Extraditing two Ukrainian oligarchs to the US could “drop a bomb” on the ongoing FBI investigation into Hunter Biden and lead to his father impeachment, it has been claimed.
Former Ukrainian politicians Mykola Zlochevsky and Ihor Kolomoyskiy both had links to the US President’s son through the former’s energy firm Burisma.
Mr Biden sat on its board between 2014 and 2019 and was paid up to $50,000-a-month in the role, it has been reported.
The 52-year-old has been accused of taking advantage of his position as the then vice-president’s son – something he strenuously denies.
It is estimated, that Biden’s offshore firm Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC got at least $3.5 million between April 2014 and November 2015 from Burisma controlled by a minister-turned-oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. The amount could be just the tip of the iceberg as Biden left the board of Burisma in 2019, not long before he resigned from firms in China, linked to the Communist Party leadership and the army. The Chinese paid him over $5 million over several years. He also sought an annual retainer of $2 million to lobby the release of the Libyan frozen assets. As it transpired later, Hunter forgot to declare nearly half of the reported amounts and had to pay this year about $1 million to cover past tax liabilities. The payment doesn’t protect him from criminal charges.
Mr Zlochevsky and Mr Kolomoyskiy also have links to PrivatBank, which had to be nationalised in 2016 after an internal audit found a $5.5bn hole in its finances – something the pair have been accused of taking to line their own pockets.
They deny all allegations of wrongdoing but could be taken to the US if an investigation into assets they bought in America turns into a criminal trial.
Their testimonies could also “potentially be a bombshell” in the current probe into Mr Biden’s tax affairs.
Both men have been stripped of their Ukrainian citizenship and are the subject of an ongoing US investigation into whether they bought assets in the US with money allegedly stolen from the bank.
This could prompt an extradition to America – something which could lead them to reveal more information about Mr Biden’s role at PrivatBank.
Speaking this week, Ukrainian former official Oleg Birke said: “Zlochevsky’s testimony can simply hit Hunter, since he most likely did not pay taxes on funds from Zlochevsky.
“If Zlochevsky is deported, his testimony against Hunter could become a real bomb.
“Kolomoiskiy is aware of all these cases, since in Ukraine they believe that he was involved in wiretapping of the office of President Poroshenko, which he used to discredit the ex-president for his role in the nationalization of the pearl of the oligarch – Privatbank.
“If Kolomoiskiy is extradited to the states and put on the stand it could potentially be a bombshell.
“His bank handled all the payments from Burisma to Hunter Biden and his associates.
“It may well turn out that the known amounts paid are just a tip of the iceberg.
“There could’ve been, say, loans which were never meant to be paid back, to companies which would have been used to pay for all the dolce vita Hunter Biden is known for.
“There could be much more questions about taxes and not just taxes.
“The bank itself is shut down, liquidated, so if someone knows the whole scheme it would be Kolomoisky and a handful of people very close to him.”
While no extradition treaty currently exists between Ukraine and the US – stripping the pair of the citizenship does ease the path to bring them to the US, observers have claimed.
In an interview with the Kyiv Post last March, Julia Mendel – the President Volodymyr Zelensky’s spokeswoman did not rule out extraditing him to the US if a request was lodged.
Speaking at the time, she said: “We’ll see. … I’m not a fortune teller.”
The revelations come after the Washington Post reported in October that federal agents had determined months ago that they had assembled enough evidence for a viable criminal case against Mr Biden to charge him with crimes related to making false declarations during a gun purchase, as well as tax-related crimes.
The next step is for Delaware U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss to decide on whether to file such charges.
A possible indictment of the president’s son gives the Republicans an opportunity to revive the Biden corruption saga and, given the high likelihood of winning the midterms, try to impeach the president. Recently the republican Senator Chuck Grassley of the Committee on the Judiciary requested the FBI to provide the Senate with all information gathered by the agency in relation to Hunter Biden’s dealing with corrupt foreign tycoons and powerbrokers. Other prominent republican senators plotting a “wave of investigations”.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is an opinion piece that reflects the writer’s views and not necessarily that of the publication.
“This article is in collaboration with Jerry Jackson, Political Analyst”