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Biden's son introduced him to Ukraine energy official, NY Post says

By NOUR AL ALI | Bloomberg | Published: October 14, 2020

Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, introduced him to a senior official from a Ukrainian energy firm that became the focus of controversy over the dismissal of a prosecutor who was investigating the company, the New York Post reported Wednesday, citing an email it said came from Hunter Biden.

Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board at Burisma, thanked Hunter Biden in an April 2015 email for inviting him to Washington and "giving an opportunity to meet your father," about a year after the then vice-president's son had joined the company, according to the Post. A May 2014 email also showed Pozharskyi sought advice from Hunter Biden on ways "you could use your influence" on Burisma's behalf, the paper reported.

The Post claims the communication contradicts an assertion by Joe Biden that he hasn't spoken to his son about his business dealings. But the email doesn't detail the extent of the meeting or whether Biden spoke to his son about it. Bloomberg News hasn't independently verified the authenticity of the purported emails.

The Biden campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Donald Trump has charged that Joe Biden's actions in Ukraine, in which he pushed for the dismissal of the country's prosecutor general, were to benefit his son, Hunter. That claim has been widely debunked. In pushing for the firing of Viktor Shokin, Biden was acting in concert with official U.S. foreign policy and other allied nations who viewed Shokin as corrupt.

While Shokin had been investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company that Hunter Biden was on the board of, the investigation had long been dormant by the time the vice president was pushing for Shokin's ouster in early 2016, a former Ukrainian official told Bloomberg News in May 2019.

"It was shelved by Ukrainian prosecutors in 2014 and through 2015," Vitaliy Kasko said in an interview. There were no efforts by the U.S. to close the investigation into Burisma, Kasko said.

Two Senate Republican committee chairman last month tried to revive allegations around Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine but their report broke little new ground in finding that his role on the board of Burisma put State Department officials in an "awkward" position. Their findings disclosed no impact on policy nor proved wrongdoing.

The newspaper reported that the recovered data came from an abandoned laptop and hard drive at a repair shop near Delaware in April 2019. The shop owner said he alerted the FBI and photos of a Delaware federal court subpoena given to The Post show that both the computer and hard drive were seized by federal agents in December, according to the report.

Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, disclosed the existence of the hard drive in late September and Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, gave the Post a copy of the hard drive on Sunday, the paper reported.

The emergence of the emails carries echoes of the 2016 controversy promoted by the Trump campaign surrounding communications by then Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.