02/10/2020

President Trump’s defense team put Hunter Biden on trial on Monday during the impeachment case in the Senate, whether or not he is ever forced to answer questions under oath about his $3 million sweetheart deal with a Ukrainian gas company.

President Trump’s defense team put Hunter Biden on trial on Monday during the impeachment case in the Senate, whether or not he is ever forced to answer questions under oath about his $3 million sweetheart deal with a Ukrainian gas company.
Brushing past Democrats’ renewed calls for former White House national security adviser John Bolton to testify, the president’s lawyers essentially put Mr. Biden in the witness chair, chronicling his lucrative dealings to show that Mr. Trump had plenty of reasons to urge Ukraine’s president to open a corruption probe of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and his son.
“Does it merit an inquiry that a corrupt company in a corrupt country is paying our vice president’s son $1 million per year?” asked Trump lawyer Eric Herschmann on the Senate floor. “Did he know anything about the natural gas industry at all? Of course not.”
Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general and another member of the president’s legal team, called it a Democratic “fiction” that Hunter Biden’s job raised no concerns in the U.S. while his father was serving as vice president.
“Hunter Biden was paid significantly more than board members for major, U.S. Fortune 500 companies,” Ms. Bondi told senators. “The average American family of four during that time, each year, made less than $54,000. Hunter Biden had no experience in natural gas, no experience in the energy sector. As far as we know, he doesn’t speak Ukrainian. Why was Hunter Biden on this board?”
The lawyers played portions of an ABC News interview with Hunter Biden last year, when he was asked if he would have obtained the job on the board of the Burisma energy company without his father’s connections.
“I don’t know, probably not,” Hunter Biden replied. He was being paid $83,333 per month for three years.
Hunter Biden got the job in early 2014, while his father was the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine foreign policy. Ms. Bondi said Burisma and its oligarch owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, already had a reputation for corruption and money laundering.
She noted that Chris Heinz, a business partner of Hunter Biden and a stepson of former Obama Secretary of State John F. Kerry, had “grave concerns” about the younger Biden’s post with Burisma and ultimately ended his friendship with Hunter Biden. He also raised red flags with the State Department about the arrangement.
“He was worried about the corruption, the geopolitical risk and how bad it would look,” she said.
The president’s team also played a video of former Obama press secretary Jay Carney being questioned about Hunter Biden’s job with Burisma.
“Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens,” Mr. Carney said in 2014. “Where they work does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or the president.”
The president’s team and Republican senators have vowed to call Hunter Biden and his father as witnesses if Democrats insist on calling Mr. Bolton and other former and current White House officials to testify what they know about Mr. Trump pausing military aid to Ukraine last summer.
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