Thousands of Russians protest in Prague against the war in Ukraine
Exposed: How Russia’s bioweapons claims have put Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian ties back in the spotlight
CHICAGO (Reuters) – When U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of preparing to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, he inadvertently lifted the lid on a long-simmering scandal involving his son, Hunter Biden.
During a White House briefing on March 21, President Biden said that Putin’s “back is against the wall” in Ukraine and that he could orchestrate a “false flag” operation to justify the use of weapons prohibited against civilian and military targets.
“We’ve seen it before,” President Biden said. “He conducted many false flag operations. Every time he starts talking about something he thinks NATO, Ukraine, or the United States is about to do, it means he’s getting ready to do it.
The Kremlin responded to Joe Biden’s statements by accusing his son of helping facilitate a bioweapons program in Ukraine, bringing back into the limelight Hunter Biden’s outrageous dealings when his father was US vice president. . But more of that later.
Conservative critics allege the president’s second son teamed up with his uncle James Biden to exploit Joe Biden’s political influence, first as a longtime Delaware senator and then as vice president at two terms of Barack Obama, to obtain lucrative contracts in Ukraine – allegations that both deny.
Few mainstream outlets ran the story when it first surfaced. Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter even blocked posts referencing the allegations, including articles from the conservative-leaning New York Post, ahead of the 2020 election.
The controversy first became public after Hunter Biden took his personal laptop to a Delaware computer repair store in April 2019 – the same month his father officially launched his presidential bid – but has forgot to pick it up.
Legally, the laptop became the property of the store owner, who took its contents, including thousands of personal emails from Hunter Biden, and turned them over to Republican activists.
Those emails, according to multiple published accounts, contain grim details of a decadent lifestyle, as well as information relating to Hunter Biden’s multimillion-dollar foreign contracts with China and Ukraine.
In 2014, Hunter Biden joined Ukrainian state-owned natural gas company Burisma as a million-dollar-a-year consultant. Less than a month after his father, then vice president, visited Ukraine and met with Burisma executives in April of that year, the lucrative contracts started rolling in.
Burisma himself has been plagued by corruption allegations. Additionally, critics say Hunter Biden lacked the qualifications to be a consultant for the firm – except that his father was a vice president and involved in shaping Ukraine policy.
A senior US diplomat, stationed in Kyiv in a classified email sent to the State Department in 2016, warned that Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine while his father was still vice president were ‘undermining’ the anti-corruption efforts in the country.
The email, dated November 22, 2016, was authored by George Kent, who was then Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Ukraine.
He detailed a discussion of a “saga” surrounding the case against Mykola Zlochevsky, a former Ukrainian natural resources minister and founder of Burisma Holdings, according to the email.
A New York Post report from October 4, 2020, citing Hunter Biden’s laptop emails, claimed that Zlochevsky “introduced Vice President Joe Biden to a top Burisma executive less than a year before that the elder Biden would pressure Ukrainian government officials to fire a prosecutor who was investigating the company.
The meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma’s board, allegedly sent to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined Burisma’s board.
In 2017, Hunter also joined the board of Shanghai Equity Investment Fund Management Co.’s China-based private equity fund Bohai Harvest RST with a 10% stake.
BHR was founded in 2013 by Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co., which is controlled by the Bank of China. Its founders included Hunter Biden’s investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners.
It is not uncommon for the children of powerful American politicians to find themselves in high office or to be accused of taking advantage of the political clout of their parents.
* “Beautiful Things,” a 2021 memoir by Hunter Biden published by Gallery Books, has been described in equal parts as a family saga, a tale of grief and an addict howl.
President Donald Trump’s sons and daughter constantly made headlines for what opponents called “influence peddling” while he was in office and since.
Several investigations are underway into the actions of Trump’s children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., including one launched in January by the New York Attorney General.
In turn, Republicans in Congress introduced a resolution on October 15, 2019, which provided specific details extracted from the laptop and demanded an investigation into Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine.
In the final weeks before the November 2020 presidential election, President Biden dismissed the allegations against his son, calling them nothing more than “Russian disinformation” and “a last-ditch effort to smear me and my family”.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California’s 50th District, who led the charge to expose Hunter Biden’s role in Ukraine and China, told Arab News there was more than enough evidence to justify a congressional inquiry.
Issa said the briefing could be bigger than Watergate, the scandal that brought down former President Richard Nixon in 1974.
“This is the scandal that Big Tech and the Democratic industrial complex want to see gone,” Issa said. “They know what they did and of course they think they got away with it. This is why it is essential not to waste the opportunity for accountability.
“What I can’t live with is the fact that Facebook and Twitter and major media players have covered up the truth with the help of over 50 of the most knowledgeable people in the intelligence world, all claiming that they had concluded that it was false information.
“It’s a conspiracy of monumental size. It’s the most consequential political scandal since Watergate, and it deserves a congressional investigation no less robust and no less bipartisan than this.
When Joe Biden accused Moscow this week of preparing to use biological or chemical weapons, the Russians entered Hunter Biden’s fray, leveraging corruption allegations to accuse the US president’s son of funding weapons production organic in Ukraine.
Igor Kirillov, head of radiological, chemical and biological defenses at the Russian Defense Ministry, said Thursday that Hunter Biden was directly involved in US plans to deploy weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine.
Kirillov accused him of financing “the Pentagon’s biological weapons program in Ukraine” through an investment fund, reports the Kremlin-backed Sputnik International news agency.
“The incoming materials allowed us to trace the pattern of interaction between US government agencies and Ukrainian biolabs,” Kirillov said during the briefing.
“The involvement in the financing of these activities by structures close to the current American leadership, in particular the Rosemont Seneca investment fund managed by Hunter Biden, draws attention to itself. The scale of the program is impressive.
Citing a common conspiracy theory deployed by Russia’s state-backed media, Kirillov reportedly said USAID and the CDC, with the backing of liberal philanthropist George Soros, were responsible for establishing 31 labs at 14 sites across Ukraine.
There is no credible evidence to substantiate the claim.
Liberal media quickly came to President Biden’s defense over the Russian allegation. Julia Davis, columnist for the Daily Beast, tweeted: “If you thought Russian propaganda was ever ‘sophisticated’, I hate to tell you: it’s always been pretty stupid. Is still. Here is their latest gem: Hunter Biden funded biological labs in Ukraine. Handcrafted for Fox News.
However, the Russian accusations have fueled public interest in Hunter Biden’s dealings with Ukraine. A Rasmussen poll released this week found that 66% of likely US voters believe the issues raised by leaked Hunter Biden emails are “important”.
The allegations also renewed Republican resolve to push for an investigation, which is likely to cost Democrats dearly in November’s midterm elections.
“Big Tech, mainstream media and the Democrats’ deep state intelligence community want to either rewrite the history of their collusion or erase it entirely,” Issa told Arab News.
“We’re not going to let them do that. These letters warn everyone: real accountability is about to happen. And we won’t rest until the truth is known.
“We already know for a fact that Big Tech has collaborated with some of the nation’s most powerful media outlets and the most influential Democratic supporters of the intelligence community to suppress the truth, prevent public access to factual journalism, and cover up the scandals of the Biden family. ”
The White House did not respond to Arab News’ requests for comment.