During her public testimony in the impeachment inquiry Friday, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch admitted to being prepped on how to answer questions regarding Hunter Biden and his involvement with Burisma by the Obama administration before her Senate confirmation hearings.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) pressed the issue during the second day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
Stefanik asked Yovanovitch about the first time she was personally made aware of the apparent conflict of interest — that is, when Hunter Biden accepted a paid role on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company, at the same time his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, led policy goals in the region.
“You testified that in this particular practice Q & A with the Obama State Department, [that] it wasn’t just generally about Burisma and corruption; it was specifically about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Is that correct?” Stefanik asked.
“Yes, it is,” Yovanovitch confirmed.
“The exact quote from your testimony, ambassador, is, quote: ‘the way the question was phrased in this model Q & A was, “What can you tell us about Hunter Biden’s, you know, being named to the board of Burisma?'” Stefanik said.
“So, for the millions of Americans watching,” the congresswoman continued. “President Obama’s own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation.”
“And yet our Democratic colleagues and the chairman of this committee cry fowl when we dare ask that same question the Obama administration was so concerned about. But we will continue asking it,” she concluded.
President Trump’s concern about Biden’s involvement with Burisma has been the center of the impeachment inquiry in the first place.
Republicans have been frustrated by the Democrats, who are stonewalling their efforts to investigate the Bidens’ involvement with Burisma in the impeachment inquiry.
Democrats say that the inquiry is specifically interested in the phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urging him to investigate corruption in Ukraine, which would include possible corruption at Burisma, and Trump’s alleged withholding of military aid to Ukraine barring an investigation into the Bidens.