A career State Department official overseeing Ukraine policy testified on Tuesday that he raised concerns about then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter serving on the board of Burisma Holdings back in early 2015, but was “turned away by a Biden staffer,” the Washington Post reports.
George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified Tuesday that he worried that Hunter Biden’s position at the firm Burisma Holdings would complicate efforts by U.S. diplomats to convey to Ukrainian officials the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules surrounding the deposition.
Kent said he had concerns that Ukrainian officials would view Hunter Biden as a conduit for currying influence with his father, said the people. But when Kent raised the issue with Biden’s office, he was told the then-vice president didn’t have the “bandwidth” to deal with the issue involving his son as his other son, Beau, was battling cancer, said the people familiar with his testimony.
The testimony by Kent offers a reminder that as Democrats probe President Trump’s alleged actions in pressuring Ukraine to dig up compromising information on Biden, the impeachment inquiry also threatens to keep alive questions about the former vice president’s handling of his son’s foreign work at a precarious moment for his 2020 presidential campaign.
Despite acknowledging that a red flag was raised, the Washington Post went on to claim “many of Trump’s charges regarding Hunter Biden have been unfounded,” and implied the real issue at hand is that Joe Biden “didn’t anticipate concerns about potential conflicts of interest as he took a leading role in carrying out U.S. policy toward Ukraine.”
A former senior Biden national security aide told the Washington Post, “I don’t understand what the optics thing means other than someone thinking it looked bad in a political way. Did it have any effect on US policies, either on what we were doing or what the Ukrainians were doing? It didn’t…. In the aggregate it didn’t have any discernible effect.”
Nah, Joe Biden only threatened to withhold a billion-dollar loan unless the prosecutor investigating his son’s firm was fired—which Biden has said was official U.S. policy. How dare we think that Biden connection impacted policy. How dare we!