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Mykola Zlochevsky, founder of the Burisma Holdings. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ukrainian law enforcement officials announced on Saturday that they were offered $5 million in bribes to end a probe into Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of energy company Burisma, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Nazar Kholodnytsky, the head of Ukraine’s national anti-corruption bureau, stressed that the bribe had no connection to former Burisma board member Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

  • “Let’s put an end to this once and for all. Biden Jr. and Biden Sr. do not appear in this particular proceeding,” Kholodnytsky said, according to Reuters.

Details: The case related to Zlochevsky involved allegations of bank fraud. Three people have been detained over the alleged bribe, including one current and former tax official.

  • About $5 million was allegedly offered to anti-corruption officials, while another $1 million was intended for an official acting as a middleman.
  • Officials displayed plastic bags filled with the cash during Saturday's press conference. It was the largest cash bribe ever seized in Ukraine.
  • Burisma said in a statement that it had nothing to do with the bribe.

The big picture: Burisma gained worldwide notoriety during the 2019 impeachment inquiry into President Trump over allegations he attempted to pressure the Ukrainian government into opening an investigation into Hunter Biden to damage Joe Biden before the November presidential election.

  • The former top prosecutor in Ukraine launched an audit of thousands of old case files and told Reuters earlier this month that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.

Go deeper

Sep 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

How the Biden campaign protects the candidate's health on the campaign trail

Joe Biden speaks with reporters as he arrives at Duluth International Airport in Minnesota. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Traveling with Joe Biden's press corps shows how the campaign juggles an intense focus on protecting his health, with an imperative to keep the coronavirus at the top of voters' minds.

Driving the news: I got to see this firsthand on Friday, when it was Axios' turn to serve as the print pooler for his trip to Minnesota. The timing meant I also happened to be in the bubble when Biden learned of and reacted to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

58 mins ago - World

Former spy Steele defends controversial Trump Russia dossier

Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London in July 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The author of the "Steele Dossier," containing unverified claims about former President Trump told ABC News he stands by his controversial report, according to excerpts from an upcoming documentary published Sunday.

Why it matters: Former U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele's dossier was used as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged links to Russia's government.

Ina Fried, author of Login
5 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

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