Ukrainian investigations into the activities of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter go back to at least early 2019, according to two Ukrainian prosecutors and a memo allegedly leaked from the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Both Ukrainian prosecutors have undermined their credibility in the past by participating in domestic political games.

One of the prosecutors, Kostyantyn Kulik, told the Kyiv Post in May that the Prosecutor General’s Office had been investigating Joe Biden’s links to ex-Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky’s Burisma group, which paid Joe’s son, Hunter, at least $50,000 monthly for five years as an adviser.

Kulik even said that the Prosecutor General’s Office had agreed with U.S. authorities, including Attorney General William Barr, to create a joint group for that purpose. The U.S. Department of Justice did not reply to a request for comment.


Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who took office on Aug. 29, said on Oct. 4 that the Prosecutor General’s Office would review 15 investigations, including those into the Ukrainian company affiliated with Hunter Biden, Burisma, and into its owner. The cases were closed or transferred by his predecessors, and Ryaboshapka plans to review whether they were investigated properly.

Ryaboshapka’s announcement came amid a U.S. House impeachment inquiry into whether U.S. President Donald Trump pressured his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, into investigating the Bidens and Burisma.

The elder Biden is currently the Democratic Party presidential candidate most likely to face off against Trump in the 2020 election.

“I have had no role whatsoever in relation to any investigation of Burisma, or any of its officers,” Hunter Biden said on May 1. “I explicitly limited my role to focus on corporate governance best practices to facilitate Burisma’s desire to expand globally.”

Joe Biden said he didn’t talk to his son about Burisma, let alone seek help to squelch an investigation of Burisma.


“We never once discussed it when he was there,” Biden told the Associated Press. “There’s not a single bit of evidence that’s been shown in any reporting that’s been done that he ever talked about it with me or asked any government official for a favor.”

Yet Ukrainian prosecutors have been claiming that they were looking into both Bidens, and going as far as alleging Joe Biden was paid through his son for lobbying of certain Ukrainians’ interests – while still being the U.S. vice president.

Kulik and Lutsenko saga

In May, Kulik claimed that Biden profited from corrupt schemes that ex-President Petro Poroshenko kept in place from the Yanukovych era. “And Americans, including Biden, put their hands into that pocket.”

Ryaboshapka’s predecessor as head prosecutor, Lutsenko, also said prosecutors were interested in the Bidens.

In a March interview with The Hill news site, Lutsenko claimed Joe Biden had pressured Ukraine to sack then Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to halt the investigation into Burisma in 2016. In April, Lutsenko also hinted that the Prosecutor General’s Office was investigating Hunter Biden.


According to The Hill, U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received more than $166,000 a month from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Joe Biden was leading U.S. policy towards Ukraine for U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Ukrainian prosecutors’ official file for the Burisma probe cited by The Hill shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Lutsenko told The Hill that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”

Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to Attorney General Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.

Lutsenko backtracked in May, claiming that prosecutors did not suspect Joe Biden or his son of any wrongdoing.

Early signal

While the revelation that Trump wanted Ukraine to help his 2020 campaign shocked the American society, in Ukraine this idea was floated publicly but largely went unnoticed months before.


In June, Boris Tisenhausen, an advisor-at-large to Zelensky, was publicly discussing the possibility of Zelensky using the Burisma investigation as leverage in talks with Trump.

“Joe Biden’s son and ex-U.S. State Secretary John Kerry’s stepson feature in this case,” he said on air at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on June 4. “According to preliminary primaries, Biden is the Democratic frontrunner, i.e. a competitor for Donald Trump. Having such leverage that may impact Biden’s reputation in Ukraine, Zelensky will be a welcome guest at Donald Trump’s administration.”

Bizarre memo

In May then-lawmaker Sergii Leshchenko also leaked an alleged memo from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine showing that prosecutors are accusing Joe Biden of receiving “an unlawful benefit” from former Burisma Group.

According to the document, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office also accuses Zlochevsky of offering Biden and former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a share of Burisma Group’s profits. Kerry could not be reached for comment.

Leshchenko said that the memo had been submitted by Lutsenko’s team to Trump’s team and that he had received it from journalists working for a news site affiliated with Trump.

The memo states that, in March 2014, “through the available lobbying channels, M.V. Zlochevsky offered John Kerry and Joe Biden a share in the distribution of profits of the holding company Burisma Group in exchange for lobbying activities and political support.”


The memo claims that, at the suggestion of Kerry, Devon Archer — a friend of the former Secretary of State’s stepson Christopher Heinz — became a member of Burisma’s board of directors.

“Biden established indirect control over the most economically attractive Ukrainian gas and oil producing assets, which led to the receipt of unlawful benefits in especially large amounts by the American state official,” the leaked memo reads. “In this case, he used his influence on the Ukrainian state leadership and on the law enforcement agency under his control – the NABU (the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine) – in order to make the above-mentioned bodies commit illegal actions.”

The memo also claims that Biden prevented Ukrainian law enforcement agencies from prosecuting allies of ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, ousted by the EuroMaidan Revolution in 2014, and opposition politicians and businesspeople. The memo did not specify who they were.

It goes on to claim that, “while personally receiving income for lobbying from the operational activities of Burisma Group through Rosemont Seneca Partners, Biden deliberately concealed their location” to avoid paying local and federal taxes.


Leshchenko cast doubt on the veracity of the claims about Biden and Kerry. He said he believed the memo to be part of what he alleged was a disinformation campaign by Lutsenko.

“Lutsenko seeks to use Ukraine as a bargaining chip in the battle between the Democrats and the Republicans in the U.S.,” Leshchenko said in May. “They have created a conspiracy theory that made us hostages to one person’s desire to keep his job. (Lutsenko) should not get Ukraine involved in this terrible scenario and should not take president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky hostage.”

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