Even as former Vice President Joe Biden attacked calls for a probe of his son’s activities in Ukraine while his father was in office, one watchdog said Hunter Biden needs to tell the full story himself.
On Monday, Joe Biden slammed Rudy Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump’s lawyer, for saying he would head to Ukraine to kick-start an investigation into Hunter Biden’s activities. Giuliani later called off any trip.
But just the thought of Giuliani raking up the ashes of the past angered Biden, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
“I can’t remember any lawyer representing the president, conferring with the president, deciding to go overseas, where a government relies on U.S. largesse to try to get them to do something that everybody knows never happened,” Biden told WMUR.
“All the reports indicated that not a single, solitary thing was inappropriate about what my son did. He never talked to me. He never talked to anybody in the administration,” Biden said.
According to a The New York Times report, Biden pushed Ukraine in 2016 to oust a prosecutor who was closing in on an energy company called Burisma Holdings, for which Hunter Biden was a board member pulling down a salary of about $50,000 a month.
The Times report noted that in March 2016, the former vice president demanded Ukraine dismiss the prosecutor or face a loss of $1 billion in aid.
Biden said any notion of any conflict of interest is false. He insisted his son did not reach out to him.
“I give you my word. None,” he said. “There was no communication with my office. We never once spoke about it. It came out of a law firm in New York City that he was working with. He never once asked me. Never discussed anything with me. And with all the investigation that’s been done, there’s not a single piece of evidence that he ever talked to anybody in government about it.”
Biden was critical of Giuliani.
“It’s sort of Giuliani’s style and this administration. It is inappropriate. Unrelated to me, it’s just inappropriate to send your lawyer to a foreign government to try to get them to do something that has no bearing except to try to embarrass,” he said.
For his part, Giuliani said that his interest is to see all aspects of the wider issue of Russian meddling covered thoroughly.
“I can assure you this all started with an allegation about possible Ukrainian involvement in the investigation of Russian meddling, and not Biden. The Biden piece is collateral to the bigger story, but must still be investigated, but without the prejudgments that infected the collusion story,” he said.
Hunter Biden offered the Times a statement saying,“I have had no role whatsoever in relation to any investigation of Burisma, or any of its officers. I explicitly limited my role to focus on corporate governance best practices to facilitate Burisma’s desire to expand globally.”
Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer said Tuesday that Hunter Biden needs to do more of his own talking, The Hill reported.
“What I’ve called for simply is for the Senate to call former second son Hunter Biden to come and testify and people look into this,” he said.
“In the case of the Ukraine, the very energy company that was paying Hunter Biden millions of dollars was under investigation in the Ukraine for corruption. Ukrainian officials have claimed that Joe Biden pressured them to suspend or end that investigation. That’s in fact what the Ukraine did,” Schweizer said.
Schweizer wrote a New York Post Op-Ed in which he said investigations are called for into the Biden connections in both Ukraine and China.
“Will the Senate investigate Joe and Hunter Biden’s actions in China and Ukraine? We don’t know, but they should. If a two-year investigation of President Trump, Russia and the Trump family was justified to ensure the president isn’t compromised, an investigation into Joe Biden, China, Ukraine and the Biden family is imperative,” he wrote.
CORRECTION, Sep. 25, 2019: An earlier version of this article stated Hunter Biden’s Burisma salary incorrectly. It was $50,000 a month.
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