Just how bad was Hunter Biden's 'booty from the coup' appointment to Ukrainian gas company?

The Left is making a holy hullabaloo about President Trump's hardly illegal request to Ukraine's new president to find out about Joe Biden's son's weird appointment to the board of natural gas company Burisma with its $50,000 retainer, dismissing any concerns about the setup as irrelevant.

But actually, it's highly relevant because the setup reeks of political corruption — not just on the Ukraine side, but on the Obama administration side, too.

The Washington Post does have a piece on Hunter Biden's journey, attempting to dismiss any corruption implications in its own story about the Biden son as a nothingburger.  Nevertheless, it provides a useful synopsis about how Hunter Biden got his Burisma board position:

For Hunter Biden, the job came with risks: Ukraine was in the throes of political upheaval, and there was building scrutiny of former government officials profiting in the lucrative gas industry. His father was the face of the Obama administration's effort to get Ukraine to crack down on corruption.

The region was so unsettled that one of Hunter Biden's investment firm partners at the time — former secretary of state John F. Kerry's stepson — believed that joining the board of Burisma Holdings was a bad idea and ended his business relationship with Biden and another partner, his spokesman told The Washington Post.

That Kerry kid pullout is the only suggestion in the piece that maybe this setup wasn't kosher.

It's useful to know how the Biden kid got appointed, but the Post steers much clearer on the "why," even though that's the reason the reader actually reads the story.  There's some hint of problems here:

Inside the vice president's office, there was discussion about whether Hunter's position on the board would be perceived as a conflict of interest, according to several former aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

One former adviser was concerned enough to mention it to the vice president, according to an adviser, but the conversation was brief, and other aides said they didn't want — or see a need — to raise the issue.

Former U.S. officials who worked with Biden maintain that his son's activities in no way influenced his actions regarding Ukraine as vice president.

"Is there an appearance issue?" a former adviser said. "Of course there's an appearance issue. But did it actually create wrongdoing? No."

That "former adviser" quoted sounds like Ben Rhodes, the Obama administration's deputy national security adviser and it probably was.

Appearance, sure.  Criminality, no.

But it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Why again was this underachiever son of Joe Biden, whose only credential was being Joe Biden's son, appointed to this corruption-investigated company?  Would he have been appointed otherwise?  It only could have been a case of cashing in on his dad, getting very rich in Pop's government service.  Might Joe Biden's role as the chief point man on Ukraine, a country fresh from a coup with the U.S. players now in, have had something to do with why this ne'er-do-well kid got hired?  How could it not?  This is a classic Washington swamp game, taken on the road.

And why again was Joe Biden threatening to withhold a billion dollars in aid to Ukraine's newly installed government unless a prosecutor investigating that corruption got fired?  Sure enough, the man got fired, so no more investigation of that board.  For Hunter, that kept the cash spigot flowing — and in light of the recent coup in Ukraine at the time, which one pro-Russia website called "booty from the coup."

There are lots of denials that despite all those appearance problems, Vice President Joe Biden would never have dreamed of protecting Burisma from corruption investigations.  But the facts tell a different story, particularly when the claims of the fired prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, are taken into account.  John Solomon has some excellent reporting on the problems with that matter here.

Would Joe Biden have been motivated to protect Hunter? 

The Bidenites are denying it, but if the backstory to this backstory is any indication, he certainly would. 

Left unmentioned in the story is that at the time Hunter Biden was appointed to the Ukrainian board, in April 2014, he was also serving as a Naval Reserve officer on a mysteriously granted commission.

This writer here, a prominent political cartoonist, Jack Ohman, describes his own efforts to get the same such commission Hunter got and not succeeding.  Ohman (probably unlike Biden, who had a lot of black marks against him, including drug use) qualified for the commission in every way but age, yet he still got turned down — even with a bipartisan group of senators pleading for him.  Biden didn't.

Biden's kid got in?  That would be some pull that would have permitted that.  Spotlight on Joe Biden.

By October 2014, Hunter Biden got drummed out of the Navy - for cocaine use after all those waivers - apparently Joe's pull wasn't enough to stop that. He flunked his drug test in 2013, meaning, he was likely a coked up son of a vice president looking for money when he took the $50 grand a month from the Ukrainians, before he got drummed out of the Navy.

Now the picture gets very skeevy. According to the Washington Examiner, activists are angry at the pattern of privilege Biden has used to protect his miscreant kids:

The 76-year-old former vice president's daughter Ashley, now 37, was arrested for marijuana possession at age 17. Records show the prosecutor declined to pursue the charges. A decade later, a "friend" of Ashley Biden attempted to sell the New York Post a 43-minute hidden-camera video purportedly showing Ashley snorting cocaine. The police did not get involved.

Biden's son Hunter, now 49, joined the Navy Reserves in 2012 after receiving two special waivers, one because he was three years over the age limit of 40 and another for a "drug-related incident when he was a young man." A month into his service, he tested positive for cocaine during a random drug test and was discharged.

In 2017 divorce papers, Hunter Biden's then-wife Kathleen stated he spent "extravagantly on his own interests (including drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, strip clubs, and gifts for women with whom he has sexual relations)." 

Now we are supposed to think there was nothing corrupt about Hunter's appointment to the money spigot Ukrainian gas board and Joe Biden's demand that a prosecutor be fired had nothing to do with protecting his son?

The son has been protected all his life by Biden, why would Biden suddenly turn all neutral and full of probity, never dreaming of intersecting his son's interests with his own interest in protecting his wayward son? 

It's absurd. What we have is a classic pattern of Washington swamp corruption. Biden's the one who should be answering questions about this morass, not President Trump. This goes a long way toward explaining why Democrats are so obsessed with their 'Look! Squirrel! diversion tactics against President Trump with impeachment their long-held goal. Besides hating Trump, they'd do anything to keep this Hunter Biden mess away from the public.

Image credit: Ben Stanfield via Flickr, detailCC BY-SA 2.0.

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