While vice president, he was allegedly paid $5 million by Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board
US President Joe Biden was reportedly involved in a criminal bribery scheme with a Ukrainian natural gas firm during his time as vice president in Barack Obama's administration, Fox News claimed on Friday, citing an FBI report.
Fox claims its sources briefed the outlet on the contents of an FBI document which alleges that the then-VP was paid off by Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden was a board member, in an attempt to influence US policy decisions.
Dated from June 30, 2020, the document, known as an FD-1023, details an FBI interview with a "highly credible" confidential source who described multiple meetings and conversations with a top Burisma executive, starting in 2015.
According to the FBI document, the unnamed Burisma executive was seeking advice on how to gain better access to US oil rights and partnerships, and sought the help of the confidential source on the "best way to go forward."
The executive allegedly explained his need for advice by stating that Hunter Biden was "dumb" and that Burisma had to "pay the Bidens" because a Ukrainian prosecutor was investigating the company.
The executive allegedly told the source that Bursima had already paid Hunter Biden and "the Big Guy" - apparently a reference to Joe Biden - $5 million each, in exchange for which they were supposed to help the company deal with a number of issues, including the investigation. He reportedly explained that the payment to the Bidens was not done directly, but through "many different bank accounts," so that investigators would not be able to "unravel this for at least 10 years."
Washington has reportedly declined to comment on the FBI's report, while Joe Biden has previously dismissed bribery allegations as a "bunch of malarkey," insisting that he has never been involved in his son's business dealings.
However, during a speech at a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations event, Joe Biden did admit that he had been responsible for the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma. Biden claimed that he did so by threatening to withhold $1 billion of critical US aid to Ukraine unless the prosecutor was replaced. Shokin was removed from his position on April 3 by then-president Pyotr Poroshenko, and the US greenlit the aid.