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Report: State Department probing 2014 Burisma deal tied to Biden adviser

WND Staff

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'Our embassy didn't even know much about it until 2016'

The scandal over Hunter Biden's deal with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma already is well known.

The son of Joe Biden, who was in charge of Ukraine policy at the time, received more than $3 million for serving on the Ukrainian company's board, even though he had no experience in the gas industry.

Now there's another development.

Just the News reports it obtained State Department memos showing that only a few months after Hunter Biden joined the Burisma board, the company landed a deal with an Obama administration renewable energy program that had been promoted by one of his father's key vice presidential advisers.

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Further, the Burisma official who signed the 2014 deal was recently detained in an alleged bribery plot in Ukraine and was publicly identified in a British investigation, Just the News says.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, JTN obtained a Memorandum of Understanding between Burisma and USAID's Municipal Energy Reform Project in Ukraine that was signed in October 2014.

"At that time, Burisma was under very public investigations by both the British government and the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office and considered by the State Department to suffer from corruption issues," the report said.

Andrii Kicha was the Burisma official who signed the deal. He was publicly identified in British court documents in 2014 as someone whose conduct was questioned during the probe.

"More recently, Kicha was detained in Ukraine in what law enforcement authorities there said was a failed attempt to deliver a $6 million bribe to prosecutors designed to end continuing investigations of the controversial gas company," Just the News reported.

Burisma, State Department and USAID officials all declined comment.

The deal, which apparently wasn't fully reviewed at the time, now appears to be under further investigation.

A senior State Department official, answering questions anonymously, told JTN that Senate investigators have been making inquiries of the State Department.

"This is clearly a matter of interest in their investigation, but right now it looks like Burisma signed the deal with our contractor, and our embassy didn't even know much about it until 2016," the official said.

The report noted the links between the U.S. program and Burisma weren't mentioned during last winter's impeachment, which focused on the Bidens' deals in Ukraine and efforts by Rudy Giuliani to investigate them.

Even the Obama administration's State Department officials said at the time they were concerned about the "appearance of a conflict of interest" in the Biden family links.

Just the News explained the MERP connection to Joe Biden was through his energy adviser, Amos Hochstein.

"The New Yorker magazine reported Hochstein had a direct conversation with Joe Biden about Hunter Biden's role with Burisma, one of the few publicly known conversations the vice president had about his son's employment with the controversial company," the report said.