It’s very possible that Kenneth Vogel, a reporter with The New York Times, may actually be practicing journalism.
Last year, Vogel filed several Freedom of Information Act requests with the State Department. Among the information he was seeking were copies of all correspondence that “mentioned” Hunter Biden, among officials at the U.S. embassy in Romania, between August 2015 and December 2019, according to Business Insider.
Upon learning that the agency wouldn’t start producing these records until April 2023, Vogel filed a FOIA lawsuit in January. A hearing in the case was scheduled for March 17.
Last Friday, however, the Times’ attorney David McCraw filed a court motion, which said the State Department had agreed to begin handing over the records next month.
Business Insider reported that, in a letter to the presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken, McGraw wrote: “The State Department has started identifying records responsive to The Times’s FOIA requests. It has agreed to begin processing records for production as it continues to identify the remaining responsive records.”
“The parties are still negotiating the number of pages to be processed in and the frequency of each production. The parties respectfully propose to provide a status report to the Court on March 25, 2022, informing the Court of the results of this negotiation,” McGraw added.
In addition, Vogel requested all records mentioning Tony Bobulinski, who made headlines in October 2020 when emails contained on Hunter Biden’s lap top were revealed. It turned out that Hunter had introduced Bobulinski to now-President Joe Biden in a May 2017 meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California. He was to serve as CEO of SinoHawk Holdings LLC, a joint venture between the Biden family and Chinese energy company, CEFC. Bobulinski famously confirmed that “The Big Guy” referred to in one of the emails on the laptop, who was to receive 10 percent of the potential profits, was none other than Joe Biden.
Vogel has also asked for all correspondence mentioning former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who, according to The New York Post, is alleged to have contributed $100,000 to a trust for Hunter’s children in April 2016 ahead of a meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden to discuss “some very good and profitable matters.”
The Post published a screenshot of a July 2016 email in which Freeh wrote to Hunter, “I would be delighted to do future work with you.” Apparently, he was very delighted.
According to Business Insider, Vogel is also seeking any documents regarding Rudy Giuliani, who was in Europe “digging up dirt” on Biden on behalf of then-President Donald Trump, and on Hunter’s former business partner Devon Archer. Archer served on the board of directors of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings with Hunter.
A news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced in February that Archer had been sentenced to a year in prison for “defrauding a Native American tribal entity and various investment advisory clients of tens of millions of dollars in connection with the issuance of bonds by the tribal entity and the subsequent sale of those bonds through fraudulent and deceptive means.”
My take on Vogel is that, while a liberal, he is a well-respected journalist who has done some high quality work. Most notably, in January 2017, he and another reporter published the results of an exhaustive investigation they’d conducted for Politico about Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Donald Trump during the 2016 election. This specific report was cited repeatedly by political writers, including myself, for the next two or three years.
Although it’s unclear where Vogel is going with all of this, he’s clearly anxious to obtain these records from the State Department. And the State Department appears equally anxious about handing them over.
An October 2019 story published in The New York Times may provide a clue. Vogel wrote about Hunter Biden’s association with a Romanian executive who was facing corruption charges. The headline and lede read: “Giuliani Is Drawing Attention to Hunter Biden’s Work in Romania. But There’s a Problem. … Hunter Biden worked to help a Romanian executive facing corruption charges. But so did the former New York mayor — and a former F.B.I. director.”
For whatever the reason, the State Department tried to slow-walk Vogel’s FOIA request, so-much-so that he was forced to file a lawsuit.
We know that Hunter Biden has conducted business with the Chinese and the Ukrainians, but we’ve heard very little about his involvement with anyone in Romania.
But Vogel is after something here that the government does not want him to find. I’d be willing to bet his future report on this story will be illuminating.