Oct 18, 2019

Diplomat told House committees that he flagged Hunter Biden's Ukraine work in 2015

Hunter Biden. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

A top U.S. diplomat told the House committees investigating President Trump's dealings with Ukraine Tuesday that he raised concerns about Hunter Biden's board position at a Ukrainian gas company in 2015, but was brushed off by an aide to former Vice President Joe Biden, reports the Washington Post.

Why it matters: George Kent's testimony is "the first known example of a career diplomat who raised concerns internally in the Obama administration" about Hunter Biden's work, writes the Post.

  • Kent, a senior State Department official whose role includes overseeing Ukraine policy, also said he was concerned that Hunter Biden's position would make it more difficult for U.S. diplomats to carry out their work — particularly an anti-corruption campaign in Ukraine.
  • He also said he raised concerns that the Ukrainian government might view Hunter Biden as a way to gain favor with his father.
  • Kent further testified that the vice president's office told him that Joe Biden didn't have the "bandwidth" to deal with Hunter, as his other son, Beau Biden, was battling cancer at the time.

The big picture: Kent's testimony serves as a reminder that Democrats' impeachment inquiry keeps questions alive "about the former vice president’s handling of his son's foreign work at a precarious moment for his 2020 presidential campaign," notes the Post.

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How Biden haunts Biden

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Sometimes it sounds like Joe Biden is running against Joe Biden.

The big picture: From Ukraine to Syria strategy to his use of the word "lynching" in connection with Bill Clinton's impeachment, Biden's background often complicates the attacks Democrats want to use against President Trump.

Go deeperArrowOct 24, 2019

Key takeaways from Biden's "60 Minutes" interview

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden defended his son's actions in Ukraine in a wide-ranging interview with CBS' "60 Minutes, broadcast Sunday, in which his wife, Jill Biden also appeared.

Go deeperArrowOct 28, 2019

Trump says he'd love Ukraine's Zelensky to visit the White House

Presidents Zelensky and Trump during a meeting in New York on Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told reporters Saturday he "would love" to have Ukraine's leader visit the White House and he thinks "he’d like to come," Reuters reports.

Why it matters: His July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky is at the center of a whistleblower complaint and subsequent impeachment inquiry into whether Trump withheld Ukraine's military aid to encourage an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Trump denies any "quid pro quo" took place.

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: All the key players, dates and documents