This editorial is brought to you by a former Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- Well, this is poor timing for old lunch bucket Joe Biden. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans released a report which detailed troubling foreign business dealings by Biden’s son, Hunter, while Biden was in charge of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Likewise, the report eviscerated claims by Democrats of Russian disinformation.
The Washington Examiner says that the 87-page report issued jointly by the Republican-led Homeland Security and Finance Committees, titled Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns was slammed even prior to its release by Democrats, who claimed the timing of the report’s release was intended to harm Biden, while claiming it was a product of Russian disinformation.
National Review reported that the committees and their staff had reviewed over 45,000 pages of Obama administration records, and interviewed eight witnesses, many who were either current or former U.S. officials.
The report was the result of a joint investigation by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
The report focuses on Joe Biden’s role in developing the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy even while Hunter Biden had received a lucrative position as a member of the board of Burisma Holdings, which was believed to be a corrupt Ukrainian oil company.
The company, run by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky and Hunter Biden’s role in it did, according to Republicans “create 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.”
That issue was raised by President Trump during the president’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which of course led to the infamous so-called “whistleblower” complaint that resulted in the impeachment of President Trump. He of course was acquitted by the senate.
Aside from Burisma, Johnson and Grassley also explored other business dealings involving Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer, as well as other members of the Biden family, and also included other business dealings tied to both Russia and China.
“This is a good-government oversight investigation that relies on documents and testimony from U.S. agencies and officials, not s Russian disinformation campaign, as our Democratic colleagues have falsely stated,” the report says.
“What the Chairmen discovered during the course of this investigation is that the Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.
“Moreover, this investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch.”
The report noted that George Kent, former acting deputy chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine expressed concern to persons within Joe Biden’s office related to the possible conflict of interest regarding Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma. Kent’s concerns were not addressed by anyone in the vice president’s office.
Kent took it further, writing an email to colleagues expressing his concerns about Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board, and noted that it was “awkward” while U.S. officials were at the same time pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.
Besides Kent, another official, the State Department’s Amos Hochstein “raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden” about a possible conflict of interest and the exposure of the U.S. to Russian disinformation, as well as “undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine” in October 2015.
Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma has been widely panned by President Trump, as well as Republicans who have questioned his qualifications to be on the board of an energy company despite his having zero experience in that sector, as well as due to his history of drug use.
Democrats claim that allegations of wrongdoing and claims of corruption are nothing more than political smears, despite the fact that Biden had pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma and to insulate Hunter Biden.
As part of that pressure Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin.
“The extent to which Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board affected U.S. policy toward Ukraine is not clear,” the GOP report said.
“But what is clear from the records, however, is that State Department officials, particularly Kent himself, regularly considered how Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma might affect the execution of U.S. policy.
“Moreover…this included having to respond to Russian actors attempting to exploit Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board to drive a wedge between Ukrainian and the U.S. in an effort to undermine U.S. policy toward Ukraine.”