Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son’s activities in Ukraine cast a long shadow over American policy in Ukraine, according to an interim report issued Wednesday by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees.
Efforts by President Donald Trump to have the full extent of Hunter Biden’s connections to corruption within Ukraine helped lead to the impeachment proceeding against Trump, which ended in the president’s acquittal. Hunter Biden served on the board of the energy company known as Burisma, which was investigated by Ukraine for corruption, an investigation that was in part short-circuited by then-vice president Joe Biden.
Wednesday’s report from Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa said that “the Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.”
“Moreover, this investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarchy,” it said.
“This report not only details examples of extensive and complex financial transactions involving the Bidens, it also describes the quandary other U.S. governmental officials faced as they attempted to guide and support Ukraine’s anticorruption efforts.”
The report noted a 2016 email from George Kent, a career diplomat who was then the acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, that said “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”
The report said that in 2015, “senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.”
The warnings were disregarded.
The report said that despite later denials, Obama Secretary of State John Kerry “had knowledge of Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board.”
The interim report concluded that “Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board negatively impacted the efforts of dedicated career-service individuals who were fighting to push for anticorruption measures in Ukraine.”
“Because the vice president’s son had a direct link to a corrupt company and its owner, State Department officials were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Unfortunately, U.S. officials had no other choice but to endure the ‘awkward[ness]’ of continuing to push an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine while the vice president’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with a corrupt owner, earning tens of thousands of dollars a month,” the report stated.
“Hunter Biden and his family were involved in a vast financial network that connected them to foreign nationals and foreign governments across the globe. Hunter Biden and Devon Archer, in particular, formed significant and consistent financial relationships with the corrupt oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky during their time working for Burisma, and their firms made millions of dollars from that association while Joe Biden was vice president and the public face of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy,” the report stated, noting the activities of Hunter Biden and his business partner.
The report stated that “[i]n addition to the over $4 million paid by Burisma for Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s board memberships, Hunter Biden, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.”
The report offered tantalizing but incomplete connections between Hunter Biden and sex trafficking, with one footnote stating Hunter Biden “sent thousands of dollars” to individuals who have “either been involved in transactions consistent with possible human trafficking; an association with the adult entertainment industry; or potential association with prostitution.”
“Some recipients of those funds are Ukrainian or Russian citizens,” the footnote stated, adding that “it is a documented fact that Hunter Biden has sent funds to non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine. The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring,.'”
The Biden campaign attacked Johnson over the report’s release.
“As the coronavirus death toll climbs and Wisconsinites struggle with joblessness, Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic, a threat Sen. Johnson has dismissed by saying that ‘death is an unavoidable part of life.’ Why? To subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said, according to The Hill.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.