Hunter Biden

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Hunter Biden
R. Hunter Biden at Center for Strategic & International Studies.jpg
Vice Chairman of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation
In office
July 26, 2006 – January 29, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Succeeded by Jeffrey Moreland
Personal details
Born Robert Hunter Biden
(1970-02-04) February 4, 1970 (age 50)
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathleen Buhle (m. 1993; div. 2017)
Melissa Cohen (m. 2019)
Domestic partner Hallie Olivere (2016–2019)
Children 3
Education Georgetown University (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 2013–2014
Rank US Navy O10 infobox.svg Ensign
Unit United States Navy Reserve

Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lobbyist and lawyer who is the second son of former U.S. Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. He co-founded Rosemont Seneca Partners, an international consulting firm.

Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas producer, from 2014 to 2019. In 2019, President Donald Trump claimed that Joe Biden had sought the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to protect Hunter Biden from investigation.[1][2][3] He and his father have been accused of corrupt business dealings and bribery in Ukraine and elsewhere.[4]

Early life

Biden was born on February 4, 1970,[5] in Wilmington, Delaware. He is the second son of Neilia Biden (née Hunter) and Joe Biden, the latter of whom represented Delaware in the United States Senate from 1973 to 2009 and served as Vice President of the United States from 2009 to 2017.[2] Hunter Biden's mother and younger sister, Naomi, were killed in an automobile crash on December 18, 1972.[6][7] Biden and his older brother, Beau, were also seriously injured in that crash.[2] Hunter and Beau Biden later encouraged their father to marry again,[8] and Jill Jacobs became Hunter and Beau's stepmother in 1977.[2] Biden's half-sister, Ashley, was born in 1981.[9]

Like his father and brother, Biden attended Archmere Academy, a Catholic high school in Claymont, Delaware. In 1992, he graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree in history. During the year after he graduated from college, he served as a Jesuit volunteer at a church in Portland, Oregon, where he met and eventually married Kathleen Buhle. After attending Georgetown University Law Center for one year, he transferred to Yale Law School, graduating in 1996.[2]

Career

Early positions, 1996–2009

After graduating from law school, Biden took a position at MBNA America, a major bank holding company which was also a major contributor to his father's political campaigns. By 1998, he had risen to the rank of executive vice president.[2] From 1998 to 2001, he served in the United States Department of Commerce, focusing on ecommerce policy.[10] Biden became a lobbyist in 2001, co-founding the firm of Oldaker, Biden & Belair.[11] According to Adam Entous of The New Yorker, Biden and his father established a relationship in which "Biden wouldn't ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter wouldn't tell his father about them."[2] In 2006, Biden and his uncle, James Biden, attempted to buy Paradigm, a hedge-fund group, but the deal fell apart before completion.[2] That same year, Biden was appointed by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of Amtrak; he was on the board of Amtrak from 2006 to 2009.[10]

Later career, 2009–present

After his father was elected as vice president in 2008, Biden resigned from his position on the Amtrak board of directors and left his career as a lobbyist.[2] Along with Christopher Heinz, stepson of John Kerry, and Devon Archer, Biden founded the investment firm Rosemont Seneca.[11]

He also became an attorney with the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP,[2] and founded Eudora Global, a venture capital firm.[9]

U.S. Navy Reserve

In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, receiving an age-related waiver and a second waiver due to a past drug-related incident.[12] Joe Biden administered the commissioning oath to Hunter Biden in a White House ceremony.[2]

The following month, Biden tested positive for cocaine during a urinalysis test and was subsequently discharged.[13] According to Biden, he had unwittingly consumed the cocaine after being given cigarettes he believed were surreptitiously laced with the drug.[2] He chose not to appeal the matter as it was unlikely that the panel would believe his explanation given his history with drugs, and also due to the likelihood of news leaking to the press, though it was ultimately revealed to The Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who provided information to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.[2][12]

BHR Partners

In 2013, Biden, Devon Archer, and Chinese businessman Jonathan Li founded BHR Partners, a business focused on investing Chinese capital in companies based outside of China.[2] In September 2019, President Trump claimed that Biden "walk[ed] out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund" and earned "millions" of dollars from the BHR deal, while Trump was also accusing Biden of malfeasance in Ukraine.[14][15] Trump publicly called on China to investigate Hunter Biden's business activities there while his father was vice president.[16][17] On October 13, 2019, citing "the barrage of false charges" by the President, Hunter Biden announced his resignation from the Board of Directors for BHR Partners effective at the end of the month.[18][19] According to his lawyer, Biden had "not received any compensation for being on BHR's board of directors," nor had he received any return on his equity share in BHR.[20]

Burisma Holdings

In the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Mykola Zlochevsky faced a money laundering investigation,[21][22] and his company Burisma Holdings, the largest natural gas producer in Ukraine,[2] assembled a "high-profile international board" in response.[23][22] Chris Heinz, John Kerry's stepson, opposed his partners Devon Archer and Hunter Biden joining the board in 2014 due to the reputational risk.[22] Among those who joined the board of directors in April 2014 were Biden, Archer and former Polish president Aleksander Kwasniewski.[24] Biden served on the board of Burisma until his term expired in April 2019,[25] receiving compensation of up to $50,000 per month in some months.[11][26][27] Because Vice President Biden played a major role in U.S. policy towards Ukraine, some Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates[3][28] and Obama administration officials expressed concern that Hunter Biden's having joined the board could create the appearance of a conflict of interest and undermine Vice President Biden's anti-corruption work in Ukraine.[2][22] While serving as vice president, Joe Biden joined other Western leaders in encouraging the government of Ukraine to fire the country's top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin,[1][29] who was widely criticized for blocking corruption investigations.[30][31] The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Shokin in March 2016.[32][33]

In 2019, President Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that Vice President Biden had actually sought the dismissal of Shokin in order to protect his son and Burisma Holdings,[34][3] however, there is no evidence that this was what happened.[1] There has also been no evidence produced of wrongdoing done by Hunter Biden in Ukraine.[35] The Ukrainian anti-corruption investigation agency stated in September 2019 that their investigation of Burisma was restricted solely to the period of 2010 to 2012, before Hunter Biden joined Burisma in 2014.[36] Shokin in May 2019 claimed that he was fired because he was actively investigating Burisma,[37] but U.S. and Ukrainian officials have stated that the investigation into Burisma was dormant at the time of Shokin's dismissal.[22][37][38] Ukrainian sources have maintained that Shokin was fired for failing to address corruption, including within his office.[28][39]

In July 2019, Trump ordered the freezing of $391 million in military aid[40] shortly before a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Zelensky to initiate an investigation of the Bidens.[41][42] Trump falsely told Zelensky that "[Joe] Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution" of his son; Joe Biden did not stop any prosecution, did not brag about doing so, and there is no evidence his son was ever under investigation.[43] On September 24, 2019, the United States House of Representatives initiated a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump on the grounds that he may have sought to use U.S. foreign aid and the Ukrainian government to damage Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.[44][45]

Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko said in May 2019 that Hunter Biden had not violated Ukranian law. After Lutsenko was replaced by Ruslan Ryaboshapka as prosecutor general, Lutsenko and Ryaboshapka said in September and October 2019 respectively that they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden.[1][46][47]

CEFC China Energy

Biden helped Chinese businessman Ye Jianming negotiate a deal for Ye's company CEFC China Energy to make a $40 million investment in a liquefied natural gas project at Monkey Island, Louisiana. Ye gifted Biden a 2.8 carat diamond, which Biden said he gave away. Biden agreed to legally represent Ye's deputy, Patrick Ho, for investigations in the United States. Ho was eventually arrested and jailed in the U.S. for bribery. In 2018, the CEFC deal collapsed after Ye was detained in China, reportedly for corruption.[2][11]

Personal life

Biden married Kathleen Buhle in 1993,[2] and they have three children, Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy.[9] Biden and Kathleen separated in 2015 and divorced in 2017.[48] In 2016, he began dating Hallie Biden, the widow of his brother, Beau;[49] they ended their relationship by early 2019.[50] In May 2019, Biden married Melissa Cohen, a South-African filmmaker.[51][52]

Biden spent decades struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. He has described his experiences as so: "There's addiction in every family. I was in that darkness. I was in that tunnel—it’s a never-ending tunnel. You don’t get rid of it. You figure out how to deal with it."[53][54]

See also

References

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  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Entous, Adam (July 1, 2019). "Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father's Campaign?". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 6, 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  4. (retr. Oct 21, 2020) https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-hunter-biden-corruption-story-now-comes-with-receipts-joe-biden-should-have-to-answer-for-it
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  8. Seelye, Katharine Q. (August 24, 2008). "Jill Biden Heads Toward Life in the Spotlight". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  35. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named noevidence
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External links