‘Why were these foreign governments and these foreign corrupt oligarchs stuffing money into Hunter Biden’s pocket?’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As he attempts to solidify his front-runner status in the Democratic primaries, former Vice President Joe Biden faces greater scrutiny from the mainstream media than ever before.
In fact, reporters at ABC News recently came around to addressing a concern, long raised by opponents, that Biden used his influence during the Obama administration to financially benefit his son, Hunter—while possibly violating one of the same laws for which Democrats have attempted to impeach President Donald Trump.
Supporters recently have tried to turn many of Biden’s liabilities into assets—claiming, for instance, that his indecent liberties with women and young girls are a benevolent throwback to the era before political correctness defined politics.
Meanwhile, Biden’s waxing nostalgic over two segregationist senators from his early days in Congress was spun as the ultimate hallmark of bipartisanship.
These faux scandals seem a calculated effort to roil his liberal opponents and define his “moderate” claim, despite also embracing increasingly radical, borderline-socialist positions on issues like abortion, free college tuition, healthcare, infrastructure and the environment.
Yet, Biden’s greatest danger may rest not in a carefully engineered gaffe, but in a long buried corruption scandal that has taken new significance in light of the Left’s incessant attacks on Trump.
‘Cancer of Corruption’
House Democrats, based on little more than a hunch, have sought to examine the president’s tax returns, claiming he has repeatedly violated the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, which prevents U.S. office holders from accepting gifts or titles from foreign entities.
Applying the same standard, however, Biden’s dealings with in Ukraine and China while his son was involved in major business ventures there raise grave concerns as to whether his conflicts of interest crossed the line into corruption.
ABC News said Biden refused to specifically answer questions about the scandal at multiple campaign stops recently, although he released statements through his campaign claiming he had always followed prescribed ethical guidelines and that, if elected, he would issue an executive order to clearly address ethics policies.
Ironically, Biden was sent to the Ukraine in 2014 to assist in its own efforts to clean up government following a populist revolution.
“You have to fight the cancer of corruption that is endemic in your system right now,” he preached at the Ukrainian parliament. “And with the right investments and the right choices, Ukraine can reduce its energy dependence and increase its energy security.”
Shortly thereafter, one of the investments the country made was that the its largest energy producer, Burisma, appointed Hunter Biden to be a paid member of its board of directors.
Hunter Biden had recently been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine and had little to no experience with Ukrainian politics or affairs, ABC News reported.
From Bad to Worse…
In March 2016, Joe Biden returned to Ukraine, again to pressure it to deal with a major corruption scandal.
During that visit, the vice president threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the U.S. would pull a $1 billion loan guarantee if he didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
The issue, on its face, was that Shokin was not bringing enough corruption prosecutions, according to Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff.
However, one prosecution Shokin was looking into at the time was that of Hunter Biden, who appeared to be funneling regular monthly deposits in excess of $160,000 from a Burisma account into that of his American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC.
After leaving office, Joe Biden would go on to brag about flexing his authority with Ukraine at an event for the Council on Foreign Relations.
“I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recounted. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Ukraine has since come under scrutiny for having exerted considerable lobbying efforts with both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Those efforts ultimately resulted in Trump adviser Paul Manafort being charged during the course of the Mueller investigation for failing to register as a foreign agent due to his his Ukrainian business dealings.
No Democrats are known to have been indicted, though investigations into the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee are ongoing.
Unfortunately, for the Biden campaign, the Ukraine episode was not an isolated incident. ABC News also noted that Hunter Biden was involved with an earlier conflict of interest involving China in December 2013.
At that time, Hunter accompanied his father on a state visit to Beijing that involved meetings with high-ranking officials. Weeks later, Hunter had secured a contract with Bohai Harvest RST, a joint American–Chinese investment firm that sought to raise $1.5 billion.
The Left’s Double-Standard
Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is among the outspoken conservatives who raised the issue of Biden’s conflicts of interest, at one point planning a trip to Ukraine to investigate it himself.
Explain to me why Biden shouldn’t be investigated if his son got millions from a Russian loving crooked Ukrainian oligarch while He was VP and point man for Ukraine. Ukrainians are investigating and your fellow Dems are interfering. Election is 17 months away.Let’s answer it now https://t.co/FT34kX7Pst
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) May 10, 2019
The scandal also figured prominently in the book Secret Empires, released in March by investigative journalist Peter Schweitzer, who called on Hunter Biden to testify before a Senate committee.
“Why were these foreign governments and these foreign corrupt oligarchs stuffing money into Hunter Biden’s pocket?” Schweizer asked during a Breitbart podcast.
But even Biden defenders acknowledge that the appearance of impropriety is strong.
“At absolute minimum there’s a huge appearance of conflict, and there’s every reason to think that the investors that he‘s working with want him partnering with them because he’s the son of the then-vice president and now presidential candidate,” said Robert Weissman, president of progressive watchdog group Public Citizen, according to ABC News.
“[Joe Biden] should have encouraged his son to not take these positions,” Weissman said.
Hunter Biden remained defiant and expressed no regrets in a statement to ABC.
“The narratives that have been suggested and developed by the right-wing political apparatus are demonstrably false,” he said.
“These distortions of reality will not distract my father, nor make me question my judgment in my initial decision to join the board of Burisma to do the good work necessary for the benefit of the company and Ukraine.”
However, following the attention brought to the scandal, Hunter Biden announced his decision not to continue on the Burisma board.
“In this political climate, where my qualifications and work are being attacked by Rudy Giuliani and his minions for transparent political purposes, I have decided not to renew my directorship,” he said.