Thursday, May 2, 2019

China Funding Corrupt Joe Biden’s Family Business

Bidens squeezed billions of dollars out of China & Ukaraine.
On Sunday, Fox News Channel’s Steve Hilton reported on Peter Schweizer’s investigation of former vice president Joe Biden’s family’s business dealings with China’s government, concluding that Biden was “compromised by a foreign power and unfit to be president.”

Hunter Biden — Biden’s second son —  secured $1 billion in financing  from the Bank of China — an arm of the Chinese government — for a private equity firm founded by himself and Christopher Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry. That private equity firm was named Bohai-Harvest RST (BHR).

Joe Biden “is the very definition of a corrupt insider,” said Hilton, rejecting left-wing and partisan Democrat marketing of Joe Biden as “a man of the working people.” He profiled Biden in a segment entitled, “Swamp Watch.”

Hilton added, “With Joe Biden … there is a much more worrying relationship with a foreign power, one that presents a vastly bigger threat to America than Russia — China.” Hilton recalled Joe Biden’s December 2013 trip to China as vice president with Hunter Biden.

In December 2013, then-Vice President Biden rode Air Force Two on an official trip to Asia, as tensions were high over disputed territories in the East China Sea. Biden was joined by his son, Hunter, who was building a private equity firm along with his business partner and friend, Chris Heinz – heir of the Heinz Ketchup family fortune and stepson of then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Joe Biden struck a soft, friendly tone with the Chinese leadership, disappointing allies in the area, like Japan, who were alarmed by China’s increasing aggression. But perhaps Joe had other issues besides the global balance of power on his mind, issues like his son’s business deals.

Hunter’s presence on the trip was far from coincidence. Just 10 days later, his company, Rosemont Seneca, signed an exclusive $1 billion deal with the state-owned Bank of China, creating an investment fund called Bohai Harvest, with money backed by the Chinese government.

In the words of Peter Schweizer, who first unveiled these conflicts of interest in his book “Secret Empires,” “the Chinese government was literally funding a business that it co-owned along with the sons of two of America’s most powerful decision makers.” That is what it looks like to be “compromised by a foreign power.”

Hilton noted the values and origins of some of BHR’s other investments, including, “$145,000 from a Kazak oligarch, $1 million from Chinese entities, $1.2 million from a mysterious LLC tied to a Swiss bank that’s been implicated in money laundering, [and] $3.1 million from corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs.”

“Joe Biden obviously loves his children and would do anything for them,” remarked Hilton. “I feel the same way about mine. But when you’re the vice president, you can’t run around doing favours for America’s enemies to help make money for your son.”

Hilton continued, “When it came to a choice between working Americans and his donors, he chose the donors. When it came to a choice between working Americans and China, he chose China. He may have started out as a blue-collar boy from Scranton, Pennsylvania, but he ended up as a swampy stooge for Beijing, China.”

“Joe Biden is ‘Joe China,’ and he must never be allowed anywhere near the White House again,” concluded Hilton. Schweizer previously described the aforementioned deal as an illustration of what he dubbed “the new corruption,” where foreign governments procure political influence through “sweetheart deals” with the children of American and Western politicians.
President Obama, VP Joe and his son Hunter Biden.
Papa Joe’s Hunter Biden problem

Could the sins of the son be visited on the father’s presidential hopes? Joe Biden visited Ukraine on January 16, 2017 in his very last days as vice-president in the Obama administration.

That he should fly to Kiev when he had so little time left in office was a sign of the importance he attached to Ukraine. He was the ‘point-man’ for America’s Ukraine policy, telling the government to clean-up the country’s notorious and endemic corruption. While he was in charge, the US gave $3 billion in economic aid to Ukraine. There was a family connection to Ukraine, too.

Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the board of a big Ukrainian natural gas company called Burisma. Happily, just four days before Air Force Two touched down in Kiev, it was announced that Ukraine was dropping a corruption prosecution against Burisma.

This handily removed a PR problem for the vice president. A year earlier, a piece in the New York Times reported that in the very month Hunter joined Burisma, the Serious Fraud Office in London froze bank accounts belonging to the company’s Ukrainian founder. The US ambassador to Ukraine at the time said that the money in these accounts – $23 million of it – had been ‘stolen’ from the Ukrainian people.

When a court ordered the British police to unfreeze the assets, the cash ‘disappeared’ to Cyrus. The Times piece – by the noted investigative journalist James Risen – warned that the vice president’s anti-corruption message to Ukraine might have been ‘undermined’ by Hunter’s association with Burisma.

The Burisma story is retold in detail in an entertaining book by Peter Schweizer, Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. He writes about the founder, a bombastic former minister with a collection of Bentleys who had to flee Ukraine; and the oligarch said to have bought the company, who’s alleged to carry out corporate raids using ‘armed lawyers’.

Ukraine’s ruling elite is full of such characters. It’s why – despite Joe Biden’s efforts – the country remains stuck near the bottom of Transparency International’s annual corruption index. As for Hunter Biden, Schweizer quotes an American academic who claims that the Burisma deal means that ‘potentially, the Biden family could become billionaires’.

Schweizer is best known for his book Clinton Cash. He is also a ‘senior editor-at-large’ for Breitbart which says on its website that Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine – and China – are a bigger problem for Biden in 2020 than the ‘Groper Joe’ stories. ‘[H]is family, particularly his son, cashed in while he was vice president of the United States.’

So far, Schweizer says, Hunter has taken home $3 million from Burisma, despite having ‘no background’ in Ukraine or in energy policy. ‘There’s really no legitimate explanation as to why he got this deal…other than the fact his father was responsible for doling out money in Ukraine.’

Schweizer called for an investigation and for a grand jury to be empaneled, especially as Burisma’s founder was part of the old, pro-Russian (and obscenely corrupt) government in Ukraine. ‘There’s all kinds of questions and implications. Is there a Russian component to this?’

The Breitbart story comes after one in The Hill that attempted to connect the firing of Ukraine’s prosecutor general – successfully demanded by Biden as vice president – to the fact that the prosecutor general’s office was investigating Burisma.

The piece says there are some ‘hard questions’ for Biden as he prepares to run for president. ‘Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a US policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

A former senior official in the Obama administration dismisses all this as a ‘smear’ designed to hurt the one Democratic candidate who could win white, blue collar votes from Trump. Much of the international community was demanding the resignation of the prosecutor general, he said, this wasn’t something that Biden had come up with on his own.

That’s true. Ukraine’s chief prosecutor was facing allegations that he himself was involved in massive corruption (naturally – this is Ukraine). Cockburn merely notes the new rule in American politics – which began with Paul Manafort  – that Ukraine must now intrude in some fashion into every US presidential election.

If Biden does ever get to the Oval Office, this saga might reflect a different rule: that every president must have a relative to embarrass them. Biden probably has less a Ukrainian problem than a Hunter problem.

Hunter was kicked out of the naval reserve because he tested positive for cocaine. His wife, Kathleen, claimed during their divorce that the family had been left without money because Hunter spent ‘extravagantly’ on ‘drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations’.  Hunter then took up with the widow of his brother Beau, who had died from cancer.

The Ukraine story probably won’t hurt Biden much. The details are complicated – Cockburn has given a much simplified account of the byzantine web of financial transactions and personalities surrounding Burisma. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing – just an opening for Biden’s opponents to ask awkward questions. And after Trump, who could say now that presidential candidates must, like Caesar’s wife, be above suspicion?

Biden faces scrutiny for demanding ouster of Ukraine official probing firm that employed his son: Should Joe Biden abandon potential 2020 run in wake of inappropriate behavior accusations?

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing new scrutiny over his past comments and actions in Ukraine, including bragging that he pressured the country to fire its top prosecutor, who happened to be leading a corruption investigation of a natural gas company that employed his son Hunter Biden.

The focus on Biden's past comes on the heels of at least two women stepping forward with accusations of improper physical contact by the nation's former No. 2, potentially hurting his 2020 presidential election chances, though he still hasn’t formally announced his run for the White House.

If Biden ultimately decides to enter the race, he may also have to answer questions about Ukraine. Aside from the matter involving the top prosecutor were comments regarding Ukrainian women -- Biden once told then-President Viktor Yushchenko during a state visit that they were “the most beautiful women in the world. That's my observation," Biden continued. "It's certain you have so many beautiful women."

But Biden's role in the firing of Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in 2016, after Shokin as part of a corruption probe targeted a natural gas firm that hired Biden's son two years earlier, could prove a bigger issue.

Last year, during a Council on Foreign Relations event, Biden told the audience that he pressed President Petro Poroshenko to fire the country’s top prosecutor, including threatening to withdraw a $1 billion U.S. loan from the country, which has been economically decimated due to its war with Russian forces since 2014.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden said he told Poroshenko. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden added.

Fired Ukaraine-Prosecutor-General Shonko.
While the fired prosecutor was reportedly criticized back then by both Ukrainians and international officials for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions, the prosecutor also worked on a corruption probe that implicated the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, a company that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member, The Hill reported.

Shokin told The Hill that he had made “specific plans” for the probe, including “interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

“I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine,” he added. A representative for Joe Biden did not respond to a request for comment for this report; neither did a representative at Hunter Biden's current company. Hunter Biden, now 49, is the younger son of the former vice president, whose elder son Beau died of cancer in 2015.

The probe ended shortly after Shokin was fired, and no charges were filed against any individuals of the company. Prosecutors apparently weren't able to obtain required documents by the deadline.

But according to the Hill, General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko reopened the case in 2018 following Biden’s remarks at the event, with the prosecutor saying that the evidence in the case may be of interest to U.S. authorities. “Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko told the outlet.

Ukraine experts previously warned that Biden’s son's involvement in the company undercut the Obama administration’s anti-corruption message in Ukraine. Biden was also aware of his son’s dealings months, if not years, before the supposed warning to the Ukrainian president. “Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” Kate Bedingfield, then-spokeswoman for the vice president, told the New York Times at the time.

“The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. The vice president has pushed aggressively for years, both publicly with groups like the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum and privately in meetings with Ukrainian leaders, for Ukraine to make every effort to investigate and prosecute corruption in accordance with the rule of law.”

I sincerely believe that the Americans will not elect the feely-touchy old man Joe Biden.
Prosecutor-General Shokin's Daughter Sues Joe Biden

The daughter of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, Alina who is a US citizen intends to sue former Vice President Joe Biden.

Viktor Shokin himself announced this to Ukrainska Pravda, confirming the tweet of his daughter Alina, who wrote about her desire to appeal against Biden ’s statements about his involvement in Shokin’s dismissal. “I know she’s going to do this,” Shokin said.

When asked if she consulted with him when she decided to sue, Shokin said: "She is an adult, an adult, she is 40 years old, she has a personal opinion. What struck her most was that her late grandmother was insulted. So he disgraced her, this Biden, that she decided to make such a decision, "said Shokin.

Earlier on Twitter, a user with the nickname @alina_oneworld wrote: "I thought about the situation with the ex-Vice-President Biden, in which he publicly offended by speaking about my late grandmother and my father. Considering that this concerns the whole family, I plan to go to court to protect the dignity of my relatives and equality of all citizens of America before the law, "she said.

Daughter Shokina - Alina has US citizenship. As we know, at the end of January, Biden shared his experience in negotiations in Kiev, speaking at the US Council on Foreign Relations. As an example of how important changes can be introduced in a short time, he cited the story of the dismissal of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said: I’m going in 6 hours if your Attorney General doesn’t get fired before that time, you don’t get any money. And that son of a bitch was fired. They put in his place someone who was trusted at the time,” he added.