As tales spread about Hunter Biden and his foreign business dealings over the past couple of years, he remained silent. Now promoting his new book, the president’s son is finally opening about being the target of attacks aimed at derailing his father’s campaign.
What You Need To Know
- Promoting his new book, Hunter Biden is finally opening about being the target of attacks aimed at derailing his father’s campaign
- In an interview on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, the president’s son defended his work overseas, insisted his father had no knowledge of his business affairs and predicted that he would be cleared by a DOJ investigation into his taxes
- Hunter Biden said a narrative that “drives me crazy,” is “this idea that I never had a job and then somebody plucked me out … and decided that this is the way that they’re going to create a criminal empire or something”
- Hunter Biden insisted his father was not involved in any way with his son’s work with Burisma and that they only had one brief conversation about the Ukrainian natural gas company
In an hour-plus interview on the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast posted Monday, Hunter Biden defended his work overseas, insisted his father had no knowledge of his business affairs and predicted that he would be cleared by a Justice Department investigation into his taxes. His book, “Beautiful Things,” which focuses on his struggles with substance abuse, was released Tuesday.
The biggest accusation involving Hunter Biden was that he leaned on his father, then the vice president who was overseeing foreign policy in Ukraine, to withhold $1 billon in aid to the country unless it ended a corruption investigation into Burisma Holdings, a private natural gas company whose board Hunter Biden served on.
A Republican-led Senate investigation last year found no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden but did conclude that Hunter “cashed in” on his name to close lucrative business deals and that the younger Biden’s work with Burisma gave the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Hunter Biden said he “didn’t have any issue with going to work for a company that was under threat from an invading Russia” and that two separate security checks showed the company was “on the level.”
“Now I did not take into consideration that this would be a flat-out Russian operation with all of these guys, I mean supposedly directly from the desk of Vladimir Putin,” he said of being swept up into a disinformation campaign.
Hunter Biden’s work with Burisma was at the heart of former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment. In a phone call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in September 2019, Trump requested a “favor” — an investigation into the Bidens — just after Zelensky asked about U.S. military aid promised to the country, which was being withheld.
Hunter Biden said a narrative that “drives me crazy,” one that was promoted repeatedly by Trump during the presidential campaign, is “this idea that I never had a job and then somebody plucked me out … and decided that this is the way that they’re going to create a criminal empire or something.”
The younger Biden noted that he was a lawyer at a high-powered firm who had served on the boards of 14 companies and had extensive experience in corporate governance.
“They wanted to expand internationally because they knew that they couldn’t only depend upon Ukraine for the entirety of their business,” he said. “They came to me as a lawyer to help them do their own internal security check.”
In a separate interview with the BBC, he, however, conceded that Burisma likely saw his name “as gold” and that it played a large part in his appointment to the board.
Hunter Biden insisted his father was not involved in any way with his son’s work with Burisma. He said they only had one brief conversation about the company, which came after a press release announced Hunter Biden had joined the board.
“And he said, ‘I hope you know what you’re doing,’” Hunter Biden said. “And that’s the only conversation we had on it. Because at that time, I really did know what I was doing.”
Hunter Biden again said he doesn’t know if a laptop purportedly left at a Delaware repair shop indeed belonged to him. The computer included unverified material about his business dealings in Ukraine and China that could have been damaging to his father’s presidential campaign. A copy of the laptop’s hard drive was given by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to the New York Post, which reported on its contents.
“Who knows? The only thing I do know is that Rudy Giuliani’s supposedly sleeping with it, which is creepy enough just to even think about,” Hunter Biden said.
“You know, the creepiest thing is, I have no clue it’s real. The only thing I do know is that the intelligence community just came out with a report that said the entire thing is Russia’s disinformation.”
A declassified report by the National Intelligence Council did conclude that Russian President Vladimir Putin likely directed a disinformation campaign aimed at damaging Joe Biden’s election hopes, which allegedly included Ukrainian lawyer Andriy Derkach, who had met with Giuliani. The report did not weigh in on Hunter Biden’s laptop, which the FBI has in its possessions. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe insisted last year that the computer was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Maron did not ask the president’s son about the authenticity of the laptop’s contents that the Post reported on.
Hunter Biden also said in the interview that he has not profited from his investment in BHR Partners, a private equity firm that reportedly has ties to the Chinese government.
“The idea was to create a private equity group to be able to invest outside of China into U.S. infrastructure projects and things like that,” he explained. “ … Again, a really kind of simple thing. I invested in it. I have never received a dollar from it, not a dime.
As for an investigation into his taxes, launched by the Justice Department in 2018, Hunter Biden said he is confident he will be vindicated.
“I’m absolutely certain at the end of the day everything’s going to be fine,” he said. “Absolutely. I did nothing wrong.”