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'Did Hunter Biden Have Any Qualification... Other Than The Fact That His Daddy Was The Sitting VP?'

 

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr


At a Tuesday Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Senator Ted Cruz grilled State Department official George Ken about alleged corruption by President Biden and his son Hunter.

Questioning Ken over his past concerns about Hunter Biden, serving on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma. Cruz pressed on whether or not there were ethical violations by the Bidens. Cruz has long been a fierce critic of the president's son. Charging his actions while his father was vice president included corruption and influence peddling.

Democrats and the president himself have defended Hunter Biden, claiming GOP accusations are politically motivated. The Republicans have promised to make Hunter Biden's business dealings and whether his father profited from them central to their investigations in the next Congress.




Senator Cruz said:

Mr. Kent, you have been outspoken throughout your career speaking against corruption, and I want to talk in particular about corruption in the current administration.

And I have serious concerns about the corruption of President Joe Biden that extends for a considerable time, both during his time as president and during his time as vice president. To take one obvious and troubling example, accounts linked to the Biden family's personal finances received millions of dollars through ties to EFC China Energy; this is where we get the infamous quote, "about 10 percent to the big guy from the Chinese communists."

But you've also been very directly involved with Ukraine and corruption in Ukraine, and I will say that you demonstrated great courage in speaking out against what I believe were Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden's very obvious concerns about corruption in Ukraine in particular.

On November 13 2019 you testified to Congress that you had become concerned with Hunter Biden's status as a board member of the Ukrainian Natural Gas Company Burisma. 

You said you had raised those concerns to the White House in February of 2015 and in particular what you said is I became aware that Hunter Biden was on the board of Burisma soon after that in a briefing call with the national security staff at the office of the Vice President in February of 2015. 

I raised my concern that Hunter Biden's status as a board member could create the perception of a conflict of interest. Tell me why you had this concern as you described a perception of a conflict of interest.

Mr. Kent replied to Cruz, and he said:

Well, Senator, I can give every member of this committee my commitment that I will always raise concerns to members of any administration and to Congress when I have concerns. So I was made aware of the information, and I passed that along to the staff of the office of the vice president.

The issue at hand was that the owner of the company's lecevsky had awarded himself gas contracts, as I testified in both the impeachment hearings and the Johnson Grassley hearings of 2020. Our concern was about the corrupt acts of Zlichewsky, the ex-minister, and the FBI had been pursuing freezing his assets. And it was in the interest of the United States to remain true to the gold standard of our own actions.

Cruz again asked:
So the Ukrainian oligarch who owned Burisma there was very substantial evidence of corruption on his part and he named Hunter Biden to his board of directors, to your knowledge does Hunter Biden speak Ukrainian?

Kent replied and said: "I've never talked to Hunter Biden, no."

Cruz asked: Did Hunter Biden have any qualification whatsoever for that board job other than the fact that his father was the sitting vice president at the time?

Kent: Senator, I no one consulted me about who was on the board of Burisma there was another American Cofer black who was a former.

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