Empower Wisconsin | Sept 24, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Hunter Biden’s questionable dealings in foreign relations didn’t just raise flags for Senate Republicans.
Joe Biden’s ne’er-do-well son caught the concerned attention of a key Obama administration official, according to a report revealing millions of dollars in “questionable” financial transactions between Hunter Biden, his associates and foreign individuals.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on Wednesday released the comprehensive report, “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns.”
Burisma Holdings, of course, is the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter Biden a lot of money for glaringly little work as a member of its board of directors. Warnings about his cozy relationships with corrupt Ukrainian government and business officials were repeatedly ignored by the Obama administration, which included then-Vice President Joe Biden — now the Democratic Party’s candidate for president.
“As the Chairmen’s report details, Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board negatively impacted the efforts of dedicated career-service individuals who were fighting to push for anticorruption measures in Ukraine,” the report concludes.
“Because the vice president’s son had a direct link to a corrupt company and its owner, State Department officials were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma. Unfortunately, U.S. officials had no other choice but to endure the ‘awkward[ness]’ of continuing to push an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine while the vice president’s son sat on the board of a Ukrainian company with a corrupt owner.”
Key findings from the investigation include:
- In early 2015 former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”
- In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.
- In addition to the over four million dollars paid by Burisma to Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, for membership on the board, Hunter, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.
“The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring,’” the report stated.
Findings were released by the Republican majority members on the committees.
Johnson and Grassley said staff “faced many obstacles” from Democrats on their committees and that executive agencies “failed to comply with document requests.”
Biden’s campaign specifically took aim at Johnson, insisting the senator was pushing a “conspiracy theory.” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates attempted to deflect attention from Biden and his troubled son.
“As the coronavirus death toll climbs and Wisconsinites struggle with joblessness, Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic …” the spokesman said in a statement. He had more to say, but none of it really related to the actual findings of the investigation.