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22 Dec, 2023 13:49

Biden emailed son’s business associate 54 times – Republicans

The email exchanges reportedly coincided with Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board of a Ukrainian energy firm
Biden emailed son’s business associate 54 times – Republicans

US President Joe Biden exchanged dozens of emails with his son Hunter’s business associate while he was vice president, according to a Republican-led committee investigating alleged influence-peddling. The president has denied any involvement in his son’s overseas dealings.

Files released by the House Ways and Means Committee this week show Biden using aliases and private email addresses to communicate with Eric Schwerin, Hunter Biden’s accountant, 54 times. The bulk of these exchanges took place either side of Biden’s two 2014 trips to Ukraine, with Hunter Biden appointed to the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, after the first trip.

The committee did not publish the contents of the emails, only describing when they were sent. Nevertheless, the messages “directly refute previous public statements the president has made that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings,” the committee said in a press release.

Asked earlier this month whether he knew about or partook in Hunter’s business activities, Biden said “I did not, and it’s a bunch of lies.”

Hunter Biden was lavishly compensated for his work with Burisma, earning around $1 million per year for as long as his father was in the White House. Hunter’s former business partner, Devon Archer, told the House Oversight Committee in July that Hunter was appointed solely to guarantee that the company would have influence over US policy, and that Joe Biden regularly called Hunter during meetings with Burisma clients.

Biden admitted in 2018 to using $1 billion in American aid money as leverage to have a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired. According to the Oversight Committee, Hunter asked his father to ensure that Shokin was sacked while the two spoke by phone during a Burisma meeting.

The House Ways and Means Committee, Oversight Committee, and Judiciary Committee are currently conducting an impeachment inquiry into Biden’s alleged corruption and influence-peddling. The House of Representatives voted along party lines to formalize this inquiry earlier this month, a move that grants greater subpoena power to the committees. However, Hunter Biden has defied a subpoena calling for him to give a closed-door deposition to the Oversight and Judiciary committees, stating that he would only answer questions in a public session.

Citing witness testimony and files retrieved from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, Republicans allege that the Biden family received around $24 million in payments through shell companies from business figures and politicians in China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine while Biden was vice president. Some 150 of these transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by the US Treasury Department, according to the committees.

The Ways and Means Committee describes Schwerin as “the architect of the Biden family’s shell companies,” which were allegedly used to conceal these payments. Democrats insist that Schwerin merely helped Joe Biden file his tax returns during his time as vice president.

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