National Archives tips off Biden of FOIA request that would release of hundreds of Hunter, Burisma emails if he doesn’t intervene

As the president of the United States hosts drag queens at the White House, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is warning the administration of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that could soon see the release of hundreds of pages of internal records from the Obama era containing potentially explosive information about Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukrainian energy giant Burisma — a move the White House could stop via a declaration of executive privilege.

So far, the Biden administration has declined to say whether it will permit the emails to be released, according to a report from Insider.

The FOIA request asked for emails containing the word “Burisma,” and nearly 300 full or partial emails dating back to 2014, and Joe Biden’s turn as vice president under Barack Obama popped up.

In a letter sent in November to the Biden White House and the Obama Foundation, NARA revealed that a researcher requested, among a lengthy list of items, “records related to Hunter Biden, James Biden, and their foreign business dealings.”

“The Biden Vice Presidential records to be opened are email messages from May 2014 to December 2014 that include the company name ‘Burisma,'” it continued. “Several of the email messages are press inquiries regarding the announcement of Hunter Biden joining the board of directors of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited in May 2014 and the Office of Vice President’s responses to those inquiries.”

“There are also email messages containing news articles compiled by White House staff which include articles referencing Hunter Biden and his role with Burisma,” the letter states.

Of the 69 images and 282 email messages NARA found, 22 emails in whole and 75 email messages in part were restricted following a review “for the six PRA Presidential restrictive categories, including confidential communications requesting or submitting advice and material related to appointments to federal office” and a review “for all applicable FOIA exemptions.”

With the potentially nuclear ball squarely in its court, the Biden White House must now decide whether to invoke executive privilege to keep the story under wraps.

Though the suggestion of a cover-up inevitably leads to conspiracy theory allegations, one must remember that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is still rotting in a British prison, fighting his extradition to the United States.

Those damning emails from former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta weren’t called the “Hillary Sucks Saga.” Wikileaks called them the “Uranium One Story,” and they had everything to do with Burisma.

Given what we now know from the “Twitter Files,” one must wonder if the White House will double down on its attempts to kill all negative stories or if it will allow the release to move forward.

 

“Under the Presidential Records Act, Biden and Obama’s respective legal teams have 60 days to assert claims of privilege before the Burisma emails will be released,” Insider reports. “If they choose to do so, the emails will remain sealed until January 2029, unless a court orders otherwise.”

According to Mark Zaid, who, as a national-security lawyer has represented numerous federal whistleblowers, the case for invoking executive privilege is legally weak for those documents that have already made it into third-party hands. Citing privilege to squash a document’s release would only serve to “highlight” already earned criticism.

“Any selective invocation of privilege would no doubt only serve to highlight the sensitivities,” he said.

The FOIA request was made by a lawyer for Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s nonprofit, America First Legal, NARA told Insider.

The emails returned from the FOIA search are of particular interest given President Biden’s now infamous remarks as vice president regarding the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlocheviskiy.


(Video: YouTube)

They could also explain why Hunter Biden’s company was paid $83,333 a month for 18 months, or a total of $1.5 million, while he sat on the board of Burisma and why Hunter’s business associate, Devon Archer, received a $1.5 million payout while he was on the board.

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Melissa Fine

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