Joe Biden Defends His Son’s Work In Ukraine But Says It ‘May Have Looked Bad’
Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden recognized that it “may have looked bad” for his son, Hunter Biden, to serve on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings while he was Vice President, but insisted Hunter did nothing wrong.
“There’s nothing asserted that he did anything that was illegal,” Joe Biden said in an interview with Telemundo released Thursday. “Here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to — and I know you’re not intending to do this — play the game to take the eye off the culprit.”
“What may have looked bad but wasn’t anything wrong is totally different than whether a president has held up $400 million in aid for the Ukrainian military when Ukrainians are dying,” Biden said. “That is criminal.”
The Biden family has been embroiled in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, as Democratic lawmakers allege that Trump inappropriately used the power of the presidency to pressure Ukraine to launch a political probe. In a July 25 phone call, Trump asked the leader of Ukraine to “do us a favor” and look into both Biden and Burisma.
He also appears to have withheld U.S. military aid to Ukraine and refused to grant a White House meeting to the Ukrainian president until his demand of launching a political probe was met.
Trump asserted Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, because he was investigating Burisma on allegations of tax evasion. However, by the time Biden was in Ukraine the investigation had already been dropped.
There is no other evidence to suggest he was acting in the business interests of his son, as the prosecutor was widely viewed as corrupt and several others had called for his removal previously.
Biden’s comment echoes those of his son, who admitted accepting the board position was “poor judgement” but emphasized that he did nothing wrong while in that role.
“In retrospect, look, I think that it was poor judgment on my part,” Hunter Biden told ABC’s Amy Robach in October. He said although he “did nothing wrong at all,” he accidentally “gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father. That’s where I made the mistake.”