Democrats Unwittingly Make Case for Hunter Biden Investigation at Impeachment Hearing
Dems anti-Trump campaign backfires as witnesses suggest Joe Biden's son should be probed
The Democrats' anti-Trump impeachment hearing backfired Wednesday when their witness testimony ended up making a case for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden.
During the first of the Democrat-controlled congressional hearings this week, a star witness unwittingly suggested that Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine should be investigated.
Testifying before the Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff-led House Intelligence Committee on the opening day of the inquiry, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent made a startling admission regarded the younger Biden's Ukrainian energy company.
Kent admitted that American officials have, for some time, been urging the Ukraine government to explain why an investigation into Burisma Holdings.
Hunter Biden was employed on the eastern European oil and gas company's board of directors when the investigation was shut down - during the time Joe Biden was in office as VP.
“We’ve continued to press Ukrainian officials to answer for why allege corrupt prosecutors had closed [the] case,” Kent testified. “We have until now got an unsatisfactory answer.”
Kent, who has claimed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani engineered the firing of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine through a “campaign of slander,” is considered a key witness for congressional Democrats as they seek to prove the president’s conduct rises to the level of impeachment.
On Wednesday, however, Kent inadvertently strengthened the argument that Republicans and the president, and himself, have made it clear that Hunter Biden’s conduct in Ukraine should be probed given his father’s role overseeing policy in the region and the allegations of corruption lodged against Burisma and its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, according to Breitbart.
It was on the latter front that Kent’s testimony proved particularly revealing.
The state department official admitted he and his colleagues believed Zlochevsky “had stolen money” and the Ukrainian prosecutor charged with investigating him shut down the case after taking a bribe.
When asked if he was in favor of the Ukrainian government reopening the probe into Burisma and Zlochevsky, Kent asserted he would “love” to see such an action so it could become clear who was bribed and to what extent.
A top #Ukraine government official has announced during a press conference that he has documentation, that he says, proves former Vice President #JoeBiden was paid $900,000 to lobby for his son, Hunter Biden's Ukranian company, #Burisma.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) October 10, 2019
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Kent also asserted that Burisma had a “mixed business reputation” and Hunter Biden’s decision to join its board of directors had led him to raise concerns with former Vice President Joe Biden’s office in 2015.
“In a briefing call with…the office of the Vice President…I raised my concern that Hunter Biden’s status as a [Burisma] board member could create the perception of a conflict of interest,” Kent testified.
At the center of the controversy is how and why Hunter Biden secured the appointment, which at times paid more than $83,000 a month.
As Peter Schweizer detailed in his book, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden had no prior experience with either the energy industry or Ukraine before joining Burisma in April 2014.
Adding to concerns is the fact that at the time Hunter Biden joined Burisma, the company was seen as actively courting western leaders to prevent further scrutiny of its business practices.
The same month Hunter Biden was tapped for the group’s board, the government of Great Britain froze accounts belonging to Zlochevsky under suspicion of money laundering.
Zlochevsky, a former Ukrainian minister of natural resources, would later be accused of corruption for using his office to approve oil and gas licenses to companies under his control.
A Ukrainian official with strong ties to Zlochevsky admitted in October the only reason that Hunter Biden secured the appointment was to “protect” the company from foreign scrutiny.