Hunter Biden to step down from Chinese board

Posted at 10:52 AM, Oct 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-13 10:52:57-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden announced on Sunday that he will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency.

Biden, the 49-year-old son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, revealed his plan in an internet post written by his attorney, George Mesires, who outlined a defense of the younger Biden's work in Ukraine and China, which have come under intense scrutiny at the prodding of President Donald Trump and his Republican allies.

"Hunter makes the following commitment: Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests. In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned companies," Mesires wrote.

He continued: "He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs, while availing himself as necessary and appropriate to the Office of the White House Counsel to help inform his application of the Biden Administration's guidelines or standards to his business decision-making."

Trump has repeatedly raised allegations of wrongdoing against Hunter Biden's work abroad, without proof, to tear down former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has also encouraged the Ukrainian president and China to probe Hunter Biden's work abroad, a move by the Republican president that prompted House Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry.

"Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term," Mesires wrote of Biden's experience in Ukraine.

Democrats are investigating Trump's dealings with Ukraine and exploring whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking dirt from a foreign country on Biden.

The impeachment probe was sparked by a whistleblower who revealed that Trump asked Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate Biden's family and Ukraine's role of in the 2016 election that put Trump in office. The calls to investigate Hunter Biden have come without evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden, in either country.

Mesires wrote that Hunter Biden worked as an unpaid board member for BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Company "based on his interest in seeking ways to bring Chinese capital to international markets."

"To date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR's board of directors," Mesires said. "He has not received any return on his investment; there have been no distributions to BHR shareholders since Hunter obtained his equity interest."