More voters believe that Joe Biden and his son Hunter were involved in corruption, a recent survey conducted by YouGov/Washington Examiner suggests. According to the poll, 45 percent of respondents believe that the former vice president and his son broke the law, while 32 percent said they did not. Among those surveyed, 91 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Independents believe that the Democratic presidential candidate is guilty of corruption, whereas only 11 percent of Democrats think the former vice president and his son were involved in wrongdoings.
The development comes as the situation around the matter has heated up just days before Americans cast their ballots in the presidential election, with more people saying the issue should be investigated. Tensions began growing after a recent Fox News interview with Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Hunter Biden, who claimed that Joe Biden knew more about his son’s business dealings overseas than he had previously admitted. The interview drew huge ratings.
"I have never seen a politician at a national level be elected to office when America knew there was a corruption problem that they had. We got Jimmy Carter because of corruption", said Republican strategist Mark Smith, commenting on the interview.
What are the Allegations?
On 14 October, The New York Post published a story alleging that Joe Biden was engaged in pay-to-play schemes, citing emails it had obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop. In particular, the New York Post wrote that the younger Biden had reportedly arranged a meeting between an adviser to the board of the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, and his father, when Joe Biden was serving as vice president under Barack Obama. Another trove of emails published by the newspaper suggested that Hunter Biden had sought lucrative deals for himself and his family.
President Donald Trump has long alleged that his rival in the upcoming election and his son Hunter were involved in some shady dealings, something that Joe Biden has repeatedly denied.
How Republicans and Democrats Have Responded to the Allegations
The story was dismissed by the Democrats and the mainstream media as fake news and a disinformation campaign conducted by Russia. However, US Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe rejected claims that the Kremlin was behind the story.
"Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that", Ratcliffe said.
During the final presidential debate, Biden denied that he and his son were involved in wrongdoings, with the former vice president saying that there was nothing unethical about Hunter Biden’s business deals. Biden also called the New York Post’s story a "smear-campaign".
The Republicans have called for an investigation into the issue. The Senate Homeland Security Committee produced a report which revealed that back in 2015, two members of the Obama administration had complained to the White House about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of the Ukrainian firm Burisma, which the two officials described as "problematic" and "awkward for all US officials pushing an anti-corruption agenda in Ukraine". The report also said that Biden’s relatives had "cashed in on" his vice presidency.