Democrat Joe Biden campaign surrogate Jenna Arnold said on Sunday that no official from Biden’s campaign has addressed the authenticity of the emails that were allegedly sourced from Hunter Biden’s laptop that purportedly linked the former vice president to business dealings in Ukraine.
When asked by a Fox News anchor about the veracity or authenticity of the emails in question, Arnold agreed in saying: “I think that is fair. I don’t think anybody is saying they are inauthentic or not.” In the interview, however, Arnold said the emails are “unconfirmed.”
“It’s unclear to me–I would say what’s so important right now, from the American citizen and the media … is to continue to ask clarifying questions about this … why the FBI is investigating,” she said.
Over the weekend, Biden told a CBS News reporter that the emails are a “smear campaign.”
“I know you’d ask it. I have no response. It’s another smear campaign. Right up your alley. Those are the questions you always ask,” Biden said.
Last week, the New York Post published several stories based on the alleged emails, purportedly showing communication between Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, and a Ukrainian energy company adviser. Hunter Biden’s work at the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, which was started by an oligarch long accused by Ukrainian officials of corruption, was the focus of President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry and trial beginning last year.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to D.C. and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” read the email between Burisma board advisor Vadym Pozharskyi and Hunter Biden, who sat on the board of the gas firm, according to the NY Post.
Pozharskyi was in Washington not long before the alleged April 17, 2015, email was sent, according to an itinerary released by the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The Biden campaign told Politico that there is no formal record of a meeting, but did not rule out that Biden and Pozharskyi met informally.
Joe Biden has been filmed publicly saying he forced the ousting of the former Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine. Shokin, in a sworn statement, said that he was fired due to pressure from Biden for his investigations. However, Biden said that Shokin himself was accused of being corrupt and the European Union had sought his ouster.
“I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” Biden said during a Council on Foreign Relations meeting in 2018 about Shokin’s firing. “Well, son of a [expletive],” he continued. “He got fired.”
Biden’s campaign has denied that the presidential nominee was introduced to the Burisma executive.
“Investigations by the press, during impeachment, and even by two Republican-led Senate committees whose work was decried as ‘not legitimate’ and political by a GOP colleague have all reached the same conclusion: that Joe Biden carried out official U.S. policy toward Ukraine and engaged in no wrongdoing. Trump Administration officials have attested to these facts under oath,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to news outlets on Wednesday afternoon.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.