If you’ve been waiting around for somebody to ask Joe Biden about his son Hunter’s sweetheart deal with Ukranian energy company Burisma, wait no longer. He finally got the question this weekend and Joe’s answer was a bit… lacking. (To say the least.) So what did Joe know and when did he know it? And what does he think about it? The former Vice President seems curiously uncurious about the whole affair. (Axios)
Biden told Axios’ Mike Allen that Hunter did nothing wrong — but that he has not dug into what Hunter actually did while working in Ukraine.
“I don’t know what he was doing. I know he was on the board. I found out he was on the board after he was on the board and that was it,” Biden told us.
Asked whether he wants to get to the bottom of it, Biden said, “No. Because I trust my son.”
The elder Biden then went on to promise that if he’s elected, neither Hunter nor any other members of his family would be allowed to “make money overseas” while he’s in office. Why? Not because of anything Hunter has done, but because of how Donald Trump’s family has behaved.
Hoo boy! There’s so much to unpack here that it’s tough to even know where to begin. For starters, can we take this as a promise from Joe Biden that he not only didn’t use his influence to land his son a fat position on Burisma’s board of directors but didn’t even know about it when it happened? I suppose it’s hypothetically possible that Burisma might have made the offer unbidden just to score some goodwill with Obama’s point man on Ukraine, but it really sounds unlikely. And with all of the investigations going on in and around Ukraine right now, it shouldn’t be too hard to find someone to confirm or deny that claim.
And Joe didn’t have any idea what Hunter was doing at Burisma? Don’t those two ever talk? That’s a pretty significant life event, particularly when you consider that Hunter was being paid more in a month than the average American worker makes in a year. You’d think it might have come up in conversation, wouldn’t you? Keep in mind that during Joe Biden’s interview with NPR, he said that his aides had never “warned him about a potential conflict of interest” in terms of Hunter being on the board. But that’s not the same as saying he didn’t even know about it. Was that conversation with his aides taking place before or after Hunter landed the job?
And if Hunter “did nothing wrong,” then why is Joe going to ban his family from taking any jobs overseas? And while we’re on the topic, can he actually do that? Sure, he can ask them as a favor, but you can’t stop an adult with a passport and visa from traveling to or even legally working in another country that’s one of our allies. Not even if you’re the President. This certainly makes it sound as if there was something fishy going on, otherwise why try to stop them from doing it in the future?
But Joe doesn’t know and he doesn’t want to know. Why? Because he trusts his son. That would be the same son that was (allegedly) smoking crack and (allegedly) impregnating a stripper at her club where he (confirmed) used to hang out. I know that’s precisely the sort of resume I’ll be looking for if I launch a major energy company and have some openings on my board of directors.
Look, as I’ve written here before, who Hunter Biden is sleeping with and whether he’s doing any drugs isn’t really a political story. Hunter isn’t a politician and hasn’t seemed interested in thrusting himself into the political ring. As a private citizen, that’s all his personal business if he wasn’t breaking any laws (aside from possible drug violations, which would be small potatoes anyway). But if his “job” with Burisma turns out to be some sort of diplomatic arrangement between Joe Biden and the Ukranian government (dare we say “quid pro quo?”), then it does become a political issue and a serious problem for his father. And that’s the question we should be looking into now.