The Biden White House sent a memo to media executives this week urging their outlets to discredit the impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy into President Biden’s relationship with his son Hunter’s shady overseas business dealings, including influence peddling, and alleged bribery.
The memo, titled "House Republicans are basing their Biden impeachment stunt on false claims that have been repeatedly debunked," claims that "it’s clear this 'investigation' is all politics and no evidence," adding that "virtually every single allegation that House Republicans have suggested would be the basis for pursuing impeachment have been refuted."
The memo stated that Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky told House Committees in 2019 that "No one from Burisma ever had any contacts with VP Biden or people working for him during Hunter Biden’s engagement."
"Zlochevsky also confirmed that neither Vice President Biden nor his staff assisted Zlochevsky or Burisma 'in any way with business deals or meetings with world leaders or any other assistance,'" the memo states.
However, Zlochevsky also said, per FBI documents, that Hunter "will take care of all those issues through his dad," referring to why Hunter was brought onto the Burisma board in the first place.
A Burisma executive reportedly has 15 audio recordings of phone calls that took place between him and Hunter Biden, as well as 2 recordings of calls with Biden.
"These recordings were allegedly kept as a sort of insurance policy for the foreign national in case that he got in a tight spot. The 1023 also indicates that then-Vice President Joe Biden may have been involved in Burisma employing Hunter Biden," Sen. Chuck Grassley said.
Hunter Biden's business associate Devon Archer testified that Joe Biden participated in at least 24 phone calls with Hunter's overseas business associates. Another call, which Archer revealed during questioning by Rep. Jim Jordan, took place in Dubai. During this impromptu meeting, Hunter Biden was contacted by Burisma's CEO Zlochevsky, who said "We're under pressure. We need to go—we want to talk to Hunter." Hunter called DC, and Archer was "not in the earshot" of that call.
The memo stated that "Republicans claim that Joe Biden leveraged foreign aid to oust the Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin in order to protect Burisma, where Hunter Biden served on the board," saying that the "facts show" that Shokin was "not investigating Burisma or Hunter Biden," and that he was fired for "not prosecuting corruption" as the international stage had pushed for.
Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired.
In an August interview with Brett Baier, Shokin said, "I have said repeatedly in my previous interviews that Poroshenko fired me at the insistence of then Vice President, because I was investigating Burisma."
"There were no complaints whatsoever, no problems, with how I was performing at my job, but because pressure was repeatedly put on President Poroshenko, that is, what ended up in him firing me," Shokin said.
"I developed a very firm understanding of the fact that Vice President, the Vice President was only acting in his own interests. He generally speaking, handled Ukraine like it was his own backyard. He would put people that were suitable for him. He would arrange for them to be put in certain positions."
"Hunter Biden’s business associates — the House Republicans’ own hand-picked witnesses — have testified to Congress that Joe Biden was not involved in Hunter Biden’s business dealings," the memo states.
Biden was revealed to have taken part in numerous phone calls and dinners with his son and his business partners.
Devon Archer, Hunter’s former business partner, testified that Biden participated in speakerphone calls during business meetings with Hunter Biden on more than 20 occasions while he served as Vice President.
One such dinner was held in April of 2015 in Washington DC, with guests such as Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, Archer, and others.
The memo states, in relation to the fourth claim, states that "independent reporting has found that, despite all their investigating, House Republicans have identified no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden, no connection between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden’s business dealings, and no impact on policy making."
An FBI FD-1023 form read by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene revealed that Burisma paid $5 million to Hunter and Joe Biden each, and that Hunter was hired to the board to "make the problems go away."
Greene stated that the informant was "trying to do the right thing and trying to advise Burisma that they shouldn't go this route," that they should instead hire an attorney to "work out their problems that they were being investigated for because they were having other legal problems."
"President Biden has had no involvement in this case, and chose to keep the Trump-appointed prosecutor in place during his Administration to ensure the independence of the case. The Justice Department and Weiss himself have stressed that he had full authority in the investigation, and even House Republicans’ own witnesses have testified that neither Joe Biden nor his Administration interfered in this case. Weiss now has been given full special counsel authority," the memo states.
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley revealed to Congress in May that Biden’s Department of Justice was intervening in the investigation.
"Even after investigative steps were denied, enforcement operations were rejected by DOJ, leading to the election in November 2020, we continued to obtain further leads in the Sportsman's case and prepared for when we could go overt," Shapley said.
Joseph Ziegler, a 13-year veteran of the IRS, said that David Weiss, Delaware US Attorney, wrote in a letter to Congress that he had been granted "ultimate authority over this matter, but then later stated in the same letter that his charging authority is geographically limited, and that he would need a President Biden-appointed US attorney to partner with him in charging the case," said Ziegler.
The memo claimed that "Republicans in Congress have undercut their own claims of obstruction by bragging about the volume of materials they have gained access to in their investigations."
The National Archives has been accused of "dragging its feet" in relation to the release of nearly 5,400 records pertaining to the use of pseudonyms by Biden. The emails were demanded by a FOIA request in June 2022, and they still have not been released.
"Statements by President Biden, the White House, and even the Biden campaign in 2020 have been consistent – and in fact, they have been backed up by the testimony of House Republicans’ own witnesses. The White House’s statement that 'the President was not in business with his son’ is entirely consistent with past statements," the memo reads.
The White House had the long-standing position that Biden had never spoken to his son Hunter about his business dealings. By July, that language had changed and they began to say that Biden never directly took part in Hunter's deals. Then they denied having made that change.
In a July White House press conference, Karine Jean-Pierre was pressed on this language change.
"You said that nothing has changed when you were asked about the president's previous remarks on his son's business dealings," RealClearPolitics' Phil Wegmann began, "but the language has, in fact, changed."
He reminded Jean-Pierre that the president previously said he "has never discussed overseas business dealings with his son," and questioned why the White House now suggested he was simply never in business with Hunter.
"Why the updated language?" Wegmann asked. "Which statement is true? Or is this semantics and they're both true?"
Jean-Pierre responded by claiming that "nothing has changed" regarding the White House's position on the matter.
"You could ask me a million different ways on this question," she said. "Nothing has changed."
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