The top lawyer for Judiciary and Intelligence Committee Republicans testified Monday that there was a “legitimate basis” for President Trump to ask Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine.
During impeachment inquiry testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee, minority counsel Steve Castor tried to turn the tables on the Democrat-led investigation into whether President Trump tried to pressure his Ukrainian colleague into investigating a political rival by withholding aid and a White House meeting by arguing that there were real concerns about the former vice president’s son’s involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings.
“Hunter Biden was reportedly receiving $50,000 to $83,000 a month for compensation for his role on the Burisma board,” Castor said of the former vice president’s son.
Castor questioned why a person who doesn’t have a history with Ukraine and doesn’t speak either Ukrainian or Russian would have a senior role on the company’s board.
“At the time that Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, his father, former Vice President Biden, was the Obama Administration’s point person for Ukraine.”
Castor speculated that the only reason Hunter Biden was on the Burisma board was because his father was the vice president at the time, and leading the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine.
“Hunter Biden was not qualified to serve on the board,” Castro said. “There is a legitimate basis for President Trump to have a concern about Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board.”
The impeachment inquiry into Trump began when a whistleblower reported that the president had pushed Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine—specifically, why Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who at the time was investigating Burisma Holdings.
Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates in Ukraine and by a number of high-level U.S. foreign service members, there has been no evidence the former vice president or his son broke the law.