Joe Biden’s energy adviser aided Russia’s nuclear agenda
Joe Biden (L) and Amos J. Hochstein confer at the State Department in 2015.
Exclusive excerpts from ‘Fallout: Nuclear Bribes, Russian Spies and the Washington Lies that Enriched the Clinton and Biden Dynasties’ by John Solomon and Seamus Bruner. These excerpts come from chapter 9, ‘The Ukraine Boomerang: Obama’s Russia Failures Unleash New Chaos and Cronyism in Ukraine.’
Last month, Just the News reported that shortly after Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company landed a deal with the Obama State Department’s Agency for International Development (USAID). At the time, Burisma was under multiple investigations for corruption.
Not only did the controversial Ukrainian energy firm get a deal with USAID while Hunter Biden was on the board, but Joe Biden’s energy advisor, Amos Hochstein, promoted the very program which worked to legitimize Burisma amid the allegations.
As an Obama official, Hochstein testified repeatedly to Congress, urging lawmakers to help “reform” Ukraine’s energy sector to mitigate Putin’s advances.
At an event hosted by the Atlantic Council (a think tank funded in part by Burisma), Hochstein warned that Russia’s weaponization of energy deals was predictable and must be counterbalanced:
“When the gas was shut off from Russia to Ukraine on June 16th , that was not a unique event. It happened in 2006 and it happened in 2009 and, therefore, it happened again in 2014. And there is no reason to believe it will not happen again,” Hochstein said.
“The way to prevent it from happening again is to … [create] new infrastructures that can allow for energy, for gas and for other sources of energy to come into Europe from other places to compete with Russian supplies.”
Between his visits to Congress (and well-connected think tanks) to apprise decision makers of Putin’s energy antics, Hochstein was Biden’s right-hand man meeting with numerous world leaders. He frequently flew to Ukraine (and other nations) with Biden to work out energy deals.
But Hochstein had a secret.
Time and again, Biden’s advisor failed to mention that he had witnessed Putin’s energy strategy firsthand. Hochstein communicated Putin’s energy dominance strategy in the oil and gas sectors very effectively, but he never mentioned Russia’s attempts to corner the global uranium market. It was something he had assisted personally.
While working as a U.S. lobbyist in the private sector, Hochstein had advised Rosatom’s subsidiary: Tenex.
Hochstein became a revolving door extraordinaire early in his Beltway career. As he weaved in and out of the private sector, his positions (and profits) rose substantially. From 2001 to 2007, Hochstein worked in various capacities at Washington lobbying powerhouse Cassidy & Associates. In 2006, then-Governor Mark Warner (D-Va.) hired Hochstein to serve as a senior policy advisor. Hochstein purportedly left Cassidy in January 2007 to join Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s presidential campaign, according to a press release by the firm. …
Yet, Hochstein continued to work for Cassidy’s deep-pocketed foreign clients, even while he was employed by Governor Warner and Senator Dodd’s presidential campaign. In 2006, Russian nuclear corporation Tenex asked Doug Campbell (unaware that he was an FBI operative) to find a Beltway lobbying powerhouse to help further their interests.
By March 2006, Campbell found himself meeting with Hochstein, who ensured that Tenex hired Cassidy & Associates. Cassidy claimed that Hochstein left the firm in January 2007, but Hochstein continued to meet with Putin’s top nuclear officials throughout 2007 and 2008 while he was working with powerful Democrats.
Did Warner and Dodd know that Hochstein was simultaneously serving Russian interests? Hochstein’s public bios make no mention of his work on behalf of Tenex, although he does acknowledge returning to Cassidy in August 2008 (and remaining there until 2011).
Before long, he was directly advising Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her successor John Kerry, and finally Vice President Biden (and even President Obama). His LinkedIn profile is meticulously manicured to show no overlap between his public and private sector gigs, but, in fact, Hochstein advised multiple public officials and simultaneously worked to advance foreign interests while on the payroll of Cassidy.
According to the Obama White House’s visitor records, Hochstein visited more than 150 times between December 2010 and September 2016, including several trips to the Situation Room. His first visits occurred while he was still working with Cassidy.
Hochstein’s global perspectives were clearly appreciated within the State Department, and he soon found himself regularly meeting with Secretary Clinton and her inner circle directly. As Clinton’s special envoy and coordinator for international energy affairs and head of the department’s Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), he traveled the globe promoting Secretary Clinton’s energy agenda. “I have been privileged to help build and lead the bureau since its creation,”
After Clinton left State, Hochstein initially advised Secretary Kerry and traveled overseas with him to work on EU energy issues. While advising Kerry, Hochstein worked closely with other Obama officials including Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Special Coordinator Jonathan Winer, and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director Charles Kupchan (each of these individuals played starring roles in Obama’s Russia and Ukraine operations and they later helped perpetrate the political dirty tricks against Trump).
Hochstein soon found himself in the good graces of Vice President Biden. He traveled around the world with Biden — numerous times to Ukraine — and they also visited Turkey, Cyprus, Romania, and even the Caribbean. At an Atlantic Council summit in Istanbul, Biden praised the special energy envoy and announced that he had put Hochstein in charge of European energy security efforts.
Despite a less-than-stellar review from the State Department inspector general’s office, Hochstein was embraced by his superiors, especially Biden, who thanked Hochstein in his recent post-vice presidential memoir.