White House has ‘nothing’ to say on Biden bribery claim after tips to diplomats, law enforcement emerge

WASHINGTON — Multiple tips to diplomats and law enforcement that might explain a whistleblower claim describing President Biden taking bribes have emerged — as the White House said Thursday it had “nothing” to say about the matter.

House Oversight Committee chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) issued a subpoena Wednesday requiring the FBI to hand over an informant report that describes “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

“I’m gonna have to refer you to the Justice Department on that,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told The Post during a White House briefing. “I have nothing for you on that today.”

“Do you know what country this pertains to or what policy decision?” a reporter asked.

“I have nothing for you, sir. I’m going to have to refer you to the Justice Department. And I’m getting the hook — see ya,” said Kirby, relinquishing the lectern to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The White House did not allow reporters any direct access to the president Thursday — a rarity for a weekday — meaning that Biden himself could not be asked about the claim.

Comer ordered the FBI to hand over the alleged document containing the allegation against Biden at a meeting on May 10 — specifying in his subpoena that the record was “created or modified in June 2020.”

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby declined to answer a question about an FBI whistleblower’s claims about President Biden allegedly taking bribes.
REUTERS/Leah Millis
The Post has not yet learned of a complaint that neatly matches the June 2020 timeframe, though the “created or modified” wording attracted notice because it left open the possibility that the report was drafted earlier before being revised that month.

One informant tip that may fit the description was given to the US embassy in Moscow in early 2012 about an alleged effort by Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov to get close to first son Hunter Biden, in order to influence the Obama-Biden administration amid an investigation of his cellphone company for bribery.

That tip was made to a State Department official and not to an FBI agent, a source told The Post, and it’s unclear if it was relayed to the bureau and if so when — or why such a document may have been revised in June 2020.

One tip might be related to Russian billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov’s attempt to get close to Hunter Biden in 2012.
The State Department official was “in total shock” and “couldn’t believe something so brazen could be going on,” the source told The Post.

At the time, the Justice Department was investigating Yevtushenkov’s cellphone company MTS for bribery in Uzbekistan, while then-VP Joe Biden was helping lead US efforts to “reset” US-Russia relations.

Yevtushenkov met with Hunter to discuss real estate twice, according to documents from the first son’s former laptop: In March 2012 in New York City and January 2013 in Washington. It’s unclear how many properties in the US he may have purchased in cooperation with the then-vice president’s son.

Ahead of his 2012 meeting with Hunter at the Ritz-Carlton in Manhattan, Yevtushenkov allegedly said he wanted to befriend Hunter so that “maybe he can do a favor for us and we can do a favor for him,” a source who spoke with Yevtushenkov at the time told The Post earlier this year.

Yevtushenkov met with Hunter Biden to discuss real estate in 2012 and 2013.
Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
“It was a complete quid pro quo that he was going in for,” the source said. “I told him that’s not the way it works in America, [but] he basically laughed at me and told me I was so naïve.”

MTS was at the center of a long-running Justice Department investigation into nearly $1 billion in bribes paid to Uzbekistani officials between 2004 and 2012. MTS, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange before trading in its shares was suspended in July 2022, ultimately settled the case with the Trump Justice Department in 2019 and agreed to pay an $850 million fine.

“There must have been a lot of people asking why DOJ wasn’t moving forward with any charges related to the giant bribery scheme in Uzbekistan because so many people from so many countries knew that DOJ and a dozen other countries were investigating it starting in 2011,” said the source who told The Post about the Moscow embassy tipoff.

“It is possible that someone inside the FBI reported it in 2020 because they were disgusted that the investigation had been stymied for so many years.”

Yevtushenkov, who until recently controlled large Russian military contractors, and another Russian billionaire linked to real estate shopping with Hunter, former Moscow first lady Yelena Baturina, have avoided the Biden administration’s sanctions against Russia’s business elite over the 14-month-old invasion of Ukraine — and also managed to avoid sanctions during the Donbas War between Russian proxies and Ukraine that broke out in 2014.

There are other possible explanations for the mysterious FBI document.

A former White House stenographer, Mike McCormick, told The Post that he submitted two tips to the bureau regarding Joe Biden’s alleged role in his son’s board position with Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

McCormick’s two complaints do not fit the timeframe in Comer’s subpoena, though it’s possible a similar one could have been submitted by someone else. The ex-stenographer said that he called the FBI and left a voicemail in November 2020 and then submitted an online form outlining his allegations in February 2023.

McCormick recently alleged that Biden and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan engaged in a corrupt conspiracy to supply US aid to Ukraine’s natural gas industry within a week of Hunter Biden joining the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. Sullivan told The Post that he denied wrongdoing.

Burisma paid Hunter up to $1 million per year to serve on its board beginning in April 2014 and three days after Hunter reportedly joined the board, Sullivan, then a vice presidential aide, told reporters on Air Force Two en route to Kyiv that Joe Biden would push for US support to Ukraine’s natural gas industry, which later that year was awarded $50 million by Congress.

The FBI also received a very public tip from from Hunter Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski weeks before the November 2020 presidential election.

Biden with then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko on July 21, 2009. Biden’s son Hunter served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Bobulinski met with FBI agents at bureau headquarters in October 2020 to discuss and provide evidence — later than the document described by Comer and Grassley.

Bobulinski said that he met twice with Joe Biden in 2017 after he left office as vice president to discuss a business venture with CEFC China Energy, which a Washington Post review of laptop records found transferred at least $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018 to Hunter and James Biden.

A May 2017 email from former Hunter Biden business associate James Gilliar said the “big guy” would get 10% of the deal and both Gilliar and Bobulinski have identified Joe Biden as the big guy.

One source told The Post that the newly revealed corruption allegation doesn’t pertain to China — where Hunter Biden also cofounded investment fund BHR Partners with Chinese state-backed entities within two weeks of arriving with his father in Beijing for an official visit. BHR facilitated a 2016 deal in which a Chinese firm bought a Congolese cobalt mine from US and Canadian companies.

Biden’s brother James and son Hunter received millions from a Chinese company while he was vice president.

However, the Chinese ventures involved business acquisitions and associations linked to other countries.

Vuk Jeremic, a former foreign minister of Serbia and president of the United Nations General Assembly, appears to have helped Biden family members connect with CEFC leaders in late 2015 when Joe Biden was still vice president.

The FBI and Justice Department have acknowledged receipt of Comer’s subpoena and an attached letter from Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

The State Department did not immediately comment on the alleged 2012 tipoff, nor did the FBI say whether the tip was passed along to the bureau.

Comer and Grassley identified the whistleblower’s alert as a potential major breakthrough.

“Based on the alleged specificity within the document, it would appear that the DOJ and the FBI have enough information to determine the truth and accuracy of the information contained within it,” they said in announcing the subpoena.

The congressional Republicans said “it remains unclear what steps, if any, were taken to investigate the matter.”

The whistleblower who informed congressional Republicans of the alleged document is a different person than the IRS whistleblower who came forward last month to allege “preferential treatment” and false testimony to Congress by Attorney General Merrick Garland about the criminal investigation of first son Hunter Biden for tax fraud and related crimes.

White House spokesman Ian Sams sought to downplay the development on Wednesday.

“For going on five years now, Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically-motivated attacks against the President and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests,” Sams said.

“That’s because they prefer floating anonymous innuendo, amplified by the megaphone of their allies in rightwing media, to get attention and try to distract and deflect from their own unpopular ideas and lack of solutions to the issues the American people actually care about.”

Sams added, “When it comes to President Biden’s personal finances, anybody can take a look: he has offered an unprecedented level of transparency, releasing a total of 25 years of tax returns to the American public.”

However, Biden has not released information that would show the source of more than $13 million in income in 2017 and 2018 that he and first lady Jill Biden routed through entities known as S Corporations to lower the amount of taxes paid to support the federal healthcare program Medicare.

* Article From: The New York Post