The same media outlets that have obsessively covered the Trump family’s overseas business dealings have all but ignored a Senate report released Wednesday that details what appears to be a vast influence peddling network established by Hunter Biden while his father was serving as vice president.
The report — released Wednesday by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Finance committees — is based on reviews of over 45,000 pages of Obama administration records and eight witness interviews with current and former U.S. officials. It lays out a web of foreign business dealings pursued by Hunter Biden in concert with politically connected businessmen in China, Kazakhstan, and Russia over the course of his father’s tenure as vice president.
In just one example of the brazen way in which the younger Biden apparently leveraged his family name, Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow who was fired in 2010 over corruption allegations, wired him and his business partner Devon Archer $3.5 million as part of a “consultancy agreement.”
Baturina became Russia’s first female billionaire after her plastics company received a series of lucrative public contracts with the city of Moscow while her husband was mayor. A 2010 cable published by Wikileaks reveals that contacts told the U.S. embassy in Moscow that Baturina “definitely has links to the criminal world, and particularly to the Solntsevo criminal group (widely regarded by Russian law enforcement as one of the most powerful organized crime groups in Russia).”
Rather than reporting on what amounts to evidence of Biden’s ties to a corrupt Putin ally, CNN, Politico, the New York Times, and the Washington Post elected to cast the Senate report as nothing more than a cynical partisan attempt to hurt Joe Biden’s electoral prospects months ahead of the November election.
CNN’s lede states that “Senate Republicans on Wednesday issued a partisan report attacking Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden over his role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company but says little about the former vice president beyond the long-known potential conflict of interest issues that arose because of Hunter’s position.”
But according to Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, the details involving Baturina are “a huge development.”
“We saw in court documents a possible link between Elena Baturina, the Russian-organized crime-linked oligarch, and some of Hunter Biden’s businesses, but it could never be confirmed,” Schweizer told National Review. “We now have confirmation of $3.5 million being transferred to Hunter’s business by Baturina.”
In addition to the initial $3.5 million “consultancy” payment from Baturina, Biden also made millions by partnering with wealthy CCP and PLA-connected Chinese businessmen to solicit Chinese investment in foreign ventures. All told, the report found that Biden made in excess of $4 million in “questionable financial transactions” with well-connected foreign nationals.
In its coverage, Politico mentions “lengthy passages detailing Hunter Biden’s financial connections to foreign nationals,” but caveats that charge by quoting Democrats who called Johnson and Grassley’s apparent review of Treasury records “grossly irresponsible.”
Schweizer, however, said that “the fact that these were transactions that were apparently causing red flags with Treasury” was noteworthy. “I don’t know exactly why they were causing red flags, but that in and of itself, I think, is an important revelation,” he stated.
The Times emphasized that the findings did not reflect poorly on Joe Biden, who ran foreign relations for the Obama administration with Ukraine while his son was working for Burisma, with its headline reading “Republican Inquiry Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by Biden.”
The Post framed its coverage on the report’s failure to “demonstrate” that Hunter Biden’s Ukraine dealings “changed the administration’s policy toward Ukraine” — a curious angle considering the report itself details how nothing was done to end the apparent conflict of interest, despite two State Department officials expressing their concerns about the arrangement to Biden’s office.
One official, Amos Hochstein, testified that in October 2015, he warned then-Vice President Joe Biden that his son’s role at Burisma “enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.”
And neither paper mentioned that former Secretary of State John Kerry was warned by his stepson, a former business partner of Biden, about the Burisma board position, according to testimony and evidence provided by the committee.
David Wade, Kerry’s former chief of staff, testified that he made Kerry aware of his stepson Chris Heinz’s concerns on May 14, 2014, and that Kerry’s responded by saying “he was comfortable answering a press question if he got it.” Emails from that same day also show David Thorne, a senior adviser to then-Secretary Kerry, revealing that he had sent media clips about Hunter Biden and Burisma to Kerry.
In 2019, Kerry was asked about whether he had any knowledge of Hunter Biden’s Burisma role while he served as Secretary of State. “I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No,” Kerry responded.
Kerry’s apparent duplicity was also left out of the reports published by Politico, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
The outlets similarly ignored an explosive detail in the report about payments Hunter made to Ukrainian and Russian nationals living in the U.S. that appear to be “related to an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.’”