For Hunter Biden to face charges, evidence would have to show that he directly or indirectly promised or gave anything of value with the intent of influencing his father or the Obama administration. By all appearances, however, it looks like Hunter Biden is most likely politically protected.
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The Hunter Biden Challenge
Proving probable cause that Hunter Biden had criminal intent to influence his father’s official duties as vice president and the top official in charge of Ukraine policy would be needed in order to charge him with a crime.
Federal laws related to conflicts of interest would not apply to Hunter Biden because he has never been a federal employee.
However, House Republicans are looking to change that to prevent the family members of presidents or vice presidents from engaging in business activities that give rise to questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The Obama State Department saw a clear appearance of a conflict of interest regarding Hunter’s $50,000 per month payments from Burisma, whose founder and chief executive, Mykola Zlochevsky, was labeled by the FBI as a corrupt individual.
Then acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv, George Kent, raised questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest between Hunter Biden’s membership in Burisma’s board of directors and his father’s position as vice president.
“… [P]eople who talk the talk need to walk the walk, and for the U.S. government, collectively, when we talk about the need to have high standards of integrity, again, as I’ve said, the presence of [Hunter Biden] on the board created the perception of a potential conflict of interest,” Kent wrote in an email to senior State Department officials including Deputy Assistant Secretary Bridget Brink and U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Hunter Biden conceded in a 2020 interview with ABC News that he likely would not have been named to the Burisma board if his last name had not been Biden.
Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca, LLC., partner Devon Archer met then-Vice President Joe Biden in the West Wing of the White House in April 2014. A week later, Burisma appointed Archer to its board of directors. The vice president headed the Obama administration’s policy on Ukraine at the time.
Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi wrote Hunter Biden in an Apr. 17, 2015 email inquiring about meeting with the vice president.
Republican staff of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee also found that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden dined with business associates from Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan at Café Milano, an eatery frequented by political elites, in Washington, D.C. a year later. The meeting aimed to help Burisma establish relationships and to expand into Kazakhstan. Kazakh oligarch Kasim Massimov, a former prime minister and intelligence officer also attended the dinner.
House Republicans claim that Hunter Biden similarly sought to influence the U.S. government to assist Chinese interests starting in 2011. Hunter wrote in an email obtained by congressional investigators that his value to them had “nothing to do with me and everything to do with my last name.” He stated to the Chinese investors that they were paying for access to the vice president and that they just needed to give him “marching orders.”
Hunter Biden represented CEFC Energy, a company with close connections with Chinese military intelligence, and received millions to sell American oil and gas resources to China. Congressional investigators believe that the president is or was a co-owner through Hunter of two companies used to try and sell U.S. energy to China.
Charging Hunter Biden with a crime while his father is president is highly unlikely because the First Son is politically protected and the Biden administration will do everything in its power to shield him.
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