Joe Biden continues to duck appearances where he might have to make unscripted comments or answer even softball questions. But a new congressional report, “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns,” may change that in the upcoming debates: It asks, did Vice President Biden use his global political influence to help his son Hunter bag lucrative deals in Ukraine and China? Americans deserve an answer.
The GOP-led investigation charged that the Bidens’ efforts to cash in on Joe Biden’s clout became so flagrant that U.S. officials became alarmed at what they saw. It was “an ethical conflict of interest and flagged concerns about possible criminal activity ranging from bribery to sex trafficking,” according to investigative reporter John Solomon of the Just the News website.
Reporting over the years (mainly by conservative or nonpartisan web-based outlets) on Biden’s questionable and possibly illegal moves while in office to help Hunter line his pockets has solid evidence backing it up. The report, put together by the Senate Homeland and Government Affairs and Senate Finance committees, raises serious issues about the Bidens’ behavior. To wit:
Quid pro quo? Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of Ukrainian energy exploration and production company Burisma in May 2014 and stepped down in April 2019, having been paid an estimated $50,000 a month for his services. Hunter Biden had virtually no expertise in the energy field and appears to have been given the post solely for his political connections.
Shouldn’t a sitting vice president know, at minimum, that reeks of influence-peddling?
Timing is everything. Joe Biden was Obama’s point man to Ukraine when the so-called “Euromaiden” revolution against the country’s corrupt regime was under way and Russia was threatening to re-take Crimea. Curiously, on April 16, 2014, then-Vice President Biden met with Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business partner. Just five days later, Biden was in Ukraine, meeting high-level officials. One day after his visit, Archer was named to Burisma’s board. And two weeks later, Hunter Biden joined him. As the report says, “over the course of the next several years, Hunter Biden and Devon Archer were paid millions of dollars from a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch for their participation on the board.”
A big paycheck for his son that starts right after Biden’s trip to Ukraine. Sound kosher to you?
The Moscow mayor’s widow: Britain’s Guardian reports that “on Valentine’s Day in 2014, Hunter Biden’s company Rosemont Seneca Thornton received a $3.5 million wire from Elena Baturina, a Russian billionaire and the widow of former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.” Luzhkov was ousted for alleged corruption. Baturina, worth $1.5 billion, is the richest woman in Russia.
What were these hefty payments for, exactly?
Human Trafficking? The congressional report also includes this problematic tidbit: Records on file with the committee “confirm that Hunter Biden sent thousands of dollars to individuals who have either: 1) been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; 2) an association with the adult entertainment industry; or 3) potential association with prostitution.” Some of the transactions involved what “appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
Why was Hunter Biden paying money to such unsavory individuals?
The China Connection: It wasn’t just Ukraine and a mysterious Moscovite widow. Investigators found evidence of “potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals.” China looms large in all this.
Author Peter Schweizer’s just-released documentary, “Riding The Dragon: The Bidens’ Chinese Secrets,” details a December 2013 official trip to China, on which the vice president brought Hunter Biden. It’s not clear why. The documentary notes, however, “What we do know is this: Ten days after father and son returned to the United States, Hunter Biden’s small investment firm announced a $1 billion private equity deal with the Chinese government. And where did the capital come from for this deal? From the Chinese government itself.”
Through his ties, Hunter Biden’s firm acquired a 2% stake in the investment firm Bohai Harvest RST Shanghai Equity. That company was one of the initial investors in Megvii, according to the Washington Free Beacon, “a sanctioned Chinese tech company that specializes in facial recognition software, in 2017, according to the company’s website.”
Bohai Harvest, whose owners also included former Secretary of State John Kerry’s step-son Chris Heinz, in 2015 also facilitated the sale of Michigan-based auto parts maker Henniges Automotive to Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a major military supplier. The deal was approved, despite one of AVIC’s subsidiaries being on the Commerce Department’s “black list.”
Remember, Biden was very publicly given charge over both Ukraine and China in the Obama White House.
We wonder: Did then-Vice President Joe Biden use his extraordinary influence in Ukraine and China as an opportunity to line his family’s pockets using the power of his position?
Of course, maybe there are innocent explanations for all of these questionable deals, made possible only because of Hunter’s ties with an influential father. We’d sure like to hear them.
But what’s both disappointing and shocking, once again, is how incurious the mainstream media are about all of these suggestive facts, which paint a picture of a long-time politician seeing himself as unaccountable while abusing the powers of his office to enrich his family.
That the evidence of possible criminal misconduct by Joe Biden and his son is extensive, specific and potentially damning is beyond doubt. And, obviously, if even one allegation of such magnitude was made against one of President Donald Trump’s sons, you can bet the media would be all over it, with cries of “corruption” and “coverup.”
The first Biden-Trump debate will be held on Sept. 29, moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, with others to follow. It will be interesting to see if any of this is brought up. Or whether, once again, the biased media will just say, “nothing to see here, move along.”
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board