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Thomas Gallatin / October 16, 2019

Hunter Biden Fails to Smother Smoke From Ukraine Scandal

Hunter admits to “poor judgment” and reaping career benefits from his last name.

Joe and Hunter Biden need to get their stories straight. In an obvious attempt to tamp down the smoldering scandal of the Bidens’ apparent pay-to-play deal with Ukraine, Hunter sat down for an interview with ABC News. While insisting that he did nothing wrong, Hunter conceded, “In retrospect … I think that it was poor judgment on my part.” He continued, “Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is … a swamp in many ways? Yeah.”

ABC aired the interview Tuesday morning, strategically timed so as to be drowned out by all the coverage of the Democrat presidential debate coming only a few hours later. However, in spite of this, the interview did little to make the scandal go away, and in fact it may have only made it worse for Joe Biden.

During the debate, Biden was asked, “If it’s not okay for a president’s family to be involved in foreign businesses, why was it okay for your son when you were vice president?” Biden responded by contradicting his son’s admission of “poor judgment” in an obvious attempt at damage control. “Look, my son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. My son made a judgment. I’m proud of the judgment he made.” Biden then doubled down by insisting, “I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have.” Actually, Hunter Biden admitted discussing his Ukrainian business dealings with the old man. Oops. (You can read a detailed timeline of those “dealings” here.)

Biden also deflected to President Donald Trump: “He’s going after me because he knows that if I get the nomination I will beat him like a drum.” Settle down, tough guy.

Thus far the record shows that Trump’s Ukraine interests appear to have been primarily focused on seeking answers to the origins of Russia’s 2016 election meddling and were not merely an attempt to dig up dirt on Biden. The real scandal is that neither Biden has convincingly explained how Hunter, who has no background or expertise in energy, was able to land a lucrative position on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma while his father was the vice president. Nor has any adequate explanation been given for why the elder Biden dubiously used his position as vice president to ensure that a corruption investigation into Burisma was quashed.

However, Hunter may have inadvertently let the cat out of the bag. At one point in the interview he was asked, “If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would have been asked to be on the board of Burisma?” He answered, “I don’t know. Probably not. I don’t think there’s a lot of things in my life that [would have happened] if my last name wasn’t Biden.” Bingo.

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