Newly released records from the National Archives show efforts to suppress negative stories about the Biden family’s business dealings long before the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020.
Effort to squash Biden family stories long predated Hunter laptop, newly released emails reveal
“…the records suggest the news media has been complicit in burying negative news about the Biden family for at least a decade.”https://t.co/aITujtdjYf
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) March 24, 2023
Just The News reported that the release of the emails resulted from a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit group America First Legal. The emails date back to the Obama administration in 2015. In one email, an aide to then-Vice President Joe Biden claimed that she persuaded a reporter to “only use” negative information on the Biden family “if her editors hold a gun to her head.”
At the time, Biden’s then-aides worked to censor negative stories concerning Hunter Biden’s involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, especially regarding then-Vice President Biden’s trip to Ukraine in 2015, who personally approved quotes addressing his son’s foreign business dealings, despite denying his involvement in them.
“VP signed off on this — will give this quote to both reporters in my name shortly,” said Kate Bedingfield, who at the time was a press official in the office of the vice president.
Bedingfield’s email validates an audio tape released in 2022 that captured Joe Biden calling his son to reassure him the White House managed to suppress stories about his foreign business dealings.
The emails demonstrate that December 2015 was a difficult month for Biden’s former aides as reporters inquired into Hunter Biden’s business relationship with Burisma while his father was traveling to Ukraine for a diplomacy meeting.
They showed the White House’s strategy to stop reporters from publishing any information about the business dealings: offering quotes that downplayed their questions.
“Really frustrating,” Bedingfield wrote in another email regarding reporters who began asking questions about Hunter’s business deals during that time. “That said, so long as it doesn’t elevate and trigger someone else to write, it’s actually a good and straightforward response.”
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote a story about Hunter Biden serving on the directory board of Burisma while his father was vice president and oversaw the U.S. policy to combat corruption in Ukraine.
A reporter from the WSJ asked the White House if Hunter keeping his board position was contradictory to Joe Biden’s “anti-corruption” messaging.
In response, Hunter’s business partner, Eric Schwerin, gave the White House quotes from Hunter and former Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski, who also served on Burisma’s directory board.
“Hunter Biden joined the Board to strengthen corporate governance and transparency at a company working to advance energy security for Ukraine,” a spokesperson for Hunter said in a quote.
“These are also goals of the United States. Far from being out of sync with the policies of the United States, the Board is working to bring this privately held energy company into the kind of future that is critical for a free and strong Ukraine,” the spokesperson added.
Joe Biden’s press office was notified by email when the story ran. Bedingfield responded negatively with an “ugh” in her email, changing her tone when Schwerin responded, “all good here.”
In January 2018, Biden publicly “bragged” about his role in firing a prosecutor who investigated Hunter’s involvement in Burisma.
Biden threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
According to The Hill, in March 2016, Biden told Poroshenko the Obama administration would rescind $1 billion in U.S. loans unless Shokin got fired. Shokin got fired hours later.
In 2023, House Republicans launched an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Hunter has been under federal investigation since 2018 for his tax affairs. In January 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur to investigate Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents from when he was vice president.
Joe and Hunter Biden are the first president-son duo to undergo federal investigations simultaneously.