The National Archives has informed the White House that it will be releasing records pertaining to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine while his father, President Joe Biden, was vice president.
The records are the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request made in August by America First Legal seeking communications related to the “extensive financial relationships between Hunter and James Biden and their deals in Ukraine.”
James is Joe Biden’s brother and Hunter’s uncle.
The president of America First Legal is Stephen Miller, a former top White House aide in the Trump administration.
Among the suggested terms in AFL’s FOIA records request was the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
In a Nov. 30 letter, the National Archives informed representatives of Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama that it had located nearly 300 full or partial emails that mention “Burisma.”
The National Archives said in the letter that Biden and Obama have until the end of February to claim executive privilege or seek an additional 30-day extension regarding the documents’ release.
The New York Post reported if either claimed executive privilege, the emails could remain sealed until January 2029.
Hunter Biden was paid $1 million a year to be on the Burisma board of directors while his father was vice president and overseeing U.S. relations with Ukraine, according to the Post.
Hunter had no background in the energy industry, leading many to believe Burisma was trying to buy influence with the Obama administration and specifically Hunter’s father, the vice president.
In January 2018, Joe Biden bragged at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting about an official visit he took to Ukraine in March 2016 during which he demanded then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin or lose $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.
Shokin was investigating potential Burisma corruption at the time.
Biden recalled telling Poroshenko, “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was, ‘about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’”
“Well, son of a b****, he got fired,” Biden recounted.
Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer who has represented many federal whistleblowers, told Business Insider the case for Biden or Obama to invoke executive privilege is weak, given at least some of the emails are already in third party hands.
He was referring to Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” that the first son reportedly dropped off at an Apple repair store in April 2019.
AFL sued the National Archives in September for failing to expedite the release of the records the firm seeks.
America First Legal FOIA’d the Hunter Biden docs everyone is talking about.
Will Biden break the law and try to hide them?
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) December 16, 2022
Miller said in a statement at the time, “The National Archives is engaged in an illegal scheme to conceal federal records pertaining to the radical corruption of President Biden, Hunter Biden, and James Biden. America First Legal is therefore compelled to sue the National Archives for its illegal and indefensible conduct.”
“At the same time as the Archives illegally shields Joe Biden’s financial and political corruption, it has hatched an illegal intelligence plot with DOJ to persecute our 45th President by claiming to apply to him statutes from which he is constitutionally immune based on bogus allegations which are as wickedly false as the Russia Hoax and all the hoaxes which followed it,” Miller added.
The National Archives’ informing the Department of Justice that former President Donald Trump had not turned over all the presidential records it sought preceded the August FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
At a news conference last month, Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said that when he assumes leadership of the committee in January, a top priority will be investigating the Biden family’s shady overseas business deals, including in Ukraine.
The congressman listed some potential Biden family crimes, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, tax evasion and money laundering.
“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” Comer said.
NEW HOUSE OVERSIGHT CHAIR JAMES COMER: “I want to be clear. This is an investigation of Joe biden” pic.twitter.com/R0SUhQtxDk
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 17, 2022
It will be interesting to see whether Joe Biden and Barack Obama green-light the release of the Burisma emails.
Everything surrounding the lurid affair reeks of public corruption.
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