The Joe Biden campaign hammered The New York Times for running an Op-Ed by “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer alleging the former vice president engaged in wrongdoing in Ukraine while serving in the Obama administration.
CNN reported Biden Deputy Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield wrote a letter Wednesday night to The Times executive editor Dean Baquet, charging the paper of spreading a ‘baseless conspiracy theory” against Biden of the kind Breitbart News would publish or Fox News contributor John Solomon would discuss on “Hannity.”
Bedingfield characterized Schweizer — senior researcher with the Government Accountability Institute and author of “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends” — as a “discredited right-wing polemicist.”
“This leaves us with a critical question: are you truly blind to what you got wrong in 2016, or are you deliberately continuing policies that distort reality for the sake of controversy and the clicks that accompany it?” Bedingfield asked Baquet.
In his Times Op-Ed, Schweizer wrote, “As vice president, Joe Biden served as point person on American policy toward China and Ukraine. In both instances, his son Hunter, a businessman, landed deals he was apparently unqualified to score save for one thing: his father.”
The author chronicled that two weeks after Hunter accompanied his father to China aboard Air Force Two in December 2013, his Washington, D.C.-based Rosemont Seneca Partners investment firm entered into a major deal primarily with Chinese investors, the largest of which was the government-run Bank of China.
By the summer of 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported the joint investment fund they formed was valued at $1.5 billion.
According to Schweizer, its value has since grown to $2.1 billion.
Additionally, during this time period, Hunter was hired to a lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, earning $50,000 per month.
“Why would someone with so little experience be able to command such enormous payments?” Schweizer asked in his article.
During a visit to Ukraine in March 2016, then-Vice President Biden pressured President Petro Poroshenko to fire a prosecutor — who was conducting a corruption investigation into Burisma — or the country would not receive $1 billion in U.S. aid.
Schweizer noted that Joe Biden recently claimed, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
But Hunter Biden told The New Yorker in July, in a piece titled “Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign,” that on one occasion, he and his father did discuss his work for Burisma.
“Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do,’” Hunter Biden said.
Schweizer concluded that legislation is needed to address the sort of foreign dealing in which the Bidens and others engaged.
“To the public, closing a loophole this glaring seems anodyne, a no-brainer. But lawmakers set the system up this way for a reason; they will not stop the foreign cash influence game voluntarily,” he wrote.
“That’s why we need a Washington Corrupt Practices Act, one that clearly shuts down foreign influence and self-enrichment for some of America’s most powerful families on both sides of the aisle.”
The Times pushed back against Bedingfield in a statement to CNN.
“Our coverage of the Biden campaign and Hunter Biden has been fair and accurate,” the paper’s spokesperson said, noting that the Biden campaign “obviously disagrees.”
The spokesperson said The Times “will continue to cover Joe Biden with the same tough and fair standards we apply to every candidate in the race and we’re happy to sit down with Biden advisers anytime to discuss news coverage.”
As for the Bidens, Schweizer recently told Fox News a closer examination of their conduct is needed.
— America’s Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) October 3, 2019
“The bottom line is, at the end of the day, this needs to be investigated,” he said. “What we know for a fact is that in Ukraine and in China, the only two countries where Joe Biden was point person on U.S. policy, his son cashed in big-time.”
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