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Biden had no involvement in family businesses, says ex-finance manager

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Eric Schwerin, a longtime friend and associate of Hunter Biden who also served as President Joe Biden’s financial manager during his time as vice president from 2009-2017, has told the House Oversight Committee that he knew of no “financial transactions or compensation” that the elder Mr Biden received from his son or any other family member during that period.

Mr Schwerin, who is speaking to the panel in a transcribed interview on Tuesday, said in an opening statement obtained by The Independent that he was not aware of “any involvement” by President Biden in any of his family’s business activities.

The former Commerce Department official also told the GOP-led panel that he could not recall “any request” that the then-vice president “take any official action” for the benefit of his son’s clients or business partners, and said he was unaware of “any role that Vice President Biden, as a public official or a private citizen, had in any of Hunter’s business activities”.

Republicans on the Oversight panel have spent much of the last year claiming that President Biden either benefited financially from his son’s various overseas business ventures, or that he abused his authority by taking official actions to benefit his son’s employers.

Some of the GOP claims centre around years-old, discredited conspiracy theories regarding Hunter Biden’s work on the board of Burma, a Ukrainian energy company.

Such unfounded claims played a key role in the events which led Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, to attempt to extort Ukraine’s president by withholding US defence aid to force the announcement of sham investigations into the Bidens just as the then-former vice president was running against Mr Trump in the 2020 election.

But Mr Schwerin told the committee on Tuesday that the elder Mr Biden was “always crystal clear that he wanted to take the most transparent and ethical approach consistent with both the spirit and the letter of the law” when discussing his personal finances.

“Given my awareness of his finances and the explicit directions he gave to his financial advisers, the allegation that he would engage in any improper conduct to benefit himself or his family is preposterous to me,” he said.