Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said on Monday that public exposure following a Congressional probe into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings—while his father, Joe Biden, served as vice president—benefited national security by reducing the risk of blackmail by foreign powers.
Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, told Just The News in an interview that public airing of the findings of the investigation, including that Hunter Biden had “cashed in” on his father’s name to make lucrative business deals around the world, helped to reduce “the counterintelligence, the extortion threat” that would have persisted absent the probe.
The Wisconsin senator said that information about the “foreign entanglements of the Biden family” could be used by foreign powers in a bid to influence policy and so undermine national security, a risk defused by public exposure relating to the investigation, according to a report (pdf) released jointly on Sept. 23 by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees.
The report found that Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was in charge of U.S. policy toward the country, had the appearance of conflict of interest and “was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” It also claimed that Hunter Biden, his family, and a former business partner of Hunter Biden’s, Devon Archer, “received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.” The report also found that Hunter Biden made millions of dollars worth of “questionable transactions” with Chinese nationals connected to the Chinese communist regime and military.
Johnson said in the interview that the Biden family had “put a target on their back through their conflict of interest.”
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or having any knowledge of his son’s business affairs. In October, he said there is “no basis” for allegations that Hunter Biden profited from arranging access to him while he served as vice president.
Following the release of the report, Joe Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said the Senate report was using taxpayer dollars to launch “an attack founded on a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory.”
Johnson, in an interview with The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” in October, alleged Joe Biden was lying when he denied having knowledge of his son’s foreign business dealings. He referred to claims by Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, who he said was “now talking about actually having a meeting with Hunter and Vice President Biden, specifically to be talking about the Chinese investment business.”
“Again, further proof that Vice President Biden lied to the American public when he said that he never spoke to Hunter Biden about his overseas business dealings, which of course is trying to throw everybody off the trail,” Johnson said at the time.
Hunter Biden, in an interview on ABC News in 2019, denied that he had done anything wrong or illegal, or that he had involved his father in his foreign business dealings. He conceded, however, that his family name created business opportunities and that he failed to take into account the potential implications of his business dealings on his father’s political career.
“Did I make a mistake? Maybe in the grand scheme of things,” Hunter Biden told the outlet. “But did I make a mistake based on some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”
At the time, Hunter Biden added that he would not serve on any board or work with any foreign entities if Joe Biden is elected president.
Joe Biden said at the time that, if elected, no one in his family would have “any business relationships with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or foreign country.”