In an ironic twist, President Donald Trump’s recently ousted special envoy to Ukraine met last year with a top official at Burisma Group, the Ukrainian energy firm that Trump and his allies have used as a political cudgel against Joe Biden’s presidential run.
Kurt Volker was the administration’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations until Friday, when he resigned.
But in September 2018, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, he met with Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, on the sidelines of an event organized by the Atlantic Council.
Pro-Trumpers, led by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, allege that in 2016 Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor because of an investigation the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had led into Burisma — on whose board Joe’s son Hunter sat.
In reality, there’s no evidence that probe was ongoing at the time of Shokin’s firing, and there had been international criticism of Shokin’s inadequate handling of corruption in the country — the real reason the U.S., led by Biden, and others fought for Shokin’s ouster.
A July phone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for dirt on the Bidens has spurred an impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Volker’s meeting with Pozharskyi was captured in a photograph on Burisma’s website and confirmed to the AP by several attendees.
In fact, the picture of Volker and Pozharskyi meeting is still visible on a Burisma blog post commemorating the event at the time.
“Apart from events organized by the Atlantic Council, Burisma Group held a number of meetings with U.S. officials,” Burisma’s copy reads. “In particular, the Group met with the U.S. Department of State’s special representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker […] The parties discussed the need for further reform in the energy sector and the implementation of energy independence strategy.”