The US diplomat warned against deals with Hunter Biden and Ukraine in 2016
A secret 2016 State Department email shows a warning from a top diplomat that Hunter Biden’s lucrative job at a Ukrainian energy company is “undermining” American efforts to fight corruption in the eastern European country.
The existence of the email was never acknowledged during multiple court battles over Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records of business dealings between the first son and his father, President Biden, said Just the News website, which manages the e-mail in their report published Tuesday.
The report came a day after The New York Times sued the State Department for allegedly withholding emails and memos involving Hunter Biden and his former business partners, sent to or received by US Embassy officials in Romania.
In the November 22, 2016 email, former State Department official George Kent, then deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy to Ukraine, reported a discussion in which he described the “saga” surrounding the transplant case against Mykola Zlochevsky, ret former Minister of Natural Resources of Ukraine and founder of Burisma Holdings, which paid Hunter Biden $1 million annually for a seat on its board.
Kent recalled saying “that I think the real problem was that someone in Washington had to quietly engage VP Biden and say that his son Hunter’s presence on the Burisma board undermines the anti-corruption message that the VP and we have.” advance in Ukraine”.
“Ukrainians heard a message from us and then saw a different behavior in the family connection with a known corrupt person whose company was known for not playing by the rules in the oil/gas sector,” Kent added.
Kent’s email was classified as “confidential” by then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and both were key witnesses against former President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial in 2019.
Kent had previously testified behind closed doors that he had raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s job at Burisma in 2015, according to reports.
His email, which was sent to former State Department official Jorgan Andrews and others whose names have been redacted, was not presented to House lawmakers during the impeachment trial, Just the News said.
Former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who was part of Trump’s defense team, told Just the News that withholding Kent’s email was a “very serious constitutional violation” of the rule that requires exculpatory evidence to be presented to a defendant be handed over.
“And of course that must apply even more to impeachment proceedings,” said Dershowitz.
“Because in an impeachment trial, the American public has a right to know all the evidence.”
US Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also called it “scary” to learn that Trump “was not allowed to have any information that he could use in his defense.”
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post on Wednesday.