Foreign Agent: Hunter Biden-tied firm finally admits it lobbied U.S. for controversial oligarch

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Belated foreign agent filing ends criminal probe for Blue Star Strategies, but raises new questions about Senate testimony from 2020.

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

Six years, an impeachment trial and a Senate investigation later, a Democrat firm that helped Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian gas client has admitted it worked as a foreign agent lobbying the Obama-Biden administration and that its client was the controversial oligarch Nikolai Zlochevsky.

In the short term, the Foreign Agents Registration Act report that Blue Star Strategies filed last week ends a federal criminal investigation without it facing further penalty, according to the firm’s lawyer Peter Kadzik.

But in the long term — as a criminal investigation against Hunter Biden continues — Blue Star’s filing is rekindling questions among Senate investigators about meetings that were not disclosed on the FARA report dated May 12 as well as representations made by the firm’s partners, Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, during testimony in 2020.

In that FARA report, Blue Star admitted that under pressure from the Justice Department it was filing as a foreign agent six years after the fact for some meetings it held in 2016 with the State Department about the corruption cases in Ukraine and Great Britain involving Burisma Holdings and its owner Zlochevsky.

Blue Star reported it was paid $60,000 to arrange the meeting, and that its ultimate client was actually Zlochevsky, a former Ukrainian Cabinet minister and owner of Burisma who State Department officials have long held engaged in corruption. (A top State Department official, George Kent, wrote in 2016: “Zlochevsky was viewed as corrupt, not just in Ukraine but by the USG/FBI.”)  Zlochevsky has denied wrongdoing, but his firm settled cases in Ukraine in 2016 by paying a large fine.

Hunter Biden joined Zlochevsky’s company in 2014 as a board member and consultant, a hiring that stirred years of controversy and led to former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. And when Blue Star was hired to help Burisma overcome the corruption allegations Hunter Biden was looped into the early strategy discussions, emails show.

“Beginning in November 2015 and continuing through the relevant period of 2016, Blue Star Strategies, registrant, was working on behalf of Burisma Holdings Limited (Burisma), a Ukrainian energy company, to further its commercial interests,” Blue Star wrote in its new FARA report. “Mr. Zlochevsky was a principal of Burisma at that time. Registrant was asked in 2016 to help schedule meetings with U.S. Government officials so counsel for Mr. Zlochevsky could present an exp…

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