Hunter Biden wrote in his new tell-all book that he does not regret taking a seat on the board of Burisma Holdings, but he would not do it again.
Biden was insistent that he had not done anything unethical in sitting on the board.
“Did I make a mistake by taking a seat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company? No. Did I display a lack of judgment? No. Would I do it again? No. I did nothing unethical,” Biden said.
“Knowing all of that now: No, I would not do it again. I wouldn’t take a seat on Burisma’s board,” he continued, citing former President Trump’s frequent attacks and the harm he’d tried to inflict on his father’s campaign.
The book, “Beautiful Things: A Memoir,” was obtained by Fox News. It is scheduled for release on April 6.
Biden, in an at-times contradictory account of his time on the board, said that he was drawn to the five-figure-a-month salary so that he could spend more time with his brother Beau, who had recently been diagnosed with brain cancer.
“My five-year involvement on the board of Burisma Holdings … Ultimately has its roots, as does so much else in my life at the time, in the circumstances surrounding my brother’s grave illness,” Biden said.
But, “Beau’s health problems didn’t prompt me to do something I wouldn’t have done otherwise,” he added.
He said the lucrative offer came at an “especially fortuitous juncture,” when he’d been distracted from other business dealings by his brother’s illness. “I’m not saying I would not have taken Burisma’s offer if Beau hadn’t gotten sick — the money helped,” BIden said.
Biden said that in 2014, Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky had been looking to “lure more U.S. and European investors, both as a way to grow his business and as a show of solidarity with the West,” which is why his business partner Devon Archer had suggested inviting himself and Biden to the board.
Biden said the way he understood it, building up Ukrainian businesses like Burisma, a natural gas company, was a “bulwark” against Russian encroachment on the nation’s sovereignty. He said that Russia had been trying to hijack Burisma for gas.
“No matter how imperfect the entity I was asked to champion, I knew one thing … Burisma was opposed to the direct interests of the most dangerous man in the world – Vladimir Putin,” Biden continued.
Biden then seemed to stand by his seat on the board. “If I was going to pick a side – and if I was going to get paid to pick a side – I’d choose the same way again, rather than back the person President Trump has sided with.”
He also admitted that he might not have been offered the role if it weren’t for his last name.
“There’s no question my last name was a coveted credential. That has always been the case – do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father’s business that his name wouldn’t figure into the calculation?” Biden wrote.
Still, he cited his previous corporate experience – sitting on the boards of Amtrak, the World Food Program, among others, as qualifications for the job. “So yes I brought something besides my name to the Burisma board’s table,” Biden added.
Still, Biden said he regretted that Burisma’s generous salary had given him free rein to unleash his drug problem. “The board fee had morphed into a wicked sort of funny money. It hounded me to spend recklessly, dangerously, destructively. Humiliatingly. So I did,” Biden said.
Biden and Archer joined the Burisma Holdings board in April 2014. Biden apparently cannot speak Ukrainian and had no relevant natural gas experience.
President Biden has acknowledged on camera that in spring 2016, when he was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating the notoriously corrupt Burisma Holdings — where Hunter’s role was especially lucrative. The vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid if Shokin was not fired.