23:12 GMT22 February 2020
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    In 2016, Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter was a board member of a Ukrainian energy company which was later suspected of illegal activity. The role the former vice president had in suspending the investigation into the company was brought up by Donald Trump in his July phone call with the Ukrainian president, leading to an impeachment inquiry.

    Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden exploded at a reporter during a campaign stop in Los Angeles on Friday, following a question about his son’s business activity in Ukraine back in 2016.

    Hunter Biden’s service on the board of directors of Burisma Holdings group and the company’s alleged illegal activity that was investigated by Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was later dismissed at the request of Joe Biden, has been an outstanding issue within Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry that was initiated last week.

    However, when asked about the conflict of interest following his deep involvement in Ukrainian politics at the time of his vice presidency and his son's business dealings in Ukraine, Biden not only refused to answer the question, but also snapped at the reporter.

    “It’s not a conflict of interest,” Biden stated in fury. “There’s been no indication of any conflict of interest, from Ukraine or anywhere else, period. I’m not going to respond to that.”

    “Let’s focus on the problem, focus on this man, what he’s doing, that no president has ever done,” Biden said right afterwards, switching the focus to Trump’s impeachment inquiry proceedings following his 25 July phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which featured a discussion of the interrupted investigation.

    Biden’s comments came hours after Ukraine's newly-appointed prosecutor general announced that Ukraine will review allegations of criminal activity of the Burisma company and other related cases.

    Hunter Biden joined the company’s board in 2014 around the same time his father Joe Biden was appointed to lead the Obama administration’s policy in Ukraine, raising questions about a possible conflict of interest. Joe Biden publicly demanded in 2016 that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Shokin be dismissed following his probe into the company’s alleged illegal activity, threatening to withhold more than one billion dollars in US aid if the Ukrainian government did not remove Shokin from the post, which eventually happened.

    Donald Trump suggested looking into the matter during the conversation with the Ukrainian president, which however was seen as a breach of national security by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, prompting them to initiate an impeachment inquiry into Trump. The US president condemned the inquiry, calling it a “witch hunt”.  

    impeachment, US, Ukraine, Donald Trump, Joe Biden
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