- Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina tweeted on Monday "I love" former Vice President Joe Biden, but still believed his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine "didn't pass the smell test."
- Graham's comments come a few days after a 2015 clip resurfaced of Graham saying Biden was "as good a man as God ever created" and "the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics."
- Hunter Biden's business activities are currently at the center of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump being pursued by the House Intelligence Committee.
- Despite Graham's claims that a Republican would also be investigated for similar activity, members of Trump's family and inner circle have been accused of remarkably similar behavior.
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In a Monday tweet, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he "loved" former Vice President Joe Biden, but still believed his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine "didn't pass the smell test."
"I love Joe Biden as a person but we are not going to give a pass to what is obviously a conflict of interest. I believe Hunter Biden's association on the Burisma board doesn't pass the smell test. If a Republican was in the same position, they'd certainly be investigated!" Graham tweeted.
Graham's comments come a few days after a clip resurfaced of Graham saying Biden was "as good a man as God ever created" and "the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics" in a 2015 interview with the Huffington Post.
Hunter Biden's business activities are currently at the center of the acrimonious impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump being pursued by the House Intelligence Committee.
The impeachment inquiry all started with an anonymous whistleblower complaint lodged by a member of the intelligence community. The complaint said that in a series of events culminating in a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump had used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."
The complaint detailed concerns that Trump, days after withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package, used the call with Zelensky to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil-and-gas company, from 2014 to 2019. Trump and his allies have, without evidence, accused Biden of using his power as vice president to urge Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma in order to protect Hunter.
Hunter, the eldest of Joe Biden's sons, served on Burisma's board providing legal advice and receiving a reported salary of around $50,000 a month. Burisma was the subject of an investigation from the Ukrainian prosecutor general's office into whether its founder Mykola Zlochevsky engaged in tax evasion, money laundering, and corruption.
Despite Trump and Giuliani's allegations, both US and Ukrainian government officials have confirmed there's no evidence that the Bidens did anything improper or violated Ukrainian law.
Furthermore, Shokin was not even actively investigating Burisma at the time, and was denounced for being ineffective at his job. When he called for Shokin to be fired, Biden represented the US's official position on the matter, one that was shared by many other Western governments and anticorruption activists in Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
The Journal and other outlets have reported that Shokin was widely accused of being soft on corruption and hindering investigations, including the one into Burisma — in essence, Biden, and much of the international community, urged Shokin's ouster because he was ineffective.
Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Members of Trump's inner circle have been accused of profiting off his presidency
Despite Graham's claims that a Republican would also be investigated for similar activity, members of Trump's family and inner circle have been accused of remarkably similar behavior without Republicans calling for investigations.
Even while having no prior experience in government, Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner currently serve as senior White House advisors, and continue to earn millions of dollars a year in outside income from their real estate investments and other business ventures.
Ivanka's younger brother, Donald Trump Jr., currently serves as an executive vice president at the Trump Organization and has benefited greatly from his proximity to the presidency.
As The New York Times reported last week, the Republican National Committee spent almost $100,000 to buy up copies of Trump Jr's newly-released book "Triggered," and helped the book debut at the top of The Times' bestseller list for nonfiction.
And the Wall Street Journal recently reported Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who is currently under federal investigation for his role in the Trump-Ukraine scandal, is accused of also looking to financially benefit from the oil and gas industry in Ukraine — the exact same act for which Republicans are criticizing Hunter Biden.
The Journal reported that federal prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Giuliani was leveraging his connections in Ukraine to personally profit off a natural-gas company owned by two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom are under federal indictment for campaign finance violations.