Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted that if former Vice President Joe Biden becomes the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, his son Hunter Biden’s role with the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings will be a campaign issue.
CNN’s Manu Raju questioned Graham on Wednesday regarding whether he felt Biden would be a formidable candidate for President Donald Trump to face.
“Joe Biden has a good reputation and he would be tough,” the Senate Judiciary chairman answered. “He would be more moderate than Bernie [Sanders], but I still think it’s Trump’s to lose.”
Raju followed up by asking if Graham believed Republicans would go after Joe Biden regarding Hunter’s lucrative position on the board of Burisma.
“If you’re going to run for president and you were in charge of the Ukrainian anti-corruption campaign as vice president and your son’s sitting on the most corrupt company in the country while you’re trying to clean up the country — yeah, that’ll come up,” the senator answered.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: “If you’re going to run for President and you were in charge of the Ukrainian anti-corruption campaign as VP and your son’s sitting on the most corrupt company in the country while you’re trying to clean up the country — yeah, that’ll come up.” pic.twitter.com/tTyBoxmmOG
— The Hill (@thehill) March 4, 2020
Raju further inquired whether Graham would be taking up the matter in the Judiciary Committee.
The lawmaker responded that Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin will be investigating it.
On Sunday, Johnson sent a letter to members of the committee stating his “intention to schedule a business meeting to consider a Committee subpoena” of a former consultant for Blue Star Strategies, who worked as a U.S. representative for Burisma.
“As part of the Committee’s ongoing investigation, it has received U.S. government records indicating that Blue Star sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department,” the senator wrote.
Last Monday I informed @SenGaryPeters of my intent to subpoena documents related to our investigation into #Burisma. We’ll soon have a vote to issue a formal subpoena. See more here⬇️https://t.co/z6zkQ8vrXb
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 3, 2020
Joe Biden admitted during an interview on NBC’s “Today” last month it looked inappropriate for his son, Hunter, to become a board member for Burisma while his father served as the Obama administration’s point man for Ukraine.
Hunter took the position on Burisma’s board in April 2014, months after his father was placed in charge of the U.S. policy toward Kyiv.
Hunter reportedly was paid at least $50,000 a month and possibly upward of $83,000 a month to sit on the board. He stepped down from the board in 2019.
“Today” show host Savannah Guthrie asked the former vice president, “Was it right” for Hunter to take the post?
“He said he regretted having done it,” Biden answered, clearly agitated with the line of questioning. “He speaks for himself. He’s a grown man.”
In an ABC News interview last fall, Hunter argued he did nothing wrong, but conceded, “In retrospect, look: I think that it was poor judgment on my part” to join the Burisma board.
The Ukrainian government has opened an investigation into Joe Biden’s alleged role in orchestrating the firing of the country’s top prosecutor in March 2016.
Former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin reportedly charged in his complaint filed with the National Bureau of Investigation that Biden pressed for his firing as a bid to protect Hunter.
“Throughout the last months of 2015 and the first months of 2016 Joseph Biden, taking advantage of his position, came several times on official visits to Ukraine in order to negotiate with the leaders of the country my eviction and, consequently, the closing of the objective investigation into the offenses committed by persons associated with the company ‘Burisma Holding Limited’ (Cyprus), including the son of the aforementioned US official,” Shokin’s complaint reads.
At a Council on Foreign Relations event in January 2018, Biden discussed an official visit he took to Ukraine in December 2015 during which he demanded then-President Petro Poroshenko fire Shokin or not receive $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was, ‘about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
FLASHBACK: Two years ago, Joe Biden bragged about holding up $1 BILLION in U.S. loans unless Ukraine fired the prosecutor investigating Burisma, the corrupt company paying Hunter $80k+ per month.
Why don’t Democrats want to investigate that??pic.twitter.com/bDhaKjFNZN
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) January 24, 2020
“Well, son of a b—-, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” the former vice president recounted.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Biden did not accurately portray the timetable of Shokin’s firing.
The vice president did make his demand during a visit to Kyiv in December 2015; however, the report said, “In the eight days before Shokin was fired in March 2016, Biden phoned Poroshenko four times to reiterate the U.S. position, former aides said. The Ukrainian leader finally relented, and Shokin was sacked.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.