President Joe Biden has often and repeatedly insisted that he was ignorant of and completely uninvolved in any of his son Hunter Biden's dubious foreign business dealings -- including Hunter's rather lucrative tenure as a member of the board of Burisma Holdings, a corrupt Ukrainian energy firm.
That claim has just been proven false by a December 2015 email from a top aide which noted that then-Vice President Biden had "signed off" on an official statement in response to media questions about Hunter and Burisma, Breitbart reported.
That and other emails from the former vice president's staffers referencing Hunter Biden were obtained earlier this week by America First Legal as part of its lawsuit against the National Archives and Records Administration.
In December 2015, there were a series of emails sent back and forth between then-Vice President Biden's communications director Kate Bedingfield with then-Hunter Biden business associate Eric Schwerin of Rosemont Seneca Advisers about an official statement that had been crafted in response to questions from reporters about Hunter joining Burisma's board in 2014.
"VP signed off on this -- will give this quote to reporters in my name shortly," Bedingfield wrote, followed by the statement that said: "Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer. The Vice President does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. The Vice President has pushed aggressively for years -- both publicly with groups like the US-Ukraine Business Forum and privately in meetings in with Ukrainian leaders -- for Ukraine to make every effort to investigate and prosecute corruption in accordance with the rule of law. It will once again be a key focus during his trip this week."
/2 Despite Joe Biden’s assertions that he had no involvement with Hunter’s appointment to Burisma, he signed off on the official statement in response to questions from reporters about whether Hunter’s position undermined the VP’s credibility in pushing anti-corruption measures. pic.twitter.com/wdsRVl8d3c
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) March 20, 2023
The emails obtained by AFL also revealed that, in addition to Bedingfield telling Schwerin that then-VP Biden had "signed off" on the official statement about Hunter and Burisma, Bedingfield had also directed two reporters at that time -- Paul Sonne of The Wall Street Journal and James Risen of The New York Times -- to make contact with one of then-VP Biden's most trusted advisers for more off-the-record background information.
That trusted adviser was Amos Hochstein, who at that time was the "point" person for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and per Bedingfield's messages to Sonne and Risen, would be able to provide a "unique and valuable perspective" on the "relationships" in Ukraine.
Notably, Axios reported in October 2021 that Hochstein was "one of President Biden’s closest confidants and has worked with him for many years," as part of a story about how he had been tasked by Biden to mediate an energy dispute between Israel and Lebanon.
Similarly, in a Politico Playbook profile of Hochstein in May 2022, he was described as "the most influential Joe Biden adviser that most people don’t know about," who was "personally close" to the president who often "leaned on him for guidance" on a variety of matters.
AFL also highlighted emails it obtained from NARA which showed that the vice president's office had worked closely with Rosemont Seneca to craft public relations statements in August 2015 after it was revealed that Hunter Biden had an Ashley Madison account -- a website that helps people discreetly arrange extramarital affairs.
There was also a December 2016 email chain involving a number of top State Department officials and Biden advisers expressing some concern about media reports documenting Burisma's corruption that also made mention of Hunter Biden's position on the firm's board. Some of those same officials later appeared during former President Donald Trump's first impeachment, during which the Biden family connections to Ukrainian corruption was a central issue.
"More explosive revelations in the latest batch of documents obtained as a result of America First Legal’s litigation against the National Archives," AFL President Stephen Miller said in a statement. "These documents conclusively demonstrate that there is no daylight between Hunter and Joe Biden on Ukraine."
"Taken together with the Oversight Committee’s revelations about the Biden Family finances, it is now indisputable that there is a need for a full criminal investigation into the Bidens’ foreign influence peddling and exotic foreign financial payoffs. This can be ignored no longer," he added.