• The Financial District


Ukrainian officials on Saturday, June 13, 2020, said they were offered $5 million in bribes to end a probe into energy company Burisma’s founder, but said there was no connection to former board member Hunter Biden, whose father is running for the US presidency.

The Ukrainian company was thrust into the global spotlight last year in the impeachment inquiry into whether US President Donald Trump improperly pressured Kiev into opening a case against his rival for the November election race, wrote Ilya Zhegulev for Reuters. In turn, the embattled Trump wants an investigation into the Democrats’ 2020 candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son but this recent disclosure smothers his desire to pillory his rival.

Artem Sytnyk, head of Ukraine’s national anti-corruption bureau (NABU), said three people had been detained, including one current and former tax official, over the bribe offer.

The money was the largest cash bribe ever seized in the country, NABU said. It was put on display during a press briefing, brought by masked men in see-through plastic bags. Burisma said in a statement it had nothing to do with the matter. It did not respond to a request for comment from the company’s founder Mykola Zlochevsky, a former ecology minister now living abroad. “Let’s put an end to this once and for all. Biden Jr. and Biden Sr. do not appear in this particular proceeding,” Nazar Kholodnytsky, head of anti-corruption investigations at the prosecution service, told Saturday’s briefing.