Hunter Biden, the son of one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates from Joe Biden, has come under the scrutiny of the US President Donald Trump. The reason for this was his work in Ukraine on the board of directors of the Ukrainian private gas company Burisma Holdings in 2014-2019.
Three years ago, that-time Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promoted his campaign on slogans to imprison his opponent Hillary Clinton. The Presidential campaign for the 2020 elections is in full swing again in the USA, and, apparently, the American leader decided to adhere to his traditional tactics of “getting rid” of his competitors.
Trump is now insisting on starting an investigation into the former US Vice President Joe Biden and his son. However, he asks this to be done not by the American authorities, but, as follows from the notes of the American media, by the leadership of Ukraine.
WHO IS HUNTER BIDEN
The 49-year-old Hunter Biden is Joe Biden’s second son from his first marriage. His mother and younger sister died in a car accident in 1972. He is a lawyer by training, and his career covers a very wide range of activities – from the co-founder of a lobbying firm, working in the US Department of Commerce to a member of the board of directors of the Ukrainian private gas company Burisma Holdings.
Besides the fact that he was the owner of well-paid and respectable posts, Biden is also known from a rather gloomy side. In the past, he had serious problems with drugs and alcohol, about which he himself openly spoke in an interview with The New Yorker, the title of which raised the question: “Will Hunter Biden threaten his father’s campaign?”
“Everyone goes through some kind of trauma. Every family has an addiction. I was in this darkness. You are not getting rid of this, you are figuring out how to deal with it”, – he told the magazine.
Realizing the seriousness of the problems, in 2003 Hunter Biden himself enrolled in a rehabilitation center, where he spent a month.
In addition, during the vice presidency of Joe Biden, some in the White House expressed concern about his son’s activities and possible consequences for his father’s political career. For example, during Biden’s visit to Beijing in 2013 to meet with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Hunter asked his father to join him. According to some media reports, in Beijing, Hunter helped to arrange a meeting for Jonathan Lee, the head of BHR’s China Private Private Equity Fund, with his father. According to The NewYorker, Joe Biden’s advisers feared that such business meetings of his son during official visits would jeopardize the vice president’s criticism.
Finally, in 2014, Hunter Biden joined Burisma, one of the largest private gas companies in Ukraine, as a board member. This caused another wave of questions, since at the same time Joe Biden played one of the key roles in the administration on US policy towards Ukraine. Then, however, Hunter told the Burisma leadership and other board members that he would not be involved in activities related to the US authorities or his father. Hunter worked at the company until April 2019.
Now the story around Hunter Biden and his work in Ukraine has received a new development.
THE BIDEN CASE IN UKRAINE
In the United States, a new scandal around the country’s president, the Biden family and Ukraine is gaining momentum. The leading American newspapers recently reported that a U.S. intelligence officer found the contents of Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukraine’s new President Vladimir Zelensky “alarming” and sent a complaint to his leadership, who was supposed to pass the details to Congress, but did not do that. A little later, the details of the intelligence officer’s complaint became known: according to unnamed sources, Trump persuaded Zelenskiy to start an investigation against the Biden family on corruption charges. The American leader himself confirmed that he was discussing with Zelensky issues of the fight against corruption, in which American citizens are involved.
The main concern of the President’s critics is that Trump could have asked a foreign state to actually intervene in the US presidential campaign by initiating investigations against one of the main candidates in return for providing it with military assistance.
According to Trump himself, he did not exert any pressure on Zelenskiy, although he could do it, and he did not promise military assistance in exchange for starting an investigation.
“What Biden did is a shame. His son took money from Ukraine, from China – a lot of money from China. What Biden did was wrong”, – Trump criticized again on Monday.
The US president stresses that the father and son were chasing a common goal, and Biden Sr. used his position as Vice president to exert pressure on the Ukrainian authorities. In particular, we are talking about calls for the dismissal of the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin, who led an investigation against the owners of Burisma. According to CNN, the US President’s lawyer Rudi Giuliani in July met the Ukrainian Leader Vladimir Zelenskiy’s Assistance, Andrei Yermak, in Spain to discuss the possible impact of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden on Shokin’s resignation in 2016. As Giuliani said in an interview with the New York Times, after talking with Ermak, he “has enough confidence that they (the Ukrainians) intend to investigate this”.
As Vice president, Joe Biden officially announced that the US authorities and he personally put pressure on Kiev on this issue. According to him, during one of his many visits to Ukraine, he told the former president of the country Petro Poroshenko:
“You will not receive a billion dollars if the prosecutor general is not fired.”
“It’s true that Hunter Biden was on the board of directors of Burisma at the time his father was Vice president, and also after that. It’s also true that the US authorities put pressure on the Ukrainian government to replace Shokin. However, there are no evidence that these facts are related”, – Olga Oliker, expert of the International Crisis Group, told RIA Novosti.
She pointed out that “the United States, like the authorities of other countries, wanted Kiev to replace Shokin, because they believed that he did not conduct the necessary investigations, and not that he was investigating too much.”
“Although since that time Shokin has made statements to the contrary, the truth is that his track record of judicial investigations was not large, and it seems that the investigation of the Burisma case did not move forward”, – the agency’s interlocutor emphasized.
In response to all the accusations, Joe Biden said that Trump “knows that I will defeat him, and now he enlisted the help of a foreign government”.