News & Politics

Former Ukrainian PM Says Biden's Son Should Be Investigated

Vice President Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter, right. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

The man who was prime minister during Hunter Biden’s tenure on the board of a Ukrainian gas company says it’s in the interest of the Ukrainian people to investigate any potential wrongdoing by the former vice president’s son.

Mykola Azarov, Ukraine’s former prime minister, said in an interview, “I think it’s essential” to look into Hunter Biden’s time on the board of Burisma Holdings Limited.

Reuters:

Hunter Biden’s role in the company, Burisma Holdings Limited, is in focus after the White House published a memo showing U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to get prosecutors to look into his activities. Zelenskiy agreed.

Joe Biden, former U.S. vice president and a contender in next year’s U.S. presidential race, has denied using his influence to get Ukraine’s prosecutor general fired to prevent him investigating his son’s involvement and has said that he and his son have done nothing wrong.

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau said on Friday it was investigating activity at Burisma between 2010-2012, but that it was not looking into changes to its board in 2014 when Hunter Biden joined.

Ukraine is one of the most corrupt states in Europe. Azarov himself is wanted on abuse of power charges. He fled to Moscow in 2014 after street protests brought down the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.

“Given that this question has been raised there is a real reason for this to be looked into. It’s a fact (his directorship and fees) and not made up. It should be investigated so that the “i” s can be dotted and the “t” s crossed.”

Azarov said the key thing for investigators to establish from a Ukrainian legal viewpoint would be whether Biden’s fee was a token one or whether he actually did any work to justify it.

“If, using his knowledge, he played an active role then there’s nothing scandalous about it. But if he was simply on the books and getting money then that could be seen as a violation of the law.”

Was Hunter Biden selling access to his father? It’s entirely possible and, at the very least, should be investigated. And Joe Biden’s role in the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor gets curiouser and curiouser.

Kansas City Star:

This big, wealthy, powerful company had long been seen as the doer of dirty deeds, and its criminally suspect owner had ties with a Russia-supporting Ukrainian president ousted by means of revolution.

Vice President Biden was the Obama’s administration’s point man in Ukraine and told the government that the prosecutor was corrupt and that he must be fired or it would lose a billion-dollar loan promised by the United States. Ukraine is poor and has been fighting Russian separatists, and so the man was fired.

The action may have been justified, but consider that this lawyer-son had built his career on his daddy’s influence, representing foreign and domestic companies dependent on the U.S. government’s whims and deliberations, and was making $50,000 a month as a director doing what? It is unclear because, as others have noted, he had no background in energy or anything else that would matter, just an interesting last name.

So one of the most corrupt companies in one of the most corrupt countries hires a neophyte for its board of directors whose only apparent qualification is his last name. And his father, looking to protect his son, gets the prosecutor investigating his offspring fired.

Nope. Nothing to see here, say Democrats. Let’s move along now.