New tapes, allegedly featuring phone conversations between presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as well as documents showing money transfers from Burisma to Hunter Biden’s co-founded Rosemont Seneca Bohai company, were released by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach and former prosecutor Konstantin Kulyk on Monday.
Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, served on Burisma’s board from 2014 to 2019. The company was under a corruption-related investigation by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was fired from his position in 2016. It was alleged that his ousting happened under pressure from officials in the Obama administration. In May, MP Derkach released the first batch of recordings allegedly featuring conversations between Poroshenko and two US officials, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.
In the tapes, the authenticity of which remains unconfirmed, the two officials are heard pressuring the Ukrainian president to dismiss Shokin from his post, arguing that otherwise a $1 billion loan guarantee from the US to Ukraine would be withheld.
According to Kulyk, there is now evidence proving that “Burisma representatives were ready to give a bribe of $50 million” to the Ukrainian government in order to get the case against the company closed.
The former prosecutor also argued that Burisma’s owner Mykola Zlochevsky was complicit in “money laundering”, using the Ukrainian gas company and Rosemont Seneca Bohai, which is associated with Biden’s family.
“It was through Rosemont Seneca Bohai that Burisma transferred money to Biden for assistance in avoiding criminal liability”, he said during a press conference.
The revealed documents also list payments of $3.4 million from Burisma to Rosemont Seneca Bohai for “consulting services”. However, according to Kulyk, who was investigating the “theft” of “billions” from Ukraine over several years, this money was destined for the “political protection of Burisma” by then-Vice President Joe Biden.
More Revelations From Second Batch of Tapes
Derkach said that the newly released tapes only proved the level of “international corruption” and “foreign control” of Ukraine, with a person sounding “very similar” to Joe Biden asking another who is allegedly “Poroshenko” for a “favour”. The latter is also heard thanking the purported vice president for the handling of former official Oleksandr Onyshchenko, who recently told Sputnik Deutschland that he was the one who recorded the incriminating tapes. In the new recording, “Biden” is heard assuring “Poroshenko” that the FBI would not be working with Onyshchenko following his interrogation.
The two officials were also allegedly discussing throughout 2016 the nationalisation of Ukraine’s PrivatBank and how the process was opposed by its former owner, Igor Kolomoisky. They also touched upon the possible dismissal of Andriy Kobolyev from his post in the Naftogaz company. The move was strongly opposed by “Biden”, and the person sounding like “Poroshenko” is heard on the tape assuring him that this would not happen. Kobolyev is still the CEO of Naftogaz.
The Biden campaign has so far only commented on the first set of tapes, released in May, arguing that they were “heavily edited”, while Poroshenko has dismissed both sets of recordings as a “fabrication” by Russia.
Header: Poroshenko with Angela Merkel and Joe Biden, 7 February 2015.