Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, admitted this week that he exercised “poor judgment” in serving on the boards of Ukrainian and Chinese companies but maintained he had done nothing wrong.
Biden said he would step down from the board of the Chinese firm BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company this month to avoid any further appearance of impropriety. Questions about his business dealings have become an issue for his father’s presidential campaign.
The younger Biden said the work had given “a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father,” likely referring to allegations that President Donald Trump tried to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Biden family and the energy company Burisma that had Biden on its board.
The elder Biden pledged that no member of his family would work with a foreign company or hold a role in his administration if he becomes president.
During the Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday, the former vice president also insisted his son did nothing wrong. He said U.S. interest in rooting out corruption in Ukraine, not his son’s work, motivated his effort to shepherd the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Biden said he had never discussed Ukraine with his son and their work was separate.
“What we have to do now is focus on Donald Trump,” he said. “He doesn’t want me to be the candidate. He’s going after me because he knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.” —Anne K. Walters
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts appears to be gaining ground in key battleground states despite facing criticism from 11 other Democratic presidential candidates during Tuesday’s debate in Ohio.
Warren defended her “Medicare for All” healthcare plan when her rivals questioned the costs, as well as her claim she would not raise expenses for middle-class families. Several moderate candidates went after Warren’s lack of specifics on how she would pay for the plan, accusing her of being dishonest about its effect on taxpayers.
“We owe it to the American people to tell them where we’re going to send the invoice,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said.
The focus on Warren in Tuesday’s debate seemed to propel her to the place of front-runner in the crowded Democratic field. Her main competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden, faces increasing suspicion over his son’s foreign business dealings.
Biden also faltered in quarterly fundraising figures announced this week, falling behind Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Warren, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Biden brought in $15.7 million in the third quarter, compared to Sanders’ $25.3 million, Warren’s $24.7 million, and Buttigieg’s $19.2 million. Biden also had far less cash on hand than many of his rivals. —A.K.W.