‘There’s literally nothing, as a young man or as a full grown adult that my father in some way hasn’t had influence over…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, faltered in the polls for the Democratic presidential primary, embattled Hunter Biden gave a rare interview to ABC attempting to rein in the negative press on his Ukraine and China dealings.
Hunter said he should have had the foresight to recognize the potentially compromising situations and the possible damage to his father’s political aspirations. But he cast much of the blame onto President Donald Trump for hyping what he claimed was a false narrative.
“In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part … because I don’t believe now, when I look back on it—I know that there was—did nothing wrong at all,” he told ABC News. “However, was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is … a swamp in—in—in many ways? Yeah.”
Many see Joe Biden—a relative moderate when compared with the field of progressive radicals vying for the Democratic nomination—as the best shot at wooing undecided voters and diffident Trump supporters.
Meanwhile, the Bidens have found themselves front and center in House Democrats’ latest effort to impeach Trump.
While the president’s opponents accuse Trump of trying to coerce his Ukrainian counterpart into resuming an investigation of the Bidens’ shady dealings, his supporters have countered that Joe Biden previously committed the same offense by having the investigating prosecutor fired in the first place.
The liberal media have continued to lay cover for the Bidens—claiming, contrary to evidence—that the father and son did nothing wrong.
However, the failure to report on—and subsequently contextualize—Hunter Biden’s many scandals has resulted in a severe credibility strain amid the Left’s attempt to sell its case to the public that the latest impeachment probe is different from other failed efforts.
Pressed on whether his family name may have benefited him, Hunter conceded that his dad’s political ties had played a role in nearly every aspect of his life—including his business opportunities and a checkered background of legal troubles.
“I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden, because my dad was vice president of the United States,” he said.
“There’s literally nothing, as a young man or as a full grown adult that my father in some way hasn’t had influence over,” he added. “It does not serve either one of us.”
Crack in the Facade
When he accepted the position with Burisma in April 2014, Hunter, now (presumably) a recovering drug- and sex-addict, likely had his judgment clouded by substance abuse.
At the time, he was facing a dishonorable discharge from the Navy. He had been commissioned in May 2013 (with his father administering the oath at the White House) but tested positive for cocaine a month later.
Hunter claimed he had inadvertently smoked a cigarette laced with the illegal narcotic, but he later acknowledged in a New Yorker profile that at the nadir of his drug addiction, in 2016, he once was held at gunpoint while trying to buy crack off a homeless man.
He also was involved in at least one drug-related auto accident and was reportedly busted for cocaine possession by police, though charges were never filed.
Additionally, in 2017, Hunter’s wife filed for divorce, citing not only his drug abuse but also his infidelity with prostitutes and his poor financial habits.
While still married to his first wife, he was romantically involved with—and later wed—the widow of his recently deceased brother, Beau.
Hunter stepped down from the Burisma board in April 2019, as the story about his questionable Ukraine dealings was beginning to break and his father was preparing to announce his candidacy for president.
In his strained mea culpa to ABC, the 49-year-old blamed others for attempting to damage his father’s run by casting a spotlight on his little-reported character deficiencies.
“I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake,” Hunter said of his Burisma scandal.
“So I take full responsibility for that,” he claimed, before quickly dialing it back. “Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.”
A Proxy War for Influence
Despite the many lapses in his private life, Hunter insisted that he had not personally committed any ethical lapses while serving on the Burisma board.
Nor, he said, did he consult his father when accepting the position with the company—which had been under investigation for corruption since 2012.
“I joined a board, I served honorably. I did—I focused on corporate governance,” he said. “I didn’t have any discussions with my father before or after I joined the board as it related to it, other than that brief exchange that we had.”
Notwithstanding, Hunter’s time on the company’s board overlapped with a considerable amount of geopolitical tumult in Ukraine, a region where Russia and U.S. have long engaged in a proxy war for influence, especially in the energy sector.
Ukraine’s investigation of Burisma was reported to have centered around its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who maintained close ties with the country’s deposed, Russia-backed former president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych—who also had on his staff Paul Manafort, Trump’s future campaign chair—was exiled to Russia following a 2014 revolution that helped to install a regime more accommodating to Western influence and, in particular, the Obama–Biden administration.
Shortly thereafter, Russia annexed by military force the Crimean peninsula, a strategically important region for its energy pipelines to Europe, which it had long laid claim to.
Zlochevsky fled Ukraine in 2014 while continuing to face an investigation into embezzlement and corruption.
Manipulation and ‘False Pretexts’
Following the 2014 revolution, new Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Viktor Shokin as prosecutor–general.
Shokin continued to investigate Burisma, even after the company sought to curry U.S. favor by adding Hunter Biden to its board, along with Devin Archer, a former senior adviser to then-Secretary of State John Kerry.
Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, who was Archer’s college roommate and became a business partner of his and Hunter Biden’s, emailed the State Department to flag the questionable conflict of interests surrounding the two board appointments.
“Apparently Devon and Hunter both joined the board of Burisma and a press release went out today,” Heinz wrote, according to the Washington Examiner, which obtained the message via an open-records request.
In March 2016, Joe Biden met with representatives of the Poroshenko administration and demanded that Shokin be fired or else he would personally oversee the withdrawal of a billion-dollar U.S. loan guarantee.
Shokin subsequently issued an affidavit, as reported by Hill columnist John Solomon, in which he affirmed that the Obama–Biden administration had sought to exert pressure and had “directly manipulated the political leadership of Ukraine under false pretexts.”
Shokin said directly in the affidavit that Biden’s interest in the Burisma investigation was a leading factor in his ouster.
“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma … and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” he stated.
“I assume Burisma, which was connected with natural gas extraction, had the support of the US Vice-President Joe Biden because his son was on the Board of Directors,” he added.
Shokin said he had refused to close the Burisma case despite requests from Poroshenko to do so.
“[I]t was precisely the state officials from the US administration of President Obama—and Joe Biden in particular—who were telling the heads of the Ukraine law-enforcement system how to investigate and whom to investigate,” he said. “… I was not complying with their will.”
In his ABC interview, Hunter Biden, dismissed the apparent quid-pro-quo arrangement his father was alleged to have made with Ukrainian leaders while reaffirming that he had no regrets about his work for Burisma.
“What I regret is not taking into account that there would be a Rudy Giuliani and a president of the United States that would be listening to this—this ridiculous conspiracy idea,” he said.
Hunter also downplayed a second business deal—estimated at $1.5 billion—with a Chinese company, BHR.
He had flown to China with his father aboard Air Force Two and met with top Chinese officials while the deal was being negotiated, leading Trump to decry the appearance of impropriety and call on China to investigate.
Wow! Hunter Biden is being forced to leave a Chinese Company. Now watch the Fake News wrap their greasy and very protective arms around him. Only softball questions of him please!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2019
Hunter denied conducting business during and after the 13-hour flight.
“I’ve traveled everywhere with my dad,” Hunter told ABC. “And I went [to China in 2013] because my daughter was on the trip too.”
Nonetheless, on Sunday, he announced his resignation from that board—just as his father rolled out a new anti-corruption policy that would prevent such conflicts of interest from occurring in the future, should he be elected president.
Media sympathizers question whether Hunter Biden actually received any return on investment in his Chinese dealings. He, in turn, insisted that they the amount he made on the deal was irrelevant.
“Look, I’m a private citizen,” he told ABC. “One thing that I don’t have to do is sit here and open my kimono as it relates to how much money I make or make or did or didn’t. But it’s all been reported.”
While he attacked Trump, calling him a “bully” Hunter claimed that the political attacks amounted to little more than “noise” for him.
“I’ve been through some sh—stuff in my life. I’ve been through some real, real stuff,” said Hunter.
“This isn’t real stuff. It isn’t. It truly isn’t,” he continued. “That part of it, that Barnum and Bailey—you know, say anything, do anything you want, you know, I mean, like, you know, Donald Prince Humperdinck—Trump Jr. is not somebody that I really care about.”