- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2019

A State Department official testified this week that he raised concerns about Hunter Biden’s serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company in 2015 but was rebuffed by a Biden staffer.

George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified on Tuesday that he was worried Hunter Biden’s position with the company, Burisma Holdings, would complicate U.S. diplomatic efforts on avoiding conflicts of interest, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

But he was told by Mr. Biden’s office that the former vice president, whose son Beau was battling cancer at the time, didn’t have the “bandwidth” to deal with the issue.

A former Biden national security aide said he didn’t have any recollection of hearing about Mr. Kent’s concerns, and Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign defended his efforts on rooting out corruption in Ukraine.

But Mr. Biden has been dogged on the presidential campaign trail in recent weeks by Hunter Biden’s business ties in Ukraine and China when he was vice president.

Hunter Biden said earlier this week that he won’t serve on the boards of foreign companies if his father is elected president.

The elder Mr. Biden said at Tuesday’s debate that neither he nor his son did anything wrong. But he had also said earlier in the week that nobody in his family will have an office in the White House or have foreign business relationships if he becomes president.

The issue is also at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Congress is probing a July phone call where the U.S. president pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Bidens.

Mr. Kent, a Ukraine and Russia expert, was testifying to congressional investigators as part of the impeachment inquiry.

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