Former Secretary of State John Kerry falsely claimed in 2019 that he had no knowledge of Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Burisma Holdings, Inc., according to the Senate report on Biden’s financial dealings released on Wednesday.
Kerry was asked by a reporter from NBC News on December 8, 2019, whether he knew of Hunter Biden’s activities during his tenure as secretary of state in the Obama administration from 2013-2017. Biden From 2014-2019 held a seat on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company whose former head and founder Mykola Zlochevsky is suspected of bribery and various other crimes. (Zlochevsky’s whereabouts are currently unknown.)
Vice president Joe Biden led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy after Russia’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and subsequent war in eastern Ukraine. Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma led American officials to worry about the appearance of a conflict of interest in their Ukraine policy.
“I had no knowledge about any of that. None. No,” Kerry told the reporter regarding Biden’s position on the Burisma board. “What would I know about any—no. Why would I know about any company or any individual? No.”
However, Kerry’s former chief of staff David Wade testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he informed Kerry personally of Biden’s role at Burisma. Wade received an email on May 13, 2014, from Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, telling him that Hunter Biden and associate Devon Archer had joined Burisma.
Additionally, former Kerry adviser David Thorne told Wade on May 14, 2014, that he had forwarded news articles on Hunter Biden’s Burisma position directly to Kerry himself, according to emails uncovered by the Senate committee. The emails included links to serveral articles, including one titled “White House says no issue with Biden’s son, Ukraine gas company.”