Former Burisma Lawyer John Buretta Files Retroactive FARA Disclosure As Biden Impeachment Inquiry Progresses

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A former lawyer for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings registered as a foreign agent Thursday as House Republicans continue to investigate the Biden family’s foreign business dealings.

John Buretta, a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, filed Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosures with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the work he carried out on behalf of Burisma and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky from 2016-17, FARA documents show. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Did Not Get Overdue Tax Returns Prepared For Months After Getting Sober, Docs Show)


“In January 2016, Mr. Buretta was retained to represent Mykola Zlochevsky in connection with possible investigations by governmental authorities in the United States. The representation thereafter broadened to include Burisma Holdings Limited, as well as governmental investigations in Ukraine, and continued until April 2017,” the FARA disclosure form reads.

“As part of this representation, Mr. Buretta met with three U.S. government officials in March 2016 and sent one letter to a U.S. government official in September 2016. In these interactions, Mr. Buretta identified his clients and presented facts relevant to potential U.S. and Ukrainian investigations, including information from a UK proceeding involving his clients.”

Burisma and Zlochevsky paid Cravath more than $349,000 for professional services from January 2016 to April 2017, the law firm said in its form. Cravath told the Daily Caller it retroactively filed the FARA documents after consultation with the DOJ.

“After discussions with the Department of Justice regarding FARA’s scope, Cravath has filed a retroactive registration covering legal services provided to two former clients in March and September 2016, and a supplemental statement terminating the registration as of September 2016,” Cravath said in a statement.

Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board in spring 2014 and initially received a salary of over $80,000 per month, bank records show. His father, then-vice president Joe Biden, oversaw the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy at the time.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 13: House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) (L) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) talk to reporters in the Rayburn House Office Building on December 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden defied a subpoena from the committee to testify behind closed doors ahead of a House vote on an impeachment inquiry against his father. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

House Republicans are investigating the role Joe Biden played in his son’s foreign business dealings as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president. The White House has said Joe Biden was “not in business” with his son. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Business Relationship With Chinese Firm Began During Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency, Docs Show)

Former Burisma board member and Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer told the House Oversight Committee in July the Biden family “brand” protected Burisma from legal scrutiny. Hunter Biden once warned Archer in 2014 about making sure not to violate FARA. However, Hunter has not registered as a foreign agent for his work with Burisma.

Archer recalled a spring 2015 dinner Joe Biden attended with Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi and roughly 20 other instances where Joe Biden spoke with his son’s business associates. Pozharskyi sent Hunter Biden an email the following day expressing his excitement about meeting Joe Biden, Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop archive shows. The New York Post first reported on the dinner and subsequent email.

Then-VP Biden exchanged over 50 private emails with Hunter Biden’s former business associate Eric Schwerin, most of which came around his June 2014 Ukraine trip, according to email data released Dec. 5 by the House Ways and Means Committee.

House Republicans have subpoenaed Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s former business associate Rob Walker and his uncle James Biden to appear before congress.

Joe Biden denied ever communicating with Hunter Biden’s business associates Dec. 6 after he was pressed by New York Post reporter Steven Nelson.

Burisma hired lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies in late 2015 to assist with its efforts to lobby the Obama administration, the firm later disclosed in a May 2022 FARA form. A memo Blue Star sent to Burisma in December 2015 featured then-VP Biden’s talking points for his upcoming Ukraine trip where he pushed Ukraine to address corruption.

In March 2016, Ukraine fired top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who appeared to be investigating Burisma at the time. Joe Biden has bragged on multiple occasions about threatening to withhold $1 billion of funding for Ukraine if Shokin was not fired.

Archer told Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson in August that Shokin was considered a “threat” to Burisma’s business. Shokin had Zlochevsky’s property raided the month before Shokin got fired, according to a Ukrainian media report. Archer also recalled to Carlson how Shokin seized Zlochevsky’s assets.

Later that year, Blue Star and Schwerin discussed taking a “victory lap” after Zlochevsky appeared to be let off by Shokin’s replacement, another Blue Star client. In early 2017, a Ukrainian news outlet interviewed Buretta, and the attorney said he joined Zlochevsky and Burisma’s legal team after recommendations from U.S. advisors.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, walks through the cemetery at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Catholic Church on the day of the death of the President’s first wife and daughter who died in a car accident in 1972, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 18, 2023. REUTERS/Nathan Howard

Burisma significantly reduced Hunter Biden’s salary when the Obama administration concluded in 2017, according to Hunter Biden’s federal tax indictment in California resulting from special counsel David Weiss’ ongoing criminal investigation centered around Biden’s taxes.

IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have described how potential FARA issues for Hunter Biden in Washington, D.C., during the 2014-15 tax years came up in the investigation because of his work for Burisma.

“There were also potential FARA issues relating to 2014 and 2015. The purposeful exclusion of the 2014 and 2015 years sanitized the most substantive criminal conduct and concealed material facts,” Shapley testified in May.

Weiss testified before the House Judiciary Committee in November and confirmed the statute of limitations expired for the 2014-15 tax years after Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves declined to cooperate on the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Caller.

Emails released by the Ways and Means Committee in September show former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware Lesley Wolf prevented “political figure 1” from being included on a search warrant for Blue Star strategies in connection with the FARA portion of the investigation. A draft copy of the warrant indicates then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was “political figure 1” mentioned by Wolf.

Weiss, the Delaware U.S. Attorney, defended Wolf and his team of prosecutors when he testified. Wolf testified in December and refused to explain her decision to get Joe Biden taken off the search warrant, according to a transcript reviewed by the Caller.

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 13: U.S. President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden talks to reporters outside the U.S. Capitol on December 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. Hunter Biden defied a subpoena from Congress to testify behind closed doors ahead of a House vote on an impeachment inquiry against his father. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Hunter Biden was charged with nine tax related offenses in California related to his alleged failure to pay over $1 million in taxes during the 2016-19 tax years, despite hauling in over $7 million of total gross income.

The Biden family and its business associates received more than $24 million from foreign sources over a roughly five year time span concluding in 2019, House Republicans said in a September memo. Biden family members hauled in $15 million of the earnings.

GOP lawmakers are initiating contempt of congress proceedings against Hunter Biden for defying a subpoena by failing to appear for a closed-door deposition. He chose to stage a press conference on Capitol Hill and defend his father and renewed his offer to testify publicly.

“Let me state as clearly as I can: My father was not financially involved in my business, not as a practicing lawyer, not as a board member of Burisma. Not in my partnership with a Chinese private businessman. Not my investments at home nor abroad and certainly not as an artist,” Hunter Biden said at the press conference.

His California arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 11.