Wednesday, October 14, 2020


So what's the big crime Joe Biden is said to have committed in this New York Post story? Kyle Cheney and Natasha Bertrand of Politico write:
Top Biden advisers who staffed him during his vice presidency, citing their own recollections as well as a review of Biden’s official schedules, sharply rejected the Post’s suggestion that Biden met with a representative of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings in 2015....

The story, which ran on the front page of the New York tabloid under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” accused the then-vice president of meeting Vadym Pozharskyi, a top adviser to Burisma, whose board Biden’s son had joined at the time.
If Joe Biden met with Pozharskyi -- which appears not to be the case -- is that horrifying? Cheney and Bertrand note:
Burisma’s website lists at least some of Pozharskyi’s meetings with U.S. officials, including a meeting in November 2017 with then-ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and a series of meetings with members of Congress, though the company lists only Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) by name. It lists no meetings with Joe Biden....

And a schedule of meetings Pozharskyi held in the United States in March and April 2016, appended to a recent report issued by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), indicates he met with Hunter Biden, addressed a conference on the U.S.-Ukraine energy relationship and met with staff to three lawmakers: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
Oh, and by the way:
Pozharskyi also reportedly met in 2018 with Kurt Volker, who was then the Trump administration’s envoy to the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
In fact -- as Talking Points Memo noted at the time -- there's no "reportedly" about it.
Awkward: Trump Admin Official Met With Rep For Company At Center Of Biden Smears

In an ironic twist, President Donald Trump’s recently ousted special envoy to Ukraine met last year with a top official at Burisma Group, the Ukrainian energy firm that Trump and his allies have used as a political cudgel against Joe Biden’s presidential run.

Kurt Volker was the administration’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations until Friday, when he resigned.

But in September 2018, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, he met with Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, on the sidelines of an event organized by the Atlantic Council....

Volker’s meeting with Pozharskyi was captured in a photograph on Burisma’s website and confirmed to the AP by several attendees.

In fact, the picture of Volker and Pozharskyi meeting is still visible on a Burisma blog post commemorating the event at the time.

The main allegation -- that Biden met with Pozharskyi and then pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma -- is wrong and has been wrong since the pro-Trump disinformationists started alleging it.
Government officials and Ukrainian anticorruption advocates said Shokin had hampered the investigation into Burisma long before Joe Biden even stepped into the picture, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In other words, Biden was doing the opposite of what Trump and Giuliani have implied: He was trying to oust a prosecutor who was slow-walking the investigation into Burisma, rather than actively targeting the company.

Western diplomats have also said Shokin effectively shut down one such investigation into Burisma's founder in the UK by refusing to cooperate with authorities. And Bloomberg reported that the Burisma investigation was largely dormant when Biden called for Shokin to be fired.

Most important, Biden represented the US's official position on the matter, one that was shared by many other Western governments and anticorruption activists in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
But if Pozharskyi is tainted, why did Trump's envoy meet with him? Maybe Rudy Giuliani can explain sometime.

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