Nina Jankowicz, the incoming head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, defended Hunter Biden’s work on the Burisma Energy board during a July 2020 book talk.
Hunter Biden sat on the board of the Burisma Energy company from 2014 to 2019, when his father Joe Biden announced his presidential campaign. The business arrangement, which netted Hunter’s law firm more than $750,000 in 2016, created “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns,” according to a report published in September 2020 by Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The report also alleged that Obama administration officials worried that the job “enabled Russian disinformation efforts.”
However, according to Jankowicz, then a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Hunter Biden’s job was not a concern because it was completely detached from the Obama administration’s Eastern Europe diplomatic efforts.
“The accusation is that Hunter Biden, in serving on the board of a Ukrainian company, which you know he is allowed to do, he was not the only foreign expert serving on the board of Ukrainian company, was involved in some corrupt behavior of that company. This company has been investigated for a long time. Burisma is the name of the company. There’s never been any indication that Hunter Biden was involved in anything untoward. There are questions about whether he should have taken that board appointment given his father’s role as, you know, the Obama administration’s main emissary to Ukraine, but that’s not necessarily something that Joe Biden has control over. It certainly has nothing to do with Joe Biden’s policies toward Ukraine,” Jankowicz said during an online talk with BuzzFeed News reporter Jane Lytvynenko about her book “How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict.”
“And this has, you know, spun into a whole other host of nonsense basically that Joe Biden withheld aid to Ukraine in order to get a resolution to this investigation into Burisma and get his son out of the limelight. It’s just, it’s a load of nonsense. The investigation that is in question was closed at the time that Biden was kind of doing a carrot and stick routine which many diplomats do related to Ukraine in order to get some some financial reforms through and anti-corruption reforms. And there’s a whole host of other allegations that just don’t even bear repeating,” she continued.
The Ukrainian government began an embezzlement investigation into Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky in 2013, one year before he tapped Hunter Biden to the energy firm’s board. That investigation continued into 2020, when Ukrainian officials uncovered a $6 million bribe intended to help shut it down. (RELATED: Biden Official Tapped To Head DHS’s New ‘Disinformation’ Board Peddled Disinformation)
In his role as head of Ukraine policy in the Obama administration, Joe Biden reportedly urged then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Viktor Shokin, the Prosecutor General who led the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma. Joe Biden promoted his role in Shokin’s firing on at least one occasion, telling a crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations that he was instrumental in the move.
Support for Shokin’s firing was due to his refusal to investigate official corruption, many Obama administration officials have claimed. In addition, Biden likely overstated his role in the firing, with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde reportedly spearheading the effort.
Jankowicz has repeatedly downplayed concerns about disinformation that fits with left-leaning narratives, while expressing outrage about stories that conform with right-leaning concerns. During the 2020 election, she promoted a letter from ex-intelligence officials claiming that the publication of documents from Hunter Biden’s laptop was part of a Russian disinformation effort. She also referred to the laptop as a “Trump campaign product.”
More recently, Jankowicz claimed that concerns about critical race theory are part of a disinformation campaign. (RELATED: Biden’s New Truth Czar Talks A Lot About ‘Disinformation Laundering.’ And Here She Is Committing That Very Sin)
“Critical Race Theory has become one of those hot-button issues that the Republicans and other disinformers, who are engaged in disinformation for profit, frankly … have seized on,” she said in October 2021.