When an FBI confidential informant met with Burisma executives in Austria in 2016, he strongly advised them against plans to buy a U.S. oil company – chiefly because the controversial Ukrainian energy firm with Hunter Biden on its board was under investigation in Ukraine.
He further suggested that Burisma first spend about $50,000 litigating the corruption investigation in Ukraine.
Then-Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky laughed, according to a newly released, unclassified FBI document. He wasn’t laughing because the number was so small, the informant said. Rather, he laughed because the suggestion had the number five in it.
“It costs 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden,” the unclassified 1023 form quotes Zlochevsky saying at the 2016 meeting, a reference to then-Vice President Joe Biden and to son Hunter Biden, who was serving on the board of Burisma.
Burisma executives believed the informant was someone who could assist them in buying the U.S. company. The form said, “CHS recalled Zlochevsky mentioned some U.S-based gas business(es) in Texas, the names of which CHS did not recall.”
The informant asked why the company needed his help if Hunter Biden is on the board. Then-Burisma CFO Vadim Pojarski “replied that Hunter Biden was not smart, and they wanted to get additional counsel,” according to the FD-1023.
An FD-1023 is a form for FBI special agents to record raw, unverified information recorded from confidential human sources. The forms don’t reflect the conclusion of an investigation.
After months of secrecy and speculation about a form that alleged a $5 million bribe paid to Biden while he was vice president, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released the FD-1023 form dated June 30, 2020, which he had obtained through an FBI whistleblower. The four-page form details three separate meetings the FBI confidential informant had with Burisma officials.
While Congress has investigated what appeared to be influence peddling by the Biden family, the bribery allegation is the first direct link to Joe Biden.
A senior adviser to the White House Counsel’s Office, Ian Sams, tweeted the “far right” is spreading an “old, debunked lie” in releasing the form.
The form is unverified information and only regards a raw allegation. Yet, much of the background information is consistent with what’s already known, as Burisma officials seemed determined to get then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired to stop the investigation.
During a speech in January 2018, after leaving office, Biden boasted about pressuring Ukraine leaders to fire the prosecutor in 2016 by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid.
In 2019, a Democrat-controlled House impeached President Donald Trump for asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call about Joe Biden’s role in using U.S. aid as leverage to fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma at the time it employed Hunter Biden.
The FBI’s confidential human source is referred to as a “CHS” for short on the FBI form.
“CHS recalled this meeting took place around the time Joe Biden made a public statement about [then-]Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin being corrupt, and that he should be fired/removed from office,” the form says. “CHS told Zlochevsky that due to Shokin’s investigation into Burisma, which was made public at this time, it would have a substantial negative impact on Burisma’s prospective IPO in the United States. Zlochevsky replied something to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry. Hunter will take care of all of those Issues through his dad.’”
In May, Grassley and House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to provide Congress with a copy of the FD-1023. Wray resisted, but came to an agreement that members of the oversight panel could view the document inside a “SCIF,” or sensitive compartmented information facility.
During a phone call said to have taken place in either late 2016 or early 2017, Zlochevsky told the informant “he didn’t want to pay the Bidens, and he was ‘pushed to pay’ them.”
The payments were “poluchili” — Russian criminal slang for being “forced or coerced to pay.”
The FBI informant told Zlochevsky, “l hope you have some back-up” as proof the Bidens coerced the CEO. Zlochevsky replied that he had many text messages and recordings that show he was coerced to make such payments, the FD-1023 form says.
According to the document, Zlochevsky had 17 recordings of the Bidens. Two of the recordings are said to include Joe Biden, and the remaining 15 recordings include Hunter Biden. Zlochevsky said those recordings are evidence he was coerced into paying the Bidens to ensure Shokin was fired.
Speaking to The Daily Signal prior to the document’s release, Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said he was unsure whether the form should be made public while the probe is going on. But, he said, Congress should have had more access.
“I thought it unnecessary to require us to review the document in the SCIF,” Palmer told The Daily Signal. “There is nothing in there in any form or fashion that compromises national security or any other U.S. interest. It’s just what it is, details from an FBI investigation.”
He said the House oversight panel is leading an evidence-based probe.
“It’s like putting together a puzzle. You do it one piece at a time and get a picture after a while. Then it starts to make sense,” Palmer said. “But when you start taking individual pieces and start making an interpretation or draw a conclusion, I think you can actually compromise your effort. That’s why, when I’m asked about things I don’t know, I’m not going to make an assumption. Also, I don’t want to get ahead of the team.”
In a statement, Grassley said the picture seems to be coming together.
“The FBI’s Biden bribery record tracks closely with the evidence uncovered by the Oversight Committee’s Biden family influence-peddling investigation. In the FBI’s record, the Burisma executive claims that he didn’t pay the ‘big guy’ directly, but that he used several bank accounts to conceal the money,” the Iowa lawmaker said in a statement.
“That sounds an awful lot like how the Bidens conduct business: Using multiple bank accounts to hide the source and total amount of the money,” Grassley added.
Comer said that conduct would be consistent with what his committee has learned about the Biden family through bank records.
“At our hearing with IRS whistleblowers, they testified that they had never seen or heard of this record during the Biden criminal investigation, despite having potentially corroborating evidence,” Comer said in a statement. “Given the misconduct and politicization at the Department of Justice, the American people must be able to read this record for themselves.”
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