The son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity company by the end of this month and commit to halting all work with foreign entities if his father wins the White House in 2020, according to his attorney.
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The announcement on Sunday of Hunter Biden’s impending plans to dispel “purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts” stemming from his overseas business interests comes amid unsubstantiated allegations by President Donald Trump and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, that he sought to cash in on his farther’s power as vice president in the Obama administration.
The actions being taken by Joe Biden’s 49-year-old son also come as Democratic leaders have launched an impeachment probe against Trump, who a whistleblower claims pressured newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.
In a July 25 phone call, Trump, according to the unnamed whistleblower, asked Zelensky to look into alleged criminal wrongdoing by the Bidens in connection with Hunter Biden’s job with a Ukrainian gas company. U.S. arms sales to Ukraine have become embroiled in a controversy after the White House ordered nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine to be withheld.
Andy Wong/AP, Pool
Vice President Joe Biden, center, buys an ice-cream at a shop as he tours a Hutong alley with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden, right, and son Hunter Biden, left, in Beijing, China, Dec. 5, 2013.
In a lengthy statement released on Sunday to ABC News, Hunter Biden’s lawyer George Mesires said the accusations leveled by Trump and Giuliani bear “little resemblance to the public records.”
In recent days, Trump has turned his attention to China, and specifically Hunter Biden’s involvement in negotiating a deal to create a joint investment fund between his company, Rosemont Seneca, and a Chinese state-run bank. Earlier this month, Trump called on Beijing to launch an investigation into the Bidens.
Mesires said Hunter Biden plans to resign from the board of BHR Equity Investment Fund Management Co., which is backed by the Chinese government, by Oct. 31.
“To date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHR’s board of directors,” Mesires said in statement that was first posted on the website Medium and reported by Bloomberg News.
Mesires said that while Hunter Biden has committed to invest about $420,000 to acquire a 10% equity position in BHR, “he has not received any return on his investment; there have been no distributions to BHR shareholders since Hunter obtained his equity interest. Moreover, Hunter played no role in directing or making BHR’s investments.”
(MORE: Biden fires back at Trump on Ukraine: ‘He is the definition of corruption’)
In April, Hunter Biden resigned from the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian natural gas company.
“Despite extensive scrutiny, at no time has any law enforcement agency, either domestic or foreign, alleged that Hunter engaged in wrongdoing at any point during his five-year term” with Burisma, Mesires said.
(MORE: White House official told whistleblower Trump Ukraine call was ‘frightening’)
Acknowledging that he has become an issue for his father’s campaign for president, Hunter Biden, according to Mesires, is also making a commitment to forgo work overseas if his father wins the 2020 presidential election.
(MORE: Hunter Biden tackles cocaine use and alleged business conflicts in magazine interview)
“Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests. In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies,” Mesires said in his statement.
“He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs, while availing himself as necessary and appropriate to the Office of the White House Counsel to help inform his application of the Biden Administration’s guidelines or standards to his business decision-making.”
Joe Biden’s campaign had no immediate comment on Mesires’ statement.