Throughout the dramatics of Trump’s presidency — and particularly now, in the midst of his impeachment trial — Hunter Biden has been drawn into the fray as reporters and others dredge up his involvement in several scandals.
Shining a spotlight on Hunter Biden’s professional and personal life has shown that he is a deeply pathetic person who has made many terrible life choices. He has spent his life riding the coattails of the Biden name and making a career out of simply being Joe Biden’s son.
Though there have been many suspicions about Hunter Biden’s work and connections in Ukraine, which have put him at the center of Trump’s Ukraine scandal, the younger Biden probably is not some evil mastermind. Though his father might be at fault for corruption, Hunter just seems to be a deadbeat that has gotten caught up in the maelstrom.
Hunter Biden has been in the public eye for nearly his whole life, and it has done the 49-year-old no favors. He spent his life trading on the family name and climbing up the ladder simply because he is Joe Biden’s son.
In the late 1990s, he began working for Maryland Bank National Association, which was well-known for being a significant donor to Joe Biden’s campaigns over the years. Despite many concerns that his role at MBNA was a conflict of interest, Hunter continued there for five years.
After MBNA, once again using his connections and Biden name, Hunter got a position as a director in the Department of Commerce under the Clinton administration and remained there until 2001. Then, from 2001 to 2008, Hunter co-founded Oldaker, Biden, and Belair LLP, a federal lobbyist firm. Hunter showed for the first time in his career concern about conflicts of interest when he stepped down from the lobbying firm after his father became Obama’s running mate.
He told the New Yorker, “I wanted my father to have a clean slate.”
After leaving Oldaker, Biden, and Belair LLP, Hunter started Seneca Global Advisors and Rosemont Seneca Partners, and apparently he began making connections in China and Russia through these firms.
In 2014, Hunter signed on as a board member for Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest gas-production company. It was a tense time in the region with disputes over Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and Ukraine’s energy dependence. Hunter Biden’s new position with Burisma Holdings raised questions and sparked a controversy over whether his involvement was a direct conflict of interest.
As if Hunter’s work life was not pathetic enough, soon after gaining his position at Burisma, he made a giant trainwreck of his personal life.
In 2015, Hunter’s brother Beau died from cancer. In the aftermath of his brother’s death, Hunter went on a bender, started using crack, and spent a lot of time with his brother’s widow, Hallie Biden. Apparently, he and Hallie were “sharing a very specific grief.” Apparently, they began sharing a lot more — just nine months after Beau’s death, Hunter divorced his first wife, Kathleen Biden, and publicly acknowledged that he was dating Hallie Biden.
The intrigue of Hunter’s personal life died down for a couple of years, until this past November when his name splashed across headlines yet again. As if dating his brother’s widow wasn’t enough, it was discovered that Hunter fathered a child with ex-stripper Lunden Alexis Roberts, supposedly while he was still in a relationship with Hallie Biden. To make things even more scandalous, Hunter and Hallie’s relationship ended in April 2019, and in May, Hunter married Melissa Cohen. Hunter has now accrued one ex-wife, one ex-girlfriend/sister-in-law, one stripper baby mama, and another new wife.
Aside from his ridiculous personal life, Hunter’s professional life also began blowing up again when a New York Times article in May explained Joe and Hunter Biden’s connections in Ukraine and the possibility that Joe had successfully used his connections to get a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office.
Why would Joe Biden get a Ukrainian prosecutor removed from office? Rumors are that he was trying to protect Hunter from an investigation into Burisma since its founder was facing multiple investigations into allegations of money laundering and tax evasion.
Apparently determined to damage 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Trump asked Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to investigate both Joe and Hunter Biden. Thus began the Trump-Ukraine scandal which has led to his impeachment and trial.
While admitting that he probably got his position at Burisma Holdings because of his last name, Hunter has denied any wrongdoing. He did openly admit in an interview with ABC News that he likely got the job on the company’s board because his last name was Biden. But that’s not particularly new since Hunter has spent his whole life trading on the family name.
In May, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko did investigate the Bidens and said he found no compelling evidence of wrongdoing against either Biden.
Of course this all blew up in Trump’s face with impeachment. Now Hunter Biden might be called as a witness in the impeachment trial. Hunter, the freeloading barnacle of a Biden, though currently in the middle of the impeachment kerfuffle, will probably come out fine and continue to find a good paying position with his last name.
Regardless of the impeachment proceedings and scandals, the years of media coverage have certainly shown the public the scumminess inside the Biden family, which might not bode well for Joe Biden’s election campaign.
Abby Liebing is a senior studying history. She is the associate editor of The Collegian.