A Republican-led joint Senate committee has released findings of its investigation into alleged conflicts of interest concerning Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The 87-page report details a complex web of allegedly problematic financial dealings between members of the Biden family and foreign businesses during the time Joe Biden was vice president.
The Bidens, their business associates, and foreign companies have all consistently said they did nothing wrong. Nobody has been charged with a crime related to alleged conflicts of interest.
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Senate Committee on Finance began a joint investigation in August of last year after allegations that Hunter Biden’s highly-paid position with a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, could have impacted the Obama administration’s policy on Ukraine; and that Biden family members may have sought to improperly benefit from their ties to the vice president.
According to the Committees’ findings, during the time Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma, Ukrainian political figures were “desperate for U.S. support” and Vice President Biden took the lead on U.S. policy in Ukraine.
“Hunter Biden’s position on the board created an immediate potential conflict of interest that would prove to be problematic for both U.S. and Ukrainian officials and would affect the implementation of Ukraine policy,” reads the Senate report.
Several key dates and events were flagged in the findings:
April 16, 2014: Vice President Biden meets with his son’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House.
April 21, 2014: Vice President Biden visits Ukraine, and becomes the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.”
April 22, 2014: Archer joins the board of Burisma.
April 28, 2014: British officials freeze $23 million in bank accounts of Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, in a corruption probe.
May 12, 2014: Burisma invites Hunter Biden to joins its board. Burisma pays Hunter and Devon Archer miillions of dollars.
December 2014: Zlochevsky allegedly pays a $7 million bribe to Ukrainian prosecutors to shut down a criminal case against him. (Zlochevsky has denied any connection to bribes.)
Early 2015: George Kent, a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, raises concerns to officials in Vice President Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with Hunter’s highly-paid position at Burisma.
Fall of 2015: State Department official Amos Hochstein raises concerns with Vice President Biden and Hunter, stating that Hunter’s position enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.
Joe Biden would later tell an American audience that he threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless a certain prosecutor there was fired— a prosecutor who happened to be investigating alleged corruption involving Burisma and Zlochevsky. Republicans say that amounted to an improper “quid pro quo” exchange. But Biden has said he only demanded the firing because of the prosecutor’s inaction on corruption-- not because his son was being paid by Burisma.
A Ukrainian prosecutor-general has previously stated that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.
The Senate report also raises questions about potential conflicts of interest regarding approval under the Obama administration for Chinese-owned companies to gain control of an American company that produced technology with military applications.
A business involved in the transaction is a private investment fund linked to Hunter Biden; originally created by merging a Chinese-government-linked firm with a company formed by Hunter Biden and Chris Heinz, the stepson of John Kerry, and others. The merger reportedly took place in 2013, the same year John Kerry became secretary of state.
The Senate report highlights other financial dealings that the Republican chairmen of the investigating committees apparently see as potentially problematic including:
Hunter receiving a $3.5 million wire transfer from the wife of a former mayor of Moscow, Russia.
Hunter opening a bank account with a Communist Chinese national for a “$100,000 global spending spree with younger brother James Biden and his wife Sara Biden.”
Hunter transferring over a million dollars from his law firm to James Biden’s and Sara Biden’s firm.
Hunter Biden paying Russia or other Eastern European woman who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”
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