The Post’s story drew immediate comparisons to 2016, when Russian hackers dumped troves of emails from Democrats onto the internet — producing few damaging revelations but fueling accusations of corruption by Trump.
There was no immediate indication of Russian involvement in the release of emails that the Post obtained, but its general thrust mirrors a narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies have described as part of an active Russian disinformation effort aimed at the 2020 election.
The story also amplified a line of attack Republican senators have pursued in recent months, culminating in a report that leveled a farrago of accusations against Hunter Biden. The cast of characters is equally familiar: Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney whose amateur sleuthing in Ukraine helped lead to Trump’s impeachment, features prominently in the story, as does Steve Bannon, the 2016 Trump aide who steered opposition research that portrayed Clinton as corrupt but were often misleading or factually dubious.
Despite Trump-driven allegations of self-dealing and corruption, multiple investigations by Republicans and Democrats have shown no evidence that Biden — the Obama administration’s point-man on diplomacy with Ukraine — took actions counter to official U.S. policy. In fact, multiple senior officials testified during the House impeachment inquiry last year that Biden’s work made it more likely that Burisma would face a robust corruption investigation, his son’s position on the board notwithstanding. Though some officials indicated Hunter Biden’s board position created the “appearance” of a conflict, they said it never affected official U.S. policy.
The Post did not address the Biden camp’s complaints, instead pointing to an editorial that accused social media companies of censoring the story to help Biden politically
Burisma’s website lists at least some of Pozharskyi’s meetings with U.S. officials, including a meeting in November 2017 with then-ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and a series of meetings with members of Congress, though the company lists only Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) by name. It lists no meetings with Joe Biden. Pozharskyi also reportedly met in 2018 with Kurt Volker, who was then the Trump administration’s envoy to the peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.
And a schedule of meetings Pozharskyi held in the United States in March and April 2016, appended to a recent report issued by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), indicates he met with Hunter Biden, addressed a conference on the U.S.-Ukraine energy relationship and met with staff to three lawmakers: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio). Pozharskyi’s visit coincided with a U.S. trip by then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who met with Joe Biden during his visit.