It Appears the Board of the Ukrainian Energy Company Hunter Biden Sat on Tried to Leverage Him

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Posted: Nov 07, 2019 2:25 PM
It Appears the Board of the Ukrainian Energy Company Hunter Biden Sat on Tried to Leverage Him

Source: AP Photo/Nick Wass

In July, President Trump made a phone call where he allegedly shook down Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, reportedly refusing to offer military aid unless a corruption probe was opened into Hunter Biden’s board position at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter was hired by Burisma in 2014, while his father was still serving as vice president. He was paid $50,000 a month but has zero experience in the energy sector. The allegation is that he was there to secure access to top American officials. Hunter’s employment with Burisma came at a time when the Obama administration, spearheaded by then-Vice President Joe Biden—was looking into efforts to clean up corruption in Ukraine. Of course, this was a conflict of interest. The quid pro quo allegation against Trump is also shoddy, especially after Joe Biden was caught boasting about how he actually did threaten to withhold military aid in order to get rid of a prosecutor he didn’t like

Now, we have emails from a consulting firm that was hired by Burisma using Biden’s name to secure a meeting with top Obama officials (via WSJ):

A consulting firm hired by Burisma Group mentioned that former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s son served on the Ukrainian gas company’s board so the firm could leverage a meeting with the State Department, according to documents and a former U.S. official.

The documents—email exchanges between State Department staff members made public this week—show that the consulting firm, Washington-based Blue Star Strategies, used Hunter Biden’s name in a request for a State Department meeting and then mentioned him again during the meeting as part of an effort to improve Burisma’s image in Washington.

Mr. Biden was appointed to the Burisma board in 2014, when the company and its owner faced allegations of corruption, and he remained there until April of this year.

It isn’t clear whether the younger Mr. Biden knew his name was being used by Blue Star in its contacts with State Department officials on Burisma’s behalf in early 2016. A lawyer for Mr. Biden didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Hunter Biden served on Burisma’s board when his father, then the vice president, was overseeing U.S. efforts to get Ukraine to reduce corruption. That arrangement has drawn allegations from President Trump and his allies that the younger Mr. Biden sought to profit from his father’s name. Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate the Bidens—an act at the center of the House’s impeachment inquiry. Both Bidens deny any wrongdoing.

Yeah, no evidence that Biden knew his name was being used, but he had to have known this was going to happen, which is part of the ethical problem here. Why would some energy company put the son of a top American political figure on their board, and pay him an insane salary, if this wasn’t the goal? Hunter doesn’t know jack about energy development. It’s ridiculous. Hunter even admits that if it weren’t for his father and family name, he wouldn’t have reaped many a financial reward. Joe Biden says that the two never discussed any business transactions, which is a total lie since the two were photographed with two Burisma executives playing golf in 2014. And no, I doubt the only topic of discussion was family, grandkids, and Eastern European geopolitics. So, yeah, the questions will continue about this arrangement, as they should.