Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, made a little over $83,000 a month for his work while serving on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, according to a new report.
Biden served on the board starting in 2014, when his father was still in office, to 2019.
According to payment records that two former Ukrainian law enforcement officials told Reuters is from Burisma, the company paid about $3.4 million to a company that was controlled by Biden’s business colleague Devon Archer, another Burisma board member, called Rosemont Seneca Bohai LLC between April 2014 and November 2015.
The records showed 18 months in which two payments of $83,333 per month were paid to Rosemont Seneca Bohai for “consulting services,” according to Reuters. The two former law enforcement officials said one payment went to Archer and the other went to Biden.
The outlet said it wasn’t able to independently verify the authenticity of the documents or how much money Hunter Biden received.
According to bank records from 2014 and 2015, Rosemont received funds from Burisma and paid more than $850,000 in total to the younger Biden.
Biden was asked during a recent how much he was paid for serving on the board of Burisma and his work for the Chinese firm BHR Partners.
“Look, I’m a private citizen,” Biden, who said he was stepping down from his position with BHR Partners, told ABC. “One thing that I don’t have to do is sit here and open my kimono as it relates to how much money I make or make or did or didn’t. But it’s all been reported.”
Biden had been asked if he was paid $50,000 a month for his position with Burisma. That number has frequently circulated in media reports and appears to have originated with the New York Times.
President Donald Trump said this month that Biden was paid “$100,000 a month” plus unspecified bonuses “even though he had no experience in energy.”
Biden, who has frequently struggled with drug addiction, told the New Yorker in an interview published over the summer that he used cocaine while he was at a Burisma board meeting in June 2016, one of a number of relapses he’s gone through.
Joe Biden said last year that while vice president in 2016, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless then-president Petro Poroshenko ousted the country’s top prosecutor, who was probing Burisma.
That prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, later swore that he was pressured to resign unless he dropped the investigation. Poroshenko personally spoke to him and cited Biden’s pressure as the reason he wanted Shokin to resign, Shokin said.
Ukraine’s new general prosecutor Ruslan Ryaboshapka said recently that his office was reviewing a number of cases that were closed by his predecessors, including the one into Burisma. Ryaboshapka said he wasn’t aware of any wrongdoing from the perspective of legal authorities in Ukraine from Hunter Biden.
They money Biden got was largely unearned, one source close to Burisma told Reuters. “He was a ceremonial figure,” the source claimed.
Reuters reported, citing interviews with more than a dozen people, including executives and former prosecutors in Ukraine, that Biden’s role with Burisma included providing advice on legal issues, corporate finance, and strategy.
Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a businessman and former member of the Ukrainian parliament, said that Mykola Zlochevsky, Burisma’s owner and a former minister of ecology and natural resources, came up with the idea to appoint Biden to the board “to protect [the company].”
Biden wasn’t able to protect Zlochevsky from a series of probes from Ukrainian prosecutors. Zlochevsky who was accused of violating tax laws, laundering money, and improperly obtaining licenses while he was still minister. The case probing tax violations was shut down by Shokin’s successor, Yuriy Lutsenko, about 10 months after he took over for the ousted prosecutor. Two separate cases into the licenses Burisma obtained and alleged money laundering were re-opened in recent months.