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US Senators Seek State Dept Docs on Hunter Biden Business Relationship With Ukraine’s Burisma

© AP Photo / Pablo Martinez MonsivaisHunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky.
Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father's, Vice President Joe Biden's, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting a trove of documents detailing contacts between the State Department and Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
"Recently obtained State Department emails, made public through a FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request, indicate Burisma’s consulting firm noted ‘two high profile US citizens (including Hunter Biden as a board member) affiliated with the company’ when requesting a meeting with State Department officials to discuss the validity of the US government’s classification that their client, Burisma, was corrupt", wrote to Pompeo.

While much of the senators' letter appears to rehash details of Burisma’s connection to both Bidens that are already public, the request for documents also appears to reflect an effort to determine whether the company hired Hunter Biden to gain access to Obama administration officials.

In 2014, then-President Barack Obama put the elder Biden in charge of US policy toward Ukraine and Burisma named Hunter Biden to its board of directors for a reported fee of $50,000 a month, even though the younger Biden had no experience with energy issues or with Ukraine.

The Senators' letter also seeks details on the involvement of then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson, Christopher Heinz, who broke off a business partnership with Hunter Biden in 2014 over objections to the Biden-Burisma relationship.

At the time, Heinz was a partner in a consulting firm run by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer.

The senators’ letter cites a previously released email to senior State Department officials from Heinz saying, "apparently Devon and Hunter both joined the board of Burisma and a press release went out today. I cant [sic] speak why they decided to [hire Biden and Archer], but there was no investment by our firm in their company".

The letter continues: "Heinz has also been quoted through his spokesman as saying he ‘strongly warned Mr. Archer that working with Burisma was unacceptable' and '[t]he lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden".

The Biden-Burisma relationship forms a backstory to the present House impeachment inquiry over whether President Donald Trump withheld $400 million in US aid to Ukraine to press the country to investigate the Bidens.

House Democrats who want to impeach Trump claim the US president enlisted the help of a foreign government, in this case Ukraine, to damage Joe Biden’s attempt to run against Trump for the US presidency in 2020.

Republicans counter as vice president, Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma for corruption - something that Biden has admitted publicly.

As a result, Republicans and Democrats appear to be feuding over evidence of scandal involving their respective presidential candidates trading US military aid to Ukraine for favors.

Both Trump and Biden deny any connection between military aid and favors from Ukraine.

And while the Democratic-led House pushes ahead with its Trump impeachment inquiry, with public hearings to begin next week, the Johnson-Grassley letter indicates that the Republican-led Senate has begun its own investigation of the Bidens.

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