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Hunter Biden Was Highly Qualified for the Burisma Board: Attacks on Him Are a Diversionary Cover-Up Tactic

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Burisma--Ukranian Gas Company
Burisma--Ukranian Gas Company
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Donald Trump, his defenders in Congress, and his attorneys are stepping up their attacks on Hunter Biden in a con man version of bait and switch--attacks that no doubt will continue as long as his father, Joe Biden, is a leading Democratic candidate for president.

The bait: Hunter Biden is corrupt and possibly a criminal. Switch: Investigate him and forget about Donald Trump.

Let's be clear. Hunter Biden is no saint. He has struggled with many personal issues and challenges. But he is not under indictment and he is not on trial.

Many believe that it was unwise for him to accept a seat on the board of Burisma, a Ukranian based international natural gas holding company, because it would expose him and his father to exactly what has unfolded.

That being said, let's look at the underlying arguments for bait and switch.

It's a two-pronged attack: One, that Hunter Biden is intellectually limited and not qualified for almost anything; and two, that he is certainly not qualified to serve on the board of a gas company since he lacks experience with or knowledge about the gas industry.

I don't know Hunter Biden personally. I only know what is available about him from public records. And those records obliterate the two-prong attack on him--the setup for the bait and switch.

First, he is a graduate of Yale Law School--no small intellectual achievement. In other words, contrary to the innuendos, he's no dope.

In terms of work experience, after Yale, he was employed at MBNA, a large bank consortium (later acquired by Bank of America in 2006), where he became senior vice president in 1998--not likely a gratuitous appointment when billions of dollars are at stake.

After leaving that position he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Commerce Department, where he served from 1998-2001. The Commerce Department has employees in all 50 states and 86 foreign countries. Among its functions: "the Department oversees ocean and coastal navigation helps negotiate bilateral trade agreements, and enforces laws that ensure a level playing field for American businesses and workers."

After his stint in the Commerce Department, he returned to MBNA as a consultant on issues related to his work at the Commerce Department, according to a New York Times story.

While family and political connections may have played a role in his acquiring these positions, there is little doubt that he had the education and skills for the jobs. It's reasonable to conclude from his resume that he has considerable knowledge about commerce, finance, law, and management.

In 2008, Hunter Biden founded a consulting firm, Seneca Global Advisors, followed in 2009 by his co-founding the private-equity firm Rosemont Seneca Partners, which established connections to businesses and executives in China and Russia.

These connections per se are not unusual in the global economy. A plethora of American corporations and consulting firms have connections with business leaders and companies all over the globe.

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist and Professor Emeritus at CUNY, Brooklyn College. He is a past president of The Brooklyn Psychological Association and past president of The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy. At Brooklyn (more...)
 

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Bernard Starr

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Watch how fast the attacks on Hunter Biden and Burisma will fade if Joe Biden fades as the probable Democratic candidate.

And with all the brouaha about Burisma and possible corruption, why has there been virtually no mention--other than a story in the Huffington Post on Feb.22, 2017--that Joseph Cofer Black, Former Director of CIA's Counterterrorist Center, joined the Burisma board of directors?

Submitted on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020 at 6:19:50 PM

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David William Pear

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Granted your assertion that Hunter Biden is a diversion. But let's not get carried away with the demands of the job for a highly qualified person.

Typically a board member is an honorary position for corporate pals, retired CEO's, and political influence. Technically the board is responsible to the public shareholders. Even with publicly held companies, rarely does the board look out for the public stockholders' interests, as they are fiduciarily required.

Burisma is a private company, so the board is beholden to the oligarch(s) who own the company and make all the decisions, including who is on the board. The board is impotent in making business decisions for a privately owned company. The owners make all the decisions and the board rubber stamps them.

In actuality the board is a social event where the management gives a dog-and-pony show about the companies glowing performance and future outlook. They meet over cocktails and lunch twice a year. They applaud the management and go home. That's it.

The honorarium to be on the board used to be relatively insignificant. Companies have cross directors so they can collude to limit competition and rig prices, and other conflicts of interest.

The typical remuneration is about $50k to $150k per year. Hunter's compensation for a couple of meeting a year was exorbitant at $600k to $1.2 million (and counting) per year.

In summary, Hunter got paid for no work. I wonder if Hunter even ever attended any meetings or just did them by conference call.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 6, 2020 at 2:26:11 AM

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Bernard Starr

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What you say may be true of some boards and possibly of Burisma. But many boards take on members who have skills that the company or corporation needs-- and they become working members. I'm on board and we only take on new members who have skills that we lack. My understanding is that Burisma has operations in several other countries and was planning to expand to the U.S.--and for that, a liaison like Hunter Biden could be useful. Is he the best choice for that? Possibly not. But he is qualified for that role and more--contrary to the smears by the Republicans. How many of the spouses and relatives of congressional Republicans have lucrative--and no show or low show--jobs through their connections and access? And what is Joseph Cofer Black, Former Director of CIA's Counterterrorist Center, doing on the Burisma board since 2017? Republican critics of Hunter Biden have not mentioned Black because it would expose the lie that you have to have expertise about the gas industry to legitimately serve on the board of gas company.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 6, 2020 at 4:51:27 AM

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David William Pear

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"How many of the spouses and relatives of congressional Republicans have lucrative--and no show or low show--jobs through their connections and access?"

That is the problem and why all parties want to sweep Hunter under the rug and fuggetaboutit. The corruption runs deep.

Anybody interested in what directors really do should do some basic reading such as Investorpedia, for a primer. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/boardofdirectors.asp

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 6, 2020 at 9:01:36 AM

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Paul Cohen

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Something that seems to be missing from discussions of Biden's position as a corporate director while his father was Vice President. The fact is that there is a precedent for this in the person of George Bush Jr. While his father was Vice President, George W. Bush was appointed as a director at Harken Oil Co. despite the fact that he had no particular qualifications for that position aside from his obvious political connections.

Submitted on Thursday, Feb 6, 2020 at 8:30:12 PM

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George King

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Benard, "The bait: Wake up America--You are being conned, has never been charged with anything illegal in any business operations". The corruption is so deep in both parties under the iron law of oligarchy there is no hope for internal correction/s. Laws are proven only for the protection of the oliargies and those who do their bidding. Nothing will change without forces external to transnational criminal cabals and those who protect them. How do you describe that insider trading (supposably to protect the market/s) is a criminal act but politicians are immune from such prosecutions by themselves enacting such a law. Just who is being conned?

Submitted on Friday, Feb 7, 2020 at 9:00:07 AM

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