Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his wife Evan Ryan, who served as a cabinet secretary in the Biden administration, have been accused of attempting to influence US government officials on behalf of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma.
This weekend, Senator Ron Johnson accused the Secretary of State of lying to Congress about his links to the company’s murky influence campaign in 2020. The allegations have been fueled by emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop, which suggest that Blinken may have been more aware of Hunter’s dealings with Burisma than he has previously let on.
“Now because of more information that’s come out, we know that he lied, bold face, to Congress about never emailing Hunter Biden,” Johnson said. “My guess is he told a bunch of other lies that hopefully we’ll be able to bring him and his wife back in, tell them to preserve their records. You cannot trust Joe Biden, you cannot trust Hunter Biden, you can’t trust the Biden family, you can’t trust some of the people that they have surrounded themselves with.”
Rep. Ron Johnson: Blinken Lied Under Oath About Hunter Biden Emails
“He said he did not Email Hunter Biden… we have those emails. We also know that his wife, using her private email address when she was an employee of the State Department, was basically a conduit between her… pic.twitter.com/ljgbLIRDmg
— UngaTheGreat (@UngaTheGreat) April 30, 2023
Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, which was allegedly corrupt, in April 2014. The appointment caused a firestorm of controversy, including among State Department officials, who complained in emails that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine.”
However, Blinken told investigators in sworn testimony that he was not “aware of any association that Hunter Biden had with Burisma” while he was Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017. He claimed to have had no emails or texts with the First Son and never discussed Hunter’s financial or business arrangements with him.
However, State Department emails obtained by the Homeland Security Committee suggest that Blinken may have been more involved with Hunter’s dealings than he has previously admitted. In June 2016, Burisma hired Blue Star Strategies, a Democrat consultancy, to improve the firm’s image in Washington D.C.
Blinken had spoken with Blue Star’s CEO Karen Tramontano at a political event in July 2016 while he was still Deputy Secretary of State. He agreed to meet with her to discuss “some troubling events we are seeing in Ukraine.” Hunter also emailed Ryan to ensure that her husband took a meeting with the consultancy firm to discuss “some troubling events we are seeing in Ukraine.”
Emails from Hunter’s laptop show that he checked in with Blinken’s wife in July 2016 to make sure that he took a call from Tramontano and her chief operating officer Sally Painter, as well as meeting with Blinken himself at his State Department office in July 2015.
Tramontano and Painter set about arranging meetings and calls with top government officials, trying to convince them to take a softer approach towards Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky and refrain from calling his gas firm “corrupt.” Although Blinken told investigators that he knew Tramontano and Painter, he claimed to be unaware of their firm, Blue Star.
The allegations against Blinken have come at a time when he has already come under scrutiny over his relationship with the Bidens. The House Judiciary Committee recently received testimony that he helped orchestrate a letter by intelligence chiefs claiming that Hunter’s laptop was a Russian disinformation campaign just weeks before the 2020 election.
Blinken, who was Joe’s senior campaign advisor, his Vice Presidential National Security Advisor in the Obama administration, and now Secretary of State, has denied any impropriety. Nevertheless, the accusations against him are unlikely to go away anytime soon.