[NYPost] In a now notorious July 25 conversation, President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" Ukraine’s role in efforts to interfere in the 2016 election as well as the dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter with the notoriously corrupt country.
Whether or not Trump’s ham-fisted conversation with Zelensky rises to an impeachable offense, the American people have legitimate reasons to be curious about both issues ‐ and especially the Biden family’s blatant conflicts of interest abroad as Joe Biden seeks the presidency.
Biden has been leading the Democratic field. The central case for his candidacy rests on the supposedly exemplary work he did as a senior member of Team Obama. Well, in 2016, acting as the Obama administration’s point man in Ukraine, the vice president ‐ unlike Trump ‐ openly threatened to withhold $1 billion in American loan guarantees if the embattled nation didn’t fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin.
As Biden later bragged, "I looked at them and said, ’I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.’ "
Most of the media assure us that, though by the Democrats’ new standards this kind of intimidation constitutes a flagrant abuse of power, Biden’s reasons for threatening Ukraine were chaste.
But simply repeating this talking point doesn’t make it true. Granted, Shokin was a shady character. Yet at some point he had been investigating Burisma, the largest gas company in Ukraine, which also happened to be paying Hunter Biden a $50,000 monthly salary as a board member.
By coincidence, Hunter had landed this cushy gig in a foreign country only a few months after the Obama administration began dispatching his father, Joe, to the very same foreign country on a regular basis.
Joe Biden responds to release of Trump's Ukraine transcript
There was, of course, absolutely nothing in Hunter’s résumé to indicate that he would be a valuable addition to foreign energy interest. He didn’t speak the language, and he had no particular expertise in the energy industry. Oh, he did have one thing, though: his last name.
I suppose, that isn’t entirely fair. Hunter once ran a hedge fund with his dad’s brother, James Biden, and associated with a notorious Ponzi schemer. James would go on to snag a job as executive vice president of a construction company in 2010, despite having virtually no experience in the field. And only a few months into his tenure, the company would win one of its biggest contracts in its history, a $1.5 billion deal to build affordable homes in Iraq.
By pure happenstance, Joe was also the Obama administration’s point man in Iraq at the time. Funny how these things work out.