Hunter Biden may have had a far closer relationship with a DC consultancy under federal investigation for alleged illegal lobbying than its CEO implied when she testified under oath, emails reveal.

The emails bring into question sworn statements given to Congress by the Washington firm Blue Star Strategies co-founder and CEO, Karen Tramontano.

Blue Star was dragged into the political firestorm around Hunter's involvement with Ukrainian gas firm Burisma in 2019 when it emerged that the company hired the Washington, DC lobbying shop to improve the image of its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who has been accused of corruption in Ukraine and investigated by British authorities.

According to a Politico report this month, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is now investigating Blue Star for allegedly failing to file under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), while lobbying US officials for Burisma.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee also launched an investigation into Burisma's relationship with US officials last year, and questioned Tramontano under oath.

In her testimony, the lobby shop boss said Hunter did not direct any of her firm's work for Burisma, claimed that at first she did not know Hunter Biden was on its board, and that she did not intend to influence US policy through her meetings with US officials.


Emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop reveal his close relationship with Washington, D.C. consultancy firm Blue Star Strategies
The emails bring into question sworn statements given to Congress by the Washington firm's co-founder and CEO, Karen Tramontano (pictured)

Emails from Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop reveal his close relationship with Washington, D.C. consultancy firm Blue Star Strategies. The emails bring into question sworn statements given to Congress by the Washington firm's co-founder and CEO, Karen Tramontano (right)

In September 2014, Tramontano wrote to Hunter to thank him for traveling to NYC to meet with Latvian bank owner Valeri Belokon

In September 2014, Tramontano wrote to Hunter to thank him for traveling to NYC to meet with Latvian bank owner Valeri Belokon

'Let me have one final call with them and verify once more that they understand the scope so we can all feel that the retainer is in line with the work required,' Hunter wrote to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi on November 2

'Let me have one final call with them and verify once more that they understand the scope so we can all feel that the retainer is in line with the work required,' Hunter wrote to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi on November 2

Schwerin wrote to the Blue Star CEO in February 2015: 'Karen- Just to follow up on our conversation yesterday, I gave Hunter a download of your conversation with Valeri and he concurred with the answers I gave you re: the Middle East and Legal Work'. Tramontano replied, 'Advocating for him is the easiest part of my life'

Schwerin wrote to the Blue Star CEO in February 2015: 'Karen- Just to follow up on our conversation yesterday, I gave Hunter a download of your conversation with Valeri and he concurred with the answers I gave you re: the Middle East and Legal Work'. Tramontano replied, 'Advocating for him is the easiest part of my life'

The communications show the president's son was intimately involved with Blue Star's hiring by Burisma.

They appear to show that Hunter discussed with Tramontano the goals of the Ukrainian firm including to persuade US officials to 'close down' criminal cases against Zlochevsky in his home country and express their 'positive opinion' of the Burisma boss to Ukrainian leaders.

In an August 2020 Senate hearing, Tramontano was questioned on how she came to work for Burisma.

It had emerged that Burisma hired Blue Star Strategies to improve the image of its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky

It had emerged that Burisma hired Blue Star Strategies to improve the image of its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky

The lobbying firm CEO told the hearing that she was first approached by Hunter's business partner and fellow Burisma board member Devon Archer in fall 2015 – and that she did not discuss representing the firm with Hunter.

'Focusing on this time period between Mr. Archer first raising Burisma and November 2015 when Blue Star officially signs the agreement to represent Burisma, did you have conversations with any other board members, to include Hunter Biden, about the firm potentially representing Burisma?' asked Joseph Folio, chief counsel to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

'I did not,' replied Tramontano.

However, in emails from November 2015, before Blue Star signed with Burisma, Hunter talked about calling Tramontano and her co-founder Sally Painter to convey the gas company executives' lobbying goals.

'Let me have one final call with them and verify once more that they understand the scope so we can all feel that the retainer is in line with the work required,' Hunter wrote to Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi on November 2.

'I trust Sally 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.'

Three days later he wrote: 'Devon and I do feel comfortable with BS [Blue Star] and the ability of Sally & Karen to deliver. You should go ahead and sign. Looking forward to getting started on this.'

In her testimony Tramontano also played down her relationship with Hunter, telling Folio she only 'met him on a couple of occasions' and describing him as 'I guess an acquaintance'.

But emails show the president's son was already in a direct business relationship with Tramontano earlier in 2015.

One February 6, 2015 email shows Tramontano was 'advocating on his behalf,' helping Hunter to build his relationship with Latvian bank owner Valeri Belokon.

Schwerin wrote to the Blue Star CEO in February 2015: 'Karen- Just to follow up on our conversation yesterday, I gave Hunter a download of your conversation with Valeri and he concurred with the answers I gave you re: the Middle East and Legal Work.

Emails from March 2014 show that Tramontano discussed registering her investment banking license with Hunter's firm

Emails from March 2014 show that Tramontano discussed registering her investment banking license with Hunter's firm

Manuel Estrella, president of Dominican Republic civil works firm Estrella, wrote to Hunter thanking him for arranging a meeting with Joe. 'Hunter, I just met your father! So exiting! [sic]' wrote Estrella. 'Thanks! Hope to see you soon!'

Manuel Estrella, president of Dominican Republic civil works firm Estrella, wrote to Hunter thanking him for arranging a meeting with Joe. 'Hunter, I just met your father! So exiting! [sic]' wrote Estrella. 'Thanks! Hope to see you soon!'

Hunter emailed Tramontano in July 2014: 'I just heard you passed… congrats and welcome officially to the team.' 'Thank you very much. Look forward to working together,' she replied

Hunter emailed Tramontano in July 2014: 'I just heard you passed… congrats and welcome officially to the team.' 'Thank you very much. Look forward to working together,' she replied

'Hunter said to thank you again for advocating on his behalf.'

'Advocating for him is the easiest part of my life,' Tramontano replied.

One February 2015 email appears to show Hunter, through Rosemont Seneca, was working with Tramontano to help build his relationship with Latvian bank owner Valeri Belokon (pictured)

One February 2015 email appears to show Hunter, through Rosemont Seneca, was working with Tramontano to help build his relationship with Latvian bank owner Valeri Belokon (pictured)

The direct relationship went even further back, with one October 2014 email from Painter to Hunter saying: 'I know that Karen thanked you but we really appreciated your taking the time. And Valeri really liked you – of course. Thanks for your friendship and support.'

Emails from March 2014 show that Tramontano even discussed registering her investment banking license with Hunter's firm.

'I'm going to see if I can 'park my license' as you explained with a firm,' Tramontano wrote to Schwerin.

'I would like to talk further with you – and Hunter – if there were an opportunity to do that with your firm.'

Four months later it appears they followed through with the plans.

Hunter emailed Tramontano in July that year: 'I just heard you passed… congrats and welcome officially to the team.'

'Thank you very much. Look forward to working together,' she replied.

Other emails show Hunter had a close friendship since at least 2010 with her Senior Managing Director, one of Tramontano's eight Blue Star employees, Gabriel Zinny.

On December 31, 2010 Zinny wrote to Hunter and his partner in their Rosemont Seneca consultancy Eric Schwerin, referring to Hunter as 'boss'.

'Boss, Eric, happy new year!! For many more businesses in 2011,' the Blue Star senior staffer wrote.

In a January 2011 email another Rosemont staffer wrote to Zinny referring to 'two deals you discussed with Hunter and Eric.'

A June 2014 email exchange shows Hunter even arranged for an acquaintance to meet with his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and credited Zinny with the introduction.

Manuel Estrella, president of Dominican Republic civil works firm Estrella, wrote to Hunter on June 19, 2014 thanking him for arranging a meeting with Joe.

'Hunter, I just met your father! So exiting! [sic]' wrote Estrella. 'Thanks! Hope to see you soon!'

Hunter replied: 'I'm glad it all finally came together. Thank Gabriel he made it happen.'

There is no evidence Estrella had any involvement in Hunter's other dealings with Blue Star. 

Karen Tramontano is pictured (right) in September 2018 at a US-Ukraine Business Council luncheon in DC

Karen Tramontano is pictured (right) in September 2018 at a US-Ukraine Business Council luncheon in DC

In an October 2014 email, Tramontano's co-founder called Hunter 'my friend', and offered her condolences that the media had discovered he had been kicked out of the Navy following a positive cocaine test

In an October 2014 email, Tramontano's co-founder called Hunter 'my friend', and offered her condolences that the media had discovered he had been kicked out of the Navy following a positive cocaine test

Other emails cast even further doubt on Tramontano's testimony of a distant relationship with the president's son.

In an October 2014 email, Tramontano's co-founder called Hunter 'my friend', and offered her condolences that the media had discovered he had been kicked out of the Navy following a positive cocaine test.

'Dear Hunter, I am just back from a week in Estonia and heard about the dust-up. The press sucks. So sorry for you and your family but don't let them get you down. You are a great professional doing excellent work. And a super friend! ...Warmest, Sally.'

Hunter's emails also give an intriguing insight into the reasons Burisma hired the lobbying firm, and show that Pozharskyi had much more ambitious goals for a persuasion campaign towards US officials than Tramontano suggested in her testimony.

The Blue Star CEO told the Homeland Security Committee under oath that her initial role was merely to find out why then-US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt made public statements accusing Burisma of being 'corrupt'.

'We were trying to understand the factual basis for Ambassador Pyatt's statements,' Tramontano told Folio.

'We were trying to understand whether Ambassador Pyatt's position of the company reflected the State Department's position... about the company.'

But in the November 2015 email exchange between Burisma board members discussing hiring Blue Star, Pozharskyi made it clear he wanted far more from the lobbying firm.


Joe Biden (second from right) and his son, Hunter (far right), golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer (far left), who served on the board of Burisma with Hunter. The photo from 2014 emerged during the presidential campaign

Joe Biden (second from right) and his son, Hunter (far right), golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer (far left), who served on the board of Burisma with Hunter. The photo from 2014 emerged during the presidential campaign

Blue Star Strategies co-founder Sally Painter is a well connected Democratic operative. Painter, third from left, is seen above with singer Nick Jonas and movie star Priyanka Chopra

Blue Star Strategies co-founder Sally Painter is a well connected Democratic operative. Painter, third from left, is seen above with singer Nick Jonas and movie star Priyanka Chopra

'I would like us to formulate a list of deliverables, including, but not limited to: a concrete course of actions, incl. meetings/communications resulting in high- ranking US officials in Ukraine (US Ambassador) and in US publicly or in private communication/comment expressing their 'positive opinion' and support of Nikolay/Burisma to the highest level of decision makers here in Ukraine: President of Ukraine, president Chief of staff, Prosecutor General, etc,' he wrote.

'The scope of work should also include organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy-makers to Ukraine in November aiming to conduct meetings with and bring positive signal/message and support on Nikolay's issue to the Ukrainian top officials above with the ultimate purpose to close down for any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine.'

Mysteriously, Pozharskyi added that he was happy for the contract with Blue Star to avoid specifics 'deliberately to be on the safe and cautious side,' as long as 'all parties in fact understand the true purpose of the BS engagement.'

'If you and Devon feel comfortable that they will deliver what in real terms we are talking about, we should disregard the wording of the scope and move further with signing and starting actual work,' the Burisma executive said.

Hunter replied: 'Devon and I do feel comfortable with BS and the ability of Sally & Karen to deliver. You should go ahead and sign. Looking forward to getting started on this.'

State Department emails disclosed in 2019 under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that Tramontano requested meetings with Under Secretary Cathy Novelli, a senior official with a responsibility for energy policy, to talk about Burisma in February 2016.

Other emails show Hunter had a close friendship since at least 2010 with her Senior Managing Director, one of Tramontano's eight Blue Star employees, Gabriel Zinny. On December 31 2010 Zinny wrote to Hunter and his partner in their Rosemont Seneca consultancy Eric Schwerin, referring to Hunter as 'boss'

Other emails show Hunter had a close friendship since at least 2010 with her Senior Managing Director, one of Tramontano's eight Blue Star employees, Gabriel Zinny. On December 31 2010 Zinny wrote to Hunter and his partner in their Rosemont Seneca consultancy Eric Schwerin, referring to Hunter as 'boss'

In a January 2011 email another Rosemont staffer wrote to Zinny referring to 'two deals you discussed with Hunter and Eric'

In a January 2011 email another Rosemont staffer wrote to Zinny referring to 'two deals you discussed with Hunter and Eric'

In one of the emails, a department official said that in her request Tramontano 'noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).'

Tramontano said in her August 2020 testimony that she met with both Novelli and Ambassador Pyatt as well as Amos Hochstein, another senior official dealing with international energy policy – but added that she did not intend to influence US policy.

Hochstein's testimony to the committee described the meeting differently.

The US official said he had a meeting with Blue Star representatives who told him they 'did not agree with the U.S. government officials' view of Mr. Zlochevsky.'

'They were unhappy with the rhetoric from U.S. officials, myself included, regarding Mr. Zlochevsky,' Hochstein said.

'They did not like my answer, and they tried to convince me otherwise.'

According to Politico, the reported Department of Justice investigation is probing whether Blue Star did in fact lobby US officials for the Ukrainian company, and there has been 'grand jury activity in connection to the probe.' 

Such lobbying, if it occurred, would have required Blue Star to register under FARA. The firm has not made any such filings.

DailyMail.com obtained a copy of Hunter's laptop hard drive from former Steve Bannon podcast co-host Jack Maxey.

John Paul Mac Isaac, the owner of the computer store where Hunter abandoned his laptop, gave a copy of its hard drive to Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani in September last year.

Giuliani reportedly leaked documents and photos from the drive to the New York Post, and also gave a whole copy of the drive to Trump's former advisor Bannon and his podcast co-host Maxey.

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