Two witnesses at the impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Nov. 19, testified that the role of Joe Biden’s son in Ukraine raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest, Fox News reported.
Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) questioned Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Vice President Mike Pence adviser Jennifer Williams about allegations of corruption involving the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings.
Hunter Biden served as a consultant on Burisma’s board of directors, while his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, led Ukraine’s anti-corruption and policy efforts for the Obama administration, Fox News explained.
Both witnesses, questioned by Stefanik in the House of Representatives, admitted that this duality could represent a conflict of interest.
“Do you agree that Hunter Biden, on the board of Burisma, has the potential for the appearance of a conflict of interest?” the Republican representative asked.
Vindman replied: “Certainly, the potential, yes.”
In response to the same question, Williams agreed: “Yes.”
“Every witness who has testified and has been asked this has answered yes,” said Stefanik, quoted by Fox News.
Biden’s interests in Ukraine
Since the Ukraine Case began, both President Trump and representatives of the Republican Party have denounced that the real focus of the investigation would have to be on how former Vice President Biden pressured the government of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to remove Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
Shokin was investigating a huge corruption case involving the Burisma gas company. Biden’s son, Hunter, was a consultant to the company at the time.
Joe Biden publicly acknowledged at least twice that he had threatened Poroshenko with not sending him financial aid if he did not fire the prosecutor.
Indeed, George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in his deposition, confirmed that the Obama administration pressured the Ukrainian government to remove Prosecutor General for Ukraine Viktor Shokin who was investigating the Ukrainian firm Burisma and its ties to former Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.
According to Kent, who was summoned by Democrats to testify at the hearings, Victoria Nuland, former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs under Obama, in late 2015 “was connected to a coup that the deep state was involved in,” The Gateway Pundit noted.
Obama officials, including Nuland and the Ukrainian ambassador, spoke of ousting the Ukrainian government and replacing officials, with the approval of then-Vice President Joe Biden.
This fact was exposed in several testimonies, some of them were collected for a documentary by Oliver Stone for the Ukraine case.
At the same time, Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to withdraw Shokin from the case in which he was investigating his son in the Burisma company, as President Trump has been claiming.
“This is the real and only story,” the president wrote, sharing a video about this.
It is within this framework that President Trump has been accused by Democratic legislators. The opposition alleges that in July he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, offering military aid in exchange for the Ukrainian government investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, who is his political rival in the 2020 elections.
However, the White House emphatically denied the accusations made against the president and published the real transcripts of the talks between the two presidents.
The dialogue shows that President Trump did not pressure or threaten any military or economic retribution to Ukraine if it did not investigate Joe Biden’s son, who was involved in a case of corruption of the country’s main gas company.
Kent, quoted by Fox News, said in his deposition before the Intelligence Committee that he expressed his concern to former Vice President Biden’s office in 2015 that Hunter’s role on the Burisma board could present “the possibility of the perception of a conflict of interest.”
The senior State Department official also pointed out to Congress last month, during his behind closed-doors deposition, that he had repeatedly raised concerns about Burisma with the Obama administration.
Lt. Col. Vindman explained that he was aware of the gas company’s bad reputation regarding corrupt acts.
During her participation in the interrogation, Stefanik pointed out that there are indeed concerns about the company and the role played there by Joe Biden’s son.
“And yet, Adam Schiff refused to allow this committee to call Hunter Biden, despite our requests,” Stefanik stated.
In early November, the Republicans on the committee presented Schiff with a list of witnesses proposed for public hearings. People to be cited included Hunter Biden, his former partner Devon Archer, the “anonymous whistleblower” and others.
Schiff refused to call these witnesses.