The essence of the Democrats’ latest attempt to impeach President Trump surrounds a telephone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Mr. Trump is alleged to have engaged in a quid pro quo arrangement where he directed Mr. Zelensky to initiate an investigation that would involve former vice president and current 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden and could extend to his son, Hunter, or risk the loss of or reduction in military financial aid from the United States. The Democrats are screaming that President Trump leveraged American foreign policy to damage a political rival.
President Trump released the transcripts of the telephone call in question, and they show no evidence of a quid pro quo understanding as well as document that it was Ukraine, not President Trump, that brought up Biden. There was also no appearance of any shaky foreign aid deal-making.
So, why is President Trump interested in the Bidens? US banking records show that from spring 2014 through fall 2015, Hunter Biden’s company, Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC., received more than $166,000 a month from Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter Biden was also appointed to the board of Burisma, a job that paid him $50,000 a month even though he had no background in Ukrainian business and no expertise in energy policy. These financial transfers occurred while Hunter’s father, Joe Biden, was vice president in the Obama administration and controlled $1.8 billion in aid money that, after his son Hunter was appointed to Burisma Holdings’ board, he promised to use for the Ukrainian gas industry.
Then there’s Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, and his connection to former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry and his top-level staff. Archer served with Hunter Biden on the Burisma board and was previously a top fundraiser for Kerry. Shortly after the younger Biden and Archer assumed their board positions at Burisma, the company made a $90,000 payment to a US lobbying firm controlled by John Kerry’s former chief-of-staff, David Leiter, who lobbied Washington on their behalf. In addition to his lobbying efforts for Burisma, Leiter also spread nearly $60,000 among Democrat politicians, including Senators Jean Shaheen (D-NH) and Ed Markey (D-MA).
Senators Shaheen and Markey, among others, wrote to President Obama in 2014 to ask for more aid to support Ukraine’s energy industry. Their plea was apparently heard because from 2014 to 2016, the United States provided $3 billion in taxpayer-dollar-backed loan guarantees to Ukraine.
How could President Trump not look into the Bidens’ dealings with Ukraine when it appears that US tax dollars were used to extract plum deals to personally benefit their family? How could he not examine the other Ukraine-related exploitation of political connections and the enormous conflicts of interest?
The Democrats had better be careful, because with more light shed on these Ukrainian business transactions as a result of their impeachment crusade, the true practitioners of corruption will be revealed and ultimately judged by the American people at the ballot box in 2020. If they insist on pursuing their futile excuses for impeachment charges, it won’t end well for them.
Photo Credits: Donald Trump by Palácio do Planalto; Joe Biden by Gage Skidmore (CC BY 2.0)
Andrew Mangione is Senior Vice President for AMAC’s advocacy affiliate, AMAC Action. He leads AMAC’s grassroots efforts, represents AMAC’s membership in Washington, D.C., and helps chart the association’s policy course. He also serves as a national spokesperson.