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Hunter Biden gushed over ‘extravagant’ gifts from Burisma exec who was focus of corruption probe

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FIRST ON FOX: Hunter Biden thanked a top Burisma Holdings executive for birthday gifts he described as “far too extravagant” less than two months before the top Ukraine prosecutor investigating the energy company was infamously fired, emails reveal.

In addition to the more than $50,000 a month then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son received while serving on Burisma’s board from April 2014 to April 2019, he was also apparently receiving lavish gifts from the company’s founder, according to emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop that have been verified by Fox News Digital.

Nearly two years into Hunter’s tenure on the board, Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, sent Hunter an email wishing him a happy birthday, which would have made Hunter 46 years old at the time.

“Hoping even though it’s a working day, you’ve at least had some cake already!!” Pozharskyi wrote on Feb. 4, 2016. “I would like to wish you a Happiest birthday! May you have what you truly need!”

Hunter Biden and Vadym Pozharskyi emails

Hunter Biden thanked a top Burisma Holdings executive for birthday gifts he described as “far too extravagant.” (Fox News)

“Also, I would like to share with you birthday wishes from Nikolay below,” he continued before relaying the words of “Nikolay,” which appears to be a reference to Burisma’s founder and its former president, Mykola Zlochevski.

In a 2014 email from Pozharskyi to Hunter’s lawyer and Devon Archer, who also served on Burisma’s board, Pozharskyi stated that the “correct spelling of his name is Mykola Zlochevskyi.” In several other emails, Zlochevsky was identified by the initials “NZ” with “N” standing for “Nikolai” or “Nikolay.”

Biden and Zlochevski

Hunter Biden, left, and Mykola Zlochevski, right (Getty Images)

Correct spelling of Mykola Zlochevskyi

In a 2014 email from Pozharskyi to Hunter’s lawyer and Devon Archer, who also served on Burisma’s board, Pozharskyi stated that the “correct spelling of his name is Mykola Zlochevskyi.” (Fox News)

Zlochevsky, a former Ukrainian government official, was later linked to a multimillion dollar bribery scheme where anti-corruption officials were offered at least $5M to end the case against Zlochevsky, according to Reuters. Ukrainian investigators have said Hunter was not involved.

“Dear Hunter,” Pozharskyi wrote to Hunter in 2016, relaying the birthday wishes of Zlochevsky. “I know we haven’t known each other for long, but in the short time that I’ve known you I have seen that you are a smart decent person which believe me is a rare quality in the world of business, and even more so, with my background as a minister, in the world of politics. Today, on your birthday with all my heart I am wishing you to remain true to yourself, regardless of the circumstances, and give yourself some credit now and then!!”


Hunter responded the next day, asking Pozharskyi to thank Zlochevsky for the “far too extravagant” birthday gifts.

“V- Thanks so much,” Hunter wrote. “Let Nikolay know how much I appreciate his friendship and loyalty. I truly believe in what we are doing and I’m proud to say I am a part of this organization. And I am so glad you and I are on the same team.”

“Finally- thank NZ for the beautiful birthday gifts it was far too extravagant but much appreciated,” he added. “Let’s talk tomorrow or Saturday about the editorial- I have a few ideas I’d like to share.”

Hunter Biden gives a tumbs-up

U.S. First Lady Jill Biden with Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden, attends her granddaughter Maisy Biden’s graduation from the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field on May 15, 2023, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s unclear what gifts Hunter received. 

Pozharskyi replied that he was “looking forward” to Hunter’s feedback.

“Thank you for your kind words!” Pozharskyi wrote. “I have also conveyed them to Nikolay, who, as you know, very much appreciates your involvement! 

“I am available for the call both today and on Saturday at any time,” he added. “Feel free to suggest a time that works best for you and I will gladly adjust! Looking forward to your feedback!”

Upon joining Burisma, Hunter reportedly connected the company with Blue Star Strategies to help the firm fight corruption charges levied against Zlochevsky, Ukraine’s former minister of ecologies.

Hunter Biden and Vadym Pozharskyi

Pozharskyi replied that he was “looking forward to” Hunter’s feedback in a 2016 email. (Fox News)

Biden family

President Joe Biden gestures before he walked over to talk with reporters before boarding Air Force One, Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Blue Star Strategies was reportedly under federal investigation from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware in 2021 for its lobbying practices. The same office leads the federal investigation into Hunter foreign business deals. The Washington Post reported last year that the lawyer for the firm’s CEO said there was no finding of wrongdoing.


The Obama administration pushed for the prosecutor investigating Zlochevsky at the time, Viktor Shokin, to be removed from his post. Less than two weeks after Hunter expressed gratitude for the gifts from Zlochevsky, the Obama White House released a readout of then-Vice President Biden’s call with Ukraine’s president at the time. 

“The Vice President also commended President Poroshenko’s decision to replace Prosecutor General Shokin, which paves the way for needed reform of the prosecutorial service,” the White House readout said.

On the same day as the readout, Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner Eric Schwerin emailed him an article that mentioned Poroshenko calling for Shokin’s resignation in his statement.

At the end of March 2016, Schwerin forwarded another article to Hunter with the headline “Ukraine’s parliament sacks corruption-tainted prosecutor,” referring to Shokin. 

Viktor Shokin fired

Eric Schwerin emailed Hunter Biden an AFP article about the firing of Viktor Shokin. (Fox News)

Shokin was fired in late March 2016 and the case was closed by the prosecutor who replaced him, Lutsenko. Biden would later boast on camera in 2018 that when he was vice president he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin.

“I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden said, according to a transcript of Biden’s remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Well, son of a b—-. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Biden allies, though, maintained that his intervention had nothing to do with his son, but was rather tied to the administration’s concerns of corruption in Ukraine. At the time, as vice president to former President Obama, Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine policy and anti-corruption campaigns. 

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden joined by Hunter Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden joined by Hunter Biden and Ashley Biden attend their granddaughter Maisy Biden’s graduation from the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field on May 15, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Fox News Digital previously reported that Pozharskyi attended a dinner with Biden and several of Hunter’s foreign business associates at Café Milano in Washington, D.C., on April 16, 2015, when Biden was vice president.

The day after the dinner, Hunter received an email from Pozharskyi that read, “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together.”

In November 2015, Pozharskyi sent an email to Hunter, Archer, and Schwerin about a “revised proposal, contract and initial invoice for Burisma Holdings” from Blue Star Strategies, where he emphasized the importance of being on the “same page re our final goals.”

“With this in mind, I would like us to formulate a list of deliverables, including, but not limited to: a concrete course of actions, incl. meetings/communications resulting in high-ranking US officials in Ukraine (US Ambassador) and in US publicly or in private communication/comment expressing their ‘positive opinion’ and support of Nikolay/Burisma to the highest level of decision makers here in Ukraine :President of Ukraine, president Chief of staff, Prosecutor General, etc,” Pozharskyi said.

“The scope of work should also include organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy-makers to Ukraine in November aiming to conduct meetings with and bring positive signal/message and support on Nikolay’s issue to the Ukrainian top officials above with the ultimate purpose to close down for any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine,” he continued.

Vadym Pozharskyi

Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, sent an email to colleagues on Nov. 2, 2015. (Fox News)

Biden emails Pozharskyi

Hunter Biden emailed Vadym Pozharskyi in November 2015 (Fox News)

Hunter responded that he wanted to “have one last conversation” with Blue Star, but said he was “comfortable” with Blue Star. “You should go ahead and sign,” he wrote.

“Looking forward to getting started on this,” Hunter said.

In December 2015, then-Vice President Biden traveled to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, where he praised Poroshenko and said he was “overwhelmed” by his “warmth” and “friendship.” During the same speech, he repeatedly talked about rooting out corruption. 

“The Ukrainian people cannot once again have their hopes dashed based on the cancer of corruption,” Biden said.

“And it’s absolutely critical for Ukraine, in order to be stable and prosperous and part of a secure Europe to definitely, thoroughly, completely root out the cancer of corruption,” he continued.

Ahead of that trip, an associate at Blue Star Strategies emailed executives at the consulting firm, Hunter, Archer, and Pozharskyi about a White House conference call that “outlined the trip’s agenda and addressed several questions regarding U.S. policy toward Ukraine.” The email had an attached document with the minutes and background of the call, but Fox News Digital could not access it. However, a press release from the archived version of the Obama White House’s website appears to show a full transcript from the conference call.

Ukraine trip

The White House hosted a conference call regarding then-Vice President Biden’s forthcoming trip to Ukraine. (Fox News)


Fox News Digital asked Hunter’s lawyer to describe the gifts Hunter received from Zlochevsky and whether Zlochevsky gifted him anything else during his time at Burisma, but his lawyer did not respond.

Pozharskyi and Blue Star Strategies did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.



Gaetz slammed for bailing out Dems in budget battle, giving them potential leverage in ousting speaker

A bid by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has earned scorn from some fellow Republicans, who fear the Florida lawmaker is handing leverage to Democrats in the continuing battle over the budget.

“The only way he can be successful is if he has 200 plus Democrats,” Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., said during an appearance on “Sunday Morning Futures” with host Maria Bartiromo. “Basically, Gaetz is going to work with Nancy Pelosi, Hakeem Jeffries, and the rest of the Democrats in order to remove the Republican speaker… If you remove a Republican speaker, that then puts the Democrats in power, these investigations will be done and stalled. That is unacceptable of Matt Gaetz.”

Smith’s comments come after the House passed a continuing resolution Saturday that will fund the government at current levels through mid-November, angering some Republicans who believe the measure is a violation of GOP promises to pass 12 individual spending bills that prioritize conservative polices.


Gaetz and AOC split image

Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images | Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

One such Republican was Gaetz, who opposed the resolution and threatened to trigger a House-wide vote on whether to remove McCarthy from the speakership.

Under the terms of a deal McCarthy struck with conservatives during the vote that elevated him to speaker, any lawmaker is allowed to trigger a vote, known as a motion to vacate, and attempt to remove him from the speakership.

“The one thing everyone seems to have in common is no one trusts Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz told reporters Saturday. “I’ve said that whether or not Kevin McCarthy faces a motion to vacate is entirely within his control, because all he had to do was comply with the agreement that he made with us in January.”

Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., called Gaetz’s comment on removing McCarthy a “diatribe of delusional thinking” during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, noting that the government is currently divided and any bill the House hopes to pass will have to gain support from both the Senate and President Biden.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


“When you’re trying to break the system, when you’re trying to reform it, it takes time,” Lawler said. “The only responsible thing to do was to keep the government open and funded while we complete our work.”

While Lawler acknowledged that he shares the Florida lawmaker’s concerns about current spending levels, he argued that putting a motion to vacate on the House floor would “delay the ability to complete” GOP efforts to pass a more conservative budget “over the next 45 days.”

Sen. MarkWayne Mullin, R-Okla., tore into Gaetz during a Sunday interview on “FOX & Friends Weekend,” saying the only thing he cares about is “self-promotion.”

“Well, Matt Gaetz is not a principle guy. He’s not a policy guy. He’s about self-promotion. It’s all about Matt Gaetz. And he’s accusing Speaker McCarthy of working with the Democrats, which the irony of this is the only way he can possibly remove Speaker McCarthy is that he has to work with the Democrats,” Mullin said. “And Speaker McCarthy will have 200 votes all day long and probably more from the Republicans. So that means the most he’s going to get is 20. So he’s going to have to work with 198 Democrats to remove the House Republican speaker.”

“Matt Gaetz is all about himself,” Mullin continued. “Remember, none of the networks would give him the time of the day after he was accused of sleeping with the underage girl and now all of a sudden he’s found his fame because he opposes Speaker McCarthy and he’s going to ride this horse as long as he can.”

Rep. Gaetz has repeatedly denied this allegation and the Justice Department “confirmed to Congressman Gaetz’s attorneys that their investigation has concluded and that he will not be charged with any crimes,” according to a statement previously given to Fox News Digital.

Rep Gaetz and Sen Mullin

Sen. MarkWayne Mullin, right, blasted Rep. Gaetz during a Sunday morning interview, saying the only thing he cares about is “self-promotion.” (Tom Williams/Al Drago)

Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to ask whether Gaetz is “secretly an agent for the Democratic Party.” 

“No one else is doing as much to undermine, weaken and cripple the House GOP,” he added.

Rep. Greg Landsman, D-Ohio came to the defense of the center right Republicans arguing that Gaetz was only attempting to make himself “the center of attention.”

“Every time we all work together, he loses his mind. He doesn’t want the center left and center right to work together because he has to be the center of attention,” Landsman said in a statement posted to X. “When we do, he creates chaos to grab attention back. Matt Gaetz has no interest in governing. This is all about TV appearances for him. If he says it’s for any other reason, he’s lying. Just let us govern, which is what most of us came here to do.”


Some Democrats struck a celebratory tone after the continuing resolution cleared the House Saturday, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., taking to X to boast the party had “stripped” GOP efforts to make cuts to Social Security.

“We just won a clean 45 day gov extension, stripped GOP’s earlier 30% cuts to Social Security admin etc, staved off last minute anti-immigrant hijinks, and averted shutdown (for now),” Ocasio-Cortez said. “People will get paychecks and MTG (Marjorie Taylor Greene) threw a tantrum on the way out. Win-win.”


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Tom Williams/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, McCarthy downplayed fears while speaking to reporters Saturday.

“I never fear of that. But if I lose my job over looking out for the American public, for taking a stand for our troops and our border agents, then I’m not quite sure what people want. Because this allows us the time to get the job done,” McCarthy said. “If somebody wants to remove me from putting Americans first, then so be it.”

During an interview on ‘Face the Nation” Sunday, McCarthy said he will “survive” and Gaetz is “more interested in securing TV interviews.”

“Let’s get over with it. Let’s start governing. If he’s upset because he tried to push us into a shutdown and I made sure government didn’t shut down, then let’s have that talk,” McCarthy said.


For his part, Gaetz argued in comments to reporters Saturday that he was not focused on removing McCarthy, instead saying he will continue efforts to pass conservative budget bills.

“Right now, my focus is not on the motion to vacate. My focus is on averting a shutdown by passing these bills,” Gaetz said. “And if we do have a shutdown, which may be the case, I certainly want it to be as short and painless as possible.”

The offices of Gaetz and McCarthy did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

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Rep. Bowman shocks media, conservatives with ‘garbage’ statement after pulling fire alarm

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., stunned conservatives and members of the media on Sunday after releasing multiple statements about pulling the fire alarm in a congressional office building. 

Bowman pulled the alarm on Saturday while lawmakers were voting on a bill to avoid a government shutdown. Bowman said in a statement that he was rushing to cast his vote on the bill. 

Bowman’s chief of staff, Sarah Iddrissu, said that Bowman “didn’t realize” he would trigger an alarm. 

“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” Iddrissu wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The Congressman regrets any confusion.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman

U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman speaks at Grammys On The Hill: Advocacy Day on April 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  ((Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for The Recording Academy))


Bowman posted another statement to X Saturday evening and again said he believed it would have opened the door.

“I want to personally clear up confusion surrounding today’s events. Today as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes, but today would not be open. I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door,” Bowman said, apologizing for any confusion. 

He said that he did not intend to delay the vote, insisting it was the exact opposite. 

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said the statement put out by Bowman’s chief of staff was “complete garbage.”

“He did not realize deliberately pulling a fire alarm would … trigger a fire alarm. This statement is complete garbage,” he wrote.

Another Republican member of congress said the statement was “proof” of how far Democrats were willing to go in order to force a shutdown, while others doubted the excuse Bowman gave. 


Real Clear Politics’ Mark Hemingway said the statement was a “blatant lie” and deserved to be treated as such.

Other commentators described it as the “worst statement ever” and questioned how Bowman could claim to have set the alarm off by “mistake.”

Florida GOP chair Christian Ziegler, the chair of Florida’s GOP, noted Bowman was a school principal and argued that his staff was lying. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also attempted to explain the incident on Sunday during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who said Bowman’s explanation made no sense. 

Bowman pulling fire alarm

Bowman appeared to pull the alarm on Saturday as Republicans began voting on the stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown. (U.S. Capitol Police)


“I think there’s something to be said that the government’s about to shut down, there’s a vote clock that’s going down, the exits that are normally open in that building were suddenly closed…” Ocasio-Cortez began to explain.

Tapper interjected and asked, “So he pulled the fire alarm?”

Ocasio-Cortez went on to suggest it was just a misunderstanding and said Bowman was cooperating with Capitol police. 


Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.

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House GOP members seek to expel Gaetz amid renewed threat to vacate House Speaker McCarthy

House GOP members are preparing a motion to expel Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., amid his renewed threat to pursue a motion to vacate House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The House Republican members will seek to expel Gaetz if the ethics committee report comes back with findings of guilt, Fox News has learned. One member told Fox News the report is mostly written but does not know what it contains. Yet following threats to vacate McCarthy, the member said of Gaetz, “No one can stand him at this point. A smart guy without morals.”

It takes a two-thirds vote to expel. And Republicans are treading on thin ice with their majority. The House is down to 433 members. It’s unclear where things stand with federally indicted Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. If you were to have members expelled, retire or die, the majority could be right on the edge for the GOP. 

During an appearance on CNN Sunday morning, Gaetz said he planned “to file a motion to vacate against Speaker McCarthy this week.”

“I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy. Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy. He lied to Biden. He lied to House conservatives,” Gaetz told CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper. “Kevin McCarthy’s goal was to make multiple contradictory promises to delay everything back up against shutdown politics and at the end of the day, blow past the spending guardrails he had agreed.” 


Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Matt Gaetz says he’ll pursue a motion to vacate House Speaker McCarthy. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP | Al Drago/Bloomberg)

In response to that motion to vacate, McCarthy said, “I’ll survive.”

“This is personal with Matt,” McCarthy said, according to ABC producer and reporter Ben Siegel. Let’s get over it, let’s start governing.”

But on CNN, Gaetz insisted he was not pursuing McCarthy’s ouster over personal matters. 

“This isn’t personal, Jake. This is about spending,” Gaetz said Sunday. “This is about the deal Kevin McCarthy made. If Kevin McCarthy didn’t want to keep the deal to return to pre-COVID spending, if he didn’t want to keep the deal to have single subject spending bills, not vote for government spending all up or down at once, then he shouldn’t have made that deal. So this is about keeping Kevin McCarthy to his word. It’s not about any personal animus.” 

McCarthy announces shutdown deal

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy flanked by Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, holds a news conference just after the House approved a 45-day funding bill to keep federal agencies open Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


The House Ethics Committee has been investigating Gaetz since 2021 on allegations, including campaign finance violations as well as claims of taking bribes and using drugs – accusations the congressman has vehemently denied. Gaetz also denies allegations leaked from a Justice Department sex trafficking probe said to have involved an underage girl.

“If Kevin McCarthy is still the speaker of the House, he will be serving at the pleasure of the Democrats. He will be working for the Democrats,” Gaetz said Sunday. “The only way Kevin McCarthy is speaker of the House at the end of this coming week is if Democrats bail them out now, they probably will.” 

“I will make no deal with Democrats and concede no terms to them. I actually think Democrats should vote against Speaker McCarthy for free. I don’t think I should have to deal with that.”

Gatez outside Capitol

Rep. Matt Gaetz talks to reporters just after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s last-ditch plan to keep the government temporarily open collapsed, at the Capitol, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Such a gambit to try to bounce a speaker in the middle of a Congress is rare. Former Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., threatened to use the tactic on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in the summer of 2015. Boehner saw the writing on the wall and resigned that October. The House last saw a formal effort to remove a speaker in 1910. 


As the House currently has 433 members, if all members vote for someone by name in a speaker’s race, the successful candidate must receive 217 votes. 

It’s unclear how many Republicans may vote against that secondary motion to table or refer. McCarthy’s move on government funding has inflamed many on the hard right. And it’s unclear if Democrats could potentially assist McCarthy. Some McCarthy opponents on the Democratic side of the aisle may vote with Republicans wanting to bounce the speaker. Others may not participate in the vote at all. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has said Republicans must solve this civil war on their own. 

Also on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Sunday she would vote to recall McCarthy. 

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