A Saturday report from Reuters claimed that Ukraine officials were offered $5 million in bribes to stop a probe into Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of natural gas company Burisma. The company has been a point of attack on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter Biden, previously worked on the company’s board. According to the report, the officials claim the bribes have no link to the Biden family.
Nazar Kholodnytsky, head of anti-corruption investigations at Ukraine’s national anti-corruption bureau (NABU), addressed the bribes and called for an end to the company’s corruption.
“Let’s put an end to this once and for all. Biden Jr. and Biden Sr. do not appear in this particular proceeding,” he said in a statement.
The report claims that approximately $5 million was offered to anti-corruption officials. In addition, $1 million was reportedly intended to be provided to an official who acted as a middleman. The suspects allegedly offered the money to end a criminal investigation into Zlochevsky, a former ecology minister who no longer lives in Ukraine, before his birthday.
Donald Trump has accused Hunter Biden of corruption and accused his father, who was vice president during his son’s time on the board of Burisma, for attempting to protect his son from investigations into his purported crimes.
Ukraine’s former prosecutor-general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, conducted an audit of old cases and said he did not find evidence that Hunter Biden engaged in criminal activity during his time at Burisma, Reuters reported.
“I specifically asked prosecutors to check especially carefully those facts about Biden’s alleged involvement. They answered that there was nothing of the kind.”
As reported by CNN, regardless, Senate Republicans continue to increase probes into Burisma. The GOP-led Senate voted back in May to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a U.S. public affairs firm that worked with Burisma. The subpoena allegedly is part of a continued attempt to prove that the Bidens engaged in corruption during their dealings with Burisma.
#NEW House Judiciary @Jim_Jordan requests clean copies/no redactions State Dept records. “The documents released pursuant to FOIA provide additional details about the Obama-Biden Administration’s actions toward Burisma.” Biden campaign not commenting. @CBSNews @BoKnowsNews pic.twitter.com/CDEIrOzcKc
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 14, 2020
“It’s the first subpoena authorized in Johnson’s investigation into Burisma and Hunter Biden that ramped up following the end of the impeachment trial,” CNN reported. “The Wisconsin Republican has received documents from the State Department and National Archives and says he expects to release a report laying out the committee’s findings in the coming months.”
Outside of Burisma, Hunter Biden has been the subject of headlines spotlighting his reported addiction issues and the child he fathered with Lunden Alexis Roberts. Republicans also previously called on him to testify in the impeachment testimonies, although the request was denied.