The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the work of a Democrat lobbying firm that worked with Ukrainian gas company Burisma while President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, served on Burisma’s board.
“The probe comes as the Justice Department ramps up its scrutiny of foreign governments’ efforts to influence U.S. politics through covert lobbying operations,” Politico reported. “Much of that enforcement work has focused on Republicans linked to former President Donald Trump, including an active probe of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The existence of the investigation into Blue Star, meanwhile, shows that DOJ’s torqued-up enforcement efforts may also create legal jeopardy for firms and operatives aligned with the Democratic Party.”
The Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has a separate criminal investigation open into Hunter Biden’s financial matters, is involved in the criminal investigation into Blue Star Strategies. A federal grand jury appears to have already been convened in the case.
“One focus of the investigation is whether the firm failed to comply with disclosure requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that requires Americans to disclose lobbying and public affairs work for foreign officials and political parties,” the report said. “There is no indication that Hunter Biden is a target of the investigation into Blue Star. Karen Tramontano, one of Blue Star’s co-founders, testified that Hunter Biden did not direct any of the firm’s work for Burisma.”
David Laufman, who from 2014 to 2018 oversaw FARA enforcement at the Justice Department under Obama and Trump, said that the department’s “enforcement of FARA is now considerably more rigorous, seen not only in high-profile criminal prosecutions but also in day-to-day regulatory enforcement such as administrative inquiries into why parties are not registered, accountability for deficiencies in filings, and inspections of books and records.”
“The risks of non-compliance with FARA are therefore greater than in years past,” he added.
Hunter Biden, while under investigation for tax and financial matters, could soon be facing an investigation over an October 2018 incident where he purchased a firearm after potentially lying on a background check form.
The background check that Hunter Biden filled out in October 2018 to obtain a firearm is relevant because, in order to obtain the firearm, Hunter Biden had to state that he was not addicted to any substances. However, in a recent book that he wrote, Hunter Biden admitted that at approximately the same time he obtained the firearm, he was addicted to drugs. Lying on an ATF Form 4473 is a felony that can carry a 10-year prison sentence with a $250,000 fine.
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This story has been updated to include additional information.
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