Saturday, October 19, 2019

State Department Official Raised Concerns in 2015 Over Hunter Biden

Photo: jonathan ernst/Reuters
George Kent this week told lawmakers he was concerned about appearance of a conflict in Ukraine
A career State Department official told congressional investigators this week that he raised concerns in 2015 with a senior official at the White House about then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son being on the board of a Ukrainian natural-gas company because of concerns about the potential optics of a conflict of interest, a person familiar with the matter said.
The State Department official, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, told lawmakers behind closed doors on Tuesday that he raised the issue in January 2015 and expressed reservations about Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma Holdings because it could add to the challenges to convey to Ukraine the importance of cleaning up corruption and avoiding even potential conflicts of interest, this person said.
“Regardless of whether anything is wrong, it looks terrible,” Mr. Kent told lawmakers that he told the official who worked in Mr. Biden’s office at the time, the person said. Mr. Kent was informed that the vice president at the time didn’t have the “bandwidth” to deal with the matter in part because his other son, Beau, was under treatment for cancer that later in the year would take his life, the person said. The Washington Post earlier reported on Mr. Kent’s concerns.
Mr. Kent, described by people who witnessed his testimony this week as a straightforward diplomat who gave precise details, told lawmakers he worried that officials in Kyiv would possibly consider the younger Mr. Biden as someone who could curry influence with his father, the person said.
US Deputy Undersecretary of State George Kent
Mr. Kent’s testimony this week was part of the congressional impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s actions with Ukraine as he pressed for investigations into Joe Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and Hunter Biden. The revelation that Mr. Kent had expressed concern in 2015 is likely to put the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine back into the spotlight.
Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have argued, without evidence, that Mr. Biden’s anticorruption push in Ukraine was designed to head off any investigation of Burisma Holdings. Both Bidens have denied wrongdoing and said they never discussed Hunter’s business in Ukraine.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

If you like what you see, please "Like" us on Facebook either here or here. Please follow us on Twitter here.

No comments: