Nancy Pelosi says allegations of inappropriate touching do not disqualify Joe Biden from being president


House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi is the most high-profile Democrat to come to the defense of former Vice President Joe Biden's 'affectionate' demeanor; Peter Doocy reports from Washington.

Looks like Joe Biden’s potential 2020 campaign to run for president might be marred by more than just scandal about his creepy behavior.
According to a new report by John Solomon at The Hill, that could be the least of Biden’s worries. And it’s all because of his big mouth:
Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.
Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.
Biden likes to make himself sound heroic or something.
The problem is he left out a very big detail:
But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.
U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.
The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.
Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.
William Russo, a spokesman for Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden did not respond to email messages Monday seeking comment. The phone number at Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC in Washington was no longer in service on Monday.
 The case into this was reopened after Biden bragged about this last year. And now the new prosecutor wants to present his information to AG Barr!
But then, as Biden’s 2020 campaign ramped up over the past year, Lutsenko — the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden once hailed as a “solid” replacement for Shokin — began looking into what happened with the Burisma case that had been shut down.
Lutsenko told me that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”
Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to new U.S. Attorney General William Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.
Nazar Kholodnytskyi, the lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Lutsenko’s office, confirmed to me in an interview that part of the Burisma investigation was reopened in 2018, after Joe Biden made his remarks. “We were able to start this case again,” Kholodnytskyi said.
Solomon goes on to note that people might not take this corruption case seriously, but then explains why they should, pointing out that the US has already figured some of this out!
But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America, in an entirely different case, uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.
Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm, according to the financial records placed in a federal court file in Manhattan in an unrelated case against Archer.
The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments, according to interviews.
Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down.
Solomon ends it with some tough questions Biden needs to answer as he prepares his 2020 campaign:
Nonetheless, some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?
If this were Trump and his son you can believe it’d already be all over the news.
But the American press loves Biden and unless he becomes so toxic that they need to get him out of the way, they will completely ignore this story like they always do with Democrats.

Comments

  1. Second woman accuses Joe Biden of unwanted touching

    A second woman has come forward in an interview with a Connecticut newspaper to allege that former Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately.

    Amy Lappos told the Hartford Courant on Monday that Biden pulled her in to rub noses with her at a 2009 fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut. Biden was vice president at the time.
    "It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head," Lappos, who was then an aide to US Rep. Jim Himes, told The Courant. "He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth."
    Lappos added her voice to that of Lucy Flores, a former Democratic politician in Nevada, in saying is she felt Biden touched her in an inappropriate manner. Flores said on Friday that Biden made her feel "uneasy, gross, and confused" in 2014 when, at a campaign rally, she said he kissed her on the back of the head.
    Biden now faces those two accusations as he considers a bid for president in 2020. He is expected to announce his decision as soon as this month.
    A source familiar with Biden's thinking told CNN the allegations against the former vice president won't dissuade him from running in 2020, but notes the final decision has not been made.
    In response to Lappos' allegation, a spokesperson for Biden referred CNN to a statement the former vice president issued on Sunday.
    "In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort," Biden said in a statement. "And not once -- never -- did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."
    Lappos later said in a statement that she decided to speak out due to her disappointment over Biden's response to Flores' accusation.
    "Referring to this type of behavior as 'simply affection' or 'grandpa-like' or 'friendly' is ridiculously dismissive and part of the problem. Saying 'but Trump ...' is dangerous and sets the bar for Democratic men far below where it should be," Lappos said.
    She added she thinks all the men who have thrown their hat in the ring to be the Democratic nominee for president ought to step aside in favor of the female candidates in the race.
    "If Biden truly supports women and gender equality he would step aside and support one of the many talented and qualified women running," Lappos said. "The same goes for the other men who have thrown their hat in the ring. Women are 52% of the population. We are not a minority, we are the majority. It is time we are represented as such. After 45 male presidents it is time we elect a woman."
    In her interview with the Courant, Lappos said she didn't file a complaint because he was the vice president.

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  2. "There's absolutely a line of decency. There's a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It's not cultural. It's not affection. It's sexism or misogyny," she said.
    A longtime Biden ally told CNN's Jeff Zeleny on Sunday there were no signs the former vice president was reassessing his 2020 plans in the wake of the allegations, but cautioned Biden had still not made a final decision.
    After Flores went public, some of Biden's potential 2020 competitors addressed the allegations, with many of them expressing that they believed Flores.
    "I think what this speaks to is the need to fundamentally change the culture of this country and to create environments where women feel comfortable and feel safe and that's something we have got to do," Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation."
    Also over the weekend, former Biden staffers came to his defense in response to Flores' essay.
    Kendra Barkoff Lamy, who worked for the former vice president, tweeted, "As a former staffer for @JoeBiden and also someone who works on women's issues, I can say unequivocally that I was never uncomfortable with how he treated me or other women. He dedicated his career to women's empowerment, safety & equality. That's one reason why I worked for him."
    Late Monday night, Meghan McCain -- the co-host of "The View" and the daughter of the late Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was close with Biden -- also defended the former Delaware senator.
    "Joe Biden is one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics," the conservative commentator and co-host of ABC's "The View" said. "He has helped me through my fathers diagnosis, treatment and ultimate passing more than anyone of my fathers friends combined. I wish there was more empathy from our politicians not less."

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