Biden Blames Staffers for Not Warning Him About Hunter's Board Position

Joe Biden
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December 9, 2019

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden on Friday blamed his staff for not warning him about the potential conflict of interest stemming from his son Hunter's position on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company.

"Nobody warned me about a potential conflict of interest," Biden said in an interview with NPR released Monday.

"I never, never heard that once at all," he added. "They should have told me."

Biden also stressed to NPR host Rachel Martin that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify before Congress's ongoing impeachment inquiry. He argued that there is not "one scintilla of evidence" he did anything corrupt while working on the Obama administration's Ukraine policy.

During her interview with Biden, Martin mentioned that impeachment witness George Kent testified that he had raised concerns with then-vice president Biden's office about Hunter's position on the board of the Ukrainian firm Burisma. Kent said his concerns were ignored.

Kent is not the only person thought to have told Biden about the potential conflict. A July New Yorker profile of Hunter Biden said that Amos Hochstein, the Obama administration's special envoy for energy policy, raised concerns with Biden about Hunter's position at Burisma, although he did not recommend that Biden's son leave the board.

Hunter's board position has become a central component of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Trump asked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to announce the opening of an investigation into the younger Biden's potential corruption, allegedly promising to release military aid in exchange.