Burisma 'Clearly' Paid Hunter Biden to Sell Influence, Says CNN Contributor

September 24, 2019

Joe Biden's family ties to an influence peddling scheme at a Ukrainian gas company could hurt the former vice president's 2020 campaign, political scientist Ian Bremmer told CNN on Tuesday.

"[Joe] Biden does have a problem here. I have to say $50,000 a month for Hunter Biden—clearly to be selling influence because otherwise, no one would ever pay him that kind of money—for a company that, frankly, was pretty corrupt and has been before and has been since under investigation," Bremmer said.

Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and Time magazine editor at large. He told CNN's New Day Hunter Biden was named to the board of Burisma, Ukraine's largest private gas company, for his ability to sell influence during the Obama administration.

Hunter Biden is the son of 2020 Democratic primary frontrunner Joe Biden. Bremmer said the former vice president was likely aware of his son's ties to the company and its ongoing corruption woes. 

"It's hard to imagine Joe Biden wasn't aware of it," Bremmer said. "I expect that President Obama, if he had known about the reality of the situation, would've probably told Biden 'get rid of this, we shouldn't have your son working in this situation.' That would have cost him something. I fear even if maybe Biden wasn't aware but Biden should've been aware that that would cause an issue for him."

Democratic lawmakers are pushing to impeach President Trump amid a whistleblower complaint related to a conversation with a foreign official about Hunter Biden's connection to Ukraine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) plans to bring the Ukraine discussion to the House floor on Wednesday.