Russian TV producer praised Hunter Biden chasing Joe interview: emails
By Snejana Farberov
A Russian TV producer gushed over Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings in a bid to score a sitdown with dad Joe, according to newly released emails.
The 2014 message from NTV producer Natalya Usenko to the then-vice president’s office was labeled a “charming letter” by Biden communications director Shailagh Murray — but no interview was ever granted.
Usenko’s missive and Murray’s remarks were released by the National Archives in response to a lawsuit filed by the right-wing nonprofit America First Legal Foundation, founded by former senior Trump aide Stephen Miller.
“Mr. Hunter Biden has recently become a member of Committee of Directors of Burisma company. We would like to congratulate him and wish him good luck!” Usenko wrote.
“Would you be so kind to help us to organize an interview with Mr. Joseph Biden so that he could tell us his attitude towards and tell us if it will influence the foreign policy of the USA.”
Other emails released by the Archives, which were reviewed by The Post last week, reveal that Hunter coached his dad’s office on how to respond to press inquiries about his appointment to the Burisma board — which was announced on May 12, 2014.
“Thanks for talking to me,” Joe Biden press secretary Kendra Barkoff emailed Hunter the following day. “[L]et me know who I should refer folks to.”
“What exactly are they asking?” Hunter responded. “For the time being I’d just refer them to my office.”
The first son later specified that Barkoff should refer questions to his business partner, Eric Schwerin and added: “If anything beyond referring questions to my office is required from you or counsel you can contact Heather King at Boise [sic] Schiller.”
That same day, ABC News reporter Ann Compton asked Barkoff whether the White House counsel’s office was informed of Hunter’s appointment and whether Biden was aware of it when he visited Ukraine a month earlier.
Barkoff responded with an off the record statement which she ran by Hunter for approval:
“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer. The Vice President does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. For any additional questions, I refer you to Hunter’s office.”
“OFF the record doesn’t help. I would however be willing to use this with or without quoting YOU,” Compton told Barkoff.
The National Archives released the full exchange because it does not recognize the “off-the-record” designation.
Burisma announced that Hunter was joining its board of directors on May 12, 2014, offering him an annual salary of $1 million — despite him having no prior experience in the energy sector.
Miller’s nonprofit argues that Hunter’s communications with Barkoff showed that the president’s son “is Burisma’s agent and subject to FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938) registration because he was an officer of Burisma and represented Burisma’s interests to the Office of the Vice President in addition to advising on a public relations matter.”
Separately, Hunter Biden, 53, is reportedly being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware on suspicion of tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying, money laundering and lying about his drug use on a gun purchase form