According to The New York Post, exchanges between Hunter and Kendra Barkoff, the vice president's press sec from May 13, 2014 "form the basis of a complaint sent to the Justice Department on Friday alegging that the Biden scion, now 53, violated federal law by failing to register as a foreign agent."
America First Legal Foundation general counsel Gene Hamilton wrote to the assistant attorney general for national security, Matthew Olsen on Friday: “In advising the Office of the Vice President how to respond to press inquiries about his appointment, Hunter Biden ‘represent[ed] the interests of [a] foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States.'"
Hunter Biden was appointed to Burisma's board of directors on May 12, 2014. Just one day later, according to the complaint, Barkoff had a communication with the younger Biden reading, "Thanks for talking to me. Let me know who I should refer folks to."
“What exactly are they asking?” Hunter responded. “For the time being I’d just refer them to my office. FYI I joined the board of Burisma Holdings Ltd. (Burisma.com) an independent/private natural gas producer in Ukraine along with the former president of Poland. I think the press release is on their website.”
Barkoff responded by sending Hunter an email from foreign correspondent Max Seddon of BuzzFeed News.
“Russian state media is loving this press release, supposedly from a Cypriot-held Ukrainian natural gas company, claiming that the Vice President’s son has joined its board of directors,” Seddon wrote.
“The news seems rather odd on its face and, if true, would present a fairly glaring conflict of interest given the VP’s role on Ukraine policy – particularly since the company is controlled by Nikolai Zlochevsky, who was energy minister and deputy NSC chief under [former pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych,” the reporter noted. “Is this true? What exactly is going on here?”
“Interesting,” Hunter responded. “Burisma is completely independent of the Ukrainian government with an independent board of directors. [Zlochevsky] served as Minister of Ecology and resigned in 2010. I joined the board as legal adviser and Burisma also engaged the law firm I am of counsel to Boies Schiller Flexner on matters pertaining to corporate governance, transparency, and expansion. Alana Apter former head of Morgan Stanley Europe is chairman of the board.”
Not only were Seddon's messages forwarded, but Barkoff also told Hunter “Let me know who in your office” to refer media to."
Hunter responded: "Eric- he's cc'd here," referring to business partner Eric Schwerin, who said, “Kendra, I am around the next few days if you need me.”
“If anything beyond referring questions to my office is required from you or counsel you can contact Heather King at Boise Schiller,” Hunter directed Barkoff, who, as the Post reports, "later sent him the statement her office was putting out to the press."
“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer," the statement said. "The Vice President does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. For any additional questions, I refer you to Hunter’s office.”
The AFL also noted that Hunter wrote Barkoff in June to say, "“I am really sorry but I have to cancel call today” which the AFL says suggests that he “had ongoing discussions about the matter with the Office of Vice President that continued for nearly a month and a half.”
The America First Legal Foundation was founded by former senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller. Miller says that the discussions between Barkoff and Biden showed that “Hunter Biden is Burisma’s agent and subject to FARA registration because he was an officer of Burisma and represented Burisma’s interests to the Office of the Vice President in addition to advising on a public relations matter."
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