(CNSNews.com) – No one has looked into a potential conflict of interest between former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, getting an “exorbitant salary” and seat on the board of Ukraine-based company Burisma, despite what Democrats have said, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Thursday.
“I don’t know how many times it was said by the (House impeachment) managers that the Biden conflict of interest allegations has been debunked and has been, there’s no scintilla of evidence in terms of conflicts of interest and potential wrongdoing. I know a lot about the Trump family and their dealings in Russia. I don’t know anything about the Biden connection to the Ukraine, so when the managers tell me this has been looked at and debunked. By who?” he told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“So that’s becoming relevant, because they talked about it almost 50 times that the president had no reason to believe that anything improper occurred in the Ukraine with the Bidens and he was just out to create a political advantage. The question is, will that withstand scrutiny? The point of fact is that nobody, particularly in your business, has done much looking at what happened in the Ukraine with Hunter Biden,” Graham said.
Unlike the Mueller investigation, which centered on President Donald Trump and alleged collusion with Russia, no one has looked into Biden’s connection with Ukraine as it pertains to his son’s dealings with Burisma, the senator said.
“Nobody has looked at what has happened in the Ukraine,” Graham said. “It’s a notoriously corrupt place. Within a month of being given the Ukrainian portfolio, the vice president’s son is hired by Burisma - one of the most corrupt companies in the Ukraine at a fairly exorbitant salary.”
“They also – Burisma – hires John Kerry’s stepson and on and on and on. The point is that the prosecutor, who I think was corrupt, opened up a case in May of 2014 against Burisma, raided the president’s home – Burisma’s president’s home – in February of 2016, and six weeks later, seven weeks later was fired,” the senator said.
“In 2015, the president of Burisma, Zlochevsky, was named by our ambassador as somebody Ukrainian prosecutors should look at for corruption. The person who followed the fired prosecutor dropped the case against Burisma. I don’t know, doesn’t pass the smell test to me. Why are you paying Hunter Biden?” Graham asked.
“You can say they’re corrupt, but they’re not stupid. Does it make sense to hire the son of the guy in charge of the portfolio for the American government? And from the time they raided the president’s home, Joe Biden called the president of the Ukraine four times, got on a plane, and said if you don’t fire this guy, you don’t get the billion dollars,” he said.
Graham said if Trump had done the same thing Biden did, there would be lots of questions.
“I love Joe Biden, but I can tell you if the name was Trump, there’d be a lot of questions asked. So what do I want out of all of this? I want the public to understand that the claims they’re making that there’s no there, there in Bidens, nobody’s looked. Somebody should, and I’ve looked, and I’ve got a lot of questions,” he said.
“Were they buying insurance by hiring Hunter Biden? Because they sure as hell weren’t buying expertise,” the senator said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) tweeted Wednesday that an example of quid pro quo was when the Biden ordered Ukraine to fire its corrupt prosecutor or the U.S. would withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees it had promised.
“Quid Pro Quo: If you, Ukraine, don’t instantly fire your state prosecutor, the United States will not give you the $1 billion we promised you,” Zeldin tweeted.
“US law REQUIRES the Pres to withhold aid if Ukraine isn't advancing anti-corruption efforts at that time. It's indisputable Ukrainians interfered in '16 & there was legitimate concern over the Burisma/Biden dirty $$$ scheme. US-Ukraine should be working together on both issues,” the congressman tweeted on Thursday.