“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” presidential candidate Joe Biden told Fox News about his son Hunter’s foreign lobbying activities in 2019.
Mr. Biden, his campaign staff and, later, his White House aides would repeat the same line for several years — until late June when the phrasing changed ever so slightly.
“As we have said many times before, the president was not in business with his son,” was how Ian Sams, a spokesman from the White House Counsel’s Office, put it June 28 in response to questions about Hunter Biden’s foreign business ties.
Catch the (not so) clever sleight of hand?
In one broad stroke, the White House went from Mr. Biden “never speaking” to Hunter Biden about his business dealings to not being “in business” with his son.
Soon, as the House Oversight Committee and Ways and Means Committee dig deeper into the Biden family’s suspect finances, expect the White House to continue moving the goalposts on Mr. Biden’s “limited knowledge” of Hunter’s business, before admitting a full-blown partnership that was intended only to “weed out corruption” abroad.
It seems clear — from Hunter Biden’s own notorious laptop, among other sources — that Hunter Biden and his then-vice president father were involved in a highly sophisticated pay-to-play scheme with foreign governments and investors, where they profited heavily from the senior Mr. Biden’s more than four decades in public service.
Consider just this: The Treasury Department is in possession of at least 150 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) related to Biden family members’ financial transactions.
Records obtained by the House Oversight Committee revealed the Bidens and their associates received over $10 million in payments from foreign entities through more than 20 shell companies, most of which were created when Mr. Biden was vice president. Hunter Biden’s business partners visited the White House scores of times, and Hunter Biden flew on Air Force 2 several times with his dad — scouting out business deals when the vice president had official events abroad.
It’s all going to get uglier.
Next week, Devon Archer, a longtime friend and former business partner of Hunter Biden, will testify behind closed doors to Congress that then-Vice President Biden was on more than two dozen business calls with his son between 2009-2017, according to a report from the New York Post.
According to the Post, Mr. Archer is expected to recount specific examples of Mr. Biden getting involved with his son’s deals, including an evening in December 2015 when Hunter Biden was in Dubai, meeting with Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky. At the time, Hunter was sitting on the Ukrainian gas company’s board, getting paid $83,000 per month, despite having no background in energy.
During their meeting, Mr. Zlochevsky reportedly asked Hunter, “Can you ring your dad?” The son then put his father on speakerphone and told him that Burisma executives “need our help.” Mr. Zlochevsky was being investigated by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin for corruption at the time.
Three days after the phone call, the vice president flew to Kyiv to address the Ukrainian parliament. Several months after that, Mr. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine unless Mr. Shokin was fired, which the Ukrainian government promptly did.
Mr. Zlochevsky reportedly stated he had to pay $5 million to Hunter Biden and $5 million to his father, an arrangement he called ‘poluchili,’ which is Russian slang for being “forced to pay.” Mr. Zlochevsky claimed to have two recordings of Mr. Biden and 15 recordings with Hunter, along with many text messages, to prove his point.
Just last week, two IRS whistleblowers testified before Congress, confirming they weren’t allowed to follow evidence that could have led to Mr. Biden in their investigation into Hunter Biden – that Mr. Biden’s Department of Justice essentially blocked them.
Given that set of facts — and others too numerous to detail here — is it any wonder a judge this week put Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal on tax evasion and gun possession charges is currently on hold? The proposed settlement reeks of Mr. Biden’s Justice Department going easy on the father and the son while ignoring the letter of the law.
Every day, a clearer picture emerges of the Biden clan selling their power and influence in public office to foreign governments in order to enrich the family.
Stay tuned as the tale unfolds and the White House scrambles again to change the narrative.
- Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at The Washington Times.