Hunter Biden, the son of US Vice President Joe Biden, admitted that he was most likely recruited to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian company that stoked attacks on his father last year because they saw his name as “gold.”
Hunter Biden confirmed in part claims made by Republicans that he benefited from his family name when his father was vice president in an interview with the BBC published Tuesday to coincide with the release of his latest book, “Beautiful Stuff.”
He maintained that his business career had been good regardless of his father’s status as a senator from Delaware.
But, for the first time, he admitted that his appointment to the board of directors of the massive Ukrainian energy company in 2014, when his father was vice president in Barack Obama’s administration, was possibly due in large part to his name.
“I think that they saw my name as gold,” he told the BBC
From 2014 to 2019, Biden was a member of the board, receiving more than $50,000 per month.
That year, his father began planning for a presidential run, and advisors to then-President Donald Trump were rumored to be searching Ukraine for negative information on the Bidens.
Later that year, Trump placed pressure on the Ukrainian government to provide him with evidence that would support allegations of Biden’s corruption, which contributed to the former president’s first impeachment.
The timing of Hunter Biden’s recruitment by Burisma, according to the BBC, was linked to Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and its suspected support for rebels on the country’s eastern frontier.
Biden said that the Russians were after Ukraine’s natural resources and a pipeline, and that Burisma felt threatened.
“I know that Burisma wanted to do one thing. They wanted to create a bulwark against that Russian aggression,” he said.
“They knew that they had to expand internationally and into other sectors in order to be able to diversify to protect themselves. The Biden name is synonymous with democracy and transparency, and that’s why I said that it was gold to them.”
He maintained that his role on the board of Burisma was “100%” focused on corporate governance and accountability.
Hunter Biden did not justify his business dealings with a well-connected Russian woman and a Chinese investment firm, which Republicans say also profited from his contacts, in the interview.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN