White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates misled the press in 2020 when he denied that a meeting between then-Vice President Joe Biden and Burisma board adviser Vadym Pozharskyi in 2015 took place — a meeting that was confirmed last week.
In October 2020, the New York Post revealed an email from Pozharskyi on the laptop of Biden’s son, Hunter. In the email, dated April 17, 2015, Pozharskyi thanked Hunter Biden for inviting him to Washington, D.C., to meet and spend time with his father.
The email therefore suggested that Joe Biden had lied when he told reporters in 2019 that he had never discussed his family’s business dealings. It also confirmed a link to Burisma, which the Bidens had denied during Trump’s first impeachment trial.
The Biden campaign vigorously denied that such a meeting ever took place, however, saying there was no such meeting on the “official schedules” of the vice president. Andrew Bates, then a spokesperson for the campaign, issued a strident statement:
Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath.
The New York Post never asked the Biden campaign about the critical elements of this story. They certainly never raised that Rudy Giuliani – whose discredited conspiracy theories and alliance with figures connected to Russian intelligence have been widely reported – claimed to have such materials. Moreover, we have reviewed Joe Biden’s official schedules from the time and no meeting, as alleged by the New York Post, ever took place.
However, as Breitbart News contributor Peter Schweizer noted at the time, there were gaps in Biden’s official schedule that day. And last week, Devon Archer, Hunter’s former business partner, confirmed the 2015 meeting at the House Oversight Committee.
The following exchange took place at the committee, during Archer’s testimony (via House Oversight Committee transcript):
Q — turn your attention now to spring of 2015, dinner at Cafe Milano, where I believe Vice President Biden attended as well. Can you tell us about that dinner? Who was there?
A Okay. Could you repeat the date?
Q It’s the spring or April of 2015, around —
A April 2015.
Mr. Schwartz. The second one.
Mr. Archer. Oh, the second — there you go. Yes, Vice President Biden did attend.
BY MR. MANDOLFO:
Q And who else was there?
A There was two dinners. At that diner, it was Vadym, Karim Massimov — so Vadym P. from Burisma; Karim Massimov; a Greek priest, Orthodox priest; I think — I believe someone from the World Food Programme. I think that was the — and then there — do you have others?
Democrats attempted to play down Archer’s testimony, saying that Joe Biden merely discussed “the weather” with his son’s business partners. None acknowledged that the president had lied, or that his campaign had lied, about Burisma and other contacts with Hunter Biden’s business partners.
Bates has not commented on the latest revelations.
Legal analyst Jonathan Turley, commenting on the confirmation of a meeting between Joe Biden and a Burisma executive that Bates had claimed never took place, observed: “It was the same pattern that we saw with the laptop. The claims of Russian disinformation. The lack of media curiosity. The lack of coverage of the later disclosures. It is the hallmark of a state media, by consent rather than coercion. There is the denials of the incident, the dismissal of the story, and then the downplaying of the countervailing facts.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.