The White House nominated a Senior Advisor to Blue Star Strategies, a controversial consulting firm with ties to Hunter Biden that worked on behalf of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, to serve on the U.S. Agency for Global Media’s International Broadcasting Advisory Board.
The nominee, Jeffrey Gedmin, worked at the Democrat-run consulting firm when it began operating on behalf of Burisma in 2015. Emails obtained from the “hard drive from hell” reveal that Hunter Biden played a crucial role in the scandal-plagued energy firm’s decision to hire Blue Star Strategies, with U.S. lawmakers flagging the partnership for potentially influencing then-Vice President Joe Biden’s policy towards Ukraine.
Blue Star Strategies’ work for Burisma triggered an investigation by the Justice Department for allegedly engaging in unregistered foreign lobbying on behalf of its Ukrainian client.
If confirmed, Gedmin would have the ability to influence the content produced by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), as the International Broadcasting Advisory Board is the highest-level advisory group to the agency’s CEO.
The seven-person board advises the USAGM CEO on “improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Agency and its programming” as well as “consulting” on the agency’s “strategic plans.”
Formerly the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the USAGM uses its nearly $1 billion taxpayer-funded budget to operate outlets including Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, and Radio Free Europe, which reach hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe.
Gedmin joined Blue Star Strategies in 2014, a year before the firm began working for Burisma, and a press release revealed he would “work on a variety of client issues including matters in Europe and the Middle East.”
While it is unclear if Gedmin ever explicitly aided Blue Star Strategies’ Burisma efforts, he has penned several articles and spoke on panels focused on Ukraine, often calling for the U.S. to intervene in the country’s affairs with Russia.
In 2015, he authored an op-ed “Let’s Go “All In” on Ukraine” calling on the U.S. to support Ukraine militarily and politically.
“To get back to a vision of a Europe whole and free we need to do three things. First, arm Ukraine. […] Second, return to a strategy for Europe whole and free. Current NATO members in Central and Eastern Europe deserve our fullest political and military support. […] Third, develop a multi-faceted strategy to move Russia toward rule of law at home and responsible behavior abroad,” he writes.
Peddling similar talking points, he authored the op-ed “How the GOP Abandons Ukraine” in 2016 and “In Ukraine It’s Not Merely About Ukraine—Which Is Why the West Must Respond” in 2018.
He also spoke at the Open Ukraine Foundation in 2018, which lists its primary objective as “improving [the] international reputation of Ukraine and increasing its promotion abroad.”
Given Blue Star Strategies’ ties to Hunter Biden, it calls into question how, if confirmed, Gedmin could influence the USAGM’s coverage of stories related to the first son’s hard drive.