Hunter's Consulting Firm Finally Admits To Lobbying For Oligarch, Is Not Even Given A Slap On The Wrist

By Mark Gruber | Sunday, 22 May 2022 05:15
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The Justice Department has concluded an examination into a public affairs firm that did work on behalf of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma which had Hunter Biden serving in a beneficial role on its board of directors, according to a new report.

The firm, Blue Star Strategies, was not found to have engaged in any criminal activity, the Washington Post reported.

Blue Star Strategies did submit a filing that admitted it had done work on behalf of Burisma and owner Mykola Zlochevsky back in 2015 and 2016, although its earlier forms did not report it.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires U.S. firms to reveal the names of foreign clients on whose behalf they lobby the government.

The DOJ filed a FARA-related suit this week against casino Magnate Steve Wynn, claiming he failed to disclose work on behalf of the government of China when he lobbied former President Donald Trump while he was in office. The contacts were over a 2017 effort to extradite Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, who faced a series of charges that he fiercely denies and was forced to escape Beijing’s government in 2014.

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Politico had reported last June the company was under probe for its work on behalf of Burisma.

It came amid an overall look at foreign efforts to affect U.S. politics.

Burisma featured famously in efforts by Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and other Trump allies to try to get Ukraine to analyze the company, a push that was part of the first Trump impeachment, which resulted in Trump’s acquittal in the Senate.

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The new form, filed this month by lawyer Karen Tramontano, lists Mr. Nickolai Zlochevsky (through Burisma holdings limited). It says the firm scheduled two meetings with State Department officials so that his lawyer “could explain adverse matters in the U.K. and Ukraine.”

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Another form, filed by Sally Painter, a consultant, possessed the same information.

An amended filing dated May 12 stated: “Pursuant to guidance from DOJ personnel, the registrant is adding a foreign principal for a specific and limited time in 2016 retroactively. The filings are intended to facilitate full termination of the registrant’s current FARA reporting status as an agent of a foreign principal.”

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Zlochevsky served as ecology minister under Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who was forced into removal in Russia in 2014.

Tramontano’s attorney, Peter J. Kadzik, told the Post the firm fully cooperated in the probe.

“There was no finding of any wrongdoing,” Kadzik said. “To respond to the DOJ request, Blue Star Strategies submitted an administrative filing to explain the purpose of meetings that were held.”

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