Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur, a prominent champion for sending aid to Ukraine, serves as a Strategic Advisor to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, a lobbying group representing the interests of corporations including defense industry giants and the Ukrainian government.
Rep. Kaptur and the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) also have ties to Burisma, a controversial Ukrainian energy firm that paid President Joe Biden’s son Hunter received over $83,000 a month from to serve on its board. On the same day that Biden family business associate Devon Archer met with Rep. Kaptur’s office on behalf of his client Burisma in 2016, the USUBC held a joint event with Burisma focused on "Ukraine’s Energy Security Future.”
Burisma was also previously a member of the USUBC.
Conflict Of Interest.
The USUBC, which describes itself as a "strong international voice for business in Ukraine now promoting U.S.-Ukraine business relations,” represents over 200 companies including leading defense firms such as Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin. Many of these members, therefore, are direct beneficiaries of the multi-billion-dollar aid packages authorized by the White House for Ukraine.
Rep. Kaptur was one of 12 House lawmakers to press the White House to send Ukraine additional military aid, specifically F-16s. During recent debate over the potential passage of a Continuing Resolution, Rep. Kaptur also strongly advocated for including funds for Ukraine. In addition to being the co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, Rep. Kaptur is also the Ranking Member on the influential House Appropriations Subcommittee and serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Rep. Kaptur is also one of the council’s 20 Strategic Advisors, which War Room previously exposed for coordinating op-eds in mainstream news outlets calling for more assistance to Ukraine – even slamming the prospect of negotiations as "damaging and counterproductive.” The authors repeatedly failed to disclose their affiliation with USUBC.
Given her influential role in congress over appropriations, her ties to the USUBC appear to represent a sizable conflict of interest.
“Congresswoman Kaptur will bring opening remarks. Topics to be discussed by Congresswoman Kaptur will be expanding U.S-Ukraine relations, strengthening support for Ukraine in the U.S. Congress, ways to strengthen Ukraine’s business development especially in the area of energy independence and resilience with a focus on renewables: solar, biofuels (biodiesel, bioethanol), wind and LNG and other relevant issues,” explained a summary.
The USUBC also posted a letter Rep. Kaptur sent to Volodymyr Zelensky in 2020 “urging [Zelensky’s] government to engage in negotiations with key industry players to ensure robust continued foreign investment.”
The Hunter Biden Connection.
Documents obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee include an agenda for a March 2016 Washington, D.C. visit from Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer on behalf of Burisma. Rep. Kaptur was one of three representatives whose he met with on behalf of the Biden-linked Ukrainian energy firm.
Additional documents obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee include memos detailing the services provided by Washington D.C.-based lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies on behalf of Burisma. Blue Star Strategies promised to “generate support” for Burisma from entities including the USUBC.
These promises appeared to materialize, as the same day Devon Archer met with Rep. Kaptur’s office, the USUBC and Burisma held a joint presentation. As reported by the Kyiv Post:
“The topic of the event this year was "Ukraine’s Energy Security Future”, where the President of the US-Ukraine Business Council Morgan Williams and Vadym Pozharskyi introduced the model for Ukraine’s energy sector development and shared expectations on reform and deregulation of the energy sector, the country’s strategic industry. The USUBC has more than 200 member-companies, with 100 being the largest foreign investors in Ukrainian economy.
According to the Advisor to the Board of Directors at Burisma Holdings Vadym Pozharskyi, the company also conducted series of meetings with Offices of US Senators – Rob Portman, Jeanne Shaheen, Marcy Kaptur and their advisors on energy issues and international relations in order to brief on current situation in the area of energy security, oil & gas market reforms and future development of Ukrainian gas market. Prior to the Washington meetings, the USUBC held roundtable discussions in Kyiv with the United States Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt and Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalie Yaresko, where businesses operating in Ukraine outlined their expectations.”
Vadym Pozharskyi, the Burisma executive who met with then-Vice President Joe Biden and appears frequently in Hunter Biden’s emails, participated in additional USUBC events such as a roundtable with Ukraine’s Minister of Finance on “the critical reform, budget, tax, financial and other key issues facing Ukraine.”
Photos obtained from the now-deleted Burisma website show that former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch attended two meetings hosted by the USUBC in Kyiv with Pozharskyi.
Blue Star Strategies has been under investigation by the Justice Department for unregistered foreign lobbying to boost the public image of Ukraine-based energy company Burisma Holdings in November 2015. During that time, Hunter Biden served on Burisma’s board, collecting sizable retainer fees.
Hunter Biden told Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi: “Let me have one final call with them and verify once more that they understand the scope so we can all feel the retainer is in line with the work required. I trust [Blue Star co-founder] Sally [Painter] and Karen implicitly so I believe we are all aligned but I want to have one last conversation with them to confirm before we proceed.”
Two days later, Hunter reiterated in an email to Pozharskyi that “[Fellow Burisma board member] Devon [Archer] and I do feel comfortable with BS [Blue Star] and the ability of Sally & Karen to deliver … Looking forward to getting started on this.”
Since first publicizing Rep. Kaptur’s ties to the USUBC on Twitter, War Room co-host Natalie Winters was attacked as “Putin’s pawn” by the Congresswoman.