Politics

Hunter Biden Warned Devon Archer About Potential FARA Violations Right Before Taking Burisma Board Seat, Emails Show

Mark Makela/Getty Images

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Hunter Biden warned business associate Devon Archer about potential violations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) right before Ukrainian energy firm Burisma put the two men on its board, according to emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop archive.

Hunter Biden emailed Archer in April 2014 about the value the two would provide Burisma and how they could protect themselves from FARA and other potential legal issues, the archive shows.

“To that end they need to know in no uncertain terms that we will not and cannot intervene directly with domestic policy makers, and that we need to abide by FARA and any other US laws in the strictest sense across the board,” Hunter warned Archer, according to the laptop archive. (RELATED: Joe Biden Dined With Hunter Biden And Russian Oligarch In Washington, Devon Archer Testifies)

“The contract should begin now- not after the upcoming visit of my guy,” he continued. “That should include a retainer in the range of 25k p/m w/ additional fees where appropriate for more in depth work to go to BSF for our protection. Complete separate from our respective deals re board participation.”

“Buy a cell phone from a 7/11 or CVS tmrw and ill do the same,” Hunter added in his email to Archer. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Worked To Secure US Visa For Ukrainian Oligarch Allegedly Involved With Suspected Bribery Scheme)

Archer testified before the House Oversight Committee on Monday and confirmed “my guy” was a reference to then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to a statement from Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, chair of the House Oversight Committee.

Archer told the committee about how Hunter Biden added value to “the brand” of Burisma and “called D.C.” in December 2015 to get Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired. He also said Joe Biden spoke to Hunter “more than 20 times about their business deals” through phone calls and in-person appearances.

Comer told Newsmax Monday night that Archer’s testimony “opened the door” to a FARA case against President Joe Biden for allegedly participating in Hunter’s meetings.

In his April 2014 email to Archer, Hunter was referring to Boies Schiller Flexner LLP when he told Archer about bringing “BSF” in to work for Burisma. In the same email, Hunter told Archer about what BSF could bring to the table for Burisma. The law firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“We can actually be of real value here,” Hunter wrote. “Developing relationships, bringing US expertise to the company, supplying strategic advice on politics and geopolitical risk assesment. BSF can actually have direct discussions at state, energy and NSC. They can devise a media plan and arrange for legal protections and mitigate US domestic negative press regarding the current leadership if need be.”

Hunter set up a call with BSF partners including Christopher Boies and Heather King shortly after his correspondence with Archer, emails show. Hunter and Archer emailed back and forth in late March 2014 about the fees they would charge Burisma and the scope of BSF’s deal with the company.

“Boies looks good,” Archer told Hunter. “The engagement letter should also include the broad strokes outline of the scope.  We also need to schedule Nicoli call for tomorrow.  We had said 10am or 11am tomorrow.  Let me know what works for you and Boies so I can relay to Burisma.  As soon as we have scheduled we can send letter.”

“Nicoli” refers to Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky, whom Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi usually called “Nikolay” in his emails with Hunter Biden, Archer and other business associates.

For instance, Pozharskyi called Zlochevsky “Nikolay” when he was giving biographical information to King and other business associates about Zlochevsky’s time as Minister of Ecology under Ukrainian President Yanukovych, emails show.

Likewise, Pozharskyi corrected King when she referred to Zlochevsky as “Nikolai” in a September 2014 email containing a letter of invitation for Zlochevsky, according to emails from Biden’s laptop archive.

“Thank you for the invitation. We really appreciate your effort. However, please, bear in mind that the correct spelling of his name is Mykola Zlochevskyi,” Pozharskyi wrote.

Archer called Zlochevsky “Nicoli” when he was talking to Hunter Biden about BSF’s deal with Burisma after he updated Hunter on King’s invitation letter, the emails show. Pozharskyi previously suggested Hunter sign Zlochevsky’s invitation letter as part of Zlochevsky’s U.S. visa application.

In a separate May 2014 email, King suggested Burisma hire a lobbying firm, a PR firm and an investigative research firm in order to talk directly with the government and get out ahead of press coverage.

“In addition to the PR firm, there are 2 other consultants I strongly believe Burisma should authorize us to engage for them,” King said to Hunter Biden and Devon Archer. “1) The lobbyist I recommended to Vadim yesterday and which he responded that he would rather not. I would work hand in hand with the lobbyist but here is a quick version of why I think we need him, which I can explain more eloquently to Vadim in an email.”

“[H]e is a registered lobbyist and I’m not, and we have to be registered to talk to the government about Burisma at any substantial level-I can be involved if David is there, but me going on my own means I’d have to register,” King continued.

“In addition, all of us here at BSF strongly(!!!) believe we need Burisma to authorize hiring an investigative research firm right away. In order for us to get ahead of the press now and in the future, and in order for me/us to legitimately sell Burisma to the US Government,” King added, according to the email archive.

Later in the month, King informed Pozharskyi about her communication with the State Department about Zlochevsky’s visa problems preventing him from coming to the U.S, emails show. In June 2014, King mentioned a call she was working on with the “Ukraine desk” about the visa situation.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, leaves the O'Neill House Office Building after testifying to the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. Archer gave closed-door testimony to the Republican-controlled committee that is investigating President Joe Biden's son. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, leaves the O’Neill House Office Building after testifying to the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Burisma later agreed to a lobbying contract with Blue Star Strategies, an international lobbying firm recommended by Hunter Biden, emails show. Blue Star disclosed two meetings with State Department officials on behalf of Burisma and Mykola Zlochevsky in a May 2022 FARA registration form. (RELATED: Burisma Lobbyists Recommended By Hunter Biden Didn’t Disclose Over $400,000 In Payments, Testimony Shows)

“Beginning in November 2015 and continuing through the relevant period of 2016, Blue Star Strategies, registrant, was working on behalf of Burisma Holdings Limited (Burisma), a Ukrainian energy company, to further its commercial interests,” the form reads. “Mr. Zlochevsky was a principal of Burisma at that time. Registrant was asked in 2016 to help schedule meetings with U.S. Government officials so counsel for Mr. Zlochevsky could present an explanation of certain adverse proceedings in the U.K. and Ukraine involving Mr. Zlochevsky.”

Zlochevsky is the Ukrainian oligarch named in an FBI FD-1023 form describing an alleged bribery scheme involving Joe and Hunter Biden. The confidential human source (CHS) behind the FD-1023 form alleged Zlochevsky talked to him about sending bribes to the Bidens to have Shokin fired. (RELATED: Joe And Hunter ‘Both’ Told Ukrainian Oligarch To Keep Him On Burisma Board, FBI Source Says)

Blue Star disclosed two $30,000 payments from Burisma for its lobbying services. IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler testified to the House Ways and Means Committee that Burisma paid Blue Star $540,000 for its work.

Ziegler also told the House Oversight Committee that Hunter Biden and his associates received $17 million from Ukrainian, Chinese and Romanian business interests.

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley said Hunter allegedly sent a threatening text to an associate working for Chinese energy firm CEFC while Joe Biden was in the room in July 2017. House Oversight released a different text allegedly sent by Hunter to a different CEFC associate on Aug. 3, 2017, about how the Bidens are “the best” at doing what his boss wanted.

The next day, Owasco P.C. allegedly received a $100,000 payment from a CEFC subsidiary, House Oversight showed. In addition, a business entity formed by Hunter Biden and a Chinese business partner received an estimated $5 million in payments Aug. 8, 2017, according to a Senate report released in 2020.

Shapley testified to House Oversight that Joe Biden met with CEFC officials in May 2017 after he told the House Ways and Means Committee that Hunter Biden’s business associate Rob Walker informed the FBI about Joe Biden’s alleged presence at the meeting. House Oversight released a memo in March detailing payments Walker allegedly sent to Biden family members on behalf of Chinese firm State Energy HK. Another business associate, Tony Bobulinski, said he spoke with the FBI about Joe Biden allegedly receiving 10% of the money from Hunter’s CEFC venture, the New York Post reported in October 2022.

In July the DOJ indicted Gal Luft, a U.S.-Israeli think tank director, for “willfully” failing to register under FARA for his work with CEFC, among other charges. The DOJ indictment accuses Luft of receiving an estimated $700,000 from CEFC to advance China’s interests.

Hunter Biden’s proposed guilty plea confirmed he received millions worth of payments from Ukrainian, Chinese and Romanian business interests in 2017, with some of the money going to his domestic corporations Owasco P.C. and Owasco LLC.

Biden was expected to plead guilty to tax and gun charges at a July 26 court appearance in Delaware until a disagreement with Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors blew up the deal.

Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika pressed Hunter Biden, DOJ prosecutor Leo Wise and Biden’s attorney Christopher Clark about an immunity provision tucked into Hunter’s proposed diversion agreement that was paired with his plea deal.

Noreika questioned Wise about whether Biden could still be charged under FARA if the immunity provision was agreed upon. Wise said Biden could potentially get charged with FARA violations and Clark disagreed, resulting in Biden’s plea deal falling apart. The president’s son ended up pleading not guilty to the charges.

The White House maintains Joe Biden was not doing business with his son, and Hunter’s lawyers have said Hunter’s statements are solely his own.

“It appears that the House Republicans’ own much-hyped witness today testified that he never heard of President Biden discussing business with his son or his son’s associates, or doing anything wrong,” White House spokesman Ian Sams told multiple outlets, according to National Review.

“House Republicans keep promising bombshell evidence to support their ridiculous attacks against the President, but time after time, they keep failing to produce any.”