It is understandable that any father would be uncomfortable discussing his son’s personal problems and ethical transgressions. In that regard, Joe Biden is no different. But Joe Biden is not just any father – he is the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States. And his son Hunter’s Ukraine issues are not just personal matters.
What then Vice-President Joe Biden knew about his son Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine at a time when Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point person for Ukraine, whether the Vice-President helped facilitate his son’s actions, and just what Hunter Biden did are all matters of public importance. They impacted on the message our country sent around the world with respect to foreign affairs and our efforts to stamp out corruption. And the underlying facts provide an important window into Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden’s ethical compass.
Calls for a full investigation into just what happened have rung out for many years from a variety of sources. But not only have those calls been rejected, President Trump was impeached in large part for trying to force the issue and demand an investigation. His political opponents cast his demands that Ukrainian officials publicly investigate once and for all as an unlawful effort to use a foreign government to affect an election, using the excuse that Joe Biden was one of a large field of Democratic Party primary candidates.In fact, Trump haters in Congress carried this phony claim to the ultimate degree and used it to impeach the President, thereby demeaning the solemnity of the impeachment process and continuing to successfully bury the true facts surrounding the Biden Affair. And so all relevant questions remain unanswered.
The fact of the matter is, Joe Biden should have been leading the charge all of these years to demand a full investigation to clear him and Hunter of the taint that has continued to attend this matter. Even an avid Trump hater like the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, earlier this year advised Biden to openly address these issues in his quest for the presidency.
The American people deserve no less. In the recent presidential debate, Mr. Biden dismissed any questions about Hunter and claims of profiteering from his father’s connections to foreign leaders by saying it has all been debunked; but that just is not true and saying so, with some in the media parroting this false claim, there can be no closure.
The American people need a full and thorough airing of the matter before the election so that we can factor this into our evaluation of the character and the politics of one who seeks to be our President.
So what do we know and what more do the American people need to know?
To fully flesh out these underlying facts and circumstances, the American people deserve to hear, under oath, from the most fundamentally important witnesses. From any perspective, these are Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and Devon Archer, Hunter’s business associate and a close friend of John Kerry’s family.
It was the appointment of Hunter Biden and Mr. Archer to the board of a Ukrainian energy company, without any qualifications, and at a reported compensation package worth some $50,000 per month, that led the Wall Street Journal, on May 13, 2014, to publish a scathing article, bringing the issue public, and suggesting that the matter raised a number of major red flags for a variety of reasons.
President Trump did not concoct a concern about these circumstances out of thin air to gain advantage in a political battle. The corruption allegations that were the subject of his phone call with Ukraine, long predated his presidency.
Some other mainstream media outlets since have written similar pieces, strongly arguing that the situation was very troubling and demanding further scrutiny and answers. Recently, the Washington Post reported that John Kerry’s step-son, Chris Heinz, who founded an investment company with Mr. Archer considered the decision to join the Ukrainian company’s board to reflect such poor judgment and the appearance of impropriety so clear that he publicly disassociated himself from Mr. Archer and the company. Mr. Heinz would be an important witness in any investigation, as would his step-father.
A primary concern that has been raised, of course, is whether then Vice-President Joe Biden, the Obama administration’s point man for the Ukraine, acted inappropriately in continuing to oversee our relationship with the Ukraine and, specifically, for withholding aid to Ukraine based his perspective on how the Ukraine government was addressing corruption, with some charging that Mr. Biden was not happy that the company his son was associated with had come under scrutiny from a Ukrainian corruption prosecutor. One leading expert on Russia and the region from the University of Wisconsin has written that the appearance of impropriety – specifically the desired appearance by the Ukraine that its policies must be in favor with the United States if the Vice-President’s son is on the board of a leading Ukrainian company – is so problematic that the relationship should have been avoided at all costs.
Surely, no responsible person would argue that Joe Biden and his family should be exempt from scrutiny or should be given license simply by virtue of his candidacy for President.
Indeed, just the opposite is true. It is in our national interests for all candidates to be fully vetted and for any corruption allegations to be fully investigated. Again, if he and his son are innocent, Joe Biden who should be demanding a full investigation by our government and the Ukraine to clear his name once and for all, now, while the world is watching.
Does Corruption in Foreign Affairs Really Affect Our National Interests?
Since 1960, study after study on the advisability and impact of American foreign aid has cited corruption within the recipient country as perhaps the greatest determinative factor in whether aid should be given and, if so, what steps should be taken to address concerns about corruption. Commentators who study such things regularly document the corrosive effect of corruption on several levels. One recent U.N. Study concluded that roughly 30% of foreign aid money never reaches its intended final destination because of corruption. Corruption in recipient countries is a destructive force that often promotes more corruption, in effect institutionalizing it for generations.
Conversely, of course, foreign aid with strings, and specifically with demands for corruption reform can lead to improvements for the recipient country in both the short and long term and enhances the donor nation’s reputation – and its national security. If aid is firmly conditioned on specific corruption fighting steps, our dollars are much more likely to reach the intended beneficiaries and theoretically, at least, the quid pro quo – fight corruption or get no aid – filters through politically, to drive from office those who perceive their self-interest as best served through corruption.
We cannot be a party, either actively or by acquiescence, to corruption; nor can we afford to have any country believe they can gain access to the highest levels of our government through corruption. We must always be vigilant and that means a full investigation must be undertaken each and every time there is some credible reason to believe a recipient country is corrupt. This is especially so when that corruption might well have affected policy coming from the White House. That is a primary concern in the Hunter Biden affair.
The issue of Hunter Biden’s financial windfalls from the likes of Russia and China was, of course, front and center during the first debate between Messrs. Trump and Biden and, once again, Mr. Biden dismissed the issue out of hand and unqualifiedly asserted that these stories about his son getting paid millions by Russia or China were “totally false” and has so been proved. But just last week, the Washington Timesreported Treasury Department records actually confirm Hunter Biden’s receipt of a wire transfer in the amount of $3.5 million from the Mayor of Moscow’s wife – a person the United States suspects of attaining billionaire status through corruption.
There clearly is much more to this story than Mr. Biden’s summary dismissal would suggest and the media does a great disservice to the American electorate by indulging that dismissal. The American people deserve to know the facts before they fill out their ballots.