Hunter Biden’s lucrative work at a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president was “problematic,” according to a report by Republican senators.
But he found no evidence that American foreign policy was influenced by it.
Hunter Biden’s presence on Burisma’s board led to an impeachment lawsuit against Donald Trump earlier this year.
Mr Trump was accused of pressuring Ukraine to investigate what the Bidens were doing in the country and of using military aid as a bargaining chip.
He was dismissed by the Democratic House but cleared by the Republican Senate.
The 87-page report called young Biden’s role in a company suspected of corruption “awkward” and “problematic” at a time when the United States was trying to help eradicate corruption in Ukraine.
However, the report found little additional information that had not already been revealed publicly in reports and testimony before the impeachment committee.
Mr Trump claimed Mr Biden interfered in Ukraine to help his son’s business interests, but lawmakers have found no evidence of this.
What is the context?
The impeachment trial centered around a phone call Mr. Trump made to the Ukrainian president in which he appeared to be pressuring him to open an investigation into the Bidens.
Mr Trump claimed that Mr Biden, who was Vice President of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, sought to dismiss a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to help energy company Burisma, where Hunter Biden worked.
But the prosecutor Mr Biden sought to dismiss over corruption allegations, Viktor Shokin, had also been criticized by European and American officials – including Republicans.
How damaging is this report for Joe Biden?
If there is a fall bombshell to come during the Biden campaign regarding the involvement of the former vice president’s family in Ukraine or China, this report from Senate Republicans is not.
Calling Hunter Biden’s position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company ‘clumsy’ and ‘problematic’ is a weak sauce compared to the frenzy of the conservative media and Donald Trump’s own accusations leveled against Joe Biden’s son earlier this year.
Under the headlines, however, the report details the extent of Hunter Biden’s ties to foreign interests and questionable business leaders in Ukraine and China – creating “problems with crime, counterintelligence and extortion.” “. This suggests that Joe Biden’s son was taking advantage of his last name – a potential conflict of interest that is unsavory but not unusual in Washington’s halls of power.
The report acknowledges that there are still details unknown, but time is running out for Republicans to turn this topic into something voters will care about. If Joe Biden wins in November, however, his political opponents are likely to continue to dig, hoping to use the information in the report to find more tangible evidence of a misconduct that could hurt his presidency.
What does the report find?
The Senate Homeland Security Committee report found that two members of the Obama administration complained in 2015 to the White House about Hunter Biden’s lucrative new role on Burisma’s board.
“Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board of directors has cast a shadow over the work of those who push forward anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine,” the report said.
But the report failed to find evidence that the policy of the Obama administration was influenced by the work of young Biden, instead citing the concerns of officials who called his work “inconvenient to all American officials pushing an anti-corruption program in Ukraine ”.
“Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board of directors was problematic and interfered with the effective execution of policy regarding Ukraine,” the report said, adding that those close to Biden “took advantage of the vice -Presidency of Joe Biden ”.
But he continues: “It is unclear to what extent Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board of directors affected US policy towards Ukraine. ”
Ahead of the report’s release – just six weeks before the presidential election – commission chairman Ron Johnson said in interviews the commission’s goal was to release it ahead of the election so voters could learn more about Mr. Biden and his family before you vote. .
What was the reaction?
The Biden campaign dismissed the report as an attempt by Republicans to undermine it and distract it from the coronavirus crisis.
Last week, Republican Senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, criticized the committee’s investigation as “a political exercise.”
“It is not the legitimate role of government, of Congress, or of taxpayer spending, to be used in an effort to harm political opponents,” he said.