Dec 31, 2019

Buttigieg says he wouldn't have wanted son to serve on board of Ukrainian company

Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with AP that he "would not have wanted to see" his son serve on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while he was fighting corruption in the country, but stressed that there has been no wrongdoing uncovered with respect to Joe or Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine.

Why it matters: Republicans have used Hunter Biden's position on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma to rebut impeachment charges against President Trump, arguing that he had a legitimate reason to ask Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Buttigieg called this a distraction from Trump's "spectacular misconduct," but said his administration would do everything it could to prevent "even the appearance" of a conflict of interest.

"I would not have wanted to see that happen and at the same time, again, I think this is being used to divert attention from what's really at stake in the impeachment process. There's been no allegation, let alone finding of any kind of wrongdoing ... I just think it's the wrong conversation to be having right now though given the spectacular misconduct that we have already seen and facts that are not in dispute, where the only argument to be had is whether it rises to the level of removal."

The big picture: Joe Biden has repeatedly said he does not know what Hunter actually did in Ukraine, but that he trusts his son — and even lashed out at one voter in Iowa for making unsubstantiated allegations that the Bidens were selling access to President Obama.

  • Biden told "Axios on HBO" that he will ban his family from making money overseas if he wins, but faulted President Trump's family's conflicts of interest — not Hunter’s work — for the need for a formal guardrail.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Schumer rules out Bolton for Hunter Biden "witness trade"

Hunter Biden (L) and John Bolton (R). Photos: Kris Connor/WireImage; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Wednesday that the idea of a "witness trade" that involves calling Hunter Biden in exchange for former national security adviser John Bolton is "off the table."

Why it matters: Some Democratic senators had reportedly expressed openness to the idea of calling Hunter Biden if it meant moderate Republicans would vote in favor of subpoenaing Bolton, who is believed to have key insights into the allegations at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 22, 2020

Report: Russian hackers successfully targeted Ukrainian gas company Burisma

Joe and Hunter Biden. Photo: Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA.

Russian hackers from the military intelligence unit known as the GRU successfully targeted Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that once employed Hunter Biden as a board member, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: President Trump was impeached as a result of his alleged efforts to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate Burisma and the Bidens over unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020

Schiff dismisses calling Hunter Biden in exchange for Trump impeachment witnesses

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that senators shouldn't entertain the idea of calling Hunter Biden to testify at President Trump's impeachment trial in exchange for other administration witnesses, telling reporters: "This isn't like some fantasy football trade."

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020