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Former MI6 chief says Hunter Biden’s Burisma job made his father ‘potentially vulnerable’


The former chief of MI6 said Hunter Biden‘s decision to accept a board post with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma made his father ‘potentially vulnerable’ in a podcast released Thursday.

Sir Richard Dearlove said they both should have ‘run a mile’ from the offer of a job at a time when the senior Biden was vice president.

He made his comments during an episode of One Decision, featuring Alexander Vindman, a retired Army colonel who gave evidence against President Trump during his first impeachment.

Vindman described how he reported his concerns that Trump used a call with the Ukrainian president to advance his own political interests. 

During a discussion of the interview, Dearlove was asked whether the storm around Trump’s engagement with Ukraine had overshadowed the Biden family’s Ukraine connections.

‘I think, Biden and Biden’s son were incredibly unwise. It was, I think, a massive error of judgment, made Biden potentially vulnerable,’ he said in the latest installment of One Decision, which he hosts with former CNN journalist Michelle Kosinski

‘We don’t actually know a lot, but I mean the idea that Ukraine ring up and offer you a job and you know offer you some board position, which Hunter had, I mean God he should have run a mile. 

‘He shouldn’t have been anywhere near it.’ 

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former chief of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency, said the Bidens made ‘a massive error of judgment’ in getting involved in a Ukrainian business arrangement

Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019, triggering allegations that the Biden was cashing in on Joe Biden's role as vice president

Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019, triggering allegations that the Biden was cashing in on Joe Biden’s role as vice president

Dearlove was the chief of Britain’s foreign spy service – popularly known as ‘C’ – from 1999 to 2004. 

His comments will add fuel to Republican concerns that by taking a well-paid role with Burisma, Hunter Biden could have created – at best – a family conflict of interest or – at worst – the potential for a foreign power to exert influence over the then-vice president.

Hunter Biden later said that his name was gold to Burisma 

‘Right at that time, the Russians had invaded and taken Crimea, and they were after the natural resources and the pipeline,’ he told the BBC earlier this year.

And I know that Burisma wanted to do one thing: They wanted to create a bulwark against that Russian aggression, they knew they had to expand internationally and into other sectors to diversify and protect themselves.

The Biden name is synonymous with democracy and transparency, and that’s why I said it was gold to them.’

His role triggered a slew of questions about whether the Biden family was cashing in on its name.

The nature of national security and conflicts of interest were the subject of the podcast and interview with Vindman. 

He was a director for European Affairs on National Security Council and one of the officials on Trump’s infamous call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in July 2019.

Dearlove said: 'I think, Biden and Biden's son were incredibly unwise,' And he said he had turned down multiple offers for 'ridiculous positions' after leaving his job as 'C'

Dearlove said: ‘I think, Biden and Biden’s son were incredibly unwise,’ And he said he had turned down multiple offers for ‘ridiculous positions’ after leaving his job as ‘C’

Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives to testify before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in November 2019

Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, arrives to testify before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump in November 2019

In the new podcast, Vindman describes how he felt forced to retire from the Army after raising concerns about President Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine

In the new podcast, Vindman describes how he felt forced to retire from the Army after raising concerns about President Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine

He reported his concerns about Trump seeking an investigation of Hunter Biden from the Ukrainian president after Zelenskyy asked for U.S. military aid. 

That led to him testifying before Congress. 

‘I understood immediately that this was a threat to our democracy, American democracy in that the President was looking to upend free and fair elections that simple. That was why I responded,’ he said in the new interview, adding that the phone call was not the start of his concerns about Trump. 

‘He had no kind of interest on foreign policy as a whole, national security, except if there was a transactional benefit, potentially.

‘Our policy towards Ukraine was not purely oriented on national security. There were other issues in play, and those issues included advancing the president’s political goals going into 2020 elections.’

Vindman paid for speaking out.

After Trump was acquitted, Vindman was fired from the National Security Council. A promised promotion evaporated.

‘I surveyed senior officers that I had relationships with and, at least on, on one occasion I was told, you basically don’t have a career anymore,’ he said.

Another told him he would need a ‘rehabilitative assignment.’

He also claimed the White House berated Department of Defense officials for even considering his promotion and sent out talking points that were used to attack him.

He said he hoped the military would stand up for him, saying he had earned his White House post on merit and that he had done the right thing in reporting his concerns.

‘There was none of that. If anything, you know, people were, doing their best to put distance between themselves and me,’ said Vindman, whose book, Here, Right Matters: An American Story, was released last summer.

There was talk of him being transferred to a new Army museum which had not yet even opened.

Instead he resigned, ending his military career in July 2020. He is now pursuing a PhD at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

‘We do have a military leadership that tends to select kind of more risk averse leadership that is political … not in the sense that they have, you know, a party leaning, Republican or Democrat, but seeing the way political winds are blowing and manuvering to benefit in those political winds.’

‘Their silence was complicity in retaliation and bullying, I believe that they were protecting their own careers and their own standing, and that indicated a level of weakness for the president to exploit.



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