President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden allegedly received individual payments of $5 million each from Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma to halt an ongoing corruption investigation. The allegations were brought to light by Reps. Anna Paulina Luna and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who gained access to an FBI document from June 2020 containing testimony provided by an informant connected to Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.
According to the informant’s account detailed in the document, Zlochevsky stated that he had disbursed $5 million to both Bidens in order to influence the Ukrainian prosecutor general at the time, Viktor Shokin, to terminate the investigation. A source close to the Republican investigation confirmed the contents of the FBI document, which has been viewed by members behind closed doors in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).
The investigation into Burisma initially began in 2012, focusing on allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. Hunter Biden served on the company’s board for five years. Rep. Greene has characterized the $5 million payments as bribes intended to secure Shokin’s dismissal, which ultimately occurred in April 2016. At that time, Joe Biden, who was then the vice president, had threatened to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if Shokin was not replaced as prosecutor general.
Joe Biden has maintained that his call for Shokin’s dismissal was based on the prosecutor’s failure to effectively address corruption in Ukraine. Rep. Luna expressed her belief that Joe Biden is guilty of bribery, stating, “There’s no doubt in my mind that Joe Biden is guilty of bribery. There were two separate transactions, one involving Joe Biden for $5 million and another involving Hunter Biden for $5 million.”
Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma and a wealthy Ukrainian oil and gas oligarch, held various positions in the Ukrainian government from 2010 to February 2014. In 2014, Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board as the company sought international expansion, despite lacking prior industry experience. Hunter’s role on the board was non-executive, providing advice on legal matters, corporate finance, and strategy.
The FBI document in question, referred to internally as an FD-1023 form, contains unverified information obtained from confidential human sources. An anonymous source familiar with the document claimed that Zlochevsky informed them of the alleged bribery scheme while seeking advice on Burisma’s acquisition of a US-based oil company. Zlochevsky reportedly explained that the payments were made to the Bidens due to Shokin’s investigation, which hindered Burisma’s entry into the US market.
The informant stated in the FBI document that the payments to Hunter and Joe Biden were dispersed through multiple bank accounts, making it difficult for investigators to trace the funds for at least a decade. According to Fox News Digital, the FBI’s source had been providing information since 2010 and had received approximately $200,000 in compensation. President Biden responded to the allegations with a dismissive remark during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, referring to them as “a load of malarkey.”
Following Biden’s response, Rep. Nancy Mace, a member of the Oversight Committee, expressed dissatisfaction with the president’s reaction, tweeting, “We don’t find selling out your country funny. Prove us wrong by releasing your and your family’s unredacted bank records. The FBI can’t protect you forever.”
The White House has repeatedly expressed frustration with unfounded allegations, while the FBI has cautioned that the information remains unverified. President Biden was also asked about efforts to protect the independence of the Justice Department in the face of previous attacks by Donald Trump. Biden emphasized his commitment to allowing the Justice Department to operate independently, stating, “I have never once – not one single time – suggested [to] the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative to bringing a charge or not bringing a charge. I’m honest.”