In the shadows of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Hunter Biden and his business partners embarked on an aggressive campaign to score millions of dollars in “life changing” business with oligarchs in both countries who had an interest in the elder Biden’s policy decisions, according to emails and court records reviewed by Peter Schweizer’s Drill Down.
Then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son and his associates targeted Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina—who eventually was sanctioned by the U.S. a few years later in 2018—for as much as $200 million after helping her get a bank account set up in America, the emails show. Hunter and his associates even arranged for Baturina and her husband, an ex-Moscow mayor, to meet with Joe Biden at an intimate dinner in Washington in 2015.
At the same time, he and his team courted Baturina, Hunter Biden was securing lucrative board positions and consulting deals with Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, a man whose company, Burisma Holdings, the United States and Great Britain wanted investigated for corruption.
The delicate balancing act of cashing in on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides of the conflict left the younger Biden and his partners acutely aware that Moscow’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean region in 2014 was a wild card that could scuttle the success of their business pursuits, the memos show.
“Just spent two hours on the phone with Kiev. I am confident at this point that this is a good if not life changing deal if the [Ukraine] doesn’t collapse in the meantime,” now-convicted Biden business partner Devon Archer wrote Hunter Biden in one particularly candid assessment of their strategy in mid-April 2014.
Eventually, another of Hunter Biden’s convicted business associates, John Galanis, would declare in a sworn affidavit to a federal court that he and his son Jason became aware of a strategy by Hunter Biden-related companies of promising oligarchs “quid pro quo” access to Washington in return for their dollars.
“Jason Galanis gave his interest in Burnham/Wealth Assurance to Archer on the prospect that Archer and Hunter Biden would continue to attract foreign oligarchs on the promise of high-level political contacts,” John Galanis swore in a January 2020 affidavit that unequivocally referred to the scheme as “political influence peddling.”
The Galanis father-son team and Archer have all been convicted in a fraud scheme that fleeced a Native American Indian tribe. Hunter Biden was not charged in that case. Hunter Biden has acknowledged he is under criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware but denied committing any wrongdoing. His attorneys have not responded to requests for comment.
President Biden has repeatedly defended his son, most recently through his White House chief of staff Ron Klain over the weekend in an interview in which Klain said “the President is confident that his son didn’t break the law.”
Whether crimes were committed or not, the records gleaned from the Archer-Galanis trial and a Hunter Biden laptop the FBI seized from a Delaware computer shop in 2019 make clear Hunter Biden and his associates directly sought business with both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
And they did so during one of the most turbulent times in recent Eastern European history, starting with Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution followed by Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
Ever since a Senate committee revealed in 2020 that Baturina sent $3.5 million to a firm inside Hunter Biden’s business circle, Democrats and their defenders have tried to distance the family from the Russian oligarch. The Senate report, citing a media story, said Hunter Biden cofounded the firm that received that Baturina payment; Hunter Biden’s lawyer has said he did not have an ownership stake in the firm and wasn’t a cofounder.
But the memos make clear Hunter Biden had direct dealings and was on a first-name basis with Baturina as they pitched her deals, which included a $40 million real estate venture in New York through the Burnham investment firm where Hunter Biden was listed as a vice chairman in the firm’s promotional materials.
Baturina entered Biden world no later than November 2013, when Jason Galanis and another convicted Biden business partner, Bevan Cooney, accessed the Russian oligarch’s Wikipedia page, according to an exclusive search of Bevan Cooney’s emails by Peter Schweizer of the Government Accountability Institute.
Less than three weeks later (and just days before thousands of protestors gathered in Kyiv for what became known as the Euromaidan protests that ultimately ousted Russia-friendly Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych), Archer emailed Jason Galanis and Cooney: “Yelena meeting here in NYC on Burnham.”
“She’s so rich she has Burnham money stuck in her sofa,” Galanis replied, emails show. ” Good luck Archie. Remember….if you have to sleep with her, do it for the team.”
As the Euromaidan protests raged through January 2014, Biden’s partners struggled to secure U.S. bank approval for the Russian oligarch—a challenging task given that Baturina was on a bank’s financial transaction “watch list,” according to the emails.