DC’s Atlantic Council Raked in Funding from Hunter Biden’s Corruption-Stained Ukrainian Employer While Courting His VP Father

Max Blumenthal reports on the think tank’s shady arrangement with Burisma, the gas company at the center of  “Ukrainegate.” 

By Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

With its relentless focus on corruption in Russia and Ukraine, the Atlantic Council has distinguished itself from other top-flight think tanks in Washington. Over the past several years, it has held innumerable conferences and panel discussions, issued a string of reports, and published literally hundreds of essays on Russia’s “kleptocracy” and the scourge of Kremlin disinformation. 

At the same time, this institution has posed as a faithful partner to Ukraine’s imperiled democracy, organizing countless programs on the urgency of economic reforms to tamp down on corruption in the country. 

But behind the curtain, the Atlantic Council has initiated a lucrative relationship with a corruption-tainted Ukrainian gas company, the Burisma Group, that is worth as much as $250,000 a year. The partnership has paid for lavish conferences in Monaco and helped bring Burisma’s oligarchic founder out of the cold. 

This alliance has remained stable even as official Washington goes to war over allegations by President Donald Trump and his allies that former Vice President Joseph Biden fired a Ukrainian prosecutor to defend his son’s handsomely compensated position on Burisma’s board. 

As Biden parries Trump’s accusations, some of the former vice president’s most ardent defenders are emerging from the halls of the Atlantic Council, which featured Biden as a star speaker at its awards ceremonies over the years. These advocates include Michael Carpenter, Biden’s longtime foreign policy advisor and specialist on Ukraine, who has taken to the national media to support his embattled boss. 

Even as Burisma’s trail of influence-buying finds its way into front page headlines, the Atlantic Council’s partnership with the company is scarcely mentioned. Homing in on the partisan theater of “Ukrainegate” and tuning out the wider landscape of corruption, the Beltway press routinely runs quotes from Atlantic Council experts on the scandal without acknowledging their employer’s relationship with Hunter Biden’s former employer. 

This case of obvious cronyism has not been overlooked because the Atlantic Council is a bit player, but because of its success in leveraging millions from foreign governments, the arms and energy industries, and Western-friendly oligarchs to bring its influence to bear in the nation’s capital.

NATO’s Think Tank in Washington

The Atlantic Council functions as the semi-official think tank of NATO in Washington. As such, it cultivates relationships with well-established policymakers who take a hard line against Russia and support the treaty organization’s perpetual expansion. 

Biden has been among the think tank’s most enthusiastic and well-placed allies.  

In 2011, then-Vice President Biden delivered the keynote address at the Atlantic Council’s distinguished leadership awards. He returned to the think tank again in 2014 for another keynote at its “Toward A Europe Whole and Free” conference, which was dedicated to expanding NATO’s influence and countering “Russian aggression.” Throughout the event, speakers like Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S. national security adviser, sniped at President Barack Obama for his insufficiently bellicose posture toward Russia, while former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright fretted over polls showing low public support for U.S. interventionism overseas.

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In his own comments, Biden emphasized the need to power Europe with non-Russian sources of natural gas. This provided a prime opportunity to Ukrainian suppliers like Burisma and U.S. energy titans. Many of these energy companies, from Chevron to Noble Energy, also happen to be top donors to the Atlantic Council. 

“This would be a game-changer for Europe, in my view, and we’re ready to do everything in our power to help it happen,” Biden promised his audience. 

Joe Biden, second from right, while U.S. vice president, at 2011 Atlantic Council distinguished leadership awards ceremony.

At the time, the Atlantic Council was pushing to ramp up the proxy war against pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. In 2015, for instance, the think tank helped prepare a proposal for arming the Ukrainian military with offensive weaponry like Javelin anti-tank missiles. 

Given that the Atlantic Council has been funded by the two manufacturers of the Javelin system, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, this created at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. In fact, the think tank presented its Distinguished Business Leadership Award to Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson that same year.

Dubious arrangements like these are not limited to arms manufacturers. Anders Aslund, a neoliberal economist who helps oversee the Atlantic Council’s programming on Russia and Eastern Europe, was quietly paid by a consortium of Latvian banks to write an October 2017 paper highlighting the supposed progress they had made in battling corruption. 

Aslund was asked to write the piece by Sally Painter, a longtime lobbyist for Latvian financial institutions who was appointed to the Atlantic Council board in 2017. At the time, one of those banks was seeking access to the U.S. market and facing allegations that it had engaged in money laundering.

Pay-for-play collaborations have helped grow the Atlantic Council’s annual revenue from $2 million to over $20 million in the past decade. In almost every case, the think tank has churned out policy prescriptions that seem suited to its donors’ interests. 

Government contributors to the Atlantic Council include Gulf monarchies, the U.S. State Department and various Turkish interests. 

In May 2017, Turkish President Recep Erdogan was filmed watching as his personal guards brutalized Kurdish protesters in Washington, D.C.; lost in the headlines was the fact that he was on his way into an event at the Turkish ambassador’s residence hosted by the Atlantic Council.

Among the think tank’s top individual contributors is Victor Pinchuk, one of the wealthiest people in Ukraine and a prolific donor to the Clinton Foundation. Pinchuk donated $8.6 million to the Clintons’ non-profit throughout Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. 

Asked if Pinchuk was lobbying the State Department on Ukraine, his personal foundation told The Wall Street Journal, “this cannot be seen as anything but a good thing.”

Obama’s ‘Point Person’ on Ukraine

In mainstream media reports about the Bidens, scarcely any attention is given to the critical role that Joe Biden and other Obama administration officials played in the 2013-2014 Maidan revolt that replaced a fairly elected, Russian-oriented government with a Western vassal. In a relatively sympathetic New Yorker profile of Hunter Biden, for example, the regime change operation was described by reporter Adam Entous as merely “public protests.”

During the height of the “Revolution of Dignity” that played out in Kiev’s Maidan Square, then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland boasted that the U.S. had “invested $5 billion” since 1991 into Ukrainian civil society. On a December 2013 tour of the Maidan, Nuland personally handed out cookies to protesters alongside Geoffrey Pyatt, U.S. ambassador to Ukraine at the time.

In a phone conversation that leaked two months later, the two U.S. diplomats could be heard plotting out the future government of the country, discussing Ukrainian politicians as though they were chess pieces. “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience,” Nuland said, essentially declaring Arseniy Yatsenyuk the next prime minister. Frustrated with the European Union’s reluctance to inflame tensions with Moscow, Nuland exclaimed, “Fuck the EU.”

By February 2014, the Maidan revolt had succeeded in overthrowing President Viktor Yanukovich with the help of far-right ultra-nationalist street muscle. With a new, U.S.-approved government in power, Biden assumed a personal role in dictating Ukraine’s day-to-day affairs. 

“No one in the U.S. government has wielded more influence over Ukraine than Vice President Joe Biden,” Foreign Policy noted. The Atlantic Council also described Biden as “the point person on Ukraine in the Obama administration.” 

“Ukraine was the top, or one of the top three, foreign policy issues we were concentrating on,” said Carpenter, Biden’s foreign policy adviser. “[Biden] was front and center.”

Biden made his first visit to the post-Maidan government of Ukraine in April 2014, just as Kiev was launching its “anti-terrorist operation” against separatists who broke off from the new, NATO-oriented Ukraine and its nationalist government and formed so-called people’s republics in the Russophone Donbass region. The fragmentation of the country and its grinding proxy war flowed directly from the regime-change operation that Biden helped oversee. 

Addressing the parliament in Kiev, Biden declared that “corruption can have no place in the new Ukraine,” stating that the “United States has also been a driving force behind the IMF, working to provide a multi-billion package to help Ukraine.”  

That same month, Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Burisma.

Hunter Biden starred at one of Burisma’s energy conferences in Monaco, which are today sponsored by the Atlantic Council.

Burisma Recruits Hunter Biden

The ouster of Yanukovych put the founder and president of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, in a delicate spot. Zlochevsky had served as the environment minister under Yanukovych, handing out gas licenses to cronies. Having watched the president flee Ukraine for his life, currying favor with the Obama administration was paramount for Zlochevsky.

He was also desperate to get out of legal trouble. At the time, a corruption investigation in the U.K. had resulted in the freezing of $23 million of Zlochevsky’s assets. Then, in August 2014, the oligarch was forced to follow Yanukovych into exile after being accused of illegally enriching himself.

The need to refurbish Burisma’s tattered image, as well as his own, prompted Zlochevsky to resort to a tried and true tactic for shadowy foreign entities: forking over large sums of money to win friends in Washington. Hunter Biden and the Atlantic Council were soon to become two of his best friends.

Hunter Biden was no stranger to trading on his father’s name for influence. He had served on the board of Amtrak, the train line his father famously rode more than 8,000 times, earning himself the nickname “Amtrak Joe.” Somehow, he also rose to senior vice president at MBNA, the bank that was the top contributor to Joe Biden’s Senate campaigns. 

Moreover, the vice president’s son reaped a board position at the National Democratic Institute, a U.S.-funded “democracy promotion” organization that was heavily involved in pushing regime change in Ukraine. And then there was Burisma, which handed him a position on its board despite his total lack of experience in the energy industry and in Ukrainian affairs.

Hunter Biden tried to repay the $50,000-a-month gig Zlochevsky had handed him by enlisting a top D.C. law firm, Boies, Schiller, and Flexner, where he served as co-counsel, to help “improve [Burisma’s] corporate governance.” By the following January, Zlochevsky’s assets were unfrozen by the U.K.

Back in Washington, the arrangement between the son of the vice president and a less than scrupulous Ukrainian oligarch was raising eyebrows. During a May 13, 2014, press conference, Matt Lee of the Associated Press grilled State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki about Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board.

“Does this building diplomatically have any concerns about potential perceptions of conflict or cronyism – which is what you’ve often accused the Russians of doing?” Lee asked Psaki.

“No, he’s a private citizen,” Psaki responded, referring to Hunter Biden.

In a December 2015 op-ed, the editorial board of The New York Times took both Bidens to task for the unseemly business arrangement: “It should be plain to Hunter Biden that any connection with a Ukrainian oligarch damages his father’s efforts to help Ukraine. This is not a board he should be sitting on.” 

For a paper that had firmly supported the installation of a U.S.-aligned government in Kiev, this was a striking statement.

Hunter Biden maintained that he had only a brief conversation with his father about his work at Burisma. “Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do,’” Hunter recalled to The New Yorker.

Despite his constant focus on Ukraine, the elder Biden claimed this September that he never spoke to his son about his business dealings in the country.

Disaster for Ukrainians, Boon for the Bidens

On Jan. 12, 2017, the criminal probes of Zlochevsky and Burisma were officially closed under the watch of a new Ukrainian prosecutor.

Less than a week later, Biden returned to Ukraine to make his final speech as vice president. By this point, three years after the Maidan uprising overthrew Yanukovych, it was clear that the national project the vice president personally had presided over was a calamitous failure.

As even the Atlantic Council’s Aslund was willing to admit, Ukraine had become the poorest country in Europe. The country had also become the top recipient of remittances in Europe, with a staggering percentage of its population migrating abroad in search of work. 

Meanwhile, Amnesty International stated: “Ukraine is descending into chaos of uncontrolled use of force by radical [far-right] groups. Under these conditions, no person in Ukraine may feel safe.” As the country’s proxy conflict with pro-Russian separatists dragged on, it transformed into a supermarket for the international arms trade. 

Meanwhile, Biden’s son Hunter was making a small fortune by simply warming a seat on Burisma’s board of directors.

During his 2017 press conference in Kiev, Biden seemed oblivious to the trends that were driving Ukraine into ruin. He encouraged Ukraine’s leadership to continue on an IMF-led path of privatization and austerity. 

He then urged Kiev to “press forward with energy reforms that are eliminating Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas,” once again advancing policy that would serve as a boon to the energy firms plowing their cash into the Atlantic Council.

Mykola Zlochevsky, former employer of Hunter Biden and current partner of the Atlantic Council.

Burisma Recruits the Atlantic Council

Even with Hunter Biden on his company’s board, Zlochevsky was still seeking influential allies in Washington. He found them at the Atlantic Council in 2017, literally hours after he was cleared of corruption charges in Ukraine.

On Jan. 19, 2017 — just two days after the investigation of Zlochevsky ended — Burisma announced a major “cooperative agreement” with the Atlantic Council. “It became possible to sign a cooperative agreement between Burisma and the Atlantic Council after all charges against Burisma Group companies and its owner [Mykola] Zlochevskyi were withdrawn,” the Kyiv Post reported at the time.

The deal was inked by the director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia program, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine named John Herbst. 

Since then, Burisma helped bankroll Atlantic Council programming, including an energy security conference held this May in Monaco, where Zlochevsky currently lives.

“[Zlochevsky] invited them purely for whitewashing purposes, to put them on the façade and make this company look nice,” Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, said of the Monaco event to The Financial Times.

At one such conference in Monaco, then-Burisma board member Hunter Biden declared, “One of the reasons that I am proud to be a member of the board at Burisma is that I believe we are trying to figure out the way to create a radical change in the way we look at energy.” (Hunter Biden left Burisma with $850,000 in earnings when his father launched his presidential campaign this year).

While the Atlantic Council was bringing Burisma in from the cold, the company was still too toxic for much of the business world to touch.

As The Financial Times noted, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine had rejected Burisma’s application for membership. “We’ve never worked with them for integrity reasons. Never passed our due diligence,” a Western financial institution told the newspaper.

“The company just does not pass the smell test,” a businessman in Ukraine told The Financial Times. “Their reputation is far from squeaky clean because of their baggage, the background and attempts to whitewash by bringing in recognizable Western names on to the board.”

In fact, a year before the Atlantic Council initiated its partnership with Burisma, the think tank published a paper describing Zlochevsky as “openly on the take” and deriding board members Hunter Biden and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski as his “trophy foreigners.” (Kwasniewski is today a member of the Atlantic Council’s international advisory board).

For Herbst, however, Burisma’s generosity seemed too hard to resist.

“If there are companies that want to support my work, if those companies are not doing anything that I know to be illegal or unethical, I’ll consider their support,” Herbst stated in reply to questions about the Burisma partnership from the Ukrainian news site, Hromadske.

“They’ve been good partners,” he added.

Men of Integrity

The Atlantic Council has provided more than just a web of influence for figures like Biden and Zlochevsky. It extended into the Trump administration, through a former employee who served as the president’s lead envoy to Ukraine.

On the sidelines of a September 2018 Atlantic Council event in New York City, Burisma adviser Vadym Pozharskyi held a meeting with Kurt Volker, then the State Department’s special liaison to Ukraine. A former senior adviser to the Atlantic Council and national security hardliner, Volker had earned praise from Biden as a “solid guy.”

At the time, Volker also served as the executive director of the McCain Institute, named for the senator, John McCain, who authored the congressional provision requiring the U.S. to budget 20 percent of all aid to Ukraine for offensive weapons. As I reported in 2017, the McCain Institute’s financial backers included the BGR group, whose designated lobbyist, Ed Rogers, was a lobbyist for Raytheon – the company that produced the Javelin missiles that both Volker and the Atlantic Council wanted sold to Ukraine.

Following his abrupt resignation this September, Volker was called to testify before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on the so-called Ukrainegate affair. There, he defended Biden as “a man of integrity and dedication to our country” who would never be “influenced in his duties as Vice President by money for his son…”

Key Biden Adviser Joins Atlantic Council 

Throughout Biden’s tenure as the “point person” on Ukraine, one figure was constantly by his side: Michael Carpenter, a former Pentagon specialist on Eastern Europe who became a key adviser to Biden on the National Security Council. When Carpenter traveled with Biden to Ukraine in 2015, he helped provide the vice president with talking points throughout his trip.

Once Trump was inaugurated, Carpenter followed fellow members of the Democratic foreign policy apparatus into the think tank world. He accepted a fellowship at the Atlantic Council, and assumed a position as senior director of newly founded Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which provided office space to Biden when he was in Washington.

At the Jan. 23, 2018 Council on Foreign Relations event where Biden made his now-notorious comments about threatening the Ukrainian government with the withdrawal of a one billion dollar loan if it did not fire Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin – “well son of a bitch, he got fired!” Biden exclaimed – Carpenter was by his side, rattling off tough talking points about Russian interference. [Shokin testified under oath that Biden had him fired because he was investigating Burisma.]

Since then, Carpenter has remained engaged in Ukrainian politics, throwing his weight behind some of the country’s most hardline elements. In July 2018, for instance, he helped welcome Andriy Parubiy, the speaker of the Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), to a series of meetings on Capitol Hill. 

Parubiy is the founder of the Social-National Party, which The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson described as “openly neo-fascist.” In fact, Parubiy appeared in a Nazi-style uniform, packing a pistol beneath a Wolfsangel symbol on the cover of his Mein Kampf-style memoir, “A View From The Right.” 

After the Senate meeting with Parubiy, I challenged Carpenter over bringing the far-right politician to Capitol Hill. “Andriy Parubiy is a conservative nationalist who is also a patriot who cares about his country,” Carpenter told me. “I don’t think he has any neo-Nazi inclinations, nor background.” He went on to dismiss the basis of my question as “mostly Russian propaganda.”

Months later, Carpenter staged a meltdown on Twitter over the incident, fabricating quotes by me, branding me as a “sleeze” [sic] and “pro-Asad and pro-Putin scumbag,” while falsely and baselessly claiming I “enlist[ed] RT,” the Russian-backed news network, “to do an exposé on him.”

Asked by The Grayzone about Carpenter’s work for a think tank funded by Burisma while simultaneously involving himself in Biden’s political machine, Atlantic Council media relations deputy director Alex Kisling stated, “Council staff and fellows are free to participate in election activity as individuals and on their own time, provided they do so in a way that could not be seen as acting as a representative of the Council or implying Council endorsement of their activity or views. Michael’s affiliations and previous service are on our website. (He is not part of our full time staff).”

The Penn Biden Center did not respond to a question on whether it supported Carpenter’s work at the Burisma-backed Atlantic Council.

Beltway Press Scrubs Burisma’s Ongoing Influence-Buying

As the scrutiny of Biden’s dealings in Ukraine intensifies, Carpenter has thrust himself into the media limelight to defend his longtime boss. 

In an Oct. 7 Washington Post op-ed denouncing Trump’s “smear campaign” against Biden, Carpenter insisted that Biden had gone to great lengths to remove the Ukrainian prosecutor, Shokin, for his failure to take action against Burisma. That evening, Carpenter took to Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC to reinforce the message that Biden moved against “corrupt players” in Ukraine, presumably referring to Burisma.

At no point did he mention that Burisma was funding the think tank that hosted him as a senior fellow.

In publishing an “explainer” purporting to debunk the charges against Biden, the Atlantic Council also failed to mention its ongoing relationship with Burisma. Atlantic Council media relations deputy director Kisling dismissed the non-disclosure, telling The Grayzone, “The Council discloses its funding from Burisma on its website and whenever asked.” (Ironically, the Atlantic Council has pushed for greater transparency in political advertising on Facebook, one of the top donors to the think tank).

Perhaps the most absurd omission took place in a GQ article about Ukrainegate by reporter and Russia-watcher Julia Ioffe. In painting Ukraine — the largest nation entirely located in Europe — as a “small country” drowning in corruption, Ioffe noted, “the best way to launder one’s shady reputation and shine for international investors is to hire big-name Western consultants – as Burisma did.”

In the very next paragraph, Ioffe quoted Daniel Fried, a former State Department official now serving as a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “It’s a country where there’s a lot of freelance money and a lot of competing interests,” Fried remarked.

Revealingly, Ioffe failed to acknowledge that Fried was one of those “big-named Western consultants” helping to launder Zlochevsky and Burisma’s “shady reputation” through the Atlantic Council.

In fact, Fried was photographed in a one-on-one meeting with Burisma advisor Vadim Pozharskyi at a September 2018 Atlantic Council conference in New York City.

As the furor over “Ukrainegate” continues, Biden and his allies are soldiering ahead, insisting that scrutiny of his activities in Ukraine constitute nothing more than a vast right-wing conspiracy. 

Meanwhile, the Beltway press shrugs at Burisma’s buying of influence at a powerful think tank intertwined with Biden’s political operation. 

Russia might be a “kleptocracy” and Ukraine might endemically corrupt, but in Washington, this is all business as usual.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling Republican Gomorrah,” Goliath,” The Fifty One Day War” and The Management of Savagery.” He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including Killing Gaza and Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie.” Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

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31 comments for “DC’s Atlantic Council Raked in Funding from Hunter Biden’s Corruption-Stained Ukrainian Employer While Courting His VP Father

  1. Anon
    October 16, 2019 at 12:33

    Great reporting. I never realized how really corrupt the Biden’s are. His image is in complete contradiction to his actions. I don’t understand how people support him.

  2. Chuck
    October 16, 2019 at 10:28

    The bypassing of Russian gas lines in eastern Europe is the prime directive. The long planned supply line from Qatar through Syria then via Turkey to Europe is the best result which would accomplish this goal. It’s why Turkey is such a major contributor to the council. The real reason for the Syrian conflict and Turkish intervention in the region. Also why Russia is sticking so close to its ally Assad.
    Turkey stands to make a huge profit from this proposed pipeline.

    • Eugenie Basile
      October 16, 2019 at 11:51

      When the Southstream project through Bulgaria collapsed under US and EU pressure it was replaced by the Turkstream project. which will then be connected to southern EU countries. Turkey and Russia are working together .. and the Atlantic counsel seems to be pushing Turkey rather away from liberal EU and militaristic Nato.

  3. AnneR
    October 16, 2019 at 09:02

    The bribery and corruption in DC is mind-boggling in its depth and breadth. The whole of the political, financial landscape is riddled with it. But of course it’s not accepted – by the ruling elites – as that because, Hey!, the USA, unlike (obviously) Russia (and Ukraine) legalized what anywhere else in the world is recognized (albeit often tolerated, ignored, hated – what have you) as Corruption and Bribery and is Illegal. But NOT here.

    Here it is called and established and operates as *Lobbying.* Never mind that mucho dinero, future revolving door sinecures, lucrative posts for relatives (nepotism) grease the palms of all with political power (baksheesh) and leverage the legislation, the wars, the invasions, the coups, the strong arming… This isn’t bribery and corruption – noooo merely doing business. Only corruption when it occurs in those “black hat countries.”

    And when one learns – thanks to Mr Blumenthal and others – just how much bribery and corruption, *and* does so from foreign entities pushing (of course) their home-grown agendas (and we’re definitely NOT talking Russia here) the more one recognizes how little DC’s political crowd gives a f*** about their constituents and their needs back home. Zero. Zilch. None at all.

    • Chuck
      October 16, 2019 at 12:04

      Exactly Anne. What needs to happen is a major change in ethical compliance. It needs to be illegal for politicians AND their families at the national level to take ANY foreign money or favors of any kind while in office. This includes being part of any 501c3 organization. Whether “charitable” or not. No family foundations. No offshore LLC’s. Also, put in place a fully independent oversight body that does not include politicians and has full subpoena powers. Any politician is found to have broken these corruption laws is immediately removed and replaced by their respective governors.

  4. October 16, 2019 at 04:27

    As usual, an extremely well written and informative article by Max Blumenthal. Having this knowledge allows one to understand the true motives behind the forces of impeachment. The deep state did everything they could to undermine Trump, And now the department of justice is closing in on all the illegal actions not just by the Bidens and the coup mongerers in Ukraine, But by Comey and others at the FBI, CIA and other levels of government. The deep state is so dirty and so intransigent that they didn’t even bother to successfully cover their tracks. How sadly and incredibly ironic it is, that Trump might actually be a small savior of democracy in trying to out all the criminals in government they tried to do him in. We have been corrupted at the highest levels to where America now may be perhaps the most corrupt country in the world. To put things into perspective, we have a morally and ethically corrupt president who is fighting the bipartisan corruption machine that overthrows governments around the world and is currently attempting a coup here at home. Whether you love or hate Trump, his election was legitimate as any. As the criminals in Washington are so brazen as to openly attempt a coup at home, it is a Shakespearean tragedy it unfolds before us. For someone so deeply as corrupt as Trump to rescue America from the jaws of state sponsored corruption is almost unthinkable.

    • punkyboy
      October 16, 2019 at 09:46

      Your comment is the perfect companion to Max’s brilliant deconstruction of this disgusting Biden/Ukraine horror show. The sad thing is, only a tiny portion of the American public will read this while in thrall to the MSM’s siren song of America the Exceptional. Yes, Trump is the target of a coup by the deep state, which has therefore, perhaps unintentionally, given us a real insight into how this country has been taken over and finally shorn of any pretense at “democracy” by these powerful, shady forces – like The Atlantic Council, The Council on Foreign Relations, ALEC – oh, the list goes on and on and on.

  5. Steve Smith
    October 16, 2019 at 03:38

    Is the Atlantic Council a registered foreign agent?

    Is Hunter Biden a registered foreign agent?

    • Anon
      October 16, 2019 at 12:29

      This only applies to Flynn.

  6. October 16, 2019 at 02:02

    Love that photo of Zlochevsky. Hollywood villain, straight out of Central Casting. Can you see him as the heavy in a James Bond flick? Except this baddie’s for real.

    • Punkyboy
      October 16, 2019 at 09:38

      That was my exact reaction when I saw his photo. Scary guy!

    • October 16, 2019 at 12:10

      Zlochevsky, looks the archtypal bad guy that most anyone dealing with him would be suspicious of his motives. But by far the most dangerous bad guys are those that appear harmless. the Bidens, Barrick ” The Silver tongued Devil” Obama, Hillary ” We came We saw he died ” Clinton, Madeline ” We think 500,000 dead kids was worth it” Albright, George ” God told me to invade” Bush, you know all the smooth looking, smooth talking war criminals,…….er politicians in Washington. Those are the deadly double dealing snakes that you really have to watch out for. The guys who look the part are rarely the criminals you have to be wary of. Ted Bundy was a real charmer.

  7. October 16, 2019 at 01:54

    Thanks to Blumenthal for his methodical research. This is what investigative journalism is all about — or should be.

    How “electable” will Biden be after content like this trickles into mainstream media? Now is the time to put Biden on the shelf and move on.

    By staying in the race despite his hopeless baggage, Biden is harming the Dems and all of us. How? By distracting from the choice of a real candidate — such as Sanders or Warren — and the momentum this candidate will need, barreling into 2020.

  8. Robert
    October 15, 2019 at 13:50

    Thank you for the excellent research. I’ll add that the Department of State’s contribution to Atlantic Council is $1 million annually of US taxpayer dollars. Christopher Hunter, a lawyer with the DOJ when Trump was elected, resigned and ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Democrat, then parachuted into Atlantic Council as a Senior Fellow. Several weeks ago, in an interview with Al Jazeera, he affirmed that Trump should definitely be impeached. Although introduced as a Fellow of the Atlantic Council, he did nothing to indicate that he was in a conflict of interest position because of Burisma donations to the Council or that his opinions were not those of the Atlantic Council. Essentially, US tax $$ are being used to promote the impeachment of the President of the United States.

  9. lindaj
    October 15, 2019 at 13:14

    Thanks to Max and Consortium for refusing to let the river of disinformation keep flowing uninterrupted by the truth.

  10. dfnslblty
    October 15, 2019 at 13:06

    Excellent insights.

  11. Karl Brantz
    October 15, 2019 at 12:27

    Excellent investigative journalism from Max Blumenthal and Grayzone! The death and destruction wrought in Ukraine by both U.S. political party operatives is appalling, as is their horrendous murders of civilians and combatants alike throughout the world today. That journalists go forth every day to document this atrocious conduct, risking their freedom and their lives to uncover the truth is an amazing and courageous service to the citizens of our world. I have nothing but praise for them. I only wish that some one would turn their piercing perception and integrity upon the apparently untouchable yet still festering account of the truth of the 9/11 events. All the facts are available and many of the perps are still walking around. I’m dying to know just what was going on as Dick Cheney commandeered the PEOC on that fateful morning. Or what took place at Offutt AFB as the towers were blown to dust in NYC. We’ve got a fairly good idea thanks to the last 19 years of research and reporting, but this story never seems to rise above the traditional scandal/bribery/corruption/war news that daily rains down upon the hapless plebes.

  12. Bob in Portland
    October 15, 2019 at 12:15

    More inconvenience for the Atlantic Council: When the DNC claimed that Russia hacked its computers, it never allowed the FBI or any other intelligence agency to examine the computers. Instead, they used a private company, Crowdstrike. CrowdStrike, owned by Dmitri Alperovitch, still is the only known entity to have examined those computers. Dmitri Alperovitch has a chair at the Atlantic Council. Readers here at ConsortiumNews know all the flaws, okay, lies that William Binney uncovered.

    So the Russiagate claims against Russia were generated by cold warriors to justify a warmer war against Russia. Poor Hunter was caught in the graft that surrounds the US’s relationship with Ukraine.

    In World War Two the Nazis ran the fascists in Ukraine who in turn ran Operation Nightingale, the genocidal program to kill the Jews and other ethnic enemies of Berlin’s thinkers. After WWII the US, very soon represented by the CIA, supported a rebel force in Ukraine against the USSR. The US also embraced the Ukrainian fascists, being a part of the Republican Heritage Council. Members were imported into the US under the CIA’s Crusade For Freedom. Ronald Reagan, the spokesman for CFF, first used his “freedom fighter” describing these Ukrainian fascists with the term later resurrected for the death squads and anti-democratic forces in Latin America.

    Burisma has been described at Moon Of Alabama as a money-laundering entity.

    Poor Hunter. Welcome to the working week.

  13. Skip Scott
    October 15, 2019 at 12:09

    This is a great article that gets into the nitty-gritty of UkraineGate. There is no doubt in this day and age that “the Mighty Wurlitzer” will drown out the facts presented here. If Biden becomes too difficult of a sell for the Oligarchy, they have plenty of other servants to choose from.

  14. robert e williamson jr
    October 15, 2019 at 11:57

    I’m no religious zealot. After 70 years on the planet I’m firmly agnostic and view too many organized religions with great dread., that said I suspect that these NGO non-profits such as the Atlantic Council are simply fronts for the U.S. intelligence community.

    If churches tried to get away with what these think tanks do going through millions of dollars to lobby for special interest groups they would surely lose the their tax exempt status. Something I feel very strongly the IRS should investigate also.

    Or would they. I suspect the IRS could care less about either type of entity considering that the Service is so under funded it cannot enforce the tax laws on the books, but that story is for a different time.

    I keep reading these headlines which seem to cry “surprise, we found corruption here”! Give me a break by now everyone should see it coming.

    The “King of Orange” is still publicly boring holes in the hull of the Ship of State and nothing happens except Dims and Repugs claim some honor in joining to condemn a foreign EU allied country for doing what “The King of Orange” approved that he do.

    The problem here is not Turkey, my friends, the problem is the U.S. intelligence community and the corrupt think tanks fronts that facilitate their evil machinations.

    Thank you Max for the expose’ obviously far too many American are fooled by this B.S. stuff that goes on in D.C.

  15. Drew Hunkins
    October 15, 2019 at 11:15

    The AC is arguably the most potentially dangerous organization in the world today. It’s essentially a Bill Kristol neo-conservative outfit that’s set on destroying any semblance of an independent Russia. It’s closely connected to the Atlanticist Integrationists in Moscow.

    The AC’s a de facto NATO think [sic] tank that could possibly lead the world to nuclear war. It also totally belies the notion that Putin is somehow under the thumb of Netanyahu.

  16. Eugenie Basile
    October 15, 2019 at 11:13

    The whole Ukraine story is an enormous blunder for the West …. not only did it give Russia the opportunity to reclaim Crimea but the West now also has to finance a corrupt, unstable and bankrupt country. Not funny !

  17. Robert
    October 15, 2019 at 11:06

    Excellent research. The deep state is indeed international and takes care of its own. Christopher Hunter, who, after Trump’s election, resigned from the DOJ, then ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for Congress, was then parachuted into the Atlantic Council as senior fellow. He then proceeded to provide expert advice to Al Jazeera about why Trump should be impeached. So you now have the US State Department paying $1 million tax dollars to the Atlantic Council, at least one member of which is using his “expertise” to impeach President Trump.

  18. October 15, 2019 at 10:28

    The article notes that Hunter Biden left Ukraine with $850K. Does that include any fees he might have collected as co-counsel noted below?

    “Hunter Biden tried to repay the $50,000-a-month gig Zlochevsky had handed him by enlisting a top D.C. law firm, Boies, Schiller, and Flexner, where he served as co-counsel, to help “improve [Burisma’s] corporate governance.” By the following January, Zlochevsky’s assets were unfrozen by the U.K.”


  19. michael
    October 15, 2019 at 07:48

    Dmitri Alperovitch, Hillary’s own Russian Head of Crowdstrike and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, went to great lengths to prove that RUSSIANS!!! had hacked into Ukrainian artillery, and claimed the same methodology was used to prove that RUSSIANS!!! had hacked into the DNC. These were Crowdstrike’s bonafides (and thus no reason to look closely at the DNC servers). Of course, it later turned out that the Russians had NOT hacked Ukrainian artillery, Crowdstrike had lied, and hacking of the DNC was more likely initially done by Crowdstrike/ New Knowledge and the Atlantic Council, not the Russians.
    Think tanks should be responsible, with jail times and fines, for the discord they sow.

  20. Sally Snyder
    October 15, 2019 at 07:15

    There is a binding treaty between the United States and Ukraine that would serve as a precedent for Donald Trump’s request.

    Interestingly, the mainstream media in the United States has almost completely ignored this reality their haste to impeach the current president.

    • jimmy Gates
      October 15, 2019 at 15:49

      Sally, were this little fact be exposed to the “discussion “ it would end, automatically, any high crime and misdemeanor of which Trump is ( in this case) accused. Ergo the silence in all other than truly progressive and the Trump defenders. ( strange bedfellows indeed)

  21. Daryl
    October 15, 2019 at 04:51

    My take is that this Zlochevsky and his energy co. was identified and targeted while he was part of the govt the US helped to overthrow. Rather than the story of a Ukrainian seeking western favor, i suspect he was made an offer he could not refuse. The UK seizure of the 23mil was not accidental, i expect the US had all the banks of Europe watching this guys asset for this leverage. So they freeze his money, open a criminal investigation and put him on a wanted list. Just a couple weeks later Biden joins the board. This was a State Dept/CIA play. They went to Zlochevsky or the oligarch behind him and presented them with the only way out of ruin. Several months later,UK unfreezes 23mil and closes the case. USAID comes calling on burisma, Atlantic Council attaches themselves. This was a well planned takeover and Biden was a beneficiary, but doing the bidding of the hidden hands.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 16, 2019 at 10:34

      It is not just Biden, a current board member is a CIA alumnus with superb standing and a former president who graciously helped CIA to.locate a “black facility”.

  22. Jeff Harrison
    October 15, 2019 at 00:02

    The sarcasm at the end is great. I have only one comment. This piece, like so many others about Ukraine uses the phrase “pro-Russian forces in Ukraine”. That’s crap. Yeah, they are pro Russian, but more importantly, they are ethnically Russian and when you have a regime in Kiev that is trying to suck up to the US and passing anti Russian and Russian language legislation and breaking all ties to Russia to please their masters in Washington, is it a surprise that those ethnic Russian Ukrainians might look for a champion?

  23. Abby
    October 14, 2019 at 23:11

    Wow. This article is a must read for people to get up to date on the Ukraine coup. On Hunter and Joe ByeDone’s actions after it and the many players involved. Well done, Max!
    But Russia right?

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