The Biden-Ukraine conspiracy and other problems faced by Hunter Biden
During the presidential campaign of Joe Biden, his son Hunter became the target of a political scandal. He had worked as a businessman in Ukraine while his father was Vice President, leading to suspicions of corruption.
Whatever came of the accusations against Hunter Biden, and where is he now?
President Joe Biden's only living son, Hunter Biden, has experienced many tragedies in his life. The lawyer and businessman did not only live through personal hardships, such as losses of family members and addictions, but he's also been subject to political attacks and legal investigations regarding his taxes and his work in Ukraine.
(Image: Hunter Biden at the 2020 Democratic Convention)
During Biden's presidential race in 2020, his son Hunter's computer was stolen and his personal data was leaked to the press. The New York Post published a number of Biden's emails in an attempt to discredit the presidential candidate and his son and accuse them of corruption in Ukraine.
According to publications in the New York Post, Hunter Biden introduced his father in 2015 to a top executive at Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company. Hunter was on its board of directors at the time. A year later, Vice President Biden allegedly lobbied the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor investigating the company.
At the time, agreeing to do business in Ukraine while his father was Vice President of the United States was, to say the least, clumsy and, potentially, unethical on the part of Hunter Biden. But was there really a question of favoritism? Did Hunter Biden use his father's position for financial gain?
Having studied the case of Hunter Biden and the story in the New York Post, intelligence experts concluded in March 2021 that it had been "a key element of Russia's attacks on Biden" to make "false allegations" like this one, USA Today reported. "Moscow used proxies linked to its intelligence services to push misleading or unsubstantiated narratives about Biden with U.S. media outlets and 'prominent' American officials," USA Today added.
As became clear during his impeachment trial of 2019, Biden's opponent Donald Trump went as far as trying to convince the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to dig up dirt about Hunter Biden in return for the sales of American defensive weapons.
Hunter Biden has been known as the 'enfant terrible' of the President-elect. He called himself a "f***** up addict who can’t be trusted" in one of the messages to his dad. But despite all this, the bond between Joe Biden and his only remaining son never weakened.
One of the big traumas in Hunter and his father's lives was a most tragic family accident in 1972. His mother (standing in the photo) and his sister Amy lost their lives in a car crash. Hunter (right) and his brother Beau (left) were seriously injured. With only three years of age, Hunter's life was turned upside down.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, was a senator. While the children were still in hospital, in January 1973, he was sworn in right by their side.
Biden was a passionate politician and his two sons had to live with it. In 1981, they would have a baby sister, Ashley, with Joe Biden's new wife, Jill.
(Photo provided by Sen. Biden's office)
Some say that this unusual childhood, with the tragic accident and its aftermath, may have led to a life of toxic habits and bad company for Hunter Biden. Over the years, the politician's second son would go through a rollercoaster of rehab and relapses.
(From left to right: Hunter, Beau, Ashley, Jill and Joe Biden in 1987)
The Biden family drama also had a recent chapter: in 2015, Hunter's older brother Beau Biden (pictured here with his children) died of brain cancer.
Beau Biden was a bright man with a steady family life. He had served in the army and was a Delaware prosecutor with a possible political future ahead of him.
There was a big controversy when it became known that Hunter was romantically involved with his brother's widow Hallie (to the left of Joe Biden on the photo). That relationship soon ended.
In 2015, Hunter Biden separated from his wife Kathleen, with whom he had been married for more than twenty years and fathered three children. Before their divorce was final (in 2017), he had been caught with his late brother's widow Hallie.
Then, in 2018, an Arkansas judge ordered him to acknowledge paternity of a child with a former stripper whom he had met in that area.
After the death of his brother, Hunter Biden found himself in a very dark period of his life. He suffered from addictions to alcohol and illicit substances. In April 2021, he confided to the BBC: "It's high time we started looking at addiction as a mental health issue, rather than an ethical or moral issue."
Finally, in 2019, Hunter married the South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen, only six days after they met. Since then, Hunter has been making amends for his past abuse. He appeared with his wife on ABC (this is a screenshot of that show) and talked about his struggle with addiction.
In March 2020, the couple had a son, Beau Jr. They have appeared as a family at White House events such as the inauguration and Christmas celebration.
Hunter Biden's turbulent life was the favorite material of The New York Post and other conservative tabloid media at the height of the presidential election race. They attacked Joe and Hunter Biden both the alleged corruption scheme and for the delinquent personal life of Hunter.
While dealing with drug abuse and romantic affairs, Hunter Biden ultimately made the papers for doing business in the Ukraine while his father was Vice President. Several media reported that Joe Biden himself had always wanted to stay out of his son's affairs. He never wanted to know what was going on, to avoid any accusation of entangled interests.
Even though, in the end, they were dismissed by intelligence officials, the allegations cast a shadow over Joe Biden's electoral campaign. Hunter Biden learned in December 2020 (after his father had won the elections) that federal prosecutors had been looking through his taxes since 2018.
Besides the Ukraine connection there were also concerns about Hunter Biden's business relations in China. He had owned 10% of the Chinese investment fund BHR since 2013, but he promised to divest from the company.
His father told CNN: "If I am elected president, no member of my family will be involved in any foreign operation." By February 2021, the White House spokeswoman indicated that Hunter was working to "unwind his investment."
In the past year, Hunter Biden appears to have changed his professional career entirely. He is now a painter! The artist organized his very first exhibition in New York in November 2021. But the new job of Hunter worries the White House...
Washington is concerned that buyers of Hunter Biden's paintings may be seeking to curry favor with the U.S. president. As the White House responded, precautions had been taken. "All exchanges concerning the sale of the works and their value will be conducted by a professional gallery owner who follows the strictest rules," said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki. "Any abnormal offer will be rejected."
Joe Biden is of Catholic Irish origin and has always forgiven his son for any mistakes he made. It's a bit like the biblical parable of the prodigal son who is welcomed into his father's home with love, despite his misbehavior: "He was lost and has been found."
In fact, one of the hacked mails published by the New York Post did not exactly have the slanderous effect that the paper might have expected. In early 2016, at the beginning of Biden's presidential campaign while Hunter was recovering from addiction in a rehab center, Joe Biden had written him a note. It read:
Good morning my beautiful son
I miss you and I love you