Hunter Biden, the son of ex-Vice President Joe Biden, was indeed recruited to join the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma because of his name, but he didn’t use his familial connection to help the business, according to a former colleague. That colleague is Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former president of Poland. He also served on the company’s board.
“I understand that if someone asks me to be part of some project it’s not only because I’m so good, it’s also because I am Kwasniewski and I am a former president of Poland,” he told The Associated Press. “And this is all inter-connected. No-names are a nobody. Being Biden is not bad. It’s a good name.”
He said they only occasionally asked Hunter Biden at dinners how his father was, and once discussed the passing of Hunter’s brother Beau Biden.
Hunter Biden, who served on the Burisma board from 2014 to 2019, was valuable to the company because of his perspective as an American in fields like corporate governance and capital markets, said Kwasniewski.
Even VP Biden’s aides reportedly worried about Hunter Biden being on Burisma’s board during the Obama administration, though father and son have not substantively been accused of wrongdoing.
President Donald Trump faces calls for impeachment because he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy to have the Bidens investigated. When he was VP, Joe Biden called for the ouster of a prosecutor who was suppose to be investigating Burisma. Trump insisted, however, that there was no quid pro quo for military aide in exchange for the probe into the Bidens.
The allegation from team Trump is that VP Biden got Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin pushed out for investigating Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Hunter Biden was on the board of directors for this business. Shokin indeed claimed that he was pushed out because he was running the investigation into the company.
At the time of Shokin’s 2016 resignation, however, he faced pressure over international concerns he wasn’t investigating corruption. Former Ukrainian and U.S. officials said that the investigation into Burisma founder and former Ukrainian minister Mykola Zlochevsky was “dormant,” according to The Washington Post.
[Screengrab via Nightline]