Tuesday, October 01, 2019
Joe, Hunter Biden seen golfing with Ukraine gas company exec back in 2014, photo shows
Devon Archer, far left, with former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, far right, in 2014.
A photo obtained by Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" shows former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter golfing in the Hamptons with Devon Archer, who served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Hunter.
Earlier this month, Joe Biden told Fox News in Iowa that he never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings with him.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden said, pointing the finger at President Trump. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader. You should be looking at Trump.”
Hunter Biden told The New Yorker previously that he and his father had spoken “just once” about his work in Ukraine.
A source close to Archer told Fox News the photo was taken in August 2014. Contemporaneous news reports indicate the vice president was in the Hamptons at the time.
Hunter Biden and Archer joined the Burisma Holdings board in April 2014.
Earlier this month, Trump suggested that despite his claims, Joe Biden seemingly discussed Ukraine matters with his son. The White House has sought to point to possible corruption by the Bidens, amid the House Democrats' formal impeachment inquiry against the president.
“And now, he made a lie when he said he never spoke to his son,” Trump said. “Of course you spoke to your son!”
Biden has acknowledged on camera that in spring 2016, when he was vice president, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings — where Hunter had a lucrative role on the board despite limited relevant expertise.
The vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.
"Well, son of a b---h, he got fired," Biden joked at a panel two years after leaving office.
Shokin himself had already been widely accused of corruption.
Critics alleged Hunter Biden might have been selling access to his father, who had pushed Ukraine to increase its natural gas production.
"Impossible to justify $50k/month for Hunter Biden serving on a Ukrainian energy board w zero expertise unless he promised to sell access," political scientist Ian Bremmer tweeted.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, on Sunday, suggested Shokin was the target of an international smear campaign to discredit his work.
In a combative interview on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, Giuliani presented what he said was an affidavit signed by Shokin that confirmed Hunter Biden was being investigated when Shokin was fired.
"I have an affidavit here that's been online for six months that nobody bothered to read from the gentleman who was fired, Viktor Shokin, the so-called corrupt prosecutor," Giuliani said. "The Biden people say that he wasn't investigating Hunter Biden at the time. He says under oath that he was." The Shokin affidavit purportedly said the U.S. had pressured him into resigning because he was unwilling to drop the case.
Later, Giuliani added: "I have another affidavit, this time from another Ukrainian prosecutor who says that the day after Biden strong-armed the president to remove Shokin, they show up in the prosecutor’s office -- lawyers for Hunter Biden show up in the prosecutor’s office and they give an apology for dissemination of false information."
After anchor George Stephanopoulos expressed skepticism, Giuliani fired back: "How about if I -- how about if I tell you over the next week four more of these will come out from four other prosecutors? ... No, no, no, George, they won’t be [investigated], because they’ve been online for six months, and the Washington press will not accept the fact that Joe Biden might have done something like this."
Speaking separately to Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Giuliani brought up the affidavits and called the situation Clintonesque.
“The pattern is a pattern of pay for play. It includes something very similar to what happened to the Clinton Foundation," Giuliani said, "which goes to the very core of, what did Obama know and when did he know it?"
Giuliani referred to a December 2015 New York Times article about Hunter Biden, Burisma and a Ukrainian oligarch, and how the younger Biden's involvement with the Ukrainian company could undermine then-Vice President Biden's anti-corruption message.
"The question is," Giuliani asked, "when Biden and Obama saw that article, about how the son was pulling down money from the most crooked oligarch in Russia, did Obama call Biden in and say, 'Joe, how could you be doing this?'"
“Tucker Carlson Tonight” producer Alex Pfeiffer contributed to this report.
Gregg Re is a lawyer and editor based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re.