reforms in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals who raised concerns to their superiors. Despite the efforts of these individuals, their concerns appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
56 Id. at 50 (emphasis added). 57 Id. at 117. 58 George Kent Testimony at 110. 19 V. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY FALSELY CLAIMED HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN’S ROLE ON BURISMA’S BOARD. a. Introduction On Dec. 8, 2019, a reporter asked former Secretary of State John Kerry about his awareness of Hunter Biden on Burisma’s board during his time at the State Department.59 Kerry responded, “I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No.” 60 The reporter pressed for more information and Kerry said, “What would I know about any—no. Why would I know about any company or any individual? No. The answer is no. No communication. No nothing.”61
Testimony and documents obtained by the Committees call into question the accuracy of Kerry’s statement. On May 13, 2014, the day after Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, Secretary Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz — who was also Hunter Biden’s business partner — emailed to inform Kerry’s chief of staff, and to distance himself, from that decision. Moreover, in May 2014, Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff, David Wade, briefed him about press inquiries specifically relating to Heinz, Hunter Biden, and Burisma. Separately, State Department officials wrote that they sent the secretary articles with the headlines, “Biden’s son joins Ukrainian gas company’s board,” “Biden’s son joins Ukrainian gas producer board,” and “White House says no issue with Biden’s son, Ukraine gas company.”62 Accordingly, these records suggest that Kerry did, in fact, know about Hunter Biden and Burisma. b. In May 2014, Wade, Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff, briefed him about press inquiries relating to Heinz, Hunter Biden, and Burisma. On May 13, 2014, State Department officials began fielding press inquiries relating to Hunter Biden joining Burisma’s board and the extent to which Secretary Kerry’s stepson, Heinz, was involved. That day Heinz emailed Secretary Kerry’s chief of staff about Burisma’s announcement in an apparent attempt to distance himself from Hunter Biden’s decision.63
Heinz wrote to Special Assistant Matt Summers and Chief of Staff Wade: Apparently Devon [Archer] and Hunter [Biden] both joined the board of Burisma and a press release went out today. I cant to speak [sic] why they decided to, but there was no investment by our firm in their company.64
59 Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden), NBC NEWS, Twitter (Dec. 8, 2019 2:28 PM), https://twitter.com/amandawgolden/status/1203758177726189574. 60 Id. 61 Id. 62 Emails between David Thorne and David Wade, U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 13, 2014) [STATE-2019-18-0000733]. 63 Christopher Heinz had business dealings with Hunter Biden and Devon Archer through their firm Rosemont Seneca. According to Heinz’s spokesman he “strongly warned Mr. Archer that working with Burisma was unacceptable” and “[t]he lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden.” Paul Sonne, Michael Kranish, Matt Viser, The gas tycoon and the vice president’s son: The story of Hunter Biden’s foray into Ukraine, THE WASHINGTON POST (Sept. 28, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-gas-tycoon-andthe-vice-presidents-son-the-story-of-hunter-bidens-foray-in-ukraine/2019/09/28/1aadff70-dfd9-11e9-8fd3- d943b4ed57e0_story.html. 64 Email from Chris Heinz to Matt Summers and David Wade, U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 13, 2014), https://www.scribd.com/document/433436789/CU-v-State-FOIA-Doc-Ukraine; see also Alana Goodman, John Kerry’s son cut 20 Wade testified that he did not recall receiving this email from Heinz, but he did, to the best of his recollection, reach out to speak with Heinz the following day to “try to confirm since we were being asked whether he, or that Rosemont Seneca was buying or investing in Burisma.”65 Wade testified that he spoke to Heinz on May 14, 2014, and confirmed, based only on Heinz’s assurances, that “Rosemont Seneca was not involved” with Burisma.66 According to Wade, that same day he spoke to Secretary Kerry and “let him know that Chris Heinz and Rosemont Seneca were not involved [with Burisma], that the media questions [about Rosemont Seneca buying or investing in Burisma] were inaccurate, and that Chris Heinz was not buying or investing in a Ukrainian natural gas company, but that my understanding was that … Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, according to the stories, that that was accurate, that they were … joining a board.”67 Wade confirmed that Secretary Kerry learned about Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma through him: Question: What was Secretary Kerry’s reaction to you informing him of these news inquiries about Mr. Heinz and the additional information regarding Mr. Archer’s [and] Mr. Hunter Biden’s connection and involvement with Burisma? Wade: He knew nothing about it. Question: So he learned about this information from you? Wade: I believe so, yeah. Question: And when you told him that the information that you were able to confirm with Mr. Heinz that Rosemont Seneca had … not invested or bought Burisma, what was Mr. Kerry’s reaction to that? Wade: If I recall, his reaction was that he was comfortable answering a press question if he got it. . . . . Question: [T]hat he was comfortable answering the media question regarding what? Wade: Regarding … Christopher Heinz or Rosemont Seneca investing in — in a Ukrainian natural gas company or buying a Ukrainian natural gas
business ties with Hunter Biden over Ukrainian oil deal, THE WASH. EXAMINER (Aug. 27, 2019), https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/john-kerrys-son-cut-business-ties-with-hunter-biden-over-ukrainian-oil-deal. 65Transcript of Interview at 39, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of David Wade (Aug. 3, 2020). [Hereinafter David Wade Testimony]. 66 David Wade Testimony at 41. 67 David Wade Testimony at 47. 21 company. Question: And did you discuss with Mr. Kerry what his response to that type of inquiry would have been? Wade: I’m sure — I’m sure I did. I don’t — I don’t … remember those details of the conversation. 68 c. In May 2014, State Department staff sent news articles to Secretary Kerry relating to Hunter Biden and Burisma. David Thorne, who served as a senior adviser to Secretary Kerry, informed Wade that he sent the following collection of press clips and articles to the secretary on May 14, 2014:69 Thorne forwarded these clips to Wade and wrote, “I sent it to JK[.]” 70 Wade told the Committees that “JK” stood for “John Kerry.” 71 The headlines of the articles that Thorne sent to Kerry included, “Biden’s son joins Ukrainian gas company’s board,” “Biden’s son joins Ukrainian gas producer board,” and “White House says no issue with Biden’s son, Ukraine gas company.”72
68 David Wade Testimony at 50-51 (emphasis added). 69 Email from David Thorne, U.S. Dep’t of St., to David Wade, U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 16, 2014, 20:52:30 +0000), [STATE2019-18-0000733]. 70 Email from David Thorne, U.S. Dep’t of St., to David Wade, U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 16, 2014, 20:52:30 +0000), [STATE2019-18-0000733]. 71 David Wade Testimony at 79. 72 Thorne’s email did not include the headlines of the articles, but it did contain links to the articles and a description of the article including the publication date and the author’s name. Based on this information, the Committees were able to find the headlines of the articles that Throne sent to Kerry. Emails between David Thorne, U.S. Dep’t of St., and David Wade, U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 16, 2014), [STATE-2019-18-0000733]. 22 d. Conclusion Former Secretary Kerry’s December 2019 denial of having any knowledge about Hunter Biden or Burisma is inconsistent with the evidence uncovered by the Committees. Kerry was briefed about Hunter Biden, Burisma and Heinz the day after Burisma announced Hunter Biden joined its board. Additionally, Secretary Kerry’s senior advisor sent him press clips and articles relating to Hunter Biden’s board membership. This appears to be yet another example of highranking Obama administration officials blatantly ignoring Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. 23 VI. STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS VIEWED ZLOCHEVSKY AS A CORRUPT, “ODIOUS OLIGARCH,” BUT VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN WAS ADVISED NOT TO ACCUSE ZLOCHEVSKY OF CORRUPTION. a. Introduction The State Department clearly viewed Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, as corrupt, and did not want to have any association with either one. For example, as soon as Deputy Chief of Mission George Kent learned of a de minimis USAID arrangement with Burisma, and succeeded in severing that relationship. As U.S. officials pressed Ukrainian officials to hold Zlochevsky accountable for his actions, Vice President Biden was “leading the policy charge” of pushing anticorruption measures in Ukraine, which included confronting oligarchs.73 Yet as staff prepared talking points for Vice President Biden to answer questions about whether he viewed Zlochevsky as corrupt, they suggested that he “not … get into naming names or accusing individuals.”74 Biden’s spokeswoman told reporters, “the vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”75 This stands in stark contrast to the decision of then-Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt to call out Zlochevsky by name as an example of corruption in a September 2015 speech. Biden’s unwillingness to confront a man whom State officials considered to be an “odious oligarch” 76 demonstrated a lack of leadership, but also raises a serious question about why Vice President Biden would avoid linking Zlochevsky with corruption. b. State Department officials viewed Zlochevsky and Burisma as corrupt. According to testimony and documents obtained by the Committees, State Department officials viewed Burisma and its owner, Zlochevsky, as corrupt. Insofar as the link between Zlochevsky and corruption was not already clear to State Department officials, in early 2015 they learned that Zlochevsky likely bribed Ukrainian prosecutors to interfere in a United Kingdom criminal proceeding against him, which was subsequently closed. (Section VII of this report will describe this bribe and its consequences in more detail.) In short, State Department officials’ understanding of Zlochevsky’s actions relating to the U.K. criminal case strongly influenced their perspective of him and Burisma. Below are several examples of State Department officials sharing their perspective of Zlochevsky and Burisma: “Zlochevsky was viewed as corrupt, not just in Ukraine but by the USG/FBI[.]” – George Kent, Department of State, Sept. 201677
73 George Kent Testimony at 21; Victoria Nuland Testimony at 99. 74 Email from Kate Bedingfield, Off. of the Vice President, to Michael Carpenter, Off. of the Vice President, et al. (Dec. 6, 2015, 6:04 PM) [STATE-2019-18-0000553-554]. 75 James Risen, Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 8, 2015), https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html. 76 George Kent Testimony at 104. 77 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Bridget Brink, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Sept. 6, 2016, 9:55:14 -0400), [STATE2019-18-0000345-347] (emphasis added). 24 “[W]e have extensive concerns about corruption in Ukraine, and we believe Mr. Zlochevsky is an example.” – Memo to then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Dec. 201678 “Burisma’s owner was a poster child for corrupt behavior[.]” – George Kent Testimony to the Committees79 “I would have advised any American not to get on the board of Zlochevsky’s company.” – George Kent Testimony to the Committees80 “The proliferation of Ukrainian companies clearly (and not so clearly owned/controlled by odious oligarchs or those who outright stole assets and absconded (like Zlochevsky) is likely a long one.” – George Kent, Department of State, Aug. 201681 “Throughout 2015 and 2016, U.S. officials, particularly those at the U.S. Embassy in K[y]iv, consistently pressed Ukrainian officials to hold Zlochevsky to account and made clear our negative view about Burisma.” – George Kent Testimony to the Committees82 “…our focus was on [Zlochevsky’s] corrupt acts as minister when he abused the office to award national gas exploration contracts to companies that he controlled through shell companies.” – George Kent Testimony to the Committees83 “[I]n the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people.” – Geoffrey Pyatt, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Sept. 201584 The closing of the U.K. case against Zlochevsky was a “gross miscarriage of justice that undermined months of U.S. assistance … [a]fter the FBI and MI5 spent months and arguably millions working to try to put together the first possible asset recover case (against former Minister of Ecology Zlochevsky)[.]” – George Kent, State Department, Aug. 201685
78 Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Dec. 6, 2016, 00:18:23 -0500), [STATE-2019-18- 0001205] (attaching Briefing Checklist: Ambassador Yovanovitch’s Meeting with Karen Tramontano, Blue Star Strategies [STATE-2019-18-0001206-1208]). 79 George Kent Testimony at 21. 80 George Kent Testimony at 110. 81 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Jeffrey Cole, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Aug. 13, 2016, 3:26 PM), [STATE-2019- 18-0000377-378] (emphasis added). When asked whether Kent considered Zlochevsky as an “odious oligarch,” he responded, “I did.” George Kent Testimony at 104. 82 George Kent Testimony at 20 (emphasis added). 83 George Kent Testimony at 110. 84 Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the Odesa Financial Forum on September 24, 2015, Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, https://www.justsecurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Remarks-by-USAmbassador-Geoffrey-Pyatt-at-the-Odesa-Financial-Forum-on-September-24-2015-ukraine.pdf (emphasis added). 85 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to William Taylor, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Aug. 29, 2016, 11:23 AM), [STATE2019-18-0000372-374] (emphasis added). 25 “[The] U.S. and U.K. were cooperating on a case to seize [Zlochevsky’s] corrupt assets overseas (which had passed through the U.S.).” – Geoffrey Pyatt, then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Dec. 201586 There is “a moral hazard associated with publicly associating/promoting our assistance projects with companies/individuals seen in Ukrainian society as corrupt/compromised.” – George Kent on whether any U.S. agency should cooperate or associate with Burisma or Zlochevsky, Aug. 201687 “[United States Government (USG)] cooperation on the project [with Burisma] would make us look bad. Not to mention the [Members of Parliament] on the energy committee and others would wonder how we speak about anti corruption [sic], but work with those that were associated with corrupt practices.” – Redacted State Department official in an email to colleagues, Sept. 201688 “[There] is a clear link between the company and its primary owner. . . . From the rumors that we hear in the energy sector, there is no sense that Burisma has changed how it conducts its business. . . . I fall on the side of not having anything to do with the company to avoid undermining our broader efforts to promote transparency and [anticorruption].” – Redacted State Department official in an email to colleagues, Sept. 201689
c. State Department officials viewed Vice President Biden as a “warrior” and “leading the policy charge” on anticorruption measures in Ukraine. According to testimony, former State Department officials saw Vice President Biden as a leading U.S. figure who pushed for anticorruption measures in Ukraine. Kent testified, “Vice President Biden was leading the policy charge, pushing President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to take more decisive anticorruption action.”90 Ambassador Victoria Nuland called Vice President Biden a “warrior” on this issue and said, “I was proud to work with Vice President Biden on Ukraine policy and especially on trying to help the Ukrainian period [sic] root out corruption in their country.”91 On December 9, 2015, Vice President Biden spoke in Ukraine in front of the parliament of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, and told the members that they are facing a “test of courage”
86 Email from Geoffrey Pyatt, Ambassador to Ukraine, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Victoria Nuland, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Dec. 6, 2015, 11:13:00 -0500), [STATE-2019-18-0000325] (emphasis added). 87 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Jeffrey Cole, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Aug. 13, 2016, 3:26 PM), [STATE-2019- 18-0000377-378]. 88 The project referenced in this email related to Burisma’s association with the MERP. Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to George Kent et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Sept. 1, 2016, 7:15 AM), [State-2019-18-0000505-506] (emphasis added). Kent would later call the Burisma-MERP relationship as an “ill-advised USAID co-branding effort.” Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Jorgan Andrew, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Nov. 22, 2016, 00:46:32 -0500), [State-2019-18-0000479]. 89 Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to George Kent, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Sept. 1, 2016, 7:46 AM), [State-2019-18- 0000505] (emphasis added). 90 George Kent Testimony at 21. 91 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 70. 26 and have an “obligation” to Ukrainians to reform their country to “build a united, democratic Ukrainian nation that can stand the test of time.”92 In doing so, Biden stated that Ukrainians have “a historic battle against corruption.” 93 He said “[o]ligarchs and non-oligarchs must play by the same rules.”94 Biden called on the Rada to “[s]eize the opportunity. Build a better future for the people of Ukraine.”95 Biden’s speech, which pushed anticorruption measures, was, according to Nuland, “very powerful and powerfully received by the Rada.” 96 Yet, while Vice President Biden called for members of the Rada to have courage to confront corruption in Ukraine, the vice president’s staff was advising otherwise. d. Vice President Biden’s staff recommended he not link Zlochevsky with corruption. Nuland told the Committees that by confronting oligarchs, the U.S. would send an anticorruption message.97 Yet as Vice President Biden’s staff responded to press inquiries relating to Burisma and Zlochevsky, one staffer wrote, “I am concerned about getting into anything relating to Mr. Zlochevsky directly.”98 Just a few days before the vice president gave his December 2015 speech at the Rada pushing anticorruption measures, his staff prepared talking points for him and included a response to the question: “Do you think Zlochevsky is corrupt?”99 His staff wrote: I’m not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals. We have been working consistently to push the Ukrainian leadership to make meaningful changes in the Prosecutor General’s office and across the government to help ensure that the Ukrainian people are represented fairly and fully.100 It is clear that members of Vice President Biden’s staff wanted to distance him from an individual whom the State Department clearly believed was corrupt and an individual who employed his son. This stands in stark contrast to then-Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, who identified Zlochevsky by name as a corrupt actor during a September 2015 speech in Odessa, Ukraine. But the Committees were not able to locate any public statements Vice President Biden gave from 2014 to 2016 in which he called Zlochevsky corrupt. Instead, in December 2015,
92 Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden to The Ukrainian Rada (Dec. 9, 2015), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-pressoffice/2015/12/09/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-ukrainian-rada. 93 Id. 94 Id. 95 Id. 96 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 96. 97 Victoria Nuland Testimony at 99. 98 Email from Kendra Barkoff, Off. of the Vice President, to Michael Carpenter, Off. of the Vice President, et al. (Oct. 23, 2015, 10:00 AM), [STATE-2019-18-0000339-340]. 99 Email from Kate Bedingfield, Off. of the Vice President, to Michael Carpenter, Off. of the Vice President, et al. (Dec. 6, 2015, 11:13 AM), [STATE-2019-18-0000553-554]. 100 Email from Kate Bedingfield, Off. of the Vice President, to Michael Carpenter, Off. of the Vice President, et al. (Dec. 6, 2015, 6:04 PM), [STATE-2019-18-0000553-554] (emphasis added). Ambassador Pyatt recommended changing the last sentence of that answer to “Something like ‘… begin rooting out the cancer of corruption that has done so much over the years to hold back economic growth and sap the confidence of Ukrainians in those who govern them.’” Email from Geoffrey Pyatt, Ambassador to Ukraine, to Kate Bedingfield, Off. of the Vice President, et al. (Dec. 6, 2015, 11:13 AM), [STATE-2019-18-0000553]. 27 Biden’s spokeswoman told reporters, “the vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”101 e. Conclusion In his December 2015 speech at the Rada, Vice President Biden told members to have courage to confront corruption and change the course of history for their country. Yet when it came to calling out an individual whom the State Department viewed as a “corrupt” and “odious oligarch,” Vice President Biden’s staff advised him to not accuse Zlochevsky of corruption. In December 2015, while in Ukraine, Biden did not link Zlochevsky with corruption and did not demonstrate the same level of courageousness that he encouraged Ukrainian political leaders to pursue. Several witnesses highlighted efforts by certain U.S. officials to enable a successful investigation of Zlochevsky, and also noted that the U.S. decision to condition a $1 billion loan guarantee was made in part because of the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general’s failure to pursue a case against Zlochevsky. But at the end of the day, between 2014 through 2017, despite the concerted effort of many U.S. officials, not one of the three different Ukrainian prosecutor generals held Zlochevsky accountable.
101 James Risen, Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 8, 2015), https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html. 28 VII. WHILE HUNTER BIDEN SERVED ON BURISMA’S BOARD, BURISMA’S OWNER, ZLOCHEVSKY, ALLEGEDLY PAID A $7 MILLION BRIBE TO UKRAINE’S PROSECUTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE TO CLOSE THE CASE. On May 12, 2014, Burisma trumpeted the addition of Hunter Biden to its board of directors, stating, “Biden will be in charge of the [Burisma] Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”102 In that same press release, Hunter Biden stated, “As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.” 103 The company’s release went on to say that, Hunter was “a well-known public figure,” but the release did not mention Hunter’s connection to a more well-known public figure, his father, the vice president of the United States.104 When Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board in May 2014, the prosecutor general of Ukraine was Oleh Makhnitskyi. Makhnitskyi served as the acting prosecutor general for only a few months before resigning from the post.105 His resignation gave way to Vitaly Yarema, who on June 19, 2014, became the prosecutor general of Ukraine.106
George Kent, a career diplomat who served in a number of roles at the State Department over his career, including several tours in Ukraine, did not hold Prosecutor General Yarema or his team in high regard. In fact, he testified, “[Yarema’s] team failed to bring a single prosecution over a seven-month period, and which allegedly took a bribe from [Burisma’s owner] Zlochevsky to close the case against him and collapse our effort to recover the $23 million frozen in the United Kingdom” 107 a. Allegations that Zlochevsky bribed Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Office In January 2015, Kent arrived in Kyiv and learned that the U.S. embassy was not communicating with the Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO). 108 Shortly after his arrival, Kent asked a Department of Justice (DOJ) official posted at U.S. Embassy Kyiv to set up a high-level meeting with the PGO. According to Kent, the goal of this meeting was for U.S. officials to raise the money-laundering case against Burisma’s owner, Zlochevsky.109 Kent
102 Press Release, Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings (May 12, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20140606004334/http://burisma.com/hunter-biden-joins-the-team-of-burisma-holdings/. 103 Id. 104 Id. 105 Interfax-UKRAINE, Ukrainian president dismisses Makhnitsky as acting prosecutor general (June 18, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20140714162034/http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/209973.html. 106Interfax-UKRAINE, MPs agree to Yarema’s appointment as prosecutor general (June 19, 2014), https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/210045.html. 107 Nicholas Fandos, Kenneth P. Vogel, and Michael D. Shear, Senior State Dept. Ukraine Expert Says White House Sidelined Him, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Nov. 13, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/us/politics/impeachment-george-kentstate.html; George Kent Testimony at 24 (emphasis added). 108 George Kent Testimony at 128. 109 George Kent Testimony at 128-29. 29 secured a Feb. 3, 2015,110 appointment with the First Deputy Prosecutor General, who was the “number two prosecutor in the country at the time, Anatoliy Danylenko.”111
Kent testified that, during the Feb. 3, 2015 meeting with the PGO, he “confronted the First Deputy Prosecutor General, Anatoliy Danylenko, demanding to know who had paid the bribe and how much it was. I also demanded that the case against Zlochevsky be resumed.”112 During testimony, Kent provided the Committees additional insight into what occurred during the Feb. 3, 2015, meeting at the PGO: When I asked the question [to Danylenko], ‘How much was the [Zlochevsky] bribe and who took it?’ [Danylenko] laughed and said, ‘That’s exactly what President Poroshenko asked us last week.’ And I [Kent] said, ‘So what did you tell the President [Poroshenko]?’ and [Danylenko] said, ‘Seven million dollars and last May , before we came into office.’113
Kent apparently did not believe that Zlochevsky’s bribe occurred in May 2014. He responded to Mr. Danylenko, “Nice try, but the letter that someone—some prosecutor in your office [PGO] wrote was signed in late December , six months after you all [Yarema’s team] came into office.”114 On Feb. 10, 2015, one week after Kent’s conversation with the PGO, President Poroshenko dismissed General Prosecutor Yarema and other members of his team. 115
b. George Kent reporting of the Zlochevsky’s bribe allegation to U.S. officials Kent told the Committees that after the meeting with Danylenko, the DOJ official at U.S. Embassy Kyiv reported the allegation — that Zlochevsky paid the PGO a $7 million bribe — to the FBI.116 At this time, the Committees are seeking an explanation from the FBI about what, if any, actions they took after receiving this information from U.S. Embassy Kyiv. Kent testified that it was not until sometime after the Feb. 3, 2015, meeting with the PGO that he became aware that Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma.117
110 George Kent Testimony at 20. 111 George Kent Testimony at 129. 112 George Kent Testimony at 20 (emphasis added). 113 George Kent Testimony at 130 (emphasis added). 114 Id. (emphasis added). 115 Id. 116 George Kent Testimony at 131. 117 George Kent Testimony at 16. 30 After Kent learned of the alleged Zlochevsky bribe, he became aware of Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma. Soon after, Kent spoke with Vice President Biden’s office about his concerns. This conversation occurred sometime between Feb. 3 and Feb. 14, 2015, when Kent ended up on a phone call with a staffer from Vice President Biden’s office.118 He could not recall the exact date of the phone call, 119 and when asked whether he apprised the staffer for Vice President Biden about Zlochevsky’s alleged bribe, Kent testified, “I can’t remember — to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember who I spoke to.”120 Kent told the Committees he did not memorialize this February 2015 phone call with Vice President Biden’s office.121 Despite not recalling whether he mentioned the alleged Zlochevsky bribe to Vice President Biden’s office, or to a member of the Obama National Security Council, over the years, Kent did mention his knowledge of the alleged Zlochevsky bribe to high-ranking State Department officials. For example, on Aug. 31, 2016, Kent told State Department colleagues that “[Zlochevsky] who almost certainly paid off the PGO in December 2014 (I had the then First deputy PG Danylenko tell me the bribe was $7 million) to have the case against him closed and his $23 million in assets frozen in the UK unfrozen?”122 c. Conclusion Based on Kent’s testimony, the alleged $7 million bribe from Zlochevsky to Ukraine’s PGO likely occurred while Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board. Hunter Biden has stated that his position on the board was to “consult on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility[.]” 123 The Committees requested information from the FBI about what, if any, actions it took in regard to this allegation.124 The FBI has not yet responded to that request.
118 George Kent Testimony at 127. 119 Id. 120 George Kent Testimony at 129. 121 George Kent Testimony at 226. 122 Email from George Kent, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Deputy Mission Dir., U.S. Embassy Kyiv, et al., (Aug. 31, 2016, 9:55 PM), [State-2019-18-0000398-399] (emphasis added). 123 Press Release, Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings (May 12, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20140606004334/http://burisma.com/hunter-biden-joins-the-team-of-burisma-holdings/. 124 Letter from Ron Johnson, Chairman, S, Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Charles Grassley, Chairman, S. Comm. on Fin., to Hon. Christopher A. Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dep’t of Justice. (Sep. 15, 2020). 31 VIII. HUNTER BIDEN: A U.S. SECRET SERVICE PROTECTEE WHILE ON BURISMA’S BOARD When Vice President Biden traveled overseas on Air Force Two, he was often accompanied by members of his family.125 Hunter Biden joined his father on a number of trips and, as the son of the vice president, he could enroll as a protectee and receive armed protection from the U.S. Secret Service (USSS). In an effort to determine how much of Hunter Biden’s scheduled travel occurred as a protectee and whether that overlapped with his private business dealings, the Committees requested and received documents from the USSS detailing Hunter Biden’s scheduled travel as a protectee.126
The Committees found that Hunter Biden scheduled travel as a protectee after joining Burisma’s board in May 2014.127 The Committees also determined that Hunter Biden declined USSS protection after a scheduled July 8, 2014, trip to Michigan City, Ind. 128 At this time, the Committees have not determined why Hunter Biden declined USSS protection after July 8, 2014. a. Hunter Biden, USSS protectee According to USSS records, Hunter Biden enrolled as a protectee starting in January 2009, after his father was elected vice president. 129 He remained a protectee for about 4.5 years, and records indicate an extensive amount of scheduled foreign travel as a protectee. Although the majority of his trips were domestic, the Committees identified nearly 70 trips that Hunter Biden scheduled to foreign countries while he was a protectee.130 Hunter Biden, here identified by the USSS using his full name, Robert H. Biden, scheduled foreign travel as a protectee to a wide array of foreign cities: Arrival Date Departure Date City/Country Protectee 6/14/2009 6/19/2009 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Robert H. Biden 6/20/2009 6/22/2009 Mumbai, India Robert H. Biden 9/14/2009 9/17/2009 Buenos Aires, Argentina Robert H. Biden
125 Josh Lederman, Biden’s trip to China with son Hunter in 2013 comes under new scrutiny, NBC NEWS (Oct. 2, 2019), https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-s-trip-china-son-hunter-2013-comes-under-new-n1061051. 126 Letter from Ron Johnson, Chairman, S, Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Charles Grassley, Chairman, S. Comm. on Fin., to Mr. James M. Murray, Director, U.S. Secret Serv., Dep’t of Homeland Sec. (Feb. 5, 2020); Letter from Faron K. Paramore, Assistant Dir., U.S. Secret Serv., U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., to Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Gov. Affairs, and Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin. (Apr. 6, 2020). 127 Protectee Visits Detail Reports for Robert H. Biden, U.S. Secret Serv., Date Range: January 1, 2008 – January 31, 2017. The U.S. Secret Service cannot confirm that the trips occurred or if protection was provided for the entirety of the trip due to the age of the records at issue. 128 Id. 129 Id. 130 Protectee Visits Detail Reports for Robert H. Biden, U.S. Secret Serv., Date Range: January 1, 2008 – January 31, 2017. The U.S. Secret Service cannot confirm that the trips occurred or if protection was provided for the entirety of the trip due to the age of the records at issue. The nearly 70 trips to foreign countries includes travel to cities within one foreign country. 32 11/9/2009 11/12/2009 Madrid, Spain Robert H. Biden 5/5/2010 5/7/2010 Brussels, Belgium Robert H. Biden 8/9/2010 8/14/2010 Copenhagen, Denmark Robert H. Biden 8/15/2010 8/24/2010 Johannesburg, South Africa Robert H. Biden 4/16/2011 4/20/2011 Taipei, Taiwan Robert H. Biden 5/15/2011 5/16/2011 Monterrey, Mexico Robert H. Biden 10/19/2011 10/21/2011 Hong Kong Robert H. Biden 11/1/2011 11/4/2011 Bogota, Colombia Robert H. Biden 11/10/2011 11/14/2011 Abu Dhabi, UAE Robert H. Biden 2/15/2012 2/18/2012 Moscow, Russia Robert H. Biden 3/20/2013 3/22/2013 Dublin, Ireland Robert H. Biden 7/30/2013 8/1/2013 Milan, Italy Robert H. Biden 8/1/2013 8/6/2013 Florence, Italy Robert H. Biden 10/31/2013 11/5/2013 Abu Dhabi, UAE Robert H. Biden 12/2/2013 12/4/2013 Tokyo, Japan Robert H. Biden 12/5/2013 12/6/2013 Seoul, South Korea Robert H. Biden 12/6/2013 12/9/2013 Manila, Philippines Robert H. Biden 4/3/2014 4/6/2014 Lake Como, Italy Robert H. Biden Joe Biden has been asked about his son, Hunter, joining him on foreign trips to China while he was vice president. 131 In response to questions about whether this arrangement was a conflict of interest, Joe Biden has told the media, “I have never spoken to my son [Hunter] about his overseas business dealings.”132 The USSS records indicate Hunter Biden scheduled at least six trips to China while a protectee, including a trip to Beijing in May 2014 right before he joined Burisma’s board: Arrival Date Departure Date City/Country Protectee
131 Josh Lederman, Biden’s trip to China with son Hunter in 2013 comes under new scrutiny, NBC NEWS (Oct. 2, 2019), https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/biden-s-trip-china-son-hunter-2013-comes-under-new-n1061051. 132 Id. 33 4/6/2010 4/9/2010 Beijing, China Robert H. Biden 4/20/2011 4/22/2011 Beijing, China Robert H. Biden 6/13/2013 6/14/2013 Shanghai, China Robert H. Biden 6/14/2013 6/15/2013 Beijing, China Robert H. Biden 12/4/2013 12/5/2013 Beijing, China Robert H. Biden 5/7/2014 5/8/2014 Beijing, China Robert H. Biden During his December 2013 trip to China, during which Hunter Biden flew on Air Force Two, Hunter Biden admitted he met with a Chinese banker.133 According to news reports, Hunter Biden appeared to be conducting his own private business during this specific trip and was working to secure a deal in the hopes of creating a Chinese equity fund.134
b. Hunter Biden, USSS protectee and Burisma board member. According to USSS records, Hunter Biden was a protectee at the time he joined Burisma’s board in May 2014.135 Hunter Biden scheduled at least seven trips after he joined Burisma’s board on May 13, 2014.136 These trips took him to the foreign cities of Doha, Qatar, and Paris, France, and stateside to New York, Newark, N.J., and Michigan City, Ind.: 137
Arrival Date Departure Date City/Country Protectee 5/11/2014 5/14/2014 Doha, Qatar Robert H. Biden 5/27/2014 5/28/2014 New York, NY, USA Robert H. Biden 5/28/2014 5/28/2014 Newark, NJ, USA Robert H. Biden 5/29/2014 5/30/2014 Paris, France Robert H. Biden 6/7/2014 6/10/2014 Paris, France Robert H. Biden 6/21/2014 6/27/2014 Mich. City, IN, USA Robert H. Biden 6/29/2014 7/8/2014 Mich. City, IN, USA Robert H. Biden
133 Id. 134 Id. 135 Protectee Visits Detail Reports for Robert H. Biden, U.S. Secret Serv., Date Range: January 1, 2008 – January 31, 2017. The U.S. Secret Service cannot confirm that the trips occurred or if protection was provided for the entirety of the trip due to the age of the records at issue. 136 Id. 137 Id. 34 The Committees did not determine why Hunter Biden declined USSS protection following the July 8, 2014, trip in Michigan City. But it should be noted that, the day before his last trip as a protectee, Time published an article describing Burisma’s ramped up lobbying efforts to U.S. officials and Hunter’s involvement in Burisma’s board. 138 The Committees requested additional information from the USSS about the lack of records after July 8, 2014. The USSS did not provide greater detail other than Hunter Biden declined protection. c. Conclusion Hunter Biden scheduled hundreds of trips while he was a protectee. He was a Burisma board member while a protectee. Whether Hunter Biden conducted additional private business dealings while a protectee is unknown. Further, the Committees do not know why Hunter Biden declined USSS protection, and whether or not media scrutiny was a factor for Hunter to decline protection in July 2014.
138 Michael Scherer, Ukranian Employer of Joe Biden’s Son Hires a D.C. Lobbyist, TIME (Jul. 7, 2014). https://time.com/2964493/ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-burisma/. 35 IX. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS AND A DEMOCRAT LOBBYING FIRM HAD CONSISTENT AND SIGNIFICANT CONTACT WITH FORMER UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL ANDRII TELIZHENKO. a. Introduction Despite claims from Ranking Member Peters, Ranking Member Wyden and Democrat leadership, the Committees reject all assertions that this investigation has been influenced by Russian disinformation. To be crystal clear, the Committees’ work has focused only on Obama administration records from the State Department, National Archives and Records Administration, Department of Justice, other federal agencies, and the U.S. consulting firm Blue Star Strategies, as well as interviews with current and former U.S. government officials. The Committees have spoken with one foreign national about his ties to the Obama administration, a DNC operative, and Blue Star Strategies. In 2016, Andrii Telizhenko was an official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington.139
In that position, Telizhenko met several times with Obama administration officials, a consultant for the Democratic National Committee,140 and the Democrat lobbying firm, Blue Star Strategies (which later employed him from 2016 to 2017). Blue Star Strategies officials continued to contact and request his assistance as recently as the summer of 2019. b. Communication and meetings between Obama administration officials and Telizhenko. As far as the Committees are aware, the majority of Telizhenko’s interactions with Obama administration officials occurred during 2015 and 2016. The Committees possess records of some of these communications from their request to the National Archives.141
According to documents, on July 19, 2013, Telizhenko attended a meeting at the White House with two other Ukrainians to meet with Lyn Debevoise.142 At that time, Telizhenko was the counselor to a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament.143 It is unknown what was discussed at this meeting.
139 The Committees attempted to obtain Telizhenko’s Blue Star Strategies documents that are subject to a non-disclosure agreement, but Democrat obstruction shielded Blue Star Strategies from providing these relevant documents. 140 Kenneth Vogel and David Stern, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire, Politico (Jan. 11, 2017). 141 Letter from Ron Johnson, Chairman, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., and Charles Grassley, Chairman, S. Comm. on Fin., to Hon. David S. Ferriero, Archivist, Nat’l Archives and Records Admin, (Nov. 21, 2019). 142 Email from Waves Request, U.S. Secret Serv. to Marisa Donelson (Jul. 11, 2013, 1:18 PM), . 143 Email from Andrii Telizhenko, Counsellor to the Deputy of Verhovna Rada, to Lyn Debevoise (Aug. 5, 2013, 8:39 AM), . 36 On July 21, 2015, Telizhenko was scheduled to meet in the Old Executive Office Building with Michael Carpenter,144 who was a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Biden.145 It is unknown what was discussed at this meeting. c. January 2016 Ukrainian delegation visit to Obama’s White House. Telizhenko’s interactions with Obama administration officials became more frequent starting in January 2016. According to a document with a DOJ logo, a Ukrainian delegation that included senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors arrived in Washington on Jan. 18, 2016. The agenda shows that their first official meeting was confirmed for Jan. 19, 2016, at the White House, from 11 a.m. to noon with “Eric Ciaramella, Elizabeth [sic] Zentos and others TBD, National Security Council.” 146
144 Email from Andrii Telizhenko to Frances Castro (Jul. 21, 2015, 10:01 AM), . 145 Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement, Michael Carpenter, https://global.upenn.edu/penn-bidencenter/person/michael-carpenter. Michael Carpenter served in the White House as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden as well as on the National Security Council as Director for Russia. 146 Email from Eric Ciaramella, Nat’l Sec. Council, to Catherine Croft, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Jan. 19, 2016, 7:26 PM),  (attaching Agenda for Examination of the U.S. Adversarial Criminal Justice System for senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors (Jan. 18, 2016 to Jan. 23, 2016), ). 37 In the middle of the night on Jan. 19, 2016, Telizhenko contacted Elisabeth Zentos, a member of the Obama administration’s National Security Council (NSC) asking to join the NSC-Ukrainian delegation meeting scheduled at 11 a.m. that morning. 147 It is not known if Zentos responded to Telizhenko’s email, but she did forward Telizhenko’s request to her colleague on the NSC, Eric Ciaramella, after the Jan. 19, 2016, meeting.148 According to Telizhenko’s email to Zentos, Artem Sytnyk, Nazar Kholodnickiy, and David Sakvarelidze, among others, were listed as participants in the meeting with the NSC.149
147 Email from Andrii Telizhenko to Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (Jan. 19, 2016, 12:22 AM), . 148 Email from Elisabeth Zentos, National Security Council to Eric Ciaramella, Nat’l Sec. Council (Jan. 19, 2016, 9:42 PM), . 149 Email from Andrii Telizhenko to Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (Jan. 19, 2016, 12:22 AM), . 38 Over the next two days, Jan. 20-21, 2016, the Ukrainian delegation was scheduled to meet with a slew of U.S. officials, including representatives of the DOJ Office of the Inspector General, the DOJ, the FBI and the Department of State.150
At this time, the Committees have not confirmed whether all the scheduled meeting entries on the agenda occurred. Further, despite the Committees’ efforts, no U.S. officials have confirmed what was discussed at any of these January 2016 meetings with the senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors.151 d. Interactions between Obama NSC official Elisabeth Zentos and Andrii Telizhenko. The Committees interviewed Zentos and during that interview discussed her interactions with Telizhenko. Zentos testified that she didn’t “remember exactly when [she] first communicated with [Telizhenko], but [she] believe[s] it was while [she] was working at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, so it would have been between 2012 and 2014.”152 Zentos was less cooperative than any other witness the Committees interviewed. She refused to provide the
150 Email from Eric Ciaramella, Nat’l Sec. Council, to Catherine Croft, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Jan. 19, 2016, 7:26 PM),  (attaching Agenda for Examination of the U.S. Adversarial Criminal Justice System for senior-level Ukrainian prosecutors (Jan. 18, 2016 to Jan. 23, 2016), [001755-001756]). 151Transcript of Interview at 174-75, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of Elisabeth Zentos (July 20, 2020), [Hereinafter Elisabeth Zentos Testimony]. 152 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony 182. 39 names of officials to whom she directly reported, nor would she name individuals who reported to her, either at the NSC or the State Department.153
In relation to her meetings and communications with Telizhenko, starting in January 2016, Zentos testified that she met and communicated with Telizhenko as “he was a representative of the Ukrainian Government. Part of my job was to be in touch with the Ukrainian Government.”154 During the spring of 2016, records indicate, Zentos and Telizhenko would meet at coffee shops, among other venues, around Washington, and they met at least one time while in Ukraine. Overall, records indicate that they would meet a number of times during the first half of 2016. For example, on Feb. 9, 2016, less than a month after the White House meeting, Zentos and Telizhenko met at Cosi in Washington.155 It is not known what was discussed at this meeting. In addition, on Feb. 23, 2016, Telizhenko and Zentos emailed about meeting. In her reply, Zentos asked, “Ok if I bring my colleague Eric, who works on Ukraine with me?” She ended the email by asking, “[D]id you get Trump’s autograph for me?” 156
153 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony at 34 and 38. 154 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony at 187. 155 Email from Andrii Telizhenko to Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (Feb. 9, 2016, 2:07 PM), . 156 Emails between Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council, and Andrii Telizhenko (Feb. 23, 2016), . 40 On March 1, 2016, Zentos and Telizhenko agreed over email to meet on March 3, 2016, at a Washington bar called The Exchange. Before the planned meeting, Zentos told Telizhenko, “I’ll see if my colleague Eric is up for joining.” When asked whether “Eric” was Ciaramella, Zentos declined to answer. This meeting ultimately occurred on March 4, 2016, but it is unclear what was discussed. 157 Additional meetings between Zentos and Telizhenko included: March 4, 2016: Zentos and Telizhenko met at Swing’s coffee house in Washington. 158 Telizhenko emailed Zentos after the meeting and discussed how an individual was seeking a meeting with Obama NSC official Charles Kupchan.
157 Emails between Andrii Telizhenko and Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (Mar. 1, 2016), [000113-000114]. 158 Emails between Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council, and Andrii Telizhenko (Mar. 4, 2016), [000018-000019]. 41 March 10, 2016: Telizhenko emailed Zentos asking to meet that afternoon for five minutes. Based on the email, it appears they met at 5 p.m. that day at Cosi.159 Despite this email, Zentos testified, “I do not remember if this occurred. As you can probably see from the email, Mr. Telizhenko likes to ask me to meet. I don’t remember if this specific meeting happened.”160 April 13, 2016: Zentos and Telizhenko apparently met.161 When asked about this meeting, Zentos testified, “I do not recall when any specific meeting was with Mr. Telizhenko.”162 Zentos said this despite her own email to Telizhenko saying, “No worries! Just got here. See you soon.”163 May 4, 2016: Zentos and Telizhenko apparently met.164 July 9, 2016: Zentos emailed Telizhenko suggesting they meet. The email suggested that Zentos was in Ukraine at this time, and Zentos testified that she joined Secretary Kerry’s delegation to Ukraine around this time. 165 Zentos does not recall if she met Telizhenko while she was in Ukraine despite emails indicating she planned to see Telizhenko and he was “downstairs in the lobby” on the next day.166
159 Emails between Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council, and Andrii Telizhenko (Mar. 10, 2016), [000043-000045]. 160 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony at 193. 161 Emails between Andrii Telizhenko and Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (Apr. 13, 2016), . 162 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony at 195. 163 Id. 164 Emails between Andrii Telizhenko and Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (May 4, 2016), [000109-000111]. 165 Elisabeth Zentos Testimony at 198. 166 Emails between Andrii Telizhenko and Elisabeth Zentos, Nat’l Sec. Council (July 9, 2016), [000275-000276]. 42 e. Blue Star Strategies’ relationship with Andrii Telizhenko. Burisma hired Blue Star Strategies, a Democrat lobbying firm, in November 2015.167 Blue Star was founded by Chief Executive Officer Karen Tramontano and Chief Operating Officer Sally Painter. Both Tramontano and Painter interacted with Telizhenko when he was an official at the Ukraine embassy, and Blue Star eventually employed Telizhenko starting in July 2016.168
Telizhenko’s contract with Blue Star overlapped with the firm’s representation of Burisma.169
Blue Star refused to provide Telizhenko’s documents from his time as a contractor to the Committees, and it refused the Committees’ request to release Telizhenko from his nondisclosure agreement.
167 Transcript of Interview at 17, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of Karen Tramontano (Aug. 28, 2020). [Hereinafter Karen Tramontano Testimony]. 168 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 57. 169 Transcript of Interview at 151, S. Comm. on Fin. and S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. Interview of Sally Painter (Aug. 31, 2020). [Hereinafter Sally Painter Testimony]. 43 March 2016 was a pivotal month for Blue Star and its work for Burisma. In response to calls for his termination by then-Vice President Biden, Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was about to be removed, and Blue Star increased its outreach to, and meetings with, both U.S. officials and Ukrainian officials. 170 On March 21, 2016, a Blue Star employee emailed State Department official Amos Hochstein to request a meeting with CEO Tramontano, COO Painter, and John Buretta, a private attorney, to discuss “a sensitive energy matter ahead of [Ukraine] President Poroshenko’s upcoming visit to DC next week.” 171
The next day, on March 22, 2016, Vice President Biden called President Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees.172 As Blue Star officials waited for a response from Hochstein, they met with Ukrainian officials. Specifically, Tramontano testified that she and Painter met with Ukrainian officials on March 22, 2016 at the Ukraine embassy. 173 Telizhenko joined this meeting, and Tramontano testified that Burisma was a topic of discussion: Question: So at this point in this discussion you referenced with Mr. Telizhenko, you had not brought up Burisma specifically? Tramontano: Oh. No, we had — I’m sorry. To be clear, yes, we had brought up Burisma, and my — we did not bring up, you know, specific cases that were pending. Question: I understand. And did you just bring up Burisma to Mr. Telizhenko, or did this come up in your meeting with Ms. [Oksana] Shulyar? Tramontano: It came up in our meeting [March 22, 2016] with Ms. Shulyar that Mr. Telizhenko attended. We had the meeting to inform them of the clients we had, including Burisma, and the meetings that we were seeking. So, yes, it [Burisma] came up in that discussion. 174
170 Tramontano told the Committees that Blue Star Strategies engaged in “government relations assistance” for Burisma. Oddly, Painter said the exact opposite. See, Karen Tramontano Testimony at 39; Sally Painter Testimony at 39. Moreover, when questioned whether Blue Star Strategies engaged in “government relations assistance” in Ukraine on behalf of Burisma, Painter implied that it did: “I mean, we were engaging with the government, yes.” Sally Painter Testimony at 40. In addition, both Tramontano and Painter denied that they lobbied the U.S. Government on behalf of Burisma and denied that they intended to influence U.S. policy with respect to Burisma; however, that testimony is contradicted by Amos Hochstein’s. See Karen Tramontano Testimony at 48 (“We didn’t lobby the U.S. government.”) and 49 (“In our representation of Burisma, we did not try to influence U.S. policy with respect to Ukraine.”) and Sally Painter Testimony at 43 (Question: “When meeting with U.S. government officials, did you intend to influence U.S. policy towards Burisma?” Answer: “No.”) and 167 (“I do not consider them to be lobbying. I consider that to be exploring to understand the position of the U.S. government.”) compared to Amos Hochstein’s Testimony at 138 (“They did not like my answer, and they tried to convince me otherwise.”). 171Email from Sean Keeley, Blue Star Strategies, to Amos Hochstein, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Mar. 21, 2016), [STATE-2019-18- 0001124]. 172 Press Release, The White House Off. of the Vice President, Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine (Mar. 22, 2016), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/03/22/readout-vicepresident-bidens-call-president-petro-poroshenko-ukraine. 173 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 123. 174 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 124-25 (emphasis added). 44 According to documents, after their meeting at the Ukraine embassy, Tramontano replied to Telizhenko, asking him about scheduling a meeting with the Prosecutor General for Ukraine.175 Her email also informed Telizhenko that Buretta, an attorney and former DOJ official, planned to be in Ukraine for a day.176
Additionally, the day after their meeting, Painter sent Shulyar and Telizhenko an email with the subject line: “Many Thanks.” Painter’s March 23, 2016, email noted, “As Karen said, please think of us as an extension of your team. We are available to be helpful in any way.”177
Further, Painter said that Blue Star was working with “Morgan Williams on their piece of the [Ukrainian] President’s visit and would be honored to help set up something for Mr. Lozhkin178 with Denis McDonough, the President’s Chief of Staff, or with anyone else he is interested in meeting.”179 Blue Star did not produce these company records to the Committees; instead, the Committees received them from Telizhenko. 180
175 Karen Tramontano Testimony at Exhibit 9. 176 Id. 177 Email from Sally Painter, Blue Star Strategies, to Oksana Shulyar and Andrii Telizhenko (Mar. 23, 2016). 178 “Mr. Lozhkin” most likely refers to Boris Lozhkin who served as the Head of the Presidential Administration for Ukraine from June 2014 to August 2016. See World Jewish Congress, Boris Lozhkin, https://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/bio/borislozhkin. 179 Email from Sally Painter, Blue Star Strategies, to Oksana Shulyar and Andrii Telizhenko (Mar. 23, 2016). 180 Id. 45 On March 24, 2016 — three days after Blue Star requested a meeting to “discuss a sensitive energy matter” and two days after meeting with Telizhenko and Shulyar —Painter and Buretta met with Hochstein at the State Department.181 According to Painter, during this March 2016 meeting with Hochstein, she provided him a summary of Blue Star’s December 2015 meeting with Ambassador Pyatt.182 She also told the Committees that Buretta provided Hochstein a briefing on the U.K. court case. 183 Hochstein testified that he decided to meet with Blue Star officials, “Because until that meeting I was still under the impression from the first meeting that they were looking to conduct a report. I was – I didn’t have an issue with meeting with them again and hearing where they were in their process.”184 He did not recall Blue Star providing him a report but they gave him a verbal view of where they stood and they also tried to “convince” him to change his position. 185
181 Email from Redacted, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Amos Hochstein, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Mar. 22, 2016, 10:43:00 -0400), [STATE2019-18-0001125]. 182 Sally Painter Testimony at 116. 183 Sally Painter Testimony at 117. 184 Amos Hochstein Testimony at 131-32. 185 Amos Hochstein Testimony at 132-33, 138. 46 f. Blue Star takes Telizhenko’s recommendation to remove Burisma’s name to secure a June 2016 meeting with the PGO. While strategizing about how to secure a June 2016 meeting with Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Blue Star officials and Telizhenko discussed how they should craft the meeting request to the PGO. Blue Star sought this meeting to discuss the ongoing PGO cases against Burisma and Zlochevsky. On June 7, 2016, Telizhenko offered his advice in an email to Tramontano: I wanted to recommend to, in the official request letter, to take away Mr. Zlochevsky’s company name and his name. Just request a meeting an [sic] put just the topics you wanted to discuss, expect [sic] Zlochevsky. I will brief you more when you come to Kiev, but because the President [Poroshenko] does not really like Zlochevsky (he has personal issues), Mr. Lutsenko will deny the meeting if his name stays in the letter. You can raise the issue during the meeting, but on the official letters I would recommend to remove it. I spoke to the chief of staff. He is ready to meet, but please take off the name of the company and his name.186 On June 10, 2016, Tramontano replied to Telizhenko, saying, “Thank you for your assistance. I hope you received the revised letter.”187
Tramontano testified that some of Telizhenko’s recommendations were adopted:188 Question: Did Blue Star make the changes to the letter that was sent to the Prosecutor General that Mr. Telizhenko recommended? Tramontano: John Buretta made the changes. Question: And what changes did Mr. Buretta make?
186 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 136-37. 187 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 139. 188 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 139-140. 47 Tramontano: As I recall, and I believe this document is in the submission, he changed the agenda items to take the name of the company [Burisma] off the agenda items. 189 On June 22, 2016, Tramontano, Buretta and Burisma’s Vadym Pozharskiy met with Prosecutor General Lutsenko.190 g. Blue Star official communicates with Telizhenko in 2019. Blue Star’s contract with Telizhenko ended in May 2017, yet Blue Star officials continued to communicate with Telizhenko. Tramontano testified that after ending the contract with Telizhenko, “we remained in contact, I would say, you know, from time to time. When he came to Washington, he would, you know, let us know. But I haven’t talked to him in quite some time, I would say.” 191 When asked if this was the same for Painter, Tramontano replied, “I would think it’s the same.” 192 Further, when Tramontano was asked whether Painter communicated more with Telizhenko, she responded, “I don’t even know how to answer that question. I’m sorry[.]” 193 When the Committees interviewed Painter, she explained how she communicated with Telizhenko: Question: How did you communicate with Mr. Telizhenko? Painter: We communicated by email and on the telephone. Question: By telephone, you mean phone calls? Painter: Yes.194 At that point of the interview, Painter failed to mention that she communicated via WhatsApp with Telizhenko.195 The Committees have obtained some images of WhatsApp messages between Painter (white colored boxes) and Telizhenko (green colored boxes) starting in April 2019 and ending in August 2019. These texts show that Blue Star and Telizhenko maintained consistent contact even after he left their employment and that Blue Star continued to rely on his advice.
189 Id. (emphasis added). 190 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 140. 191 Karen Tramontano Testimony at 161. 192 Id. 193 Id. 194 Sally Painter Testimony at 150. 195 Sally Painter failed to produce any WhatsApp communications to the Committees, and the communications were provide by Andrii Telizhenko. 48 Messages exchanged between Sally Painter (white background) and Andrii Telizhenko (green background)196
196 WhatsApp messages between Sally Painter, Blue Star Strategies, and Andrii Telizhenko (on file with Comms.). 49 Messages exchanged between Sally Painter (white background) and Andrii Telizhenko (green background)197
197 Id. 50 Messages exchanged between Sally Painter (white background) and Andrii Telizhenko (green background)198
198 Id. 51 Messages exchanged between Sally Painter (white background) and Andrii Telizhenko (green background)199
199 Id. 52 When the Committees presented these WhatsApp messages to Painter, she confirmed that these messages were authentic: Question: Did you text with Andrii Telizhenko? Painter: I believe so, yes. Question: Do these appear to be messages between yourself and Mr. Telizhenko? Painter: Yes. Question: How often do you text with Mr. Telizhenko? Painter: I can’t quantify. I don’t recall the number.200 Painter did not provide these WhatsApp messages to the Committees despite repeated requests. When asked whether she still possessed these messages with Telizhenko, Painter testified, “I do not keep my WhatsApp messages.” And when questioned why she doesn’t keep the messages, Painter said, “I like to get rid of them. It makes me know that I finished a task. So I get rid of my texts and my WhatsApp and any of my traffic like that. I like to have a clean file.”201 When asked why she was communicating with Telizhenko in July 2019, Painter testified, “We had a fine rapport, and he would communicate with me periodically.” 202 According to these messages, on April 30, 2019, Painter told Telizhenko to “please Take [sic] blue star off resume.” The Committees asked Painter about this message: Question: It sounds like you’re ordering him to do that [Remove Blue Star from his resume]. No? Painter: As I stated before — this will be the third time — Mr. Telizhenko was working more and more with Mr. Giuliani, and we had a conversation about whether it would hurt him with the Republicans if he had Blue Star on his résumé. So this is not a characterization of our conversation. Question: So is that connected to the message you sent above on April 26, 2019, that says, “Have you seen what Solomon has written about what you said?” Painter: I don’t think the — I can’t comment on that because I don’t think this is an accurate representation of the chain of events.
200 Sally Painter Testimony at 153-54 (emphasis added). 201 Sally Painter Testimony at 157 (emphasis added). 202 Sally Painter Testimony at 158 (emphasis added). 53 Question: So you’re advising Mr. Telizhenko how to better work with Rudy Giuliani and Republicans? Painter: Ironically, Mr. Telizhenko was asking my advice.203 In another message, on June 18, 2019, Painter messaged Telizhenko, “Complaint filed.” The Committees asked Painter about this message and she explained: Question: On June 18th, 2019, you wrote “Complaint filed.” What is this reference to? Painter: I don’t recall. Question: You have no recollection? Painter: I do not. Question: Why would you have to tell Mr. Telizhenko that a complaint was filed? Painter: I don’t recall.204 h. Conclusion The Obama administration and the Democrat lobby shop Blue Star Strategies had consistent and extensive contact with Andrii Telizhenko over a period of years. Yet despite these well-documented contacts with Democratic officials, Democrats have attempted to impugn this investigation for having received some Blue Star-related records from him. Some Democrats have even (incorrectly) identified Telizhenko as the Committees’ “star witness.”205
Although he produced a small number of Blue Star-related records to the Committees, the Committees never interviewed him as part of this investigation.206 Nonetheless, Democrats have claimed that Telizhenko is involved in a Russian disinformation campaign. Even though almost all of the Committees’ records are from U.S. agencies and U.S. officials or persons, Democrats have repeatedly misconstrued the facts of this investigation. In doing so, they conveniently have ignored their own long history of meeting with Telizhenko and his year-long work for a Democrat lobby shop. If Democrats are concerned that Telizhenko presents any risk of advancing disinformation, it is notable that the Ranking Members have not expressed any curiosity about his work with the Obama administration or Blue Star Strategies.
203 Sally Painter Testimony at 161. 204 Sally Painter Testimony at 156. 205Ranking Member Ron Wyden, Wyden Takes to Senate Floor to Address Russian Disinformation in Flawed Congressional Investigation, 2020 Election (Sept. 16, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/wyden-takes-to-senate-floor-to-address-russiandisinformation-in-flawed-congressional-investigation-2020-election. 206 The Committees received a small number of records from Telizhenko related to his communications with and subsequent work for Blue Star Strategies. Ranking Member Peters and Ranking Member Wyden have access to these records but have refused to receive or review them. Had they done so, they would have observed that the State Department, National Archives, and Blue Star Strategies (after it received a subpoena) produced most of the same records to the Committees. They also would have noticed the emails and text messages that Blue Star failed to produce to the Committees. 54 55 X. THE MINORITY FALSELY ACCUSED THE CHAIRMEN OF ENGAGING IN A RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN AND USED OTHER TACTICS TO INTERFERE IN THE INVESTIGATION. a. Introduction Since the majority began its investigation, the Ranking Members have attempted to mischaracterize its scope in an effort to cast doubt on its eventual findings. They have done so, in part, by spreading an unfounded conspiracy theory rooted in a foreign-sourced influence campaign publicly identified by the Intelligence Community (IC).207 Specifically, Democrats, not just the Ranking Members, relied upon materials and statements from foreign nationals who are attempting to influence U.S. politics to levy unsupported and demonstrably inaccurate allegations linking the majority’s investigation to those same unreliable foreign nationals. As part of their efforts, Democrats laundered their unclassified speculation through classified analysis of intelligence reporting to fabricate a veneer of credibility in an effort to shield their claims from public scrutiny. Those false claims were then leaked to friendly media outlets, which reported them as fact. Together, these networks of Democratic offices and liberal press outlets have worked to weave fact with fiction in order to construct a false narrative designed to undercut and discredit the Chairmen’s investigation and its eventual findings. In the process, Democrats relied upon and disseminated disinformation from foreign sources, such as Ukrainian official Andriy Derkach, whom the IC has publicly warned are actively seeking to influence U.S. politics.208 Thus the Democrats, specifically the Ranking Members, have engaged in a disinformation campaign, not Chairmen Grassley or Johnson. b. Beginnings of the investigation, early leaks, and unequal information sharing On Nov. 15, 2019, Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson wrote a non-public letter to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), seeking Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on individuals and entities, including Hunter Biden, Burisma Holdings (Burisma), and others. Although most of the letters sent during the investigation have been released to the public shortly after being transmitted, this letter was not released at the time because of the sensitive nature of the underlying records and the need to ensure the integrity of the investigation with respect to those records. SARs often contain evidence of potential criminal activities, such as money laundering and fraud, and at the time, there was no evidence that SARs existed for the individuals mentioned in the request.209 The letter was, however, shared with Ranking Member Peters’ office. Just one week later, on Nov.
207 See Press Release, Off. of the Dir. of Nat’l Intelligence, Statement by NCSC Director William Evanina: Election Threat Update for the American Public (Aug. 7, 2020), https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/item/2139-statementby-ncsc-director-william-evanina-election-threat-update-for-the-american-public; see also, Opening Statement of Joshua FlynnBrown, Deputy Chief Investigative Counsel for Chairman Grassley (Sept. 17, 2020). 208 See id. 209 See Off. of the Comptroller of the Currency, Suspicious Activity Reports (2013), https://www.occ.treas.gov/topics/supervision-and-examination/bank-operations/financial-crime/suspicious-activity-reports/indexsuspicious-activity-reports.html. 56 22, 2019, a copy of the letter was leaked to Reuters, which published an article containing a link to a full and unredacted copy of the letter.210 According to the Treasury, the department’s protocol requires stamping the document, which the leaked version did not contain. The next major leak came in February 2020, just one day after the Committees sent a public letter to the Secret Service requesting Hunter Biden’s travel records.211 The Committees had requested the travel records in order to assess claims that Hunter Biden may have used government-sponsored travel to conduct private business. The leaks were unrelated to the Secret Service letter but they were designed to undermine the Treasury request. For example, these disclosures to the media included the fact that the Treasury had been producing information responsive to the Committees’ requests as well as the approximate date when the Treasury had begun its production to the Committees.212 The Yahoo News article also stated, “[t]he senators’ requests to the Treasury have borne fruit, according to the ranking Democratic senator on the Finance Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon[.]” 213 Senator Wyden’s spokesperson was also quoted as saying, “the Treasury Department [is] rapidly complying with Senate Republican requests — no subpoenas necessary — and producing ‘evidence’ of questionable origin.” 214 The Yahoo News article stated that the Department of Treasury had “complied with Republican senators’ requests for highly sensitive and closely held financial records about Hunter Biden and his associates[.]” 215 Further, on the same day the Yahoo News article published, Buzzfeed News reported that the Committees had begun coordinating interviews with potential witnesses.216 Contrary to the allegation that the Chairmen have not included the Ranking Members in the Chairmen’s investigation, Ranking Member Wyden and Ranking Member Peters are not a party to the majority’s investigation. However, Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson have included them in all document productions and interviews even though the Ranking Members have failed to abide by the same principles of inclusion with respect to their investigations.217 As one example, on July 1, 2020, Ranking Member Wyden and Ranking Member Peters released a COVID-19 report that included non-public government information that was not shared with
210 See Richard Cowan and Valerie Volcovici, U.S. Republican Senators ask Treasury for any Reports on Hunter Biden, REUTERS (Nov. 22, 2019), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-biden/u-s-republican-senators-ask-treasury-forsuspicious-activity-reports-on-hunter-biden-idUSKBN1XW254. 211 See Letter from Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., and Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., to U.S. Secret Serv. (Feb. 5, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020-02- 05%20CEG%20RHJ%20to%20Secret%20Service%20%28Biden%20Travel%29.pdf; see also Emma Loop, Here’s What’s Happening In Republicans’ Biden Ukraine Investigation, BUZZFEED NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmaloop/republicans-biden-ukraine-investigation; Luppe B. Luppen, Treasury Department Sent Information on Hunter Biden to Expanding GOP Senate Inquiry, YAHOO NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://news.yahoo.com/treasury-department-sent-information-on-hunter-biden-to-expanding-gop-senate-inquiry161846826.html. 212 See id. 213 Luppe B. Luppen, Treasury Department Sent Information on Hunter Biden to Expanding GOP Senate Inquiry, YAHOO NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://news.yahoo.com/treasury-department-sent-information-on-hunter-biden-to-expanding-gop-senate-inquiry161846826.html. 214 Id. 215 Id. 216 Emma Loop, Here’s What’s Happening In Republicans’ Biden Ukraine Investigation, BUZZFEED NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmaloop/republicans-biden-ukraine-investigation. 217 Email correspondences between Majority and Minority Staff (on file with Comms.). 57 Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson or their staff.218 The Ranking Members failed to include the Chairmen and their staff in all document production requests related to this review.219
Moreover, Ranking Member Wyden and Ranking Member Peters provided Chairmen’s staff with a draft of this report that totaled 30 pages in length and represented that it was the final version, to be publicly released.220 Days later, the Ranking Members made public the “final” report, which was 98 pages in length, not the 30 pages that was represented to the Chairmen and their staff.221
As another example, Ranking Member Wyden conducted a year-long investigation into Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma with the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the minority on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. On Sept. 9, 2020, at 6:16 p.m., Ranking Member Wyden’s staff notified Chairman Grassley’s staff that the report would be issued the following morning.222 Ranking Member Wyden’s staff did not include Chairman Grassley’s staff in any document productions, witness interviews, report drafts, or communications relating to that investigation. Further, the Ranking Members have repeatedly made public previously undisclosed and non-public information pertaining to the majority’s investigation. On Feb. 11, May 6, and July 7, 2020, Ranking Member Wyden used the majority’s investigation to request sensitive materials from the State Department relating to Ukraine.223 In doing so, the May 6 and July 7 letters also made unauthorized releases of previously non-public information, including details regarding the number of documents produced by the State Department in response to Committees’ requests, information which they would not have known if they were not included in the document productions.224 News outlets used that information to report that the administration was responding to the Chairmen’s requests with unusual speed, which was false.225
Moreover, staff for the Chairmen and Ranking Members had a phone call with Victoria Nuland’s attorneys on Aug. 29, 2020. During the course of that phone call, staff for Ranking
218 See Press Release, Spec. Comm. on Aging, Casey, Peters, Wyden Release New Report Detailing Trump Administration’s Failure to Protect Nursing Home Residents and Workers From COVID-19 (July 1, 2020), https://www.aging.senate.gov/pressreleases/casey-peters-wyden-release-new-report-detailing-trump-administrations-failure-to-protect-nursing-home-residents-andworkers-from-covid-19-. 219 Email correspondences between Majority and Minority Staff (on file with Comms.). 220 Id. (on file with Comms.). 221 See S. Rep., COVID-19 IN NURSING HOMES How the Trump Administration Failed Residents and Workers, Spec. Comm. on Aging (July 2020), https://www.aging.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/COVID19%20in%20Nursing%20Homes%20Final%20Report.pdf. 222 Email correspondences between Majority and Minority Staff (on file with Comms.). 223 See Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (Feb. 11, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/021120%20Wyden%20Letter%20to%20Mike%20Pompeo%20RE%20Ukraine% 20Follow%20Up.pdf; Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 6, 2020), https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6883366-Wyden-to-Pompeo-05-06-2020.html; Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (July 7, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/070720%20Wyden%20to%20Pompeo%20Third%20Ukraine%20Request.pdf. 224 See id. 225 See Luppe B. Luppen, Treasury Department Sent Information on Hunter Biden to Expanding GOP Senate Inquiry, YAHOO NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://news.yahoo.com/treasury-department-sent-information-on-hunter-biden-to-expanding-gop-senateinquiry-161846826.html. 58 Member Wyden attempted to disclose to Nuland’s counsel the transcribed testimony of another witness. The Chairmen’s staff immediately interceded to stop the communication and made clear that such a disclosure would negatively affect the integrity of the investigation. In addition, the Ranking Members’ staff have had contact with counsel for the witnesses without the Chairmen’s staff present; in the context of an investigation conducted by only the Chairmen and opposed by the Ranking Members, this unilateral contact raises concerns about any communications, purposeful or inadvertent, that might harm the integrity of the investigation. House Democrats have also tried to involve themselves in this inquiry. On May 21, 2020, Representative Eliot Engel, who serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, wrote to the State Department to request that the documents provided to the Senate Committees be provided to his committee as well.226 (Of course, Ranking Member Wyden and Ranking Member Peters received contemporaneous productions of all records provided to the Committees.) Citing Ranking Member Wyden, Chairman Engel did not request the materials in connection with any investigation of his own.227 Instead, he merely requested all records that have been produced to the Committees.228 His inadequately predicated request appears to be another effort to gather information for the purpose of running political interference. Further, Chairman Engel has subpoenaed records and, in an attempt to strong-arm Secretary Pompeo into turning over documents, has threatened to initiate contempt proceedings against him.229 Based on communications with the State Department, Chairman Engel’s actions have directly interfered with the State Department producing records to the Chairmen. On Sept. 18, 2020, the State Department provided copies of records produced to the Committees to Chairman Engel without providing any prior notice to the Chairmen. c. Conspiracy theory claims On July 13, 2020, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Mark Warner, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Representative Adam Schiff sent a letter, with a classified attachment, to the FBI to express a purported belief that Congress is the subject of a foreign disinformation campaign.230 In that letter, which was publicly released on July 20, 2020, they requested a defensive briefing on foreign efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.231 The classified attachment included unclassified elements that, among other things, attempted — and failed — to tie the joint Committees’ investigation to foreign disinformation.
226 Letter from Chairman Elliot Engel, U.S. H.R. Comm. on Foreign Aff., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 21, 2020), https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/cache/files/5/7/577bfdef-657a-48d7-b8e9-1b91229daf5d/ 404E6B8B9F59DED DBA792009808D9C91.5-21-2020.ele-letter-to-pompeo.pdf. 227 See id. 228 See id. 229 See Press Release, Chairman Elliot Engel, U.S. H.R. Comm. on Foreign Aff., Engel Announces Contempt Proceedings against Pompeo (Aug. 28, 2020), https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/2020/8/engel-announces-contempt-proceedings-against-pompeo. 230 Letter from Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Vice Chairman Mark Warner, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Chairman Adam Schiff, H. Select Comm. on Intelligence, to Fed. Bureau of Investigation (July 13, 2020), https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20200713_big_4_letter_to_fbi_director_wray–defensive_briefing_signed.pdf. 231 Letter from Minority Leader Charles Schumer, Vice Chairman Mark Warner, S. Select Comm. on Intelligence, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Chairman Adam Schiff, H. Select Comm. on Intelligence, to Fed. Bureau of Investigation (July 13, 2020), https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/20200713_big_4_letter_to_fbi_director_wray-_defensive_briefing_signed.pdf; see also Press Release, Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Warner Send Letter to FBI Director Requesting Defensive Counterintelligence Briefing for All Members (July 20,2020), https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/72020-2. 59 One of those elements was an unclassified paragraph that summarized an open source document created by Russia-aligned Ukrainian Andriy Derkach, which mentions the Chairmen along with other Republican senators and administration officials. In that document, the Chairmen are labeled as individuals who are fighting against Ukrainian corruption and under their pictures is an envelope icon. The Democrats speculated that the envelope icon possibly suggests that the Chairmen might have received information from this Ukrainian national. Liberal media outlets picked up that reference, clearly from a leak, even though the Chairmen had not received any information from that Ukrainian national, including any alleged tapes. Those media outlets reported that the Chairmen had in fact received information from Derkach, which is false.232 Indeed, clicking on the envelope icon in the document produces a collection of public letters the Chairmen have sent during the investigation, not any additional documents that Derkach allegedly sent to them. Although the Democrats’ letter and attachment from July 13 targeted the Chairmen’s investigation, they were not copied on the letter and were not granted access to the classified portion until two weeks after it was sent to FBI and one week after portions of it were publicly reported. On July 16, mere days before the Democrats’ July 13 letter became public, Ranking Member Peters and Ranking Member Wyden wrote to the Chairmen to request a briefing from the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force and other relevant members of the IC on matters related to the Committees’ investigation.233 On July 28, 2020, the Chairmen responded to the Ranking Members and reminded them that in March 2020, the FBI and relevant members of the IC had briefed the Committees regarding the investigation and provided assurances at that time that there was no reason that the Committees should not continue their investigation.234 Those assurances were provided with knowledge of public reporting that Andrii Telizhenko provided records to the Committees. Notably, Telizhenko had extensive and consistent contact with Obama administration officials and a DNC consultant, and worked for the U.S.-based Democrat firm Blue Star Strategies on matters relevant to the Committees’ investigation. As such, the only records he provided to the Committees related to his work for Blue Star Strategies and his interactions with Obama administration officials. Additionally, during that briefing, the agencies made clear to the Committees’ staff that they did not have any additional information to provide and that the relevant written products, which members have had access to for months, speak for themselves. Subsequently, on Aug. 6, 2020, Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson received another briefing from the FBI on behalf of the IC, in which the FBI stated that it is not attempting to “quash, curtail, or interfere” in the investigation in any way.
232 See Natasha Bertrand, Andrew Desiderio, and Kyle Cheney, Democrats: Packets sent to Trump allies are Part of Foreign Plot to Damage Biden, POLITICO (July 23, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/23/democrats-letters-to-trump-allies-areforeign-plot-to-damage-biden-380217; As the Chairmen have repeatedly said, they and their staff have not received, relied upon, or solicited information from Derkach. 233 Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., and Ranking Member Gary Peters, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., to Chairman Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., and Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. (July 16, 2020), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/200716_Letter_PetersWyden_IntelligenceBriefingRequest.pdf. 234 Letter from Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., and Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., to Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., and Ranking Member Gary Peters, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff. (July 28, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07-28%20RHJCEG%20Letter%20to%20Peters-Wyden%20%28Defensive%20Briefing%29.pdf. 60 On July 20, 2020, Politico reported on the contents of the Democrats’ July 13, 2020 letter.235 Unnamed sources for the article alleged that the classified attachment cited the investigation into Hunter Biden and others as “one of the sources of … concern.” 236 A subsequent Politico article, again citing unnamed sources, reported that in 2019, Derkach allegedly sent information to several members of Congress, including the Chairmen and Ranking Member Wyden and Ranking Member Peters.237 The article then further suggested that these weak parallels reinforced the “suspicions” of some Democrats that the Committees’ investigation was ‘“laundering’ a foreign influence campaign to damage Biden.” 238 The Politico article also suggested that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and several other individuals have been the subject of Committee information requests.239
The Chairmen repeatedly rejected claims that they had any engagement with Derkach. In August 2020, Derkach was publicly identified by the IC as a proponent of a foreign-sourced influence campaign to influence the 2020 election. He was later sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury for the same activity.240 Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson praised the Treasury for imposing those sanctions.241 Since the offices of Chairman Johnson and Chairman Grassley did not receive, and were unaware of, the information that Derkach had allegedly sent, it is impossible that Derkach’s efforts could have shaped the Committees’ investigation in any way. Furthermore, it should now be clear that Derkach’s core claims are in no way a part of the Committees’ investigative work. For example, according to media reports, Derkach is responsible for spreading allegations that Burisma made direct payments to Joe Biden in the amount of $900,000, which were allegedly funneled to Biden through his son’s consulting firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, and marked for “consultative services.” 242 This claim about direct payments made to Joe Biden is not evaluated in the Committees’ report of investigation, nor has it ever been cited as a predicate for any of the Committees’ information requests. However, during the Chairmen’s staff interview of George Kent, Ranking Member Peters’ staff inserted into the interview record the same Derkach-created
235 See Natasha Bertrand, Kyle Cheney, and Andrew Desiderio, Dem leaders demand FBI briefing on ‘foreign interference campaign’ targeting lawmakers, POLITICO (July 20, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/20/democrats-fbi-briefingforeign-interference-campaign-373134. 236 See id. 237 See Natasha Bertrand, Andrew Desiderio, and Kyle Cheney, Democrats: Packets sent to Trump allies are Part of Foreign Plot to Damage Biden, POLITICO (July 23, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/23/democrats-letters-to-trump-allies-areforeign-plot-to-damage-biden-380217. As the Chairmen have repeatedly said, they and their staff have not received, relied upon, or solicited information from Derkach. 238 See id. 239 See Natasha Bertrand, Andrew Desiderio, and Kyle Cheney, Democrats: Packets sent to Trump allies are Part of Foreign Plot to Damage Biden, POLITICO (July 23, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/23/democrats-letters-to-trump-allies-areforeign-plot-to-damage-biden-380217. 240 See Press Release, Off. of the Dir. of Nat’l Intelligence, Statement by NCSC Director William Evanina: Election Threat Update for the American Public, (Aug. 7, 2020), https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/item/2139-statementby-ncsc-director-william-evanina-election-threat-update-for-the-american-public; see also Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury, Treasury Sanctions Russia-Linked Election Interference Actors (Sept. 10, 2020), https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1118. 241 Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., Grassley, Johnson Praise Trump Admin Actions Against Foreign Disinformation & Election Interference (Sept. 10, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassleyjohnson-praise-trump-admin-actions-against-foreign-disinformation. 242 Mark Moore, Giuliani claims Ukrainian company paid Joe Biden $900,000 in lobbying fees, NEW YORK POST (Oct. 10, 2019), https://nypost.com/2019/10/10/giuliani-claims-ukrainian-company-paid-joe-biden-900000-in-lobbying-fees/. 61 document that Democrats relied on in their July 13 letter to falsely accuse the Chairmen of relying on disinformation.243 Kent described Derkach’s document as disinformation, but Ranking Member Peters’ staff used it anyway.244 Thus, the Ranking Members introduced disinformation into the record, not the Chairmen.245 In summary, the Democrats’ July 13, 2020, letter relied on foreign disinformation to create a false and harmful innuendo about the Chairmen’s oversight work. That innuendo was then wrapped in a classified attachment in an apparent effort to fabricate a veneer of credibility and shield their analysis from public scrutiny before being disseminated to news media, which reported their speculation as fact. Ironically, the Democrats relied on and disseminated foreignsourced disinformation to falsely accuse Republicans of relying on that same foreign-sourced disinformation. Despite its inaccuracies, the Democrats’ false narrative has continued to be picked up, amplified and circulated by a broad network of Democrat-friendly media outlets and Democratic members of Congress. MSNBC has reported extensively on the Derkach allegations. 246 Further, on Aug. 7, 2020, Senator Richard Blumenthal published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which he repeated many of these baseless allegations as if they were fact.247 He wrote: [I]t now appears that … disinformation and deception are gaining a toehold in Congress as well: On Wednesday, The Post reported that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is moving ahead with an investigation into presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s family using documents provided to the senator by the son of a former KGB officer. Johnson’s actions are of such concern to the CIA, according to news reports, that the agency has refused to brief him. Think of it: Congress may become a forum for debunked conspiracy theories peddled by Kremlin proxies. There is no excuse for perpetuating Russian disinformation in the U.S. Senate, just as there is there is no excuse for barring the American public from learning more about the genuine foreign threats to the November election.248 Senator Blumenthal’s reference to documents provided by a former KGB officer is a reference to the debunked conspiracy theory that Derkach sent documents to the Chairmen. His reference to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) briefing relates to false allegations spread in an Aug. 5, 2020, Politico article that suggested that the CIA has refused to cooperate with an offer to brief
243 George Kent Testimony at 150. 244 George Kent Testimony at 156. 245 George Kent Testimony at 150. 246 See Steve Benen, Dems fear foreign influence campaign is using Ron Johnson probe, MSNBC (July 21, 2020), https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/dems-fear-foreign-influence-campaign-using-gop-s-ron-johnson-n1234509. 247 See Sen. Richard Blumenthal, The threat to U.S. elections is real, and frightening. The public has a right to know, THE WASHINGTON POST (Aug. 7, 2020), https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-threat-to-us-elections-is-real-and-frighteningthe-public-has-a-right-to-know/2020/08/07/366dba0e-d8dd-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html. 248 Id. 62 the Committees because its officers have “deep skepticism of the probe[.]” 249 In reality, the CIA declined to provide a briefing because it considers any additional briefings to be unnecessary. The FBI is the lead agency for the IC in matters related to foreign election interference, and the FBI already has repeatedly briefed the Committees on behalf of the IC. As previously noted, at a March 2020 briefing, which included the Ranking Members’ staff, the FBI informed the Committees that there was no reason they should not continue with their investigation. On Aug. 6, 2020, the FBI reiterated the same to the Chairmen. The Chairmen responded to Senator Blumenthal, as well as Senator Chris Van Hollen’s false statements regarding the investigation.250 In their response, the Chairmen reasserted that they have not received any information from Derkach and that their focus is on government records from the Obama administration and records from a Democrat lobby shop. The Chairmen also noted to both senators that for years the senators peddled and pushed the now-debunked Russian collusion narrative and used the “Steele dossier” — a Democrat bought-and-paid-for document filled with Russian disinformation — to do so. 251 Senators Blumenthal and Van Hollen never responded to the Chairmen. d. Ongoing leaks While these false narratives have developed and spread, leaks to the media have continued. The same team of writers responsible for the above-referenced July 23, 2020, Politico article have published several other pieces that contained leaked Committee information related to the Ukraine investigation. On July 16, 2020, Politico published the names of individuals who the Committees requested to interview, including David Wade, Antony Blinken, Amos Hochstein, Victoria Nuland and Catherine Novelli.252 The article detailed areas of interest for the investigation and stated that subpoenas could be issued as soon as July 22, 2020.253 None of this information was made public by the Chairmen. Although the sources for the leaked information contained in the article are unknown, the article states that a spokesman for Chairman Johnson declined to comment on ongoing discussions with witnesses and Chairman Grassley has not confirmed to the media any interviewees, whether potential or actual.254 On July 22, Politico published an article stating that the Committees had secured an interview with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent. 255 The article contained non-public scheduling details and indicated that Kent could be interviewed as
249 See Andrew Desiderio and Natasha Bertrand, CIA Steers Clear of Senate Republican Probe into Bidens, POLITICO (Aug. 5, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/05/cia-biden-senate-probe-391479. 250 Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., Grassley, Johnson to Colleagues: Stop Spreading ForeignSourced Falsehoods (Aug. 20, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/grassley-johnson-to-colleagues-stopspreading-foreign-sourced-falsehoods. 251 See Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., IG Footnotes: Serious Problems with Dossier Sources Didn’t Stop FBI’s Page Surveillance (Apr. 15, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/ig-footnotes-seriousproblems-dossier-sources-didn-t-stop-fbi-s-page-surveillance. 252 Natasha Bertrand and Andrew Desiderio, Senate Republicans Eye Subpoenas of Biden Advisers in Burisma Probe, POLITICO (July 16, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/16/joe-biden-advisers-burisma-subpoenas-366358. 253 Id. 254 Id. 255 Natasha Bertrand, Senate Republicans Secure Impeachment Witness who Flagged Concern about Hunter Biden, POLITICO (July 22, 2020), https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/22/republicans-impeachment-witness-hunter-biden-378495. 63 early as July 24, 2020.256
e. Preferential treatment Throughout this investigation, the Ranking Members have tried to create the narrative that the Chairmen have received preferential treatment from the executive branch. The Ranking Members have asserted that the executive branch has been too quick and too thorough in its responses to Committee information requests.257 Ranking Member Wyden has made this allegation repeatedly and has said they are legitimate efforts to raise awareness of a “double standard of Trump administration cooperation with Congress.”258 The suggested implication is that the Trump administration is working to quickly release information to the Committees because the investigation includes Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, President Trump’s political opponent in the 2020 presidential election. Allegations suggesting the existence of a double standard ring hollow. By no stretch has the Trump administration responded to all of the Committees’ requests in a timely manner. The Chairmen have dozens of outstanding requests related to the investigation, and on literally hundreds of occasions, the Chairmen’s staff have had to remind the executive branch, particularly the State Department, to comply with their requests.259 Indeed, in some cases, the Committees have received relevant records from the administration after interviewing witnesses who could have been asked about the information. That is the absence of cooperation. Finally, recently released emails show that in the past, Democrats have exhibited the very type of behavior they are now accusing Republicans of engaging in. These documents show officials in the Obama administration scrambling to produce highly sensitive documents in response to requests made by Democrat offices on Capitol Hill during the final days of the Obama administration and before President Trump assumed office. In one email on Jan. 13, 2017, a State Department staffer pointedly remarked, “The clock is ticking.” 260 That same day, another urged, “Both Senators [Cardin and Warner] want the package by Thursday Jan. 19.”261
256 Id. 257 See Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (May 6, 2020), https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6883366-Wyden-to-Pompeo-05-06-2020.html; Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of St. (July 7, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/070720%20Wyden%20to%20Pompeo%20Third%20Ukraine%20Request.pdf; Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to Fed. Bureau of Investigation (Aug. 17, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/download/081720-wyden-wray-fbi-letter; Letter from Ranking Member Ron Wyden, S. Comm. on Fin., to U.S. Dep’t of Just. (Aug. 24, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082420%20Wyden%20Letter%20to%20AG%20Barr%20RE%20Halkbank%20F ollow-up.pdf. 258 See Emma Loop, Here’s What’s Happening In Republicans’ Biden Ukraine Investigation, BUZZFEED NEWS (Feb. 6, 2020), https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmaloop/republicans-biden-ukraine-investigation. 259 See Letters from Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., and Chairman Ron Johnson, S. Comm. on Homeland Sec. and Governmental Aff., to U.S. Dep’t of St., U.S. Dep’t of Just., Fed. Bureau of Investigation, Off. of the Dir. of Nat. Intelligence, and Cent. Intelligence Agency (July 28, 2020) (on file with Comms.) (Each letter indicates that there is a number of outstanding requests for records and information from each respective department.). 260 Email from Naz Durakoglu, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Kerem Bilge, Eric Green, and Maria Germano, U.S. Dep’t of St. (Jan. 13, 2017, 10:56 a.m. EST) (on file with Comms.). 261 Email from Naz Durakoglu, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Elizabeth Lawrence, Hera Abbasi, Kerem Bilge, Katherine Harris, Eric Green, Christopher Robinson, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Jan. 18, 2017, 3:10 p.m. EST) (on file with Comms.). 64 As the deadline for President Trump’s inauguration approached, on Jan. 18, one of the same individuals wrote, “Is it possible for me to act as the courier and drop [the information] off to the Hill tomorrow? There is a time sensitivity to these docs.”262 f. Conclusion Many of the allegations Democrats have made against Republicans — that they are relying on foreign disinformation, that they are carrying out a politicized investigation in an effort to bring down their political opponents, and that they are working covertly with the executive branch to quickly release sensitive information for political reasons — reflect the very patterns of behavior that Democrats themselves have engaged in, and continue to engage in, on a regular basis. Let us not forget how the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign paid for the Steele dossier, which was created by a foreign national, a former MI6 employee, and is based on Russian government sources.263 Some of those Russian government sources were part of the Russian presidential administration and supported Hillary Clinton.264
Moreover, in January 2017 and February 2017, the FBI received reporting, some from the IC, that assessed portions of the Steele dossier were the product of a Russian disinformation campaign.265 That’s no surprise, since the Russian Intelligence Services were also aware of the dossier in early 2016 before the FBI opened Crossfire Hurricane. Thus, the Steele dossier was the perfect vehicle for disinformation to affect multiple elections and to sow discord and chaos. Yet Democrats had no qualms about disseminating information from the dossier far and wide, reading parts of the dossier into the congressional record, and using its allegations as the basis for years of investigations and false claims against the Trump administration. Moreover, since the Chairmen made public in April 2020 the fact that the Steele dossier contained Russian disinformation, it does not appear that any Democrats have commented upon this revelation or expressed concern about their previous reliance on Russian disinformation. Here, the Democrats are again relying on unverified foreign disinformation to falsely accuse their political rivals of doing the same. Congressional oversight can and should be nonpartisan. It should be focused on exposing wrongdoing regardless of who is involved and on ensuring transparency and accountability in government on behalf of the American people. Efforts to discredit legitimate oversight, especially using foreign disinformation to sow discord, only serves to benefit our foreign adversaries at the expense of our own democratic institutions.
262 See Email from Julia Frifield, U.S. Dep’t of St., to Hera Abbasi, Anthony Wier, Rori Kramer, Lauren Gillis, Zachary Schram, et al., U.S. Dep’t of St. (Jan. 5, 2017 9:52 a.m. EST) (on file with Comms.). 263 See Press Release, Chairman Charles Grassley, S. Comm. on Fin., IG Footnotes: Serious Problems with Dossier Sources Didn’t Stop FBI’s Page Surveillance (Apr. 15, 2020), https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/ig-footnotes-seriousproblems-dossier-sources-didn-t-stop-fbi-s-page-surveillance. 264 See id. 265 See id. 65 XI. HUNTER BIDEN’S AND HIS FAMILY’S FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS WITH UKRAINIAN, RUSSIAN, KAZAKH, AND CHINESE NATIONALS RAISE CRIMINAL CONCERNS AND EXTORTION THREATS. Hunter Biden was paid as much as $50,000 per month to serve on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company with a corrupt owner, while his father was the public face of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.266 But Burisma was not the only example of Hunter Biden seeking to monetize his family name. During the course of our investigation, Chairman Grassley and Chairman Johnson uncovered additional examples of Hunter Biden, other family members, and their business associates pursuing financial arrangements with foreign nationals in various parts of the world. The Treasury records acquired by the Chairmen show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals. In particular, these documents show that Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after. In addition to providing new and descriptive details about the nature, origin and extent of payments from Burisma Holdings to Hunter Biden, the documents acquired by the Committees also shed light on a much broader array of questionable financial transactions involving Hunter Biden, other members of the Biden family, and their associations with foreign nationals. These foreign nationals have questionable backgrounds that have been identified as being consistent with a range of criminal activities, including but not limited to organized prostitution and/or human trafficking, money laundering, fraud, and embezzlement.267 The following transactions are designed to illustrate the financial associations between and among subjects in the inquiry. Much has been reported about Hunter Biden and Devon Archer and their corporate entities and foreign and domestic financial associations. The transactions discussed below do not illustrate the full extent of the material the Committees possess. The transactions discussed below are designed to illustrate the depth and extent of some questionable financial transactions. Moreover, the financial transactions illustrate serious counterintelligence and extortion concerns relating to Hunter Biden and his family. The Committees will continue to analyze the records in their possession.
266 Paul Sonne, Michael Kranish, and Matt Viser, The gas tycoon and the vice president’s son: The story of Hunter Biden’s foray into Ukraine, THE WASHINGTON POST (Sept. 28, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-gas-tycoonand-the-vice-presidents-son-the-story-of-hunter-bidens-foray-in-ukraine/2019/09/28/1aadff70-dfd9-11e9-8fd3- d943b4ed57e0_story.html; Polina Ivanova, Maria Tsvetkova, et al., What Hunter Biden did on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, REUTERS (Oct. 18, 2019), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hunter-biden-ukraine/what-hunter-biden-did-onthe-board-of-ukrainian-energy-company-burisma-idUSKBN1WX1P7. 267 There is extensive public reporting concerning Hunter Biden’s alleged involvement with prostitution services. Records on file with the Committees do not directly confirm or refute these individual reports. However, they do confirm that Hunter Biden sent thousands of dollars to individuals who have either: 1) been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; 2) an association with the adult entertainment industry; or 3) potential association with prostitution. Some recipients of those funds are Ukrainian and Russian citizens. The records note that it is a documented fact that Hunter Biden has sent funds to nonresident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine. The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what “appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.” 66 a. Burisma Holdings Limited On April 15, 2014, Burisma Holdings (Burisma), a Ukrainian private oil and gas company owned by corrupt Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, sent two wires totaling $112,758.15 to Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC.268 Rosemont Seneca Bohai is an apparent shell entity owned by Hunter Biden’s long-time business associate, Devon Archer, which was first registered in Delaware on Feb. 13, 2014.269 According to Real Clear Politics, on the following day, April 16, 2014, Archer visited Vice President Biden at the White House.270 One week later, on April 22, 2014, Vice President Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.271 That same day, Burisma announced that Archer had joined its board of directors.272 In the wake of Vice President Biden’s visit, the press described him as “the public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.”273 The earliest payment from Burisma related to Hunter Biden appears to have been made to Boies, Schiller, and Flexner LLP (Boies Schiller), the Washington law firm where he was employed as a counsel in 2014.274 On May 7, 2014, mere weeks after Vice President Biden took lead of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, Burisma sent Boies Schiller a payment of $250,000.275 Approximately one week later, on May 12, 2014, Hunter Biden joined Archer on Burisma’s board of directors.276 Burisma made a second payment to Boies Schiller on Sept. 16, 2014, in the amount of $33,039.77.277 Both the May 7 and Sept. 16 payments state in the transaction notes that they were “for Legal and Consulting Services.”278
268 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 1 (on file with Comms.). 269 See id. 270 Betsy McCaughey, Joe Biden Must Explain His Ukraine Dealings, REAL CLEAR POLITICS (Jan. 29, 2020), https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/01/29/joe_biden_must_explain_his_ukraine_dealings_142255.html. 271 Press Release, The White House Off. of the Vice President, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at a Meeting with Ukrainian Legislators (Apr. 22, 2014), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/22/remarks-vice-president-joebiden-meeting-ukrainian-legislators; see also Press Release, The White House Off. Of the Vice President, Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Apr. 22, 2014), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/22/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-and-ukrainian-primeminister-arse. 272 Press Release, Burisma Holdings, US Financier and Board Member Devon Archer on Maximizing Growth for Burisma Holdings (Apr. 22, 2014), https://burisma-group.com/eng/news/us-financier-and-board-member-devon-archer-on-maximizinggrowth-for-burisma-holdings/. 273 Susan Crabtree, Joe Biden emerges as Obama’s trusty sidekick, WASHINGTON EXAMINER (Apr. 25, 2014), https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/joe-biden-emerges-as-obamas-trusty-sidekick. 274 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.); see also George Mesires, A Statement on behalf of Hunter Biden, dated October 13, 2019, MEDIUM (Oct. 13, 2019), https://email@example.com/a-statement-on-behalf-of-hunter-biden-datedoctober-13-2019-d80bc11087ab. 275 Id. 276 Press Release, Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings (May 12, 2014), https://docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU00/20191211/110331/HMKP-116-JU00-20191211-SD984.pdf. 277 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 278 Id. 67 Payments from Burisma to Boies Schiller have been the subject of past news reporting.279
According to Hunter Biden’s attorney, George Mesires, at Biden’s urging, Boies Schiller performed the following services for Burisma: [E]ngaged Nardello & Co., a leading global investigative firm, to assess, among other things, Burisma’s corporate structure and government practices. Burisma agreed to pay the legal expenses of Boies Schiller to support Hunter in developing corporate reform initiatives.280 However, according to statements made at the time by both Hunter Biden and Burisma, these were Hunter Biden’s responsibilities as a member of Burisma’s board of directors. In a press release issued on May 12, 2014, Biden stated: I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.281 Alan Apter, the chairman of Burisma’s board of directors, also said “[t]he company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.” 282 It is unclear whether any of the funds sent from Burisma to Boies Schiller were used to pay for services that Hunter Biden was supposed to provide to Burisma as a member of the board. Additionally, if Burisma was paying Boies Schiller for consulting services provided by third-party firm Nardello & Co, as Mesires has indicated, it remains unclear why Hunter Biden did not provide or arrange those services himself, on his own time, in exchange for the compensation he was receiving from Burisma as a member of the board. Between May 15, 2014 and Feb. 12, 2016, Burisma sent another 48 wires to Rosemont Seneca Bohai, totaling $3,489,490.78.283 Of the 48 transactions, 39 are described as “Consulting Services” and 39 of the 48 are in the amount of $83,333.33, with the last of the payments occurring on Feb. 12, 2016.284 Between June 5, 2014, and Oct. 5, 2015, Rosemont Seneca Bohai sent 38 wires totaling $701,979 to three of Hunter Biden’s bank accounts.285 These transfers
279 See Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies, THE NEW YORK TIMES (May 1, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html. 280 George Mesires, A Statement on behalf of Hunter Biden, dated October 13, 2019, MEDIUM (Oct. 13, 2019), https://firstname.lastname@example.org/a-statement-on-behalf-of-hunter-biden-dated-october-13-2019-d80bc11087ab. 281 Press Release, Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings (May 12, 2014), https://docs.house.gov/meetings/JU/JU00/20191211/110331/HMKP-116-JU00-20191211-SD984.pdf. 282 Id. 283 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 1 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 3 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 4 (on file with Comms.). 284 Id. 285 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 1 (on file with Comms.). 68 may represent the final step in the flow of funds from Burisma to Rosemont Seneca Bohai to Biden during this period. The nature of the payment arrangement between Biden and Burisma appears to have changed over time. In May 2016, Hunter Biden’s business partner, Archer, and five others were arrested and criminally charged in a scheme to defraud investors and a tribal entity of millions of dollars.286 Starting Jan. 25, 2016, Burisma began sending regular payments for Biden to his Washington law firm, Owasco PC (Owasco).287 Owasco was incorporated on Jan. 19, 2006, lists an agent address in Washington, and lists its executing officer and governor as Robert Hunter Biden.288
Payments from Burisma to Owasco continued throughout most of 2016 and ceased eight days after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election.289
Between Jan. 25, 2016, and Nov. 16, 2016, Burisma sent nine wires totaling $752,054.99 to Owasco with each of the nine transactions listing “Owasco, PC/Robert Biden” as the recipient.290
Of the nine, two payments were for $83,333.33, five were for $83,333 one was for $84,992.33, and one was for $83,731.291 The records acquired by the Committees show the last documented payment was made on Nov. 16, 2016.292 Biden continued to serve on Burisma’s board of directors until April 2019.293
In addition to being the owner of Burisma, Zlochevsky made at least two large cash transfers to Burisma during the time that Archer and Biden served on its board of directors.294
On April 30, 2014, around the dates when Archer and Hunter Biden first joined Burisma’s board of directors, Zlochevsky wired $12.3 million from another one of his companies, Brociti Investments Limited (Brociti), to Burisma.295 Brociti is based in Kyiv, Ukraine, and is registered in Limassol, Cyprus.296 Zlochevsky sent another wire from Brociti to Burisma on April 20, 2015, in the amount of $212,000.297 It’s unclear exactly how much, if any, of the funds wired by Zlochevsky on April 30, 2014, and April 20, 2015, were used to cover the payments made from Burisma to Rosemont Seneca, Owasco, and Boies Schiller. However, these transactions,
286 Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Just., Seven Defendants Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Defrauding A Native American Tribe And Investors Of Over $60 Million (May 11, 2016), https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/seven-defendantscharged-manhattan-federal-court-defrauding-native-american-tribe-and. 287 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 288 See Owasco P.C., OpenCorporates, https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_dc/EXTUID_2684079. Owasco P.C. was incorporated in January 2006; Eric Schwerin was a governor and executing officer, and Hunter Biden was an agent. In December 2019, both Schwerin and Hunter Biden rescinded those affiliations with Owasco. See Events for Owasco P.C., OpenCorporates, https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_dc/EXTUID_2684079/events. 289 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 5 (on file with Comms.). 290 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 5 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 291 Id. 292 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 5 (on file with Comms.). 293 Kenneth P. Vogel and Iuliia Mendel, Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies, THE NEW YORK TIMES (May 1, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/politics/biden-son-ukraine.html. 294 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 295 Id. 296 Lobbying registration, ML Strategies, https://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=getFilingDetails&filingID=C4C8E1E0- 861C-4F02-B73E-0FE6578BD4D8&filingTypeID=1. 297 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 69 including those to Biden and his companies, were identified for potential financial criminal activity. b. Russia Hunter Biden and his associate, Archer, had a financial relationship with Russian businesswoman Elena Baturina. Baturina is the former wife of the late Yuri Luzhkov, who was the mayor of Moscow and was fired in 2010 by then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations.298 Baturina became Russia’s only female billionaire when her plastics company, Inteko, received a series of Moscow municipal contracts while her husband was mayor.299 According to reporting, “Luzhkov used his position as mayor to approve over 20 real estate projects that were built by a Baturina-owned construction company and ultimately generated multibillion-ruble profits for his family.”300 In addition, a Russian investigation led to a criminal case against the former head of the Bank of Moscow, Andrey Borodin, who “allegedly used money from the Moscow City Budget to lend money to shell companies, which ultimately transferred $443 million to Baturina.” 301
On Feb. 14, 2014, Baturina wired $3.5 million to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton LLC (Rosemont Seneca Thornton) bank account for a “Consultancy Agreement DD12.02.2014.” 302
Rosemont Seneca Thornton is an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden that was incorporated on May 28, 2013 in Wilmington, Del.303 According to The Financial Times, Rosemont Seneca Thornton is a consortium that consists of Rosemont Seneca Partners and the Thornton Group, a Massachusetts-based firm.304 In June 2009, Biden co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners with Archer and Christopher Heinz.305 The Thornton Group’s website states that it has offices in Boston and Beijing, lists Rosemont Seneca Partners among its list of alliances and clients, and includes photographs from multiple events attended by Hunter Biden.306
298 David Filipov, Yuri Luzhkov, transformative Moscow Mayor, dies at 83, THE WASHINGTON POST (Dec. 10, 2019), https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/yuri-luzhkov-transformative-moscow-mayor-dies-at-83/2019/12/10/158ed11c1b3f-11ea-8d58-5ac3600967a1_story.html; Christian Eriksson and Margot Gibbs, Russia’s richest woman quits role at London Mayor’s charity after Finance Uncovered investigation, FINANCED UNCOVERED (Sept. 26, 2019), https://www.financeuncovered.org/investigations/yelena-baturina-be-open-mayors-fund-for-london-sadiq-khan-corruption. 299 Id. 300 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 6 (on file with Comms.). 301 Id. 302 Id. 303 Rosemont Seneca Thornton, LLC, OpenCorporates, https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_de/5341255; see also Aime Williams, Sun Yu, and Roman Olearchyk, Hunter Biden’s web of interests, FINANCIAL TIMES (Oct. 9, 2019), https://www.ft.com/content/3904f888-e8ef-11e9-a240-3b065ef5fc55. 304 Aime Williams, Sun Yu, and Roman Olearchyk, Hunter Biden’s web of interests, FINANCIAL TIMES (Oct. 9, 2019), https://www.ft.com/content/3904f888-e8ef-11e9-a240-3b065ef5fc55. 305 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 306 Contact, Thornton Group, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/contact.html; Alliances/Clients, Thornton Group, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/alliances.html; Press Release, Thornton Group, Thornton Group brings Rosemont Seneca executives to visit Chinas financial/fund industry executives (Apr. 12, 2010), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=282; Press Release, Thornton Group, Thornton Group meets with senior financial holding executives from Taiwan (May 24, 2011), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=288; CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 6 (on file with Comms.). 70 Separately, between May 6, 2015 and Dec. 8, 2015, Baturina sent 11 wires in the amount of $391,968.21 to a bank account belonging to BAK USA LLC (BAK USA).307 Nine of the 11 transactions, totaling $241,797.14 were sent from Baturina’s accounts to a Rosemont Seneca Thornton bank account, which then transferred to the money to BAK USA.308 The 11 transactions all listed “Loan Agreement” in the payment details section.309 BAK USA was a startup technology company headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y., that produced tablet computers in cooperation with unnamed Chinese business partners.310 BAK USA filed for bankruptcy on March 29, 2019, with a reported loss of $39 million.311 These transactions were identified because of Baturina’s reported criminal activity. c. Kazakhstan On April 22, 2014, Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.312 The same day, Novatus Holding PTE. LTD. (Novatus Holding), a private holding company in Singapore, used a Latvian bank to wire $142,300 to Archer’s company, Rosemont Seneca Bohai.313 The currency transaction report states, “For Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC, … For a Car.”314 According to a Securities and Exchange Commission report, Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan is the sole shareholder of Novatus Holding and has a business address associated with a company in Kazakhstan called SAT & Company.315 Rakishev is the son-in-law of nowretired Kazakhstan politician, Imangali Tasmagambetov.316 At the time that Rakishev sent the money to Rosemont Seneca Bohai, Tasmagambetov was serving as the mayor of Astana (now called Nur-Sultan), the capital city of Kazakhstan.317 Tasmagambetov is reportedly a longtime
307 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 6 (on file with Comms.). 308 Id. 309 Id. 310 Samantha Christmann, Microsoft contract is a boon for Buffalo tablet-maker BAK USA, BUFFALO NEWS (Mar. 16, 2016), https://buffalonews.com/business/local/microsoft-contract-is-a-boon-for-buffalo-tablet-maker-bak-usa/article_a31de7bd-81c1- 5646-89dc-032333a9c9cd.html. 311 Local News, Former tablet maker BAK USA reports more than $39 million loss in Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, WKBW BUFFALO (Apr. 11, 2019), https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/former-tablet-maker-bak-usa-has-more-than-39-million-loss. 312 Press Release, The White House Off. of the Vice President, Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden at a Meeting with Ukrainian Legislators (Apr. 22, 2014), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/22/remarks-vice-president-joebiden-meeting-ukrainian-legislators; see also Press Release, The White House Off. Of the Vice President, Remarks to the Press by Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (Apr. 22, 2014), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/22/remarks-press-vice-president-joe-biden-and-ukrainian-primeminister-arse. 313 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 4 (on file with Comms.). 314 Id. 315 U.S. SEC. AND EXCH. COMM’N, Schedule 13D, Net Element International, Inc., https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1499961/000119312512418766/d422610dsc13d.htm. 316 Olzhas Auyezov, Kazakh Leader Promotes Daughter, Confident in Reshuffle, REUTERS (Sept. 13, 2016), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kazakhstan-president-daughter/kazakh-leader-promotes-daughter-confidant-in-reshuffleidUSKCN11J1JR; see also Dmitry Solovyov and Mariya Gordeyeva, Kazkommertsbank finalizes deal to buy stake in BTA Bank, REUTERS (Feb. 6, 2014), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kazkommertsbank-btabank-idUSBREA150VD20140206. 317 Joshua Kucera, Kazakhstan’s Defense Minister Fired After Six Months On Job, EURASIANET (Oct. 24, 2014), https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstans-defense-minister-fired-after-six-months-on-job. 71 confidant of then-President Nursultan Nazarbayev.318 Tasmagambetov has since served as prime minister of Kazakhstan as well as Kazakh ambassador to Russia.319 At the time of Vice President Biden’s visit to Kyiv, there were divided opinions in Kazakhstan over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the international situation had produced tension in the region generally.320 Nazarbayev’s government reportedly shifted positions over time, and Nazarbayev reportedly made some statements supportive of Russia’s actions.321 Given Rakishev’s close connection to political leadership in Kazakhstan, the tense political situation, Hunter Biden’s longstanding relationship with Archer and involvement in transactions with Rosemont Seneca Bohai, and the fact that the payment was timed perfectly with Vice President Biden’s visit to Kyiv to discuss U.S. sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Crimea, the April 22, 2014 payment from Rakishev to Rosemont Seneca Bohai raises serious questions. It is unclear why a foreign company, Novatus Holding, would purchase a $142,300 car for Rosemont Seneca Bohai when the company does not deal in vehicles. d. China Hunter Biden and Devon Archer engaged in numerous financial transactions with Chinese nationals who had deep connections to the Communist Chinese government. These Chinese nationals included Ye Jianming, founder of CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd (CEFC) and chairman of the board for its subsidiary, the China Energy Fund Committee (CE Fund). They also included Gongwen Dong, who was Ye Jianming’s associate and reportedly executed transactions for his companies. Ye’s connections to the Communist government are extensive and, as explained below, he has been previous affiliations with the People’s Liberation Army. Based on the information received by the Committees, Ye was also financially connected to Vice President Biden’s brother, James Biden. Thus, there exists a vast web of corporate connections and financial transactions between and among the Biden family and Chinese nationals. i. Hunter Biden Has Extensive Financial Connections to the Chinese Government. Hunter Biden has extensive connections to Chinese businesses and Chinese foreign nationals that are linked to the Communist government. Those contacts bore financial fruit when his father was vice president and after he left office. For example, in June 2009, Hunter Biden had co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners with Archer and Heinz.322 During 2010-2011, as a representative of Rosemont Seneca, Hunter Biden networked with representatives from Chinese state-owned enterprises and representatives of the Boston-based Thornton Group,
318 Olzhas Auyezov, Kazakh Leader Promotes Daughter, Confident in Reshuffle, REUTERS (Sept. 13, 2016), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kazakhstan-president-daughter/kazakh-leader-promotes-daughter-confidant-in-reshuffleidUSKCN11J1JR. 319 Galiya Khassenkhanova, Kazakh President reshuffles key government positions, THE ASTANA TIMES (Dec. 19, 2019), https://astanatimes.com/2019/12/kazakh-president-reshuffles-key-government-positions/. 320 Ryskeldi Satke, Kazakhstan Opposition Fears Ukraine’s “Russian Spring”, THE DIPLOMAT (Apr. 12, 2014), https://thediplomat.com/2014/04/kazakhstan-opposition-fears-ukraines-russian-spring/. 321 Id. 322 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 72 which today describes itself as “a cross-border capital intermediary.”323 On its current website, the Thornton Group includes among its alliances and clients a variety of Chinese state-owned enterprises, including actors linked to Ye Jianming and his associates.324
Ye Jianming is a Chinese businessman and a frequent figure in Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in China. Based on public reports that were available in 2015, when his contact with Biden began to ramp up, Ye was a founder of CEFC China Energy Co. Ltd (CEFC) and served as chairman of the board for its subsidiary, the China Energy Fund Committee (CE Fund).325
CEFC had a reported income estimated at $33.4 billion, according to 2013 figures that were available at the time.326 Although CEFC reportedly remained a private company until stateowned enterprises assumed control of it in 2018, reporting in 2017 indicated that it received financing from the China Development Bank, “hired a number of former top officials from stateowned energy companies” and had “layers of Communist Party committees across its subsidiaries — more than at many private Chinese companies.”327 Thus, it had significant connections to the Communist government and its subsidiaries had associations with the Thornton Group. For example, according to the Thornton Group’s website, its list of Chinese partners currently includes: the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of Beijing, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the CAIFC, the China Electricity Council, CITIC Group, China Life, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, the China Railway Construction Corporation, the Council for Industrial and Commercial Development, the Chinese International Economy Cooperation Association, the China Mining Association, the government-owned Founder Group, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, and Peking University.328
A Thornton Group press release dated April 12, 2010, provides an example of an early event in China involving Rosemont Seneca Partners and the Thornton Group. It states the following: Thornton Group and its US partner Rosemont Seneca Chairman Hunter Biden (the second son of the US Vice President Joe Biden) and other high-level officials visited Chinese financial institutions
323 See About Us, Thornton, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/alliances.html; see also Press Release, Thorton Group, Thornton Group brings Rosemont Seneca executives to visit Chinas financial/fund industry executives (Apr. 12, 2010), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=282; Press Release, Thorton Group, Thornton Group meets with senior financial holding executives from Taiwan (May 24, 2011), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=288. 324 See Alliances/Clients, Thornton, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/alliances.html. 325 See J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463. 326 See id. 327 Chen Aizhu and Jan Lopatka, China’s CEFC has big ambitions, but little known about ownership, funding, REUTERS (Jan. 12, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cefc-china/chinas-cefc-has-big-ambitions-but-little-known-about-ownership-fundingidUSKBN14X0B5; see CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 328 Alliances/Clients, Thornton, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/alliances.html. 73 and fund companies from April 7th to 9th. Including China Investment Co., Ltd., National Council of Social Security Funds, China Life Asset Management Co., Ltd., Postal Savings Bank of China, Hillhouse Capital and Founder Group, etc., aiming to further deepen mutual understanding and explore the possibility of commercial cooperation and opportunity. The Chinese companies and financial institutions visited expressed a warm welcome to Thornton Group and Rosemont Seneca, and hoped to strengthen exchanges, in-depth discussions and reach cooperation. The delegation was led by James Bulger, Chairman of Thornton Group, and Lin Junliang, Chief Executive Officer, to visit and meet Chinese personnel including: Gao Xiqing, General Manager and Chief Investment Officer of China Investment Corporation, Equity Assets Department (Industrial Investment Department) of the National Council of Social Security Fund person in charge Ji Guoqiang, Vice President Cui Yong of China Life Asset Management Co. Ltd., Peng Zuogang, General Manager of Postal Savings Bank of China, Zhang Lei, Founder of Hillhouse Capital, Wei Xin, Chairman of Founder Group, and Xia Yangjun, Vice President of Founder Group.329 Pictures from the event posted by the Thornton Group show Hunter Biden standing with the chairman of the Founder Group, general manager of the China Investment Corporation, the vice president of the China Life Asset Management Company, the general manager of the Postal Savings Bank, and others.330
In 2012, Archer and Biden reportedly spoke with Jonathan Li of the Chinese private equity fund Bohai Capital about the possibility of forming a company, Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Co. (BHR), that would invest Chinese capital in companies outside of China.331 BHR was eventually formed as an investment fund and is reportedly “controlled and funded primarily by large Chinese government-owned shareholders” and is 80% controlled by Chinese entities. 332 That list of entities includes the government’s postal savings bank, with which Hunter Biden had networked in 2011, its main development bank, as well as the Bank of China.333 Hunter Biden served on its board of directors and
329 Press Release, Thornton Group, Thornton Group brings Rosemont Seneca executives to visit Chinas financial/fund industry executives (Apr. 12, 2010), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=282. (Translation provided by Google.). 330 See id. 331 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 332 See James T. Areddy, What We Know About Hunter Biden’s Dealings in China, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Oct. 4, 2019), https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-we-know-about-hunter-bidens-dealings-in-china-11570181403. 333 See James T. Areddy, What We Know About Hunter Biden’s Dealings in China, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Oct. 4, 2019), https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-we-know-about-hunter-bidens-dealings-in-china-11570181403; see also Press Release, Thornton Group, Thornton Group brings Rosemont Seneca executives to visit Chinas financial/fund industry executives (Apr. 12, 2010), http://www.thorntonai.com/english/newscount.asp?ArticleID=282. 74 “joined based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets.”334 He served unpaid but reportedly acquired a 10% stake in the company in 2017.335
Prior to its creation, in December 2013 and one month after the shareholders signed contracts relating to the creation of the company, Hunter Biden reportedly flew aboard Air Force Two with then-Vice President Biden to Beijing.336 While in China, Hunter Biden reportedly helped arrange for Li to “shake hands” with Vice President Biden.337 Afterward, Hunter Biden met with Li for what was reportedly a “social meeting.”338 After the China trip, BHR’s business license was reportedly approved.339
In September 2014, BHR had become a private equity shareholder in Sinopec Chemical Commercial Holding Company Limited, a subsidiary of Sinopec.340 Sinopec is reportedly the second largest oil and gas company in China and the largest refiner of oil in Asia.341 In 2016, Ye announced at a board meeting that he wanted CEFC “to become a second Sinopec … by acquiring global assets and consolidating ‘teapot’ [independent] refineries.”342 Hunter Biden’s position of influence and connections to Chinese business interests, which were further strengthened while his father was vice president, most likely appealed to Ye, a man who The New York Times has since described as “[wanting] access to the corridors of power in Washington.”343
BHR’s extensive connections to Chinese government intertwined its existence with the decision-making of Communist party rulers. For example, the China Development Bank (CDB) is one member of a consortium that controls 30% of BHR.344 Other members of that particular consortium are the government’s postal savings bank and the Bank of China.345
Importantly, the CDB appears to have been connected to Ye Jianming’s CEFC. Records acquired by the Committees note that, according to reports, after CEFC and Ye fell out of favor with the Chinese government in 2018, “at the orders of President Xi Jinping, China Development Bank abruptly pulled its lines of credit on offshore bonds for CEFC[.]”346
Moreover, the former chairman of the CDB, Hu Huaibang, was accused in a 2018 court case of helping a CEFC subsidiary to obtain billions in financing during his time at the CDB and of
334 Katie Glueck, Hunter Biden to Leave Chinese Company Board, Addressing Appearance of a Conflict, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Oct. 13, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/13/us/politics/hunter-biden-china.html. 335 Id. 336 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize his Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 337 Id. 338 Id. 339 Sharon LaFraniere and Michael Forsythe, What We know About Hunter Biden’s Business in China, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Mar. 6, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/03/us/politics/hunter-biden-china.html. 340 Team, BHR Partners, https://web.archive.org/web/20180404080538/http://en.bhrpe.com/newsitem/276817011. 341 Chen Aizhu, China’s CEFC courts ‘teapots’ for first domestic refinery acquisition, REUTERS (Mar. 10, 2017), https://de.reuters.com/article/us-china-m-a-cefc-idUSKBN16H0G4. 342 Id. 343 Alexandra Stevenson, David Barboza, Matthew Goldstein, and Paul Mozur, A Chinese Tycoon Sought Power and Influence. Washington Responded., THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 12, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/business/cefc-bidenchina-washington-ye-jianming.html. 344 James T. Areddy, What We Know About Hunter Biden’s Dealings in China, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Oct. 4, 2019), https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-we-know-about-hunter-bidens-dealings-in-china-11570181403. 345 See id. 346 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 75 channeling bribes on behalf of Ye while serving in a previous position at the Bank of Communications, another Chinese government entity.347 Hunter Biden’s business associations in China were not limited to investment funds like BHR and those additional connections created questionable associations with Communist government elements. For example, in 2015, while his father was vice president, Hunter Biden reportedly met with an aide to Ye.348 In addition to the Communist government, Ye also had reported connections and affiliations to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). 349 For example, from 2003 to 2005, Ye reportedly served as deputy secretary general of the China Association for International Friendly Contacts (CAIFC), which is the public name for the PLA General Political Department’s International Liaison Department.350 Additionally, in 2014, under Ye’s leadership, CE Fund had co-organized events with the China Huayi Broadcasting Corporation (CHBC), a company incorporated by the PLA General Political Department.351 The CEO of CHBC, Wang Shu, was commander of the PLA General Political Department base “[a]t the forefront of applied psychological operations and propaganda directed against Taiwan,” which was managed by a training center that was funded by a subsidiary of CEFC.352 The general manager of that subsidiary, Lan Huasheng, was deputy secretary general of Ye’s CE Fund.353
Wang reportedly attended the 2014 CE Fund and CHBC event along with Xu Jialu, a man who was associated with the PLA’s CAIFC as well as CE Fund and China’s Confucius Institutes.354 Huasheng served as executive director of CE Fund’s China Institute of Culture Limited (CIOC), “a nationally supported organization in charge of ‘promoting Chinese culture.’”355 Accordingly, Ye and his associates had robust relationships with China’s military units, some of which were involved in matters in direct opposition to U.S. policy in the region.
347 Tony Munroe, Cheng Leng, Engen Tham and Min Zhang, Ex-chairman of China Development Bank under probe by graftbuster, REUTERS (July 31, 2019), https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-china-corruption/ex-chairman-of-china-development-bankunder-probe-by-graft-buster-idUKKCN1UQ0M3. 348 Alexandra Stevenson, David Barboza, Matthew Goldstein, and Paul Mozur, A Chinese Tycoon Sought Power and Influence. Washington Responded., THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 12, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/business/cefc-biden-china-washington-ye-jianming.html. (The name of Ye’s aide and the exact date of the meeting have not been publically reported. The aforementioned meeting, and another meeting between Hunter Biden and Ye that took place in May 2017, were confirmed by “people with direct knowledge of the meetings who were not authorized to speak publicly because the meetings were private.”). 349 J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463. 350 See J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463; see also International Liaison Department [China Association for International Friendly Contacts] General Political Department, FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS (Nov. 26, 1997), https://fas.org/irp/world/china/pla/gpd_ild.htm. 351 J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463. 352 Id. 353 Id. 354 J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463. (According to records on file with the Committees, it appears that Gongwen Dong, a mutual associate of Ye Jianming, James Biden, Sara Biden, and Hunter Biden, recently contributed to the Confucius Foundation Inc. On July 29, 2019, there was a wire for $5,000 from a Golden Coast Asset Management LLC account that is linked to both Gongwen Dong and Shan Gao to the Confucius Foundation Inc. with memo, “Gongwen Dong.”) CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 8 (on file with Comms.). 355 J. Michael Cole, Unstoppable: China’s Secret Plan to Subvert Taiwan, THE NATIONAL INTEREST (Mar. 23, 2015), https://nationalinterest.org/feature/unstoppable-chinas-secret-plan-subvert-taiwan-12463. 76 It is unclear whether Hunter Biden was aware of Ye’s close relationship with the PLA or involvement in efforts to develop and spread Chinese propaganda at the time of his 2015 meeting with Ye’s associate. However, public reporting did make those connections.356
Hunter Biden’s connections with Ye continued into the summer of 2017, when he met with Ye while soliciting donations for World Food Program USA in his capacity as a member of its board of directors.357 At the time, Ye continued to operate the CE Fund, which has since been found to have engaged in criminal activities.358 During their interactions in 2017, Hunter Biden reportedly agreed to assist Ye by using his contacts to help Ye locate potential investments for CEFC in the United States.359 In keeping with that agreement, after meeting Ye, Hunter Biden stated that he began working on a deal for Ye that involved a $40 million investment in a natural gas project on Monkey Island in Louisiana that reportedly fell through the following year.360
Around the same time that Hunter Biden began this work, Ye raised concerns with Hunter Biden that one of his associates, Patrick Ho, was under investigation by U.S. law enforcement.361
Hunter Biden subsequently agreed to represent Ho.362
On Sept. 8, 2017, a $9.1 billion deal was announced whereby Ye’s company, CEFC, would acquire a stake in the state-owned Russian energy company, Rosneft.363 Ye’s efforts to acquire a stake in Rosneft appear fully consistent with his vision of turning CEFC into a “second Sinopec” with holdings across the world.364
ii. Hunter Biden and his Family had Extensive Financial Connections to Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong and other Chinese Nationals. On the same day that the impending Rosneft deal was announced, Hunter Biden and Gongwen Dong, a Chinese national who has reportedly executed transactions for limited liability companies controlled by Ye Jianming, applied to a bank and opened a line of credit under the business name Hudson West III LLC (Hudson West III).365 Hunter Biden, James Biden, and James Biden’s wife, Sara Biden, were all authorized users of credit cards associated with the
356 See id. 357 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 358 See Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Just., Former Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for International Bribery and Money Laundering Offenses (Mar. 25, 2019), https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-sentenced-three-years-prison. 359 Adam Entous, Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?, THE NEW YORKER (July 1, 2019), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/08/will-hunter-biden-jeopardize-his-fathers-campaign. 360 Id. 361 Id. 362 Id. 363 Olesya Astakhova and Chen Aizhu, China invests $9.1 billion in Rosneft as Glencore, Qatar cut stakes REUTERS (Sept. 8, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rosneft-cefc-glencore/china-invests-9-1-billion-in-rosneft-as-glencore-qatar-cut-stakesidUSKCN1BJ1HT. 364 See Chen Aizhu, China’s CEFC courts ‘teapots’ for first domestic refinery acquisition, REUTERS (Mar. 10, 2017), https://de.reuters.com/article/us-china-m-a-cefc-idUSKBN16H0G4. 365 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 9 (on file with Comms.); see also Katherine Clarke, A Top Chinese Oilman Vanishes, and a Manhattan Buying Binge Ends, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (Oct. 25, 2018), https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-top-chinese-oilmanvanishes-and-a-manhattan-buying-binge-ends-1540478781. 77 account.366 The Bidens subsequently used the credit cards they opened to purchase $101,291.46 worth of extravagant items, including airline tickets and multiple items at Apple Inc. stores, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants.367 The cards were collateralized by transferring $99,000 from a Hudson West III account to a separate account, where the funds were held until the cards were closed.368 The transaction was identified for potential financial criminal activity. The Committees prepared the following chart which displays transactions related to the line of credit: On 09/08/2017 a line of credit was opened for $99,000.00 via an online application by Gongwen Dong & Hunter Biden 05/25/2018 date of final payment of $101,291.46 via cashiers check payable to Hudson West III & Robert H. Biden James B. Biden (Individual) Role: Subject Accounts: Two Credit Cards Sara Jones Biden (Individual) Role: Subject Accounts: One Credit Card Robert Hunter Biden (Individual) Subject Type: Both Purchaser and Payee Accounts: Two Bank Accounts and One Credit Card Gongwen Dong (Individual) Subject Type: Purchaser/Sender Accounts: One Bank Account Hudson West III LLC (Investment Holding Company) City/Country: New York, NY Subject Type: Payee/Receiver Accounts: Two Bank Accounts and Four Credit Cards Notes: On 09/08/2017, Hunter Biden and GongWen Dong applied online to Cathay Bank and opened a line of credit under the business name Hudson West III, LLC. The cards were collateralized by transferring $99,000.00 from a Cathay Bank account to the Hudson West III business account where the funds were held until the cards were closed. The authorized users of these credit cards include Hunter Biden, James Biden and Sara Biden and each used the cards around the world to purchase $101,291.46. worth of extravagant items to include airline tickets, multiple purchases at Apple Stores and pharmacies, as well as hotels and restaurants. Robert Hunter Biden (Individual) Subject Type: Both Purchaser and Payee Accounts: One Bank Account Hudson West III was incorporated on April 19, 2016, more than a year before the credit cards were issued.369 Hudson West III, which is now dissolved, changed ownership at some unknown point.370 After that change, ownership was divided between Hunter Biden’s law firm, Owasco PC (50%) and Coldharbour Capital LLC (50%).371 Although ownership in Coldharbour Capital is equally divided between two individuals, Mervyn Yan and Tian Zhang, it has a business address identified as the address of Gongwen Dong.372 According to records on file with the Committees, Hudson West III checking accounts were opened on Aug. 3, 2017, and Sept. 6, 2017, with Yan and Robert Hunter Biden.373 Gongwen Dong was a former signer, which suggests that at one time he was associated with Hudson West III’s bank accounts and finances.374
366 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 9 (on file with Comms.). 367 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 9 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 10 (on file with Comms.). 368 Id. 369 See Hudson West III, LLC, OpenCorporates, https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_de/6020436. 370 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 371 Id. 372 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.); see also Coldharbour Capital, LLC, Opencorporates, https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_ny/4703700. 373 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 374 Id. 78 On Aug. 4, 2017, CEFC Infrastructure Investment (US) LLC, a subsidiary of Ye Jianming’s CEFC China Energy Company that listed Gongwen Dong as its director, sent Hunter Biden’s law firm, Owasco, a payment for $100,000.375 This transaction was identified for potential criminal financial activity. 376 One of the investment entities of CEFC Infrastructure Investment is reportedly Shanghai Huaxin Group, a Chinese state-owned enterprise “engaged in petroleum products.”377 That company is owned by CEFC Shanghai International Group Ltd., which is controlled by Shanghai Guosheng Group, another state-owned enterprise.378 According to reporting, CEFC Shanghai was a CEFC subsidiary linked to the aforementioned corruption allegations involving the head of the China Development Bank.379 These examples further illustrate the deep financial connections between Biden, Owasco, and the Chinese government. On Aug. 8, 2017, CEFC Infrastructure Investment wired $5 million to the bank account for Hudson West III.380 These funds may have originated from a loan issued from the account of a company called Northern International Capital Holdings, a Hong Kong-based investment company identified at one time as a “substantial shareholder” in CEFC International Limited along with Ye.381 It is unclear whether Hunter Biden was half-owner of Hudson West III at that time. However, starting on Aug. 8, the same day the $5 million was received, and continuing through Sept. 25, 2018, Hudson West III sent frequent payments to Owasco, Hunter Biden’s firm. 382 These payments, which were described as consulting fees, reached $4,790,375.25 in just over a year.383
There are conflicting explanations for an additional $1 million sent to Hudson West III by CEFC Limited Foundation (CEFC Limited) on Nov. 2, 2017, that appears to have been refunded to CEFC Limited on Nov. 21, 2017 with a memo marked “refund.”384 According to records on file with the Committees: [Records indicated that] ‘CEFC paid the consultation fee to HW III for the purpose of conducting a market investigation of [a] natural gas project; however, the project was deemed unnecessary at the time so CEFC Limited decided to postpone the market investigation. Therefore, HW III provided the refund to CEFC Limited’. In another email correspondence dated 4/2/2018, Mr. Biden stated that the incoming wire amounting to $1MM on 11/2/2017 from CEFC Limited foundation should have gone to Owasco LLC, however, he provided the wrong wire instructions, and due to the large amount
375 Id. 376 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.). 377 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 378 Id. 379 Zdravko Ljubas, China Development Bank’s Ex-Chief Suspected of Graft, ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION REPORTING PROJECT (Aug. 1, 2019), https://www.occrp.org/en/daily/10378-china-development-bank-s-ex-chief-suspected-of-graft. 380 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 381 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.). 382 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 383 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.). 384 Id. 79 the transactions was not corrected until 3/22/2018, which consisted of an outgoing wire for the same amount benefiting Owasco LLC.385 On March 22, 2018, a $1 million payment was sent from Hudson West III to Owasco with a memo line for “Dr Patrick Ho Chi Ping Representation.”386 In his alternative explanation, Hunter Biden indicated that the misdirected $1 million was related to his representation of Ye’s associate, Patrick Ho.387 These transactions illustrate the financial connections between Gongwen Dong’s Hudson West III, Ye Jianming’s CEFC, and Hunter Biden’s Owasco. Biden stated that: Boies Schiller Flexner is co-counsel for Dr. Patrick Ho’s case. Hudson West III LLC has no involvement with Patrick Ho Chi Ping[’]s case and won[’]t expect further transaction related to Dr. Patrick Ho Chi Ping trail [sic] for Hudson West III LLC. Owasco LLC and co- Counsel Boies Schiller Flexner will represent Dr. Patrick Ho Chi Ping [at] trial.388 During the same period, there is also evidence that Hunter Biden moved large sums of money from his firm, Owasco, to James Biden’s consulting firm, the Lion Hall Group.389
Between Aug. 14, 2017 and Aug. 3, 2018, Owasco sent 20 wires totaling $1,398,999 to the Lion Hall Group, a consulting firm that lists James Biden and his wife, Sara Biden, on the bank account.390 This transaction was identified for potential criminal financial activity. These transfers began less than one week after CEFC Infrastructure Investment wired $5 million to Hudson West III and Hudson West III sent its first payment of $400,000 to Owasco.391 Most of the payments from Owasco to the Lion Hall Group had vague notes in the memo lines, 15 of which simply indicated that they were for further credit to James Biden; however, the memo line for one of the payments read “HW3,” which indicates some of the transferred money could be from Hudson West III.392 When the bank contacted Sara Biden regarding the overall wire activity, she stated that the Lion Hall Group and Owasco provide international and business consulting and that the Lion Hall Group was assisting Owasco with an international client through a contract that had since terminated.393 Sara Biden told the bank that she would not provide any supporting documentation, and she also refused to provide additional information to more clearly explain the activity.394 Consequently, the bank submitted the account for closure.395
The Committees created the following chart with respect to this transaction.
385 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.). 386 Id. 387 Id. 388 Id. 389 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 12 (on file with Comms.). 390 Id. 391 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 12 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 392 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 12 (on file with Comms.). 393 Id. 394 Id. 395 Id. 80 (20) wires ranging from $21,000.00 to $165,000.00 totaling $1,398,999.00 From 08/14/2017 – 08/03/2018 Notes: -15 of the 20 transactions list, “FFC JAMES BIDEN PAYMENT” in the Originator to Beneficiary Information section. Sara Jones Biden (Individual) Role: Subject Accounts: One Bank Account The Lion Hall Group LLC (Consulting Organization) City/Country: Merion Station, PA Role: Subject Accounts: One Bank Account James B. Biden (Individual) Role: Subject Accounts: One Bank Account Owasco PC (Finance & Insurance Industry) Owner: R Hunter Biden Accounts: Two Bank Accounts Hudson West III also sent funds directly to the Lion Hall Group. According to records on file with the Committees, James B. Biden is the principal contact for the Lion Hall Group, and between January 2018 and October 2018, Hudson West III sent the Lion Hall Group outgoing wires totaling $76,746.15 with the memo, “office expense and reimbursement.”396 These transactions illustrate a direct financial link between Hudson West III (which was connected to CEFC, the Chinese government, and Gongwen Dong) and James Biden. On Aug. 17, 2017, three days after the first transfer from Owasco to The Lion Hall Group, it was publicly announced that Ye’s CEFC Energy was in talks to purchase a stake in the Russian state-owned energy company Rosneft, which, as noted, later fell through.397
Around the same time, there were also outgoing wires from Hudson West III to various accounts associated with Ye and Gongwen, including CEFC Infrastructure Investment, Coldharbour Capital (located at Gongwen Dong’s address), Gongwen’s personal bank account, a separate bank account for Hudson West V, and Bo Jian Group Investment Company (a company with a complex ownership structure controlled by Ye in which Gongwen Dong is also reportedly a part owner).398 These transactions and the transacting entities begin to paint a mosaic of the complex corporate structure that existed between entities linked to Hunter Biden and his associates and family and Chinese companies linked to the Communist government. iii. Financial Transactions by these Companies Illustrate a Complex Web of Corporate Entities, Money Transfers and Potential Criminal Financial Activity. The Committees were able to confirm that Hunter Biden’s associate, Gongwen Dong, is connected to seven of the eight numbered Hudson West corporate entities. The exception is
396 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.). 397 Kane Wu, Exclusive: China’s CEFC in early talks to buy Rosneft stake- sources, REUTERS (Aug. 17, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rosneft-m-a-china/exclusive-chinas-cefc-in-early-talks-to-buy-rosneft-stake-sourcesidUSKCN1AX1CP. 398 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 81 Hudson West II; however, that entity shares a permanent mailing address with Hudson West V, which has a bank account that is connected to Gongwen. Thus, it appears that Hudson West II is most likely connected to him. The Hudson West entities are important entities in the flow of funds among and between Ye, Gongwen, and Hunter Biden and his associates. There are frequent fund transfers across these numbered Hudson West entities, and transactions involving all eight have been identified for potential criminal financial activity. For example, Hudson West III was not the only Hudson West entity associated with CEFC, Ye’s business. According to reporting, Hudson West V maintains an ownership interest in CEFC Infrastructure Investment, a subsidiary of CEFC. 399 By extension, this means Hudson West V is linked to Ye and the aforementioned $5 million payment to Hudson West III on Aug. 8, 2017.400 Hudson West V also reportedly had ownership in a series of other companies: Hudson West Partners LLC, Hudson West Aggregator LLC, Hudson West VIII LLC, and Hudson West VII LLC which begins to show the complex corporate structure at play.401 Between July 2017 and November 2018, Hudson West V received wires totaling $20,310,396.79 with $20,893,505.07 leaving that same account.402 All but $259,845 of the total amount transferred out of the account went to U.S. bank accounts for various LLCs, most of which were documented to be involved in the business of real estate investment and management.403 Several of those LLCs are also tied to Gongwen. 404 Twenty million dollars of the $20,310,396.79 going into the aforementioned Hudson West V US account was transferred into that account from another Hudson West V account at the Bank of China.405 Between Feb. 9, 2017, and April 12, 2017, a Hudson West V Bank of China account received three incoming wires totaling $27,917,665.45 from an entity called Kaiyan US Fund III LP and one wire for $100,000 from a company called Foxwood Asset Management Co. Limited.406 Both Kaiyan US Fund III LP and Foxwood Asset Management Co Limited have addresses in Beijing.407 On March 19, 2018, Kaiyan US Fund III LP also sent one wire for $50,551.79 directly to a different account for Hudson West V, which is included in the aforementioned $20,310,396.79 total of incoming wires for that account.408 These transactions offer a window into a much larger web of transactions carried out among a vast network of corporate entities, many with complex ownership structures, variously owned and operated by Gongwen Dong, Ye Jianming, an individual named Shan Gao, and other individuals associated with CEFC China energy, Chinese state-owned enterprises, and unknown
399 Id. 400 See id. 401 Id. Records indicate that the ownership structures of Gongwen Dong’s companies are extraordinarily complex, and sometimes unknown, and that many of his corporate entities have shifted over time. The same is true of Ye Jianming’s corporate entities. The complexities illustrate the challenges in fully knowing the depth and extent of potential criminal activity. 402 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 403 See CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.); see also CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 13 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 14 (on file with Comms.). 404 Id. 405 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 406 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.). 407 Id. 408 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 2 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 82 individuals based primarily in China.409 Little is known about Shan Gao, other than the fact that banks found her, through complex ownership structures, to be the owner of multiple entities involved in the transactions.410 For multiple entities involved in these transactions, banks were not able to determine ownership at all.411 As an example of the size and scope of the networks involving Gongwen, between Oct. 23, 2017, and Dec. 20, 2018, Hudson West I, for which Gongwen is also listed as an account signer, received incoming wires totaling over $114 million and sent outgoing wires totaling over $113 million. 412 Between Jan. 25, 2018, and Dec. 28, 2018, Hudson West Aggregator, another LLC associated with Gongwen that was involved in three transactions with Hudson West V, received incoming transfers totaling more than $3 million and sent outgoing transfers totaling more than $13 million. 413 Records examining these transactions by Gongwen and his associates explained: We opt to include wires, which appear to be conducted for investment purposes, as we believe that fund movement is ultimately conducted in an effort to layer funds. Conclusion: Unusual movement of funds between various entities with a complex ownership structures, at times involving funds originating from Chinese [state-owned enterprises] SOE, Chinese based entities registered with [a] high-risk tax heaven country, and [politically exposed persons] PEPs. It is to note that fund movement appears to be an effort to introduce foreign funds from unknown sources into in [sic] the U.S. by investing in large projects and by purchasing luxury goods and properties. Total  filing amounts to $902,200,297.414 Certain transactions involving Hudson West III, CEFC Infrastructure, and Hudson West V were among those identified as potential efforts to layer funds. 415
409 See CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.); see also CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 13 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 14 (on file with Comms.). 410Id. According to records on file with the Committees, Shan Gao is a resident of New York State whose permanent/mailing address matches the address of Gongwen Dong. CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 8 (on file with Comms.). 411 See CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.); see also CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 13 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 14 (on file with Comms.). 412 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 413 Id. (In addition to the aforementioned numbered Hudson West entities and Hudson West Aggregator, Hudson West Partners LLC is another Hudson West entity with a bank account that is connected to Gongwen Dong.). 414 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 14 (on file with Comms.). 415 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 11 (on file with Comms.); CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 14 (on file with Comms.). 83 iv. Chinese Nationals Linked with Hunter Biden Faced Criminal Probes. In November 2017, Ye Jianming’s associate and Hunter Biden’s reported client, Patrick Ho, was arrested and charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering, and conspiracy to commit both.416 The first call that he reportedly made was to James Biden, who reportedly referred him to Hunter Biden.417 Ho was convicted in March 2019 on charges of money laundering, conspiracy, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and was sentenced to three years in U.S. prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe officials in Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC, Ye’s company. 418 Department of Justice documents describe Ye as Patrick Ho’s boss and, again, note that Ye’s company supplied funding to the China Energy Fund Committee.419 Ho worked as the secretary-general of the committee during the period when he was carrying out his illegal schemes.420
In February 2018, it was reported that Ye was also under investigation in China for “suspected economic crimes.”421 Ye was subsequently detained, and to date, there have been no reports of his release. Shortly thereafter, on May 4, 2018, there were reports that the deal for CEFC to purchase a stake in Rosneft had fallen through.422 The credit cards used by the Bidens for the $100,000 spending spree were closed the same month, and the last payments for the account were made on May 25, 2018.423 It is not clear who made the fund transfer payments that were used to cover the charges.424
After Ye was detained by the Chinese government in February 2018, there were reports that Shanghai Guosheng Group, a Chinese agency reportedly controlled by Shanghai’s municipal government, had taken over management and daily operations at CEFC.425 Additionally, in
416 Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Just., Head of Organization Backed By Chinese Energy Conglomerate And Former Foreign Minister of Senegal, Charged with Bribing High-Level African Officials (Nov. 20, 2017), https://www.justice.gov/usaosdny/pr/head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-and-former-foreign-minister. 417 Alexandra Stevenson, David Barboza, Matthew Goldstein, and Paul Mozur, A Chinese Tycoon Sought Power and Influence. Washington Responded., THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 12, 2018), https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/business/cefc-biden-china-washington-ye-jianming.html. 418 Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Just., Patrick Ho, Former Head Of Organization Backed By Chinese Energy Conglomerate, Sentenced To 3 Years In Prison For International Bribery And Money Laundering Offenses (Mar. 25, 2019), https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/patrick-ho-former-head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-sentenced-3. 419 Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Just., Former Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for International Bribery and Money Laundering Offenses (Mar. 25, 2019), https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-sentenced-three-years-prison. 420 Id. 421 Benjamin Kang Lim, China’s CEFC chairman investigated for suspected economic crimes: source, REUTERS (Feb. 28, 2018), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-cefc-probe-idUSKCN1GD3O9. 422 Javier Blas and Elena Mazneva, Qatar StepsIn to Buy Rosneft Stake After China Deal Collapses, BLOOMBERG (May 5, 2018), https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-04/china-s-cefc-won-t-buy-rosneft-shares-from-glencore-led-group. 423 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 9 (on file with Comms.). 424 Id. (The funds used to collateralize the account were returned in the form of a check payable to Hudson West III and Robert H. Biden and deposited back into the same account from which they were initially withdrawn.). 425 Josephine Mason and Aizhu Chen, China’s CEFC taken over by Shanghai government agency: SCMP report, REUTERS (Mar. 2, 2018), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-cefc-probe/chinas-cefc-taken-over-by-shanghai-government-agency-scmpreport-idUSKCN1GE0X3. 84 March 2018, it was announced that the Chinese state-owned enterprise Citic Group was negotiating to take a stake of up to 49 percent in CEFC’s European unit.426 Again, Citic is listed among the Chinese partners and alliances of the Thornton group.427 Following these Chinese government takeovers, the payments from Hudson West III to Owasco appear to have continued through September 2018.428 e. Conclusion The records acquired by the Committees show that Hunter Biden and his family were involved in a vast financial network that connected them to foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe. Hunter Biden and Archer, in particular, formed significant and consistent financial relationships with the corrupt oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky during their time working for Burisma and their firms made millions of dollars from that association while Joe Biden was vice president and the public face of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Rosemont Seneca Thornton, an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden, received $3.5 million in a wire transfer from Elena Baturina, who allegedly received illegal construction contracts from her husband, the former mayor of Moscow. Moreover, Archer’s apparent receipt of money for a car from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan while Vice President Biden was in Kyiv is especially concerning in light of the timing. And finally, Biden and Archer’s work with Chinese nationals connected to the Communist regime illustrate the deep financial connections that accelerated while his father was vice president and continued after he left office. Biden and Archer found willing partners in Chinese nationals connected to the Communist regime. Their work in China began at least in 2009, with the creation of Rosemont Seneca Partners with Heinz, Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson. Then, several years later, Biden and Archer formed BHR with Bohai Capital and received their business license approval in China shortly after Biden visited China with his father, Vice President Biden. Hunter Biden’s connections and financial associations appear to have accelerated significantly after he associated himself with Ye Jianming, who had deep connections with the Communist regime and PLA. However, that didn’t seem to have any impact on Hunter Biden, who made millions from the relationship. Indeed, Hunter Biden and his family, to include James and Sara Biden, associated with other Chinese nationals such as Gongwen Dong. In one case, the three of them went on a $100,000 global spending spree after Gongwen Dong and Hunter Biden opened a joint account. In addition, Hunter Biden received millions of dollars over a period of years from Gongwen Dong’s companies. According to records acquired by the Committees, many of these transactions involved potential criminal financial activity. The records acquired by the Committees show consistent, significant and extensive financial connections among and between Hunter Biden, James Biden, Sara Biden, Devon Archer, and Chinese nationals connected to the Communist regime and PLA as well as other foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds. These connections and the vast amount of
426 Chen Aizu, CITIC Group in talks for up to 49 percent stake in CEFC unit, REUTERS (Mar. 20, 2018), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-cefc-citic-group/citic-group-in-talks-for-up-to-49-percent-stake-in-cefc-unitidUSKBN1GW0I8. 427 Alliances/Clients, Thornton Group, http://www.thorntonai.com/english/alliances.html. 428 CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENT 7 (on file with Comms.). 85 money transferred among and between them don’t just raise conflicts of interest concerns, they raise criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns. The Committees will continue to evaluate the evidence in their possession. 86 XII. CONCLUSION. As the Chairmen’s report details, Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board negatively impacted the efforts of dedicated career-service individuals who were fighting to push for anticorruption measures in Ukraine. Because the vice president’s son had a direct link to a corrupt company and its owner, State Department officials were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Unfortunately, U.S. officials had no other choice but to endure the “awkward[ness]” of continuing to push an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine while the vice president’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with a corrupt owner. As George Kent testified, he “would have advised any American not to get on the board of Zlochevsky’s company.” 429 Yet, even though Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board cast a shadow over the work of those advancing anticorruption reforms in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals who raised concerns to their superiors. Despite the efforts of these individuals, their concerns appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Former Secretary Kerry’s December 2019 denial of having any knowledge about Hunter Biden or Burisma is inconsistent with the evidence uncovered by the Committees. Kerry was briefed about Hunter Biden, Burisma and Christopher Heinz the day after Burisma announced Hunter Biden joined its board. Additionally, Secretary Kerry’s senior advisor sent him press clips and articles relating to Hunter Biden’s board membership. This appears to be yet another example of high-ranking Obama administration officials blatantly ignoring Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Several witnesses highlighted efforts to enable a successful investigation of Zlochevsky, and also noted that the U.S. decision to condition a $1 billion loan guarantee was made in part because of the then-Ukrainian prosecutor general’s failure to pursue a case against Zlochevsky. But at the end of the day, between 2014 through 2017, despite the concerted effort of many U.S. officials, not one of the three different Ukrainian prosecutor generals held Zlochevsky accountable. The Obama administration and the Democrat lobby shop Blue Star Strategies had consistent and extensive contact with Andrii Telizhenko over a period of years. Yet despite these well-documented contacts with Democratic officials, Democrats have attempted to impugn this investigation for having received some Blue Star-related records from Telizhenko. Some Democrats have even (incorrectly) identified Telizhenko as the Committees’ “star witness.”430
Although he produced a small number of Blue Star-related records to the Committees, the Committees never interviewed him as part of this investigation.431
429 George Kent Testimony at 110. 430Ranking Member Ron Wyden, Wyden Takes to Senate Floor to Address Russian Disinformation in Flawed Congressional Investigation, 2020 Election (Sept. 16, 2020), https://www.finance.senate.gov/wyden-takes-to-senate-floor-to-address-russiandisinformation-in-flawed-congressional-investigation-2020-election. 431 The Committees received a small number of records from Telizhenko related to his communications with and subsequent work for Blue Star Strategies. Ranking Member Peters and Ranking Member Wyden have access to these records but have refused to receive or review them. Had they done so, they would have observed that the State Department, National Archives, and Blue Star Strategies (after it received a subpoena) produced most of the same records to the Committees. They also would have noticed the emails and text messages that Blue Star failed to produce to the Committees. 87 Even though almost all of the Committees’ records are from U.S. agencies and U.S. officials or persons, Democrats have repeatedly misconstrued the facts of this investigation and have smeared it as a Russian disinformation campaign. In doing so, they conveniently have ignored their own long history of meeting with Telizhenko and his yearlong work for a Democrat lobby shop. If Democrats are concerned that Telizhenko presents any risk of advancing disinformation, it is notable that the Ranking Members have not expressed any curiosity about his work with the Obama administration or Blue Star Strategies. The records acquired by the Committees also show that Hunter Biden and his family were involved in a vast financial network that connected them to foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe. Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, in particular, formed significant and consistent financial relationships with the corrupt oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky during their time working for Burisma, and their firms made millions of dollars from that association while Joe Biden was vice president and the public face of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. Rosemont Seneca Thornton, an investment firm co-founded by Hunter Biden, received $3.5 million in a wire transfer from Elena Baturina, who allegedly received illegal construction contracts from her husband, the then-mayor of Moscow. Moreover, Archer’s apparent receipt of money for a car from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan while Vice President Biden was in Kyiv is especially concerning in light of the timing. And finally, Biden and Archer’s work with Chinese nationals connected to the Communist regime illustrate the deep financial connections that accelerated while Joe Biden was vice president and continued after he left office. The Chairmen’s investigation has faced many obstacles from the minority and from executive agencies that have failed to comply with document requests. Accordingly, there remains much work to be done.