A Look at Hunter Biden and Ukraine – President Joe Biden’s embattled son Hunter is in the news again for his dealings with Chinese businesses and alleged bank records that seem suspicious to Republican lawmakers from an oversight committee in the House of Representatives.
This isn’t the first time Hunter has been implicated with supposed shady private sector activities. The younger Biden struggled with his association with Ukrainian business concerns.
Let’s take a look back to examine just how bad the Ukrainian situation against Hunter is.
The saga started in 2014 when Hunter Biden took a position with a Ukrainian natural gas company called Burisma Holdings. He was paid $50,000 a month for sitting on the firm’s board of directors even though he had no prior experience or expertise in the energy industry.
The Elder Biden Was Involved in Ukraine Too
The other suspicious aspect of this business arrangement was that his father as vice president was simultaneously looking into corruption cases in Ukraine. The elder Biden was rallying EU allies to reduce the level of dirty dealings in the eastern European nation. The VP thought that firing the country’s head prosecutor, Victor Shokin, would allow Ukraine to get back on the straight and narrow to fight corruption.
Shokin was believed to have been blocking the prosecution of corruption cases. President Donald Trump and other Republican critics thought that Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings which would show that Vice President Biden was protecting his son’s connection to the natural gas company.
More Potential Dirty Dealings in Ukraine
In 2014, after Hunter obtained his board position, Burisma allegedly paid a $5 million bribe to a Ukrainian bureaucrat to help quash a British-American money-laundering investigation into Burisma’s CEO. It is not clear if Hunter had anything to do with this scheme.
Biden has said that he worked with Burisma to clear its name and institute better ethical practices at the company. The British investigation into Burisma was finally stopped in 2018.
The younger Biden said that he was qualified to do work for Burisma and that at no time did he use his influence with his father improperly.
Hunter made upwards of $400,000 from Burisma and he was reportedly advised to “amend his tax returns” to account for that largesse. Biden is currently under investigations for tax fraud and at least one other alleged crime having to do with gun ownership.
High Times for Hunter Biden
But Hunter loved money and living the high life. NBC News reported he “spent more than $200,000 per month from October 2017 through February 2018 on luxury hotel rooms, Porsche payments, dental work, and cash withdrawals.”
At the time, Biden also had a drug habit and needed funds to pay for alimony and child support to his ex-wife. Where was he getting all of this money? Some of it appears to have come from his dealings in Ukraine and China (which 19FortyFive has investigated).
In his autobiography, Hunter said the Burisma funds led him to spend “recklessly, dangerously, destructively.” This reportedly included money blown on drugs and prostitutes, according to the book.
Back Taxes Are the Problem
By 2020, Hunter owed an astounding $2 million to the IRS which he began paying back with help from a Hollywood attorney. A legal analyst from NBC said that even though Hunter may have paid the tax liability, he still appeared to have avoided the tax man for several years. The younger Biden said he cooperates with the IRS and the tax investigation and is confident his name will be cleared.
His Ukrainian business adventures began a pattern for Hunter that Republicans think is illegal and improper judging from what has developed with the House GOP’s investigation into Hunter’s China exploits. Hunter looks like he has cashed in on his last name over the years, which has yielded a substantial amount of money for him and other Biden family members.
His most serious predicament is likely his tax returns for those years where he had so much money coming in and leaving. Hunter needs two things going forward – sobriety and honesty – to deal with his legal problems. Great lawyers would help too. He also may want to stop working with international firms. That seems to be where his biggest problems lie.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.