Hunter Biden and, by extension, his father’s third run for the presidency, have become enmeshed in controversy as Donald Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Hunter’s questionable business dealings in the war-torn country are coming under attack from congressional Democrats.
Family has always been a delicate issue for former Vice President Joe Biden. When he was still a senator-elect, in December 1972, his immediate family was in a car accident. His first wife and infant daughter were killed, while his two sons, Beau and Hunter, survived. Going forward, Biden began the practice of commuting on Amtrak from Delaware to Washington, DC every day so he could return home to his children.
As an adult, Hunter Biden has been the black sheep of the Biden clan. He has suffered from alcoholism for several decades, and he has used both cocaine and crack recreationally. In 2013 Hunter was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, in a ceremony administered by his father. A month later, he was given an “administrative discharge” after testing positive for cocaine. Hunter claims his consumption of the drug at the time was accidental.
Despite multiple attempts at rehabilitation and abstention, it was not enough to save his marriage. In 2015, Hunter separated from his wife of twenty-two years, Kathleen Buhle. In the subsequent divorce proceedings, Kathleen claimed Hunter had left the family (including their three children) in financial ruin through his extravagant spending on alcohol, drugs, prostitutes, strip clubs, and multiple affairs. Hunter denies the prostitution accusation but admitted to going to a strip club immediately after the legal motion was filed. He claims it was his first time doing so in years. Their divorce was finalized in 2017.
As previously covered at the National Interest, Hunter Biden assumed a position on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company called Burisma Holdings in April 2014. This was two months after a U.S.-backed uprising against the previous Ukrainian government, an action U.S. officials at the time said was “midwifed” by his father, who at the time was vice president.
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