Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who serves on the board of Burisma Holdings, the largest Ukrainian private natural gas company, this week defended former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. He said Hunter Biden never used his father’s name to get ahead while serving on the board with him.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Kwasniewski admitted that Biden was chosen to join the board because of his last name, but went on to explain that is how the business world works.
“I understand that if someone asks me to be part of some project it’s not only because I’m so good, it’s also because I am Kwasniewski and I am a former president of Poland,” he said. “And this is all inter-connected. No-names are a nobody. Being Biden is not bad. It’s a good name.”
Kwasniewski then defended Biden by noting that he never used his father’s name to get ahead on the advisory board, nor did any members ask him to use his connections with the Obama administration to curry favors for them. “He was a normal member of this group,” he said. “We didn’t ask him—and he never said anything—about his father.”
Sometimes members would ask Biden about how his father was doing during dinners, and once he discussed the death of his brother Beau, the former Polish president added.
Kwasniewski said that Biden bought unique American skills and experience to the board and diligently researched for the company. “He collected information,” he added. “He was useful for us because he knew something that we didn’t know.”
Biden’s role in Burisma has been a focus of the ongoing impeachment inquiry hearings into President Donald Trump in recent weeks. He served on the board from 2014 to 2019.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally announced the impeachment inquiry against the president in late September after the emergence of an official whistleblower complaint that accused Trump of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into probing Burisma and the Biden family by withholding hundreds of millions in military aid.
Throughout the impeachment proceedings, Trump has called Hunter Biden a “disgrace” and repeatedly accused Joe Biden of using his Obama administration position to have a Ukrainian prosecutor fired in 2016 to save his son from being involved in corruption investigations surrounding Burisma. The former vice president has strongly disputed this and asserted that he backed the ousting because the prosecutor didn’t do enough.
In response to Trump’s attacks on Hunter Biden, Kwasniewski said: “This man is speaking about someone who is disgraced? Donald Trump? It should be forbidden for him.”
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