Donald Trump says he hasn’t asked the Justice Department to open a Hunter Biden probe – despite encouraging BOTH Ukraine and China to investigate him and former VP Joe Biden for corruption
- Trump has openly encouraged China and Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for corruption dating back to the Obama administration
- But the president said Friday that he has not asked his own Justice Department to open a probe into what he has described as rampant graft
- His lack of urgency about a domestic probe will give new ammunition to critics who contend he is leveraging foreign relationships to target his political rival
- Trump claims Joe Biden blackmailed Ukraine into calling off an investigation of an energy company where Hunter earned millions as a board member
- And he sees corruption in a $1.5 billion Chinese capital investment in a fund part-owned by Hunter, which followed a father-son trip to Beijing on Air Force Two
Donald Trump said Friday that he has not asked the U.S. Justice Department to open a probe of Hunter Biden, who he has accused of accepting millions of dollars in Ukraine and China by trading on the former federal office of his father, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump has encouraged both countries to investigate the Bidens, claiming that he has the responsibility to encourage thorough probes into official corruption in the United States no matter where the bread crumbs lead.
But his lack of urgency about a domestic investigation will give new ammunition to critics who contend he is leveraging American military aid and using trade negotiations to promote damaging inquiries into Joe Biden, his leading 2020 rival in the Democratic Party.
‘I haven’t asked that, no,’ Trump said as he left the White House for a Louisiana political rally. ‘But a lot of people should be asking, perhaps. I have not asked it.’
‘I can’t imagine that somebody isn’t asking,’ he said moments later.
Trump and other Republicans have saddled Hunter Biden with allegations of graft and corruption stemming from a $1.5 billion Chinese investment deal and a lucrative seat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company called Burisma Holdings, which may have paid him as much as $2 million per year.
Those perks, they say, came about because Joe Biden used the vice presidency as a recruiting tool for his son’s business, and as a cudgel to stop criminal probes in their tracks.
The former vice president boasted last year that while he was in office he threatened to withhold $1 billion in American loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire its chief prosecutor – a reputedly corrupt official who was leading a criminal probe into Burisma.
Trump on Friday heaped on the scorn, framing the Bidens as a corrupt father-son duo.
‘Hunter Biden walked away with a billion and a half dollars from China, $168,000 a month from Ukraine, supposedly a $3 million payment from Ukraine,’ the president boomed over helicopter noise on the South Lawn of the White House.
And continuing a theme he began during a Thursday night rally in Minnesota, the Trump marveled at Hunter Biden’s ability to fly under the press corps’ radar while controversy swirls around him.
‘I think Hunter Biden is a disgrace. You know, the number one t-shirt selling right now is “Where’s Hunter?” I came up with that one last night,’ Trump said.
Donald Trump raged against Joe and Hunter Biden at his first campaign rally since the impeachment inquiry began
The Trump re-election campaign promptly started selling ‘Where’s Hunter?’ t-shirts minutes after the president joked about it onstage in Minnesota.
The former vice president has said Hunter will eventually join him on the campaign trail.
On Thursday the president unleashed fury on both Bidens, saying Hunter is a ‘loser’ and Joe ‘was only a good Vice President because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s a**.’
During a freewheeling 102-minute speech, Trump mocked Hunter Biden for washing out of the armed services and having no practical experience in the energy industry.
‘Joe’s son Hunter got thrown out of the Navy and became a genius on Wall Street in two days,’ he sniped. ‘Whatever happened to Hunter, where the hell is he? Where is Hunter?’
A black t-shirt with a white ‘where’s Hunter’ logo is for sale for $25 on the Trump / Pence campaign website
‘Hunter, you are a loser!’ he yelled. ‘What – you have $1.5 billion?’
The $1.5 billion appears to refer to investment capital that BHR, a Chinese equity firm where Hunter also sat on the board, secured following a father-son trip to China aboard Air Force Two in 2013.
The younger Biden held a 10 per cent stake in the fund.
Trump also said Thursday that Joe Biden ‘was never considered smart. He was never considered a good senator.’