Hunter Biden Had 'No Substantial Ukraine Experience,' New Yorker Writer Says

'I'm not saying it's illegal in any way, I'm just saying that's where the bad optics come into it'

September 27, 2019

New Yorker writer Adam Entous told CNN's Poppy Harlow that Hunter Biden had "no substantial Ukraine experience," despite being on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.

"He really had no substantial Ukraine experience, no Ukraine experience, and no substantial experience in the energy sector at that stage in his career," Entous said. "So, you know, the suspicion was among people who worked for Joe Biden and some State Department and White House officials was this was an effort on the part of Burisma to curry favor."

Entous also said the perceived conflict of interest over Hunter Biden's connection to the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma while his father served as vice president is "a legitimate subject of scrutiny."

"There's (sic) two separate issues here," Entous said. "The issue of whether it was wise of Hunter Biden to take this position at Burisma when his father was guiding policy in Ukraine and, you know, the wisdom of Biden staffers, once they knew that, not to ask Hunter to step down."

"I think that's a legitimate subject of scrutiny."

Entous said the other issue is whether Joe Biden used his office as vice president to pressure the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor who was looking into Burisma. House Democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry into President Trump over a phone conversation in which he appears to have asked the Ukrainian president to open an investigation into Biden's conduct in Ukraine and his role in the prosecutor's dismissal. The reporter said he had looked into the issue but had "found no evidence to back up and a lot of evidence to the contrary."

Over the summer, Entous wrote an extensive profile of Hunter Biden's troubles and how they could affect his father's presidential campaign.

In the profile, Hunter said he discussed his position on the board of the Ukrainian gas company once with his father:

In December, 2015, as Joe Biden prepared to return to Ukraine, his aides braced for renewed scrutiny of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma. Amos Hochstein, the Obama Administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter with Biden, but did not go so far as to recommend that Hunter leave the board. As Hunter recalled, his father discussed Burisma with him just once: "Dad said, ‘I hope you know what you are doing,’ and I said, ‘I do.’"

The New York Times reported that Biden's campaign is pushing back aggressively against claims of misconduct. During an encounter with a reporter who asked Biden about his son, the former vice president forcefully told the reporter to "ask the right questions."