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Biden Warns Media against Shopping ‘Conclusively Debunked’ Ukraine Corruption Allegations During Impeachment Trial

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta, Ga., November 20, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

Ahead of Tuesday’s Senate trial on impeachment, Joe Biden’s campaign is cautioning media outlets against “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” regarding a conflict of interest between the former vice president’s policy work in Ukraine and his son Hunter’s role on the board of Burisma.

“It is not sufficient to say the allegations are ‘unsubstantiated’ or that ‘no evidence has emerged to support them,’” the memo reads. “Not only is there ‘no evidence’ for Republicans’ main argument against the Vice President — there is a mountain of evidence that actively debunks it. And it is malpractice to ignore that truth.”

Joe Biden has been insistent that there was no unethical behavior committed by his son while he was serving as point man for Ukraine relations in the Obama White House, despite countering claims of alleged corruption by President Trump and Republican allies.

Last month, he told Axios he would not look into the matter further because “I trust my son,” but in an interview with the New York Times editorial board released last week, Biden said he “didn’t realize” Hunter Biden had served on the board of Burisma “until after he had been on the board.”

“He has come forward and said it was a mistake on his part to be on the board,” Biden added on his son’s role. An October Reuters report stated that Hunter Biden was hired “as a helpful non-executive director with a powerful name” by Burisma owner and Ukrainian politician Mykola Zlochevsky, who was then being scrutinized over allegations of corruption.

In its memo, the Biden campaign states that any reporting suggesting that “Biden engaged in wrongdoing when he executed official United States policy to remove a corrupt prosecutor from office” amounts to “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory.”

“To fail to make clear that the conspiracy theory and false accusations about Joe Biden have been comprehensively disproven, to artificially prop-up these egregious lies based on the ‘principle’ that if partisans make accusations, they have to be treated as legitimate regardless of the facts, is to make you an enabler of misinformation,” the memo threatens.

The former vice president and his son could be called by Republicans as witnesses in the upcoming trial. Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said that the Bidens should be called if the upper chamber votes to hear witnesses.

“If the president is being accused of withholding foreign aid, and his argument is, ‘Well, we were studying corruption, and we wanted to know about corruption in Ukraine,’ and I think the Bidens are as corrupt as the day is long,” Paul argued. “No young man who is the son of a politician gets $50,000 a month who has no experience, working for a Ukrainian oligarch. You know, for goodness sakes — it smells to high heaven. It smells like corruption.”

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