Is the Senate report on Hunter Biden damaging Joe Biden’s campaign?


Fact Box

  • President Trump was impeached December 18, 2019 in regards to the alleged threat made to the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, in which he pressured him to investigate the Bidens’ influence in Ukraine. The Senate voted to acquit Trump on February 5, 2020.
  • Both Joe and Hunter Biden were investigated by a Republican team led by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Their efforts have been criticized by the Democrats as an attempt to push Trump's campaign.
  • Senate Republicans released the 87-page report reviewing more than 45,000 pages of Obama administration records and interviewed eight witnesses, including former U.S. officials. 
  • Hunter Biden served on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings during Obama’s presidency. 
  • According to the report, Hunter Biden “received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built” while his father was vice president.

Andrew (No)

The Senate Report on Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine is not damaging to Joe Biden's presidential campaign because there isn't anything in the report to cause damage. While the report did find his activities on the Burisma board 'problematic,' it did not turn up any illegal activities. The report said, 'the extent to which Hunter Biden's role on Burisma's board affected U.S. policy toward Ukraine is not clear.' While Republicans will doubtless try to spin the report to damage Joe Biden's campaign, it will be difficult to gain any traction without clear evidence of a smoking gun.

The Hunter Biden report is not an issue for Joe Biden's campaign. In fact, it's not really an issue at all. The investigation, rumors, and innuendo surrounding it is simply a distraction. Americans are fed up with the political fighting and gridlock associated with these types of investigations and would prefer to see progress on the issues they care about. The Biden campaign could even use the interest in his son's activities as an opportunity to paint Republicans as only interested in political witch hunts.

Finally, it's not surprising that Hunter Biden's family name and proximity to power came in handy as he found business success in Ukraine. There is nothing criminal about using one's name and family fame to further oneself. Surely anyone familiar with the Trump family can understand this. The Senate Report on Hunter Biden turned up very little of interest and presents no Biden Campaign issues. It could even be a useful tool for showing the republicans as only interested in politics.

Bill (Yes)

The report issued by the Senate's Homeland Security and Finance Committees on Tuesday is clearly damaging to Joe Biden's campaign for a variety of reasons. The 87-page report details numerous unsavory overseas dealings Hunter Biden had while his father served as Vice President. Some of the report's key findings involve conflicts of interest with corrupt foreign oligarchs spanning the globe from China to Ukraine with Hunter Biden receiving millions of dollars through questionable wire transfers. In one stunning revelation, Biden joined the board of Burisma (a Ukrainian natural gas firm) just two weeks after its owner Mykola Zlochevsky had $23 million in assets seized by British authorities. The Senate report states, 'Hunter Biden's position on the board created an immediate potential conflict of interest that would prove to be problematic for both U.S and Ukrainian officials.'

If the conflicts of interest and trading on the Biden name for personal financial gain weren't troublesome enough, the Senate report reveals even more. Hunter Biden paid money to Russian and Eastern European women who appear to be connected to a 'prostitution or human trafficking ring.'

Hunter Biden's overseas dealings during the period when his father was Vice President were so troubling that former Secretary of State John Kerry went so far as to lie about his knowledge of Hunter's activities (as the Senate report points out). The Biden campaign must be reeling from the disclosures in the Senate report. With six weeks to go before the election, it's forced to answer questions about the former Vice President's lack of judgment and oversight of his son's conduct that posed real extortion threats.

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