Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday.
From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department’s International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
At the time, Joe Biden was also advocating for increased U.S. spending in Ukraine.
Hunter Biden’s small private equity firm, Rosemont Seneca, featured other well-connected politicos as well, including his partner Devon Archer, who was a former adviser on Obama Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, and another partner, Kerry’s son-in-law Christopher Heinz.
“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” a businessman named Bevan Cooney wrote in text messages released in connection with an unrelated criminal case against Archer. “You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”
In 2013, the groups held an event honoring Joe Biden for his work supporting increased spending abroad, an event Hunter Biden was also introduced as having a “very special relationship with our honoree.”
Biden’s separate lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was vice president and in charge of addressing corruption in Ukraine has also drawn scrutiny and featured prominently in the impeachment proceedings against President Trump. That position earned Biden at least $50,000 a month for his advice on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities.”
During a July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that Joe Biden used his position as vice president to help the Ukrainian gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after Hunter Biden was appointed to its board of directors. That phone call led to an Intelligence Community whistleblower complaint that ultimately sparked a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump’s actions.
Biden has said that in the spring of 2016, during his tenure as vice president, he called on Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor investigating the energy company paying his son. Biden suggested he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if the country did not fire the prosecutor, who was accused by the State Department and U.S. allies in Europe of being soft on corruption.