Facing intense scrutiny from President Donald Trump and other Republicans over his business dealings, Hunter Biden says he will step down from the board of directors of a China-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency.
Biden, the 49-year-old son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, revealed his plan Sunday in an internet post written by his attorney, George Mesires.
Trump has questioned Hunter Biden’s lucrative work on behalf of a Ukraine energy company while his father was overseeing U.S. policy with that country as well as the $1.5 billion deal he landed two weeks after accompanying Joe Biden to China for a state visit in December 2013.
“Hunter makes the following commitment: Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests,” Mesires wrote. “In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned companies.
“He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs, while availing himself as necessary and appropriate to the Office of the White House Counsel to help inform his application of the Biden Administration’s guidelines or standards to his business decision-making.”
Joe Biden, speaking to reporters after a union forum in suburban Des Moines, Iowa, said his son did not discuss that decision with him before posting the statement.
“No one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong,” Biden claimed, “except a lying president.”
The former vice president promised to bar his family members from occupying any office within the White House and said they won’t “sit in meetings as if they are a Cabinet member.” That was a jab at Trump, who taps daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, as advisers.
He further vowed that no one in his family will have “any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or foreign country.”
The president reacted Monday to the announcement.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
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 Biden’s work overseas sits at the center of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Trump, who has admitted asking Ukraine to investigate his business dealings.
The White House released a transcript of a call in which Trump asks Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to look into Biden’s family and Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election that put Trump in office.
The president also has encouraged China to investigate Hunter Biden’s work in that country.
Republicans reacted to news of Hunter Biden’s decision to step away from the China-backed BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Co. with deep skepticism.
“I think this is just another way to save a flailing campaign that’s going down,” Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” ”He knows he’s in trouble and this is just another way to try and detract attention.”
On the same show, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Hunter Biden “should have done this quite a while ago.”
Mesires claimed repeatedly that there is no evidence of wrongdoing against Hunter Biden.
“Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term,” Mesires said in his Sunday post.
The attorney wrote that Hunter Biden worked as an unpaid board member for BHR “based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets.”
“To date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors,” Mesires said. “He has not received any return on his investment; there have been no distributions to BHR shareholders since Hunter obtained his equity interest.”
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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