Asked months ago about his son Hunter’s connection to Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company under investigation for corruption and the appearance that Hunter was hired due to his father’s position as Vice-President, Joe Biden responded aggressively. Speaking to Savannah Guthrie, co-host of NBC’s Today Show Biden said, “Well, that’s not true. You’re saying things you do not know what you’re talking about. No one said that. Who said that?”
When Guthrie asked why Hunter Biden, who had no prior experience in the natural gas industry would otherwise be hired, Joe said simply, “He’s a very bright guy.”
Biden has been equally as dismissive of any inquiry into the possibility that Hunter was hired to leverage his connection to the sitting vice-president on other occasions. Months ago, at a town hall event, he attacked an attendee who dared question him on the topic – calling the man a “damn liar” and claiming that no one had ever suggested any impropriety concerning Hunter’s role with Burisma.
In short, Biden’s response to any and all questions concerning Hunter’s role with Burisma has been to dismiss such allegations as debunked conspiracy theories pushed by his political opponent. No one did anything wrong. There is nothing to explain, and he is not about to try.
Inconveniently, for Joe, though, the story will not go away. Just today the New York Post broke the news that they were in possession of an email from a senior official from Burisma to Hunter Biden which makes a specific reference to Hunter’s role in setting up a meeting between the official and then Vice-President Joe Biden.
The message is dated April 17, 2015. It is from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma. It reads “Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”
Another email from May 2014 shows Pozharskyi, reportedly then Burisma’s No. 3 executive, asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf.
So, it would seem that despite Joe’s demands that we ignore the evidence, his son was hired by Burisma to provide access to the Vice-President and, in fact, he did so. Perhaps then we ought to review the other evidence we have to remind ourselves of what this all means.
Burisma is a large Ukrainian natural gas company. It has been investigated for corruption many times by both Ukrainian authorities and those in other countries. As of early 2014, the investigation of Burisma was heating up again.
In February 2014 Barack Obama named Joe Biden his point man on Ukrainian policy. Joe’s number one focus was to be the rooting out of corruption in Ukraine.
In April 2014 authorities in the United Kingdom froze all the bank accounts of Burisma’s owner Mykola Zlochevsky. The total amount of money impounded was $23 million.
The same month Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma and given an executive position. His duties were unspecified. He was paid $83,000 a month. All together Hunter ultimately pocketed $3 million from Burisma. Only two months earlier Hunter had been thrown out of the Navy for cocaine use.
In December 2015 Joe Biden flew to Ukraine. He met with Ukrainian leaders and demanded they fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma the company employing his son. Joe threatened to withhold American aid if the Ukrainians did not comply. They knuckled under.
Joe subsequently, and for him unwisely, went on camera and bragged about how he had leaned on the Ukrainians and forced them to do what he wanted.
After the Ukrainians responded to Joe’s pressure and fired the prosecutor investigating Burisma they appointed a new one. He cleared Burisma of any wrongdoing.
None of the above facts are in dispute. What we have is a very solid case not simply of the appearance of corruption but actual criminal behavior on the part of both Hunter and Joe Biden.
Every indication is that Hunter was hired for his access to his father, the Vice-President, and that he delivered. He brokered a meeting between a Burisma executive and his father. His father flew to Ukraine. His father, while a sitting Vice-President coerced the Ukrainian government into shutting down a criminal investigation into Burisma’s activities.
These are facts, and at the very least the man who now wants to be President owes the American people an explanation. Only months ago, the House of Representatives passed articles of impeachment regarding the sitting President based on some spurious allegations of impropriety in a single phone call. This case dwarfs that by comparison.
A recent U.S. Senate investigation concluded that “Biden family” financial ties With Ukraine, Chinese, and others raise “criminal concerns.” And, Senator Rand Paul has already made his position clear. He referred this matter and numerous others concerning Hunter Biden to the Department of Justice (DOJ) some time ago. DOJ should act on that referral and expand it to include a formal investigation of Joe Biden as well. The stench of corruption is overwhelming.
And, Joe, you might want to think about revising your statements.