A diplomat who served in the State Department under former President Barack Obama testified Tuesday that he sounded the alarm about Hunter Biden's appointment to Ukrainian energy company Burisma in early 2015, but no one seemed to care, according to the Washington Post.
George Kent, who still works in the State Department as deputy assistant secretary of state, testified as a part of the House impeachment inquiry that he was concerned about the conflict of interest with Hunter Biden joining the company at the same time that then-Vice President Joe Biden was heavily involved in the administration's Ukraine policy. From the Post:
Kent said he had concerns that Ukrainian officials would view Hunter Biden as a conduit for currying influence with his father, said the people. But when Kent raised the issue with Biden's office, he was told the then-vice president didn't have the "bandwidth" to deal with the issue involving his son as his other son, Beau, was battling cancer, said the people familiar with his testimony.
Kent's testimony is an example of how Biden could become collateral damage in the push to impeach President Donald Trump. It's going to be nearly impossible to keep digging into President Donald Trump and Ukraine without constantly running into the apparent conflict of interest the Bidens were involved in.
It's possible that Democrats will have to sacrifice Biden, their most electable candidate, if they want to keep holding on to impeachment hopes as November 2020 draws nearer. And, it's possible that they're willing to do so — as the recent elevation and coverage of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as the Democratic front-runner seems to indicate.
Biden has tried to distinguish himself from Trump regarding Ukraine, saying that if he is elected president, he will not have any family members working in the White House or having business relationships with foreign corporations — not because he believes it is inherently wrong, but because of Trump and his family.
"In my White House, none of my children or family have offices at the White House," Biden said. "They will not be invited to sit in significant meetings of a Cabinet-level post and they will have no foreign investment, and the reason to do that is not because of anything that went on in our administration. It is because of what Donald Trump has done. He has so debased the standard of what constitutes ethical behavior that the next president has to make it absolutely clear — absolutely clear — this will not happen again."
That's the ethical tightrope that Biden will attempt to walk between now and the Democratic primary elections, and potentially the general election. It remains to be seen whether it will work, or whether his own party will decide that the best path to the White House is to damage Trump at all costs rather than trust Biden to get the job done in 2020.