Emails from 2015 show that President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken sought to arrange a meeting with Hunter Biden, who was seeking “advice.”
The emails are sourced from May 2015 and were released by the State Department in 2019 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The tranche of emails is redacted in some parts but shows that the two men emailed about meeting while Hunter Biden sat on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. It is not clear if the meeting ever took place.
“Have a few minutes next week to grab a cup of coffee? I know you are impossibly busy, but would like to get your advice on a couple of things,” Hunter Biden asked Blinken on May 22, 2015. At the time, Blinken was serving in President Barack Obama’s deputy secretary of state, a role he took up in January of that year after previously serving as deputy national security adviser.
“Absolutely. I am just about to land in Tokyo en route back to DC from Burma. I’ll be in office from Tuesday on,” he said before noting that his personal assistant would be in touch to work out scheduling details. “Look forward to seeing you.”
In another email from Biden to Blinken’s assistant, he indicated that he was free to meet “really whenever [Blinken] has 15 minutes or so.”
Records indicate that Biden and Blinken were scheduled to meet on May 27, 2015, although it is unclear from the emails that were released if that meeting ever occurred.
Biden’s board membership at Burisma came under scrutiny by Republicans because of his father’s role in ousting Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, who was investigating the energy company. Trump’s urging of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the matter sparked his impeachment and subsequent acquittal.
One of the emails released by the State Department appears to show that Biden followed Antony Blinken on Twitter in February 2016.
In November of last year, Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin requested records related to the Biden and Blinken meeting. The Washington Examiner reached out to both lawmakers for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Joe Biden announced this week that Blinken, 58, is his nominee for secretary of state. In addition to Blinken’s roles in the Obama administration, he also worked with Biden in the Senate as a Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and served as the then-vice president’s national security adviser from 2009 to 2013.
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