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By John Helmer, Moscow

Joe Biden’s campaign for president, as well as his defence against charges of corrupt influence peddling and political collusion in the Ukraine, are being promoted in Washington by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk (lead image, right) through the New York lobbyist, candidate adviser and pollster, Douglas Schoen (left).

This follows several years of attempts by Pinchuk and Schoen to buy influence with Donald Trump, first as a candidate and then as president; with Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and with John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Adviser in 2018 and 2019. Their attempts failed.

Pinchuk has been paying Schoen more than $40,000 every month for eight years. The amount of money is substantially greater than Biden’s son Hunter Biden was paid by Pinchuk’s Ukrainian rival Igor Kolomoisky through the oil company Burisma and Rosemont Seneca Bohai, Biden’s New York front company.

Pinchuk’s message for the Democratic candidates and US media, according to Schoen’s Fox News broadcast in August, is: “Stop killing your own, stop beating up on your own frontrunner, Joe Biden.”  

On September 26, Schoen broadcast a fresh warning to the Democrats against the impeachment of Trump. “They stand to lose the presidency and the House. They could blow it all…There’s no slam-dunk here. If [the Democrats] go forward with the impeachment inquiry…and then vote, this could be curtains for the Democrats. And for Joe Biden this is calamitous news because it precludes him getting any positive message out.”  

According to the US law on domestic lobbying by foreigners, the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), Pinchuk’s engagement of Schoen was first registered at the FARA unit of the Department of Justice in October 2011. In the first papers Schoen was called Pinchuk’s “communications consultant”. Their agreement provided for Schoen to be paid $40,000 monthly, for which $30,000 was allocated, Schoen claimed in his initial registration form, to “philanthropic work”, and in one month, September 2011, $10,000 of the fee was dedicated to “lobbying work”.  The $40,000 monthly payment has continued without interruption for the past eight years; the total  Schoen has pocketed to date is $3.84 million.

But there have been additional payments, and additional tasks Schoen has undertaken for Pinchuk.  For background on Pinchuk’s lobbying of Hillary Clinton and related operations directed for Pinchuk by Schoen, start here.  For the bitter, high-stakes history of Pinchuk’s rivalry with Kolomoisky, read this.  

For the original story of Burisma from 2014-15, the role Kolomoisky has played,  the contest  between him and Pinchuk for Ukrainian gas and oil assets, and Junior Biden’s involvement, read this;  for the full Burisma archive,  click. This week a reliable source said Kolomoisky now has “no interest in Burisma. None.”

The archive of the UK High Court case over a Ukrainian iron-ore mine can be read here.

Here is the Justice Department summary of the FARA files for Schoen as Pinchuk’s agent from 2011 until now.   The latest filing, dated May 30, 2019, confirms that Schoen is still operating for Pinchuk though asked to say so directly, Schoen refuses. His next filing with FARA is due in November. 

The files recently revealed an elaborate multi-million dollar engagement by Schoen of the Skadden Arps law firm in New York for legal work on behalf of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice, paid for by Pinchuk. Schoen took $150,000 to start the Skadden Arps operation; the law firm then took another $4.5 million. Exactly what the criminal prosecution or civil litigation target was in this operation, commencing in 2012, has not been  disclosed to the US Justice Department; the FARA file of January this year refers only to “the matter”. For details, read this

Another operation Schoen organized for Pinchuk was to lift millions of dollars in penalty duties  imposed by the US Commerce Department and the International Trade Administration on imports of steel pipes from Pinchuk’s Dniepropetrovsk pipemaker, Interpipe; read more.  

In 2017 Pinchuk reportedly spent $1,787,507 on influence buying and political persuasion in the US, according to calculations from the FARA files by the Center for Responsive Politics.  The files reveal that Schoen and Pinchuk attempted to recruit President Trump and his Defense Secretary at the time, General James Mattis,  to speak at Pinchuk’s annual convention of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) in Kiev. YES is an anti-Russian propaganda operation; it calls itself “an international network for Ukraine in the European Union.”

Source: https://yes-ukraine.org/en/

A letter was written directly to Trump; he was also lobbied indirectly through his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. For a substantial speaker’s fee, he too was invited to a Kiev meeting for Pinchuk’s lobbying.

Schoen’s communications with Giuliani, as reported to the FARA unit of the Justice Department.  Source: https://efile.fara.gov/

Earlier reports from 2015 show that on Schoen’s advice,  Pinchuk had already been doing  “philanthropic work” with Trump, donating $150,000 to Trump’s charitable foundation in exchange for a Trump video speech to a YES conference in Kiev.    In April 2017, Pinchuk wrote Trump again:

Source: https://efile.fara.gov/docs/

Trump, Giuliani and Mattis all refused the Pinchuk-Schoen approach. But Kurt Volker, then the State Department’s special representative for the Ukraine, did agree to participate; a speaker’s fee was the payoff. Also agreeing were former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry; former Defense Secretary Robert Gates; and General Jack Keane, an ex-Chief of the US Army Staff and a director on the board of arms exporter General Dynamics.  

The balance of that year’s $1.7 million from Pinchuk through Schoen went from two entities, Southbay Enterprises Ltd, which appears to have been a Bahamas entity recently struck off; and Daletona Global Ltd., a British Virgin Islands entity for which a record appears in the Panama Papers.  Daletona is connected to Bovalan Ltd and an individual named Alasdair Cameron. In 2013 Daletona was reported in a London newspaper as controlled by Pinchuk and his wife. 

In other words, Pinchuk has used camouflaged entities he controlled outside the Ukraine to pay money on Schoen’s direction to Americans like Volker, Rice, Kerry, Gates and Keane as “compensation for international communication” and “compensation for attendance at meetings and events.”

One of the highlights of Schoen’s efforts for Pinchuk in August 2018 was lobbying to arrange a meeting between Pinchuk and John Bolton; Bolton had been appointed Trump’s National Security Advisor five months earlier, in April 2018. Details of the effort involving Schoen for Pinchuk and Christine Samuelian for Bolton were reported in the FARA file. But the effort failed:  Samuelian told Schoen that “communications constraints while Ambassador John Bolton was in Ukraine and that his schedule had precluded meeting with Mr. Victor Pinchuk”. 

Schoen’s latest report for Pinchuk to the Justice Department covers the six months through April 2019. He is still paying Schoen $40,000, plus expenses:

Source: https://efile.fara.gov/

Schoen isn’t listed as either a participant or a speaker at last month’s YES conference in Kiev; the particiating Americans were retired generals, Philip Breedlove and Ben Hodges, plus John Tefft, the former US Ambassador to Moscow. Volker was a speaker once again.   George Soros wasn’t registered as speaker or participant, but his money was there

Schoen was paid by Pinchuk to participate in the YES conventions in 2015, 2017, and 2018. This year Schoen’s New York consulting company  was also paid to do an opinion poll on global happiness.  

Source: https://yes-ukraine.org/files/ – page 169.

Schoen also directed a study of how happiness affected Ukrainian voters in this year’s  presidential election. From Schoen’s polling, Pinchuk discovered that Ukrainians are the unhappiest of people in the entire world; Russians come next, followed by Turks and Chinese.

Also, Pinchuk is paying Schoen to buy tutoring for Pinchuk’s children to smooth their entry into exclusive British and American universities. Tregarth Ltd is reported in the FARA files as having been paid by Schoen $252,590.50 for “tutoring” over six months through April of this year.  A search at the UK Companies House has turned up Tregarth Consulting Ltd, a 6-year old company of the same name, run out of a Wimbledon, London, address by a New Zealand finance and accounting specialist named Philippa Walden.      

Pinchuk also provided the money for Schoen to pay Advantage Testing, a US-based company; this one is better known in the tutoring business.     For its tutoring of the Pinchuk children, Schoen paid $178,891.50.  The Schoen payments totalled  $431,482. Called “pass-through” payments, the expenditure appears to represent an average of $71,914 per month, or almost $3,600 per day.  That’s unusually rich tutoring.  Advantage Testing claims in its press disclosures that it charges richly.  The company’s London director claims his fee rate is $475 for an hour.   Pinchuk also used Schoen to hire a well-known American academic specialist in university admissions for wealthy clients’ children,  Sanford Kreisberg

Schoen has told the Justice Department this operation has “nothing to do with registrant’s [Schoen] representation of the foreign principal (Victor Pinchuk).The funds received, as well as the dates on which funds were received, are listed below. The purpose was for academic enrichment, study, and review of formal academic and colloquial English-language skills used in advanced academic study and examination for foreign principal’s family. No advocacy was done on behalf of the foreign principal, and no communication was made with any government official on receipt of these funds in particular. Additionally, no economic benefit was gained by registrant under the purpose of these funds.”

Schoen was asked to clarify how much money he has been receiving in total from Pinchuk, and to explain the tutoring payments he has been making for Pinchuk’s children.

Schoen’s office in New York was contacted in two separate emails; no telephone number is listed for his firm. Schoen refuses to answer.

In parallel with his promotion of Pinchuk’s interests in the Ukraine, the European Union, NATO, and in Washington, Schoen is actively promoting Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential candidate for next year’s presidential election against Trump. As a regular political commentator on the Fox News network,   Schoen has been attacking Biden’s Democratic Party rivals as “far left socialists”.   “I’m for Joe Biden. I’d like to see him run with Kamala Harris”, Schoen announced in August. “But goodness gracious! Stop killing your own! Stop beating up on your own frontrunner, Joe Biden.”

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/

In his latest Fox News broadcast on September 26, Schoen defended both Trump and Biden, warning the Democratic Party in Congress and the party’s presidential candidates against the Ukrainian corruption narrative and the impeachment process. Asked to predict what will happen next,  Schoen said that if the Democrats continue with the impeachment, “they stand to lose the presidency and the House. They could blow it all.”

“I want the Democrats to win…This [impeachment] would be a really bad move for those Democrats [in tight races] and other swing districts… They have given the nod to an inquiry. They haven’t voted [on impeachment] yet. They could back off.”

From Pinchuk,  Schoen’s receipts are far greater than the money Bloomberg has reported from published Morgan Stanley bank records   which the Burisma company of the Ukraine paid Hunter Biden and his Rosemont Seneca Bohai firm in 2014-2015; this came to $850,000.   That’s a monthly average of $36,892.36. Pinchuk has been paying Schoen,  the Biden booster, 8% more – and that’s before counting all the other Pinchuk money Schoen has admitted, or not quite admitted, receiving.

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