Hunter Biden ex-partner says president was ‘never involved’ in any business deals

Rob Walker, a longtime friend and business associate of Hunter Biden, has told the House Oversight Committee that President Joe Biden was “never involved” in any of the “legitimate business activities” he and the president’s son undertook in the early 2000s.

Mr Walker, who gave evidence in a closed-door deposition before the Republican-led panel on Friday, told committee members that Hunter Biden, a Yale-educated attorney and former lobbyist, “always” took pains to ensure a “clear boundary” between his business activities and his father.

“To be clear, President Biden — while in office or as a private citizen — was never involved in any of the business activities we pursued,” he said, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by The Independent.

He added that “any statement to the contrary” regarding the elder Mr Biden’s involvement in his son’s business ventures is “simply false,” and stressed that as Hunter’s business partner, he “always understood and respected” the boundaries between Hunter’s business and his famous father.

Mr Walker told the panel he first became acquainted with Hunter Biden in the late 1990s, when he joined the administration of then-president Bill Clinton in the Commerce Department.

He said he and Mr Biden started to enter various business ventures beginning around 2008, the year his father, then a Delaware senator, was running for vice president as Barack Obama’s running-mate, and described Hunter as “an intelligent, caring, and generous person” whose “demeanor and strong interpersonal skills made him a valued and effective business partner”.

Mr Walker described their business activities at the time as “developing business with, and consulting for, various individuals, businesses, [and non-governmental agencies],” and stressed that their pursuits were “varied, valid, well-founded and well within the bounds of legitimate business activities”.

The closed-door interview with committee members and staff is part of the GOP-led panel’s long-running probe into Hunter Biden, which has morphed into a formal impeachment inquiry into his father. Despite their months-long investigation, Republicans have not undiscovered any evidence that President Biden benefited from any of his son’s business ventures or found any wrongdoing on the part of the president.

To that end, Mr Walker told committee members that he was “very concerned” that his words would be “taken out of context to further a political objective, rather than to discover the truth,” and asked that the entire transcript of his deposition be made public.

It’s unclear whether the Republican-led panel would heed his request. The committee’s chairman, Kentucky Representative James Comer, has promised to release the transcripts of myriad interviews conducted during the probe, but to date hardly any have been made public.