FIRST ON FOX: Democratic Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, one of the Biden campaign’s national co-chairs and a likely Senate candidate, thanked Hunter Biden in 2016 for his ‘generous contribution’ to her campaign and asked if he could brief her ‘on the Ukraine,’ emails show.
Blunt Rochester, who was named co-chair along with several others, including Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., previously served in the same role for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. She is expected to launch a run for the open Senate seat in Delaware this month, Politico reported.
Fox News Digital previously reported that Hunter served as an outside adviser to Coons during his successful 2010 Senate bid, making Blunt Rochester at least the second campaign co-chair with ties to the embattled first son.
Months before winning her election against Republican Hans Reigle, Blunt Rochester sent an email to Hunter thanking him for donating to her campaign.
‘I just told Brian that I saw your contribution online,’ she wrote Feb. 5, 2016. ‘I can’t thank you enough. You know that it’s not easy running for any office. It means a lot to have you on my team.
‘By the way, I’m sure Brian will tell you that I will be in DC next Tuesday and Wednesday.’
Hunter replied less than an hour later, writing, ‘Let me know what more I can do- lets do a fundraiser in the second quarter down here in DC.’
Ten days later, on the evening of Feb 15, 2016, Blunt Rochester thanked Hunter again for the donation and asked if he could brief her ‘on the Ukraine.’
Hunter made four donations to Blunt Rochester’s campaign in 2016, totaling $3,000, according to FEC records.
‘Thank you again for your generous contribution to my campaign,’ she wrote. ‘Your support means so much to me. Brian suggested I reached out to you to see if you could brief me on the Ukraine. Is there someone who manages your calendar or should I give you a few times for a phone call?’
‘Let me know when you have time,’ Hunter responded.
‘Are you free tomorrow after 2:00 or anytime on Friday?’ Blunt Rochester asked Feb. 17, 2016.
Hunter replied an hour later, saying he’d be available to discuss Ukraine the following week.
‘I am at my World Food Program Board retreat through Friday,’ he wrote. ‘Let’s look for sometime next week. More than Ukraine I’d love to talk to you about the Syrian Refugee Crisis. I just returned from the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and it is dire circumstances. Let me know.’
‘FYI,’ Blunt Rochester responded, ‘I worked in Jordan for three months in 2002 on a USAID funded project. I am very interested in what is happening in the region.’
Hunter then forwarded the email chain to Joan Mayer, an executive of Hunter’s now-defunct investment firm Rosemont Seneca Advisors, and asked her to schedule a call with Blunt Rochester.
The Biden and Blunt Rochester campaigns did not respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.
The email thread with Blunt Rochester started one day after Hunter thanked the president of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings for ‘extravagant’ birthday gifts.
Fox News Digital reported Wednesday that, in addition to the more than $50,000 a month Hunter received while serving on Burisma’s board from April 2014 to April 2019, the then-vice president’s son apparently received lavish gifts from the company’s founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, less than two months before the top Ukraine prosecutor investigating Burisma was infamously fired.
On Feb. 4, 2016, Hunter wrote that he was thankful for the ‘beautiful birthday gifts’ that he described as ‘far too extravagant but much appreciated.’
The Obama administration pushed for the prosecutor investigating Zlochevsky at the time, Viktor Shokin, to be removed from his post. Less than two weeks after Hunter expressed gratitude for the gifts from Zlochevsky, the Obama White House released a readout of Vice President Biden’s call with Ukraine’s president at the time, saying, ‘The Vice President also commended President Poroshenko’s decision to replace Prosecutor General Shokin, which paves the way for needed reform of the prosecutorial service.’
On the same day as the readout, Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner, Eric Schwerin, emailed him an article that mentioned Poroshenko calling for Shokin’s resignation in his statement.
At the end of March 2016, Schwerin forwarded another article to Hunter with the headline ‘Ukraine’s parliament sacks corruption-tainted prosecutor,’ referring to Shokin.
Shokin was fired in late March 2016, and the case was closed by the prosecutor who replaced him. Joe Biden later boasted on camera in 2018 that when he was vice president he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin.
‘I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.’ I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours.’ If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’ Biden said, according to a transcript of Biden’s remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations.
‘Well, son of a b—-. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.’
Biden allies, though, maintained that his intervention had nothing to do with his son but was rather tied to the administration’s concerns of corruption in Ukraine. At the time, as vice president to former President Obama, Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine policy and anti-corruption campaigns.
Fox News’ Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report.