The Hunter Biden Business - WSJ

Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden on Jan. 30, 2010. Photo: jonathan...


Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden on Jan. 30, 2010.



Photo:

jonathan ernst/Reuters

Count Sen. Ron Johnson among those not surprised that the press is ignoring a New York Post report about emails said to be from Hunter Biden’s laptop that suggest he introduced his father the Vice President to a representative of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. Or that

Twitter

and

Facebook

would run interference for the Bidens by banishing the Post dispatch from their platforms.

Something similar happened last month when Mr. Johnson’s Homeland Security Committee and Chuck Grassley’s Finance Committee dropped a joint report on Hunter Biden’s financial dealings overseas. The committees tracked the heartburn the younger Mr. Biden’s involvement with Burisma caused the Obama Administration and dug up intriguing tidbits—such as a $3.5 million wire transfer from a Russian billionaire who had been married to the former mayor of Moscow.

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Most news accounts dismissed the Senate findings as offering no proof that either Biden did anything criminal. What a low bar. The report mentions, for example, a $100,000 spending spree for Hunter Biden, James Biden (the Vice President’s brother) and Sara Biden (the Vice President’s sister-in-law) financed by Gongwen Dong, a Chinese businessman with ties to China’s largest private oil and gas company.

Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board was concerning enough within the Obama Administration that two U.S. officials, George Kent and Amos Hochstein, complained about it. Mr. Kent had been Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. In 2016 he emailed colleagues that “the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” At the least, the Senate report notes, Mr. Biden’s financial dealings raised “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns.”

There’s also whether it affected U.S. policy. In a September 2015 speech in Odessa, U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt specifically named Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Ukraine official who is also owner of Burisma Holdings, as involved in Ukraine’s corruption. But three months later, Joe Biden advisers told him to avoid mentioning Zlochevsky in a speech. The question is whether his son’s presence on Mr. Zlochevsky’s board affected that decision.

The Biden campaign says there was no meeting with the Ukrainian in question on Joe Biden’s official schedule. That doesn’t mean much: The January 2017 Oval Office meeting with Barack Obama and James Comey wasn’t on his official schedule either.

Even so, the information unearthed by the committee suggests that Mr. Biden knew much more about his son’s involvement with Burisma than what he let on. Though he says he never discussed Hunter’s overseas business deals with his son, he certainly discussed them with Mr. Hochstein, who came to the Vice President in October 2015 with his concerns. At best Joe Biden had a see-nothing-wrong approach to his son; less generously, it was a wink and a nod of tacit approval.

The Senate report further suggests that John Kerry, who served as Secretary of State at the time and whose stepson Chris Heinz was a business partner of Hunter Biden’s, was also not truthful when he said he knew nothing about it.

Assuming the emails turned up by the New York Post are real, they provide significant detail about Hunter Biden’s way of doing business. Even if it wasn’t illegal, it was a classic example of Beltway influence-peddling for profit off his father’s name and position.

This is a legitimate story with important information for voters who are being asked to trust Joe Biden for a return to normalcy. We doubt this is the kind of Washington self-interest and dishonesty as usual that most Americans have in mind.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain the company’s unprecedented speech blackout against a New York Post story that could embarrass the Joe Biden campaign. Images: NY Post/AFP/Getty Composite: Mark Kelly

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Newsrust: The Hunter Biden Business - WSJ
The Hunter Biden Business - WSJ
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