Watchdog sues for CFIUS investment records involving Ukraine, Hunter Biden

Judicial Watch announced today it filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the State and Treasury Departments seeking documents related to consideration by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of investments in the U.S. by two companies tied to Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden – Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings and China’s Bohai Harvest RST (BHR).

The Judicial Watch lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the State and Treasury Departments failed to respond to June 24, 2019, FOIA requests for CFIUS records related to investments by Burisma Holdings or any of its affiliated entities and records related to investments by the Chinese company Bohai Harvest RST or any of its affiliated entities (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:19-cv-02960)), (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of the Treasury (No. 1:19-cv-02961).

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Burisma Holdings is owned by Brociti Investments Limited, a Cyprus based company owned by Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky (pictured above), who was Ukraine’s minister of natural resources under former President Viktor Yanukovych.

CFIUS is commissioned to review “transactions involving foreign investment in the U.S. in order to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States.”

Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President, is reported to be one of nine directors of BHR Partners, which was registered 12 days after the vice president’s son, in December 2013, flew to Beijing aboard Air Force Two, while his father made an official visit as vice president. Hunter, then-chairman of the private equity firm Rosemont Senecareportedly signed a deal with the Chinese government-owned Bank of China to set up the BHR $1 billion joint venture investment fund.

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In 2015, BHR Partners participated in a $600 million buyout of Michigan automotive-suspension-systems maker Henniges Automotive. Henniges produces anti-vibration technologies which have important military uses, particularly in military aircraft.

In April 2014, Hunter joined the board of Burisma Holdings, one of the Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies. He was paid more than $50,000 a month to, in the words of a Burmisa news release, “provide support for the Company among international organizations.”

Biden has denied that was his role.

In 2015, Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, launched an investigation into allegedly corrupt practices by Burisma. Shokin was ousted in 2016. And in a widely distributed 2018 video, Joe Biden confirmed that he had successfully pressured the Ukrainian government, under threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. government aid, to fire Shokin.

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Victor Shokin, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, was widely seen as a crusading prosecutor who was willing to aggressively investigate allegations of public corruption.

The Commerce Department recently barred over two dozen Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S., one of which is reported to be Megvii Technology, an artificial intelligence company focused on developing facial recognition technology. BHR Partners owns a stake in Megvii.

“Judicial Watch will continue to press for information to get to the bottom of this influence-peddling scandal involving Joe Biden and his son,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “As Congress is obsessed with attacking President Trump, it is again up to Judicial Watch to do the basic investigative work on this growing Biden scandal.”

In September, Judicial Watch sued the State Department for records about the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor after then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold aid.

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Biden’s private equity firm used a loan from the Bank of China to acquire Henniges Automotive, a Michigan parts manufacturer that designs anti-vibration systems. It’s thought that Biden saw an opportunity for the firm in defense contracting.

 

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