FIRST ON FOX: Republican lawmakers erupted Tuesday after learning about a 2015 email chain that predated President Biden’s infamous 2015 trip to Ukraine, when a Burisma Holdings executive revealed the "ultimate purpose" of Hunter Biden’s involvement with the Ukrainian energy company.
One month before then-Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine, where he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid if Ukrainian leaders did not fire their top prosecutor, Hunter Biden and Burisma executives were discussing executing a contract for counter-messaging against any federal investigations into Burisma’s founder and then-president, Mykola Zlochevsky.
"The sequence of events that led to the firing of Viktor Shokin, and the subsequent comments by then-Vice President Biden, raise serious concerns as to what machinations were really at play — and were purposefully concealed from the American people," Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who sits on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, told Fox News Digital. "No matter how you slice Hunter Biden’s involvement, it screams public corruption at the highest levels and must be fully investigated."
"The calm, judicious, steady reveal of incredibly condemning evidence that clearly incriminates the Biden crime family will eventually alarm even the most ardent supporters of this WH occupier," said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., also a committee member. "Our President is compromised, he should resign and be forever condemned, and the Democrat Party should begin rebuilding itself."
On Nov. 2, 2015, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi emailed Hunter Biden, who was serving as a Burisma board member, his associates Devon Archer, a fellow board member, and Rosemont Seneca Partners president Eric Schwerin about a "revised proposal, contract and initial invoice for Burisma Holdings," from lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies, according to emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop, which have been verified by Fox News Digital.
Pozharskyi emphasized in his email that the "ultimate purpose" of the agreement with Blue Star Strategies was to shut down "any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine," referring to Zlochevsky, who also went by Nikolay.
"My only concern is for us to be on the same page re our final goals," Pozharskyi wrote. "With this in mind, I would like us to formulate a list of deliverables, including, but not limited to: a concrete course of actions, incl. meetings/communications resulting in high-ranking US officials in Ukraine (US Ambassador) and in US publicly or in private communication/comment expressing their ‘positive opinion’ and support of Nikolay/Burisma to the highest level of decision makers here in Ukraine :President of Ukraine, president Chief of staff, Prosecutor General, etc."
"The scope of work should also include organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy-makers to Ukraine in November aiming to conduct meetings with and bring positive signal/message and support on Nikolay's issue to the Ukrainian top officials above with the ultimate purpose to close down for any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine," Pozharskyi continued.
Upon joining Burisma, Hunter Biden reportedly connected the company with Blue Star Strategies to help the firm fight corruption charges levied against Zlochevsky. The firm reportedly came under federal investigation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware in 2021 for its lobbying practices. The same office, led by U.S. Attorney David Weiss, is leading the federal investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings.
"I would tell Vadym that this is definitely done deliberately to the be on the safe and cautious side and that Sally and company understand the scope and deliverables," Schwerin wrote to Hunter Biden and Archer the same day, forwarding Pozharskyi's message. "And that we will be having regular (daily, weekly, monthly) opportunities be in through conference calls or memos to be continually refining and updating the scope."
Hunter Biden responded to Pozharskyi, saying he wanted to "have one last conversation" with Blue Star, but later said he was "comfortable" with Blue Star. "You should go ahead and sign," he wrote on Nov. 5, 2015.
"Looking forward to getting started on this," Hunter Biden added.
The email exchange came one month before then Vice President Biden traveled to Ukraine's capital of Kiev, where he gave a speech about rooting out corruption in politics.
Ahead of the trip, an associate at Blue Star Strategies emailed Blue Star executives, Hunter Biden, Archer and Pozharskyi about a White House conference call that "outlined the trip’s agenda and addressed several questions regarding U.S. policy toward Ukraine."
During the trip, Biden pressured Ukrainian officials to fire Shokin, the prosecutor investigating Zlochevsky at the time. Shokin was fired less than four months later in March 2016.
In February 2016, roughly two months after Biden's trip and two months before Shokin’s firing, Hunter Biden thanked Zlochevsky in an email for "the beautiful birthday gifts," which he described as "far too extravagant." It is unclear what he received from the Ukrainian tycoon.
Biden would later boast on camera in 2018 that when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin.
The White House has repeatedly said Biden put pressure on Ukraine to fire Shokin because he was too lax on prosecuting corruption. However, Oversight Committee Republicans told Fox News Digital the timing of events is more than just a coincidence.
"I don't think Biden had Shokin fired because he was too lax on corruption," said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn. "I think Biden had him fired to cover his own tail when it comes to the Biden family's shady business dealings in Ukraine and because Shokin was looking into Zlochevsky very seriously. It's not a coincidence that this email came a month before his visit to Kyiv. Our work on the Oversight Committee isn't finished."
"Evidence makes it clear that Hunter Biden was only appointed to Burisma’s board of directors because of his last name and family’s network," said Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the committee's chairman. "Additionally, the FBI’s Biden bribery record detailing an alleged extortion and bribery scheme between then-Vice President Biden and a Burisma executive in exchange for certain actions mirrors the purpose of Hunter Biden’s appointment. The Department of Justice has been sitting on a mountain of evidence pointing to the Bidens’ corruption for years but has been engaged in a coverup. We need to root out this politicization and misconduct at the Department of Justice and deliver answers, transparency, and accountability to the American people."
"The timeline in these emails further supports the conclusion that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to gain access to his father," said Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D. "They wanted a U.S. policymaker to take their side, and they got Vice President Joe Biden, who was in charge of Ukraine policy for the Obama administration. These emails raise even more questions that need answers."
"Additional emails heighten concerns about the question of whether then-Vice President Biden was aware of his son Hunter’s engagements," added Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wisc. "Whether in Ukraine or China, it’s difficult for Congress to rely on information from the Executive Branch with so many questions about whether our President and his family are compromised by foreign entities. The House Oversight Committee will continue conducting thorough investigations into the Biden family to determine the degree to which the Biden administration may be making decisions for reasons other than to best serve the American public."
"It seems like every day there is a new headline on another revelation of the corruption within the Biden Crime Syndicate," said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. "The emails further establish bribery and corruption between Ukraine officials and the Bidens. In short, they are evidence of potential criminal activity by Joe, the Big Man, Biden and his son, Hunter."
"Putting personal interests ahead of American interests is not just a dishonor of the office, but treasonous," he continued. "It is a major scandal unprecedented in the annals of our history and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee will investigate and expose as much of the ugly truth as possible."
"Yet again, it seems all roads lead to Hunter Biden's ‘business deals’ being directly tied to his father's position of power and influence," said Rep. Russell Fry, R-S.C. "This adds to the long list of red flags surrounding Hunter and the Biden family that the Oversight Committee has been working to uncover for the past six months."
"Everything we are uncovering points to Hunter Biden using his name and his father’s position to get rich," said Rep. William Timmons, R-S.C. "It’s bribery — and it is both wrong and illegal. House Democrats, the legacy media, and even top brass at the FBI and DOJ failed to do their job and investigate all the literal and figurative smoke that clouds Hunter Biden. House Republicans will do our job and uncover the truth."
Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who both sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Fox News Digital that the uncovered emails further point to the Bidens being tied to a foreign bribery scheme.
"There can be no doubt about Burisma’s motives for paying Hunter Biden millions despite his lack of industry expertise, it’s right there in black and white," Grassley said. "This was always about enlisting the Biden name to influence U.S. policy and public perception of a Ukrainian company mired in corruption investigations. The Justice Department forced Burisma’s lobbying firm to register as foreign agents. Why wasn’t Hunter Biden?"