the biden discussion
October 18, 2019

One state department official reportedly saw this whole Biden mess coming.

Back in 2015, career State Department official George Kent warned that Hunter Biden's spot on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma was sending the wrong message to the corruption-riddled Ukraine, three people say Kent told Congress on Tuesday. But when he raised those concerns to a staffer for then-Vice President Joe Biden, Kent says they shut him down, The Washington Post reports.

While the Bidens have claimed there was nothing ethically wrong with Hunter Biden's Burisma work, they've also said it was a mistake for him to take the role. That's the essence of what Kent reportedly told Congress during his testimony in President Trump's impeachment inquiry on Tuesday. Kent largely feared Hunter Biden's job "would complicate efforts by U.S. diplomats to convey to Ukrainian officials the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest," per the Post. Ukraine, the Post continues, might "view Hunter Biden as a conduit for currying influence with his father," Kent reportedly continued.

Kent reportedly said he told an unnamed Biden staffer about his fears, but "was told the then-vice president didn't have the 'bandwidth' to deal with" it because his other son Beau Biden was fighting cancer, the Post writes. The Post previously reported Biden staffers briefly discussed the possibility of Hunter Biden's work being seen as a conflict of interest. Read more at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

See More Speed Reads