Former vice president Joe Biden continued to defend his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine during an interview Sunday, maintaining that Hunter did not act unethically while denying any knowledge of the specifics of Hunter’s role on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
Biden went on to say he would not look further into the matter, telling Axios co-founder Mike Allen that he does not think an investigation is necessary “because I trust my son.”
— Axios (@axios) December 8, 2019
“There’s not one single bit of evidence — not one little tiny bit — to suggest anything done was wrong,” Biden responded. “ . . . I’m not worried about it. Look, the American public knows me.”
President Trump and Republicans have been outspoken in alleging that the Bidens engaged in corrupt activity as Hunter served on the Burisma board while his father served as point man for Ukraine relations in the Obama White House. Last month, senators Chuck Grassley, Ron Johnson, and Lindsey Graham all requested State Department documents from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to ascertain any interactions between Hunter Biden and State Department officials.
“I’m doing this because somebody needs to do it,” Graham told host Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio when asked about the investigation he is conducting. “We’re not going to allow a system in America where only one side gets looked at.”
Graham claims that Joe Biden “held a series of phone calls with former Ukrainian President Petro Porosehnko regarding previous demands to dismiss Prosecutor General Shokin for alleged corruption,” after which Shokin, who had seized property from Burisma’s founder Mykola Zlochevsky, was fired. Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker told the House in testimony that Biden “was representing U.S. policy at the time,” and that it was widely assumed “that Shokin was not doing his job as a prosecutor general. He was not pursuing corruption cases.”
Other reports paint a negative picture of Hunter Biden’s influence with Burisma, particularly regarding corruption investigations.
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a Ukrainian businessman and former politician who knows Zlochevsky, Burisma’s founder, told Reuters that Zlochevsky hired Biden in 2014 “to protect [the company].” Other sources called Biden “a ceremonial figure,” and alleged Burisma documents show payments of $83,333 a month to Biden for “consulting services.”
According to internal State Department email exchanges obtained by journalist John Solomon and later reported by the Wall Street Journal, a DC-based consulting firm representing Burisma Holdings used the Biden name in 2016 to leverage a meeting between the gas company and State Department officials.