GOP Ukraine probe clears Biden:
A Senate investigation into corruption allegations finds no evidence of wrongdoing by the former vice president.
WASHINGTON — An electionyear investigation by Senate Republicans into corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, involving Ukraine found no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former vice president, closing out an inquiry its leaders had hoped would tarnish the Democratic presidential nominee.
The investigation found that Hunter Biden had “cashed in” on his father’s name to close lucrative business deals around the world. It also concluded that his work for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company then mired in a corruption scandal, while the former vice president was directing U.S. policy toward Kyiv had given the appearance of a conflict of interest and alarmed some State Department officials.
But an 87page report summing up the findings, released jointly on Wednesday by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees, contained no evidence that the elder Biden improperly manipulated U.S. policy toward Ukraine or committed any other misdeed. In fact, investigators heard witness testimony that rebutted those charges.
The homeland security panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, had made little secret of his political ambitions for his report, boasting for weeks that his findings would demonstrate Biden’s “unfitness for office.” Instead, the result delivered on Wednesday appeared to be little more than a rehashing six weeks before Election Day of unproven allegations that echo an active Russian disinformation campaign and have been pushed by Trump.
Hunter Biden’s position “hindered the efforts of dedicated careerservice individuals who were fighting for anticorruption measures in Ukraine,” the Republicans wrote. They did not clarify the nature of that hindrance beyond saying that the situation had been “awkward” for career State Department officials, who “were required to maintain situational awareness of Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma.”
It was also filled with details that emphasized the unseemly appearance created by the younger Biden’s involvement with Burisma, given his father’s position.
“What the chairmen discovered during the course of this investigation is that the Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine,” the report said.
The Trump campaign quickly promoted the “explosive new revelations,” zeroing in on financial records obtained by the senators that showed Hunter Biden receiving large sums of money — sometimes as large as seven figures — from foreigners in China, Russia and elsewhere while his father was in office.
In their own competing document challenging the report, Democrats accused Republicans of cherrypicking their findings. All 10 witnesses interviewed by investigators, they noted, had testified that neither Biden nor anyone else had altered U.S. policy because of his son.
Senate investigation contained no proof that Joe Biden used U.S. policy to help his son, Hunter.