Democrats on the House Oversight Committee say they have uncovered evidence from the 2019 impeachment inquiry into then-President Donald Trump that they say disproves Republican claims of a possible bribery scheme between Joe Biden and a foreign citizen.
The document, released in a letter from Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the committee’s ranking member, to its chairman, Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., is a questionnaire 2019 completed by Mykola Zlochevsky, co-founder of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Biden’s son Hunter once served on the board. Zlochevsky denies ever having contact with Joe Biden while he was vice president or receiving help from his staff while Hunter was on the board.
The questionnaire was given to Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, who was serving as Trump’s personal attorney. Giuliani had been seeking information on Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election, when Biden was expected to be one of the Democrats who could challenge Trump. Parnas turned the questionnaire over to House committees investigating the former president, and then the FBI obtained it when it seized Parnas’ phone in 2019. It was never made public during the impeachment inquiry.
Asked to detail contacts between then-Vice President Biden and his office from 2013 to 2019, Zlochevsky wrote (in all caps): «No one at Burisma had any contact with Vice President Biden or people who worked for him during the Hunter Biden engagement. «. When asked if Biden or his staff helped Burisma in any way with business deals or meetings, he wrote: «NO.»
At that point, Parnas sent the completed document to Giuliani and another attorney, Victoria Toensing.
Democrats say the questionnaire provides critical context that casts doubt on Republican allegations that Biden profited from his son’s business ventures or even received a bribe from a foreign citizen. In early May, Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said a whistleblower told them the FBI had a document known as FD-1023 that included an unverified allegation from a human source that Biden, when he was Vice President, participated in a bribery scheme involving a foreign national.
During a speech in the room in June after viewing the document, Grassley said, «The 1023 also indicates that then-Vice President Joe Biden may have been involved in Burisma by employing Hunter Biden,» though neither Grassley nor Comer appear to have publicly stated that Zlochevsky was the foreigner in question.
In a letter to Comer, Raskin wrote, «These statements directly contradict and refute the allegations on Form FD-1023.»
«Mr. Zlochevsky’s statements are just one of many that have debunked allegations of corruption against President Biden that were first made by Rudy Giuliani and have been reviewed by former President Trump’s own Justice Department.»
It added that FD-1023 contains «unsubstantiated second-hand hearsay allegations» and that the confidential source behind the information «explicitly noted that it is not unusual for Ukrainian business executives to brag and brag and could not offer any opinion.» «. supporting the veracity of the accusations that he was transmitting ”.
Comer, in response, did not comment on the contents of the questionnaire Zlochevsky had completed, instead asking Raskin to join him in asking the FBI to make the FD-1023 form public.
“This record is not part of the material that Rudy Giuliani provided to the FBI,» he said. “This unclassified record stands on its own and commemorates conversations by a confidential human source with a Burisma executive dating back to 2015. The Burisma executive claims that then-Vice President Biden requested and received a $5 million bribe in exchange for certain actions .
“The executive also claims that he did not pay the ‘big guy’ directly, but used so many bank accounts that it would take 10 years to unravel them… Ranking member Raskin is rapidly losing credibility as he continues to aid and abet Biden. family cover-up.»