Business efforts of Biden brother and son prompt new questions over influence peddling

Business efforts of Biden brother and son prompt new questions over influence peddling.

by Joseph Simonson · August 15, 2019
A longtime donor of Joe Biden financed a second mortgage for the vice president’s younger brother, James, worth $500,000, in order to pay for a Florida vacation home, adding yet another cloud of suspicion over whether the Biden family financially benefited from political connections.

According to a Thursday Politico report, the Ukrainian American businessman John Hynansky, who has donated nearly six figures to the former vice president’s campaigns over the years, in 2015 lent James Biden the half-million dollar sum for a Florida vacation home on an island only accessible by boat.

That report echoes similarities to allegations that James Biden was able to get atypical loans while his brother served on the Senate Banking Committee.

James Biden would eventually get into business with his brother’s son, Hunter Biden. In 2006, Hunter and James Biden bought Paradigm Global Advisers. At the time, Hunter said, “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden … We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company.”

Prior to that, Hunter Biden had opened a lobbying shop with clients that often had business in front of his father’s Senate committees.

During Joe Biden’s second term as vice president, in 2013, Hunter Biden reportedly arranged a Beijing meeting between him and Jonathan Li, a Chinese businessman who ran the equity fund Bohai Capital. Li was in a separate business arrangement with Hunter Biden.

A former senior White House aide told the New Yorker that Hunter Biden was “leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn’t done in that White House. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on.”

In April 2014 Hunter Biden scored a job on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, where he earned a salary of up to $50,000 a month. The country’s prosecutor general at the time, Viktor Shokin, came under scrutiny over the next two years over allegations of corruption.

During that period, Shokin opened a criminal investigation into Burisma. Eventually, the Obama-Biden administration demanded Ukraine oust Shokin or risk losing aid.

Biden’s team has denied any conflicts of interest.

Outside his business dealings, Hunter Biden has remained in the spotlight over his romantic relationships and long history battling drug addiction.

The Navy Reserve discharged Hunter Biden in 2014 after he tested positive for cocaine. In May, a police report surfaced stating that local authorities in 2016 found a cocaine pipe in an Arizona rental car.

In July, he spoke about his struggles with cocaine in a series of interviews with the New Yorker.

Hunter Biden’s first marriage ended in divorce after 23 years. During divorce proceedings, Kathleen Biden stated that Hunter Biden spent “extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations), while leaving the family with no funds to pay legitimate bills.”

Following that divorce, Hunter Biden entered a relationship with the widow of his late brother Beau, Hallie Biden.

As of May, Hunter Biden has been married to Melissa Cohen. The two tied the knot in Los Angeles after knowing each other for just 10 days.

Washington Examiner · by Joseph Simonson · August 15, 2019

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