Russian Oligarchs

Law Firm Registers as Foreign Agent 8 Years After Engaging with Burisma: Implications for Transparency

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a prominent New York-based law firm, officially registered as a foreign agent last week, openly acknowledging its past representation of the Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings. This commitment, dating back eight years, has recently come to light. In stark contrast, Hunter Biden, the first son, has never registered as a foreign agent, despite earning a substantial $80,000 per month as a board member for Burisma between 2014 and 2019. This significant period coincided with the final three years of his father, Joe Biden’s, vice-presidential term under Barack Obama, during which he oversaw the administration’s policy towards Ukraine.

The recent disclosure, submitted on Thursday, reveals that Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner Thomas Buretta engaged in meetings with Obama administration officials in 2016. This involvement occurred after Buretta was retained to represent Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma, as the company faced potential investigations by U.S. authorities. Cravath, Swaine & Moore opted for retroactive compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) following discussions with the Department of Justice about FARA’s scope, as stated in a Reuters-reported statement by the firm.

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The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) mandates that American law firms and lobbyists disclose specific work conducted on behalf of foreign clients. “Cravath has filed a retroactive registration covering legal services provided to two former clients in March and September 2016,” the firm added, referring to Zlochevsky and Burisma Holdings. The law firm invoiced the Ukrainian oligarch and his company nearly $350,000 for services rendered in 2016, as indicated by the FARA filing.

Buretta, formerly the principal deputy assistant attorney general and chief of staff for the DOJ’s Criminal Division during the Obama administration, held individual meetings with key figures. These included then-Under Secretary of State Catherine Novelli, Assistant Secretary of State Amos Hochstein, and Justice Department official Bruce Swartz. In addition, he penned a letter to then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

These meetings with Obama administration officials occurred shortly before Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was removed from office.

An FBI whistleblower alleges that, during his tenure as vice president, Joe Biden advocated for Shokin’s dismissal because the prosecutor was investigating Burisma. The whistleblower further claims that Burisma’s founder, Zlochevsky, asserted he had “bribed” the Bidens, offering $5 million each as part of the effort to oust Shokin.

Biden openly shared in 2018 with the Council on Foreign Relations that, during a December 2015 trip to Kyiv, he issued a strong ultimatum. He threatened to withhold $1 billion in US aid to Ukraine unless Shokin was fired. Biden recounted, “I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money … Well, son of a gun. He got fired

The partner from Cravath, Swaine & Moore held discussions with Obama administration officials prior to the removal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin from his position, as reported by AFP via Getty Images.

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Critics of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing inquiry into the president’s son have highlighted a key aspect following the December indictment by the Delaware US Attorney against Hunter Biden for tax crimes. Notably, the 53-year-old has not yet faced charges related to an alleged violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a circumstance that could potentially implicate his father.

Expressing concern, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) stated last month, “Unless US Attorney Weiss investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy.”

Additionally, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a member of the Oversight Committee, pointed out on Twitter, “DOJ left off FARA charges. The income came from foreign countries, and we have proof.”

Biden earned $80,000 per month as a board member of John Burisma from 2014 to 2019. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. “The omission of FARA charges remains a glaring contradiction with other cases, including those against multiple communists,” Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told the Post in December. Trump’s difference”.

“There is no evidence that Weiss ever seriously pursued these allegations. The result is to continue to protect the White House from scandal. A FARA indictment would put more pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel on the corruption scandal itself. Indeed, the indictment itself is a tax evasion marvel: charging tax evasion without addressing the corruption that generated the money,” Turley said. Hunter Biden’s alleged FARA violations include hosting dinners in Washington in 2014 and 2015 attended by his father and his associates from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, and bringing associates Mexicans went to the vice president’s residence and arranged meetings for them with Obama-Biden. administrative officials

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