The Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will vote next week on whether to subpoena officials with Blue Star Strategies, a Democratic consulting company that worked for the Ukrainian firm Burisma Holdings at a time when Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was on Burisma’s board.
Hunter Biden’s company received $3 million for his service on the board of the gas company despite his lack of experience in the industry. Meanwhile, his father was running Ukraine policy for President Obama.
President Trump brought up the apparent conflict of interest in the phone call with the Ukrainian president at the center of the whistleblower complaint that led to his impeachment.
Investigative reporter John Solomon reported at Just the News that the move by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the committee’s chairman, to hold a vote “signals the panel’s probe is escalating after months of interviews and gathering of documents, including Obama-era memos obtained from the National Archives.”
The probe centers on whether Joe Biden “took any actions to assist Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings while his son Hunter worked on its board and was paid more than $3 million to his U.S.-based firm.”
The company was under investigation for corruption, and Joe Biden boasted he threatened Ukrainian leaders with the loss of a billion dollars in American aid if they didn’t fire the prosecutor, which they did.
Solomon reported Wednesday the memos “show a Blue Star representative met directly with U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in December 2016 to discuss Burisma and repairing its scandal-tarred image.”
The report pointed out Yovanovitch failed to mention the meeting during her impeachment testimony last fall.
Investigators for Johnson have focused on Blue Star because “a former Ukrainian government official named Andrii Telizhenko told them he was secretly hired by Blue Star during the 2016 election to help persuade Ukrainian prosecutors to drop criminal allegations against Burisma.”
The report said Telizhenko was found to be “credible” and investigators corroborated much of the information he had.
A subpoena to Blue Star likely would be just the beginning of a lengthy investigation, observers have concluded.
During House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s partisan impeachment effort, Democrats repeatedly insisted there was no corruption in Hunter Biden’s profiting from Burisma while his father was overseeing U.S. policy for the European nation.
Yovanovitch claimed under oath at the time she knew little about the conflict of interest beyond an initial briefing and various press reports about Burisma. Under oath last October, she said it “just wasn’t a big deal.”
But Solomon reported Yovanovitch had discussions and meetings about Burisma in 2016 as the company tried to clean up its image.
State Department records of the discussions filled more than 160 pages of emails, memos and correspondence at that time.