|Vice Chairman of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation|
July 26, 2006 – January 29, 2009
|Nominated by||George W. Bush|
|President||George W. Bush|
|Succeeded by||Jeffrey R. Moreland|
Robert Hunter Biden
February 4, 1970
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
|Domestic partner||Hallie Olivere (2016–2019)|
|Relatives||See Biden family|
|Alma mater||Georgetown University (B.A.)|
Yale Law School (J.D.)
Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is an American lawyer and the second son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his first wife, Neilia Biden. He is a partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC, and is Counsel to Boies, Schiller, Flexner, LLP, a New York-based-law firm.
Early life and education
Biden was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the younger son of former U.S. Senator and Vice President Joe Biden, and his first wife, Neilia (née Hunter). His mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden, were killed in an automobile crash on December 18, 1972, in which he and his brother, Beau, were seriously injured. He and his brother encouraged their father to marry again, and Jill Jacobs became Hunter and Beau's stepmother in 1977. Their half-sister, Ashley Blazer Biden, was born on June 8, 1981.
Biden received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. After graduating from college, he was a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, where he met his first wife.
From 2001 to 2008, Biden was a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP, a Washington DC-based law firm. He also served as a partner and board member of the mergers and acquisitions firm Eudora Global. Biden was chief executive officer, and later chairman, of the hedge fund Paradigm Global Advisors, founded in 1991 by Dr. James Park. At MBNA, a major US bank, Biden was employed as a senior vice president. Following that, Biden was appointed by Bill Clinton to serve in the United States Department of Commerce under Secretaries Norman Mineta and William M. Daley. He was director of E-commerce policy issues in the Department of Commerce.
In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, a program that allows civilians with no prior service to receive a restricted line officer's commission after attending a two-week class covering topics such as military history, etiquette, and drill and ceremony, in lieu of boot camp. Because Biden was past the cut-off age for the program, he needed a waiver. Biden received a second waiver because of past drug use and drug-related arrests. One month after commissioning, Biden tested positive for cocaine use and was discharged from the Navy reserve in February 2014. It is not clear whether his discharge was "general" or "under other than honorable conditions" the most punitive discharge available without a court martial.
News of Biden's discharge was not made public and was not first reported until October 2014, after it was revealed to the Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity. In a statement released by his attorney, Biden later acknowledged his discharge.
On April 18, 2014, Burisma Holdings announced Biden's appointment to its board of directors in a press release. Burisma is the largest non-governmental gas producer in Ukraine; it was incorporated in 2006 and is based in Limassol, Cyprus – a European tax haven. Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets Basin, the Carpathian and Azov-Kuban basins and has considerable reserves and production capability. Burisma was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky, the former energy minister and deputy national security council chair under Viktor Yanukovych, in 2006. Burisma Holdings is owned and controlled by the Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky. Joining Hunter Biden on the Burisma Board of Directors was Aleksander Kwaśniewski. Kwaśniewski was President of the Republic of Poland from 1995 to 2005 during the George W. Bush administration. Hunter Biden stepped down from the board when his term expired in April 2019.
Hunter Biden's father, Joe Biden, traveled to Kiev on April 22, 2014, and urged the Ukraine government "... to reduce its dependence on Russia for supplies of natural gas." And he discussed how the United States could help provide technical expertise for expanding domestic production of natural gas. Some critics accuse the United States of maneuvering the Ukraine situation so that Western oil companies have unfettered access to shale gas of "Lublin Basin" (from "fracking") and to drill all across Ukraine. With the revelations that Hunter Biden serves on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma, many raised concerns about Hunter Biden's interests conflicting with official US government positions. The White House dismissed nepotism charges against Biden's son. But the director of the US-Ukraine Business Council Morgan Williams pointed to an "American tradition that frowns on close family members of government working for organizations with business links to active politics". Williams stated Biden appears to have violated this unwritten principle: "... when you're trying to keep the political sector separate from the business sector, and reduce corruption, then it's not just about holding down corruption, it's also the appearance." Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion of loan guarantees if President Petro Poroshenko did not fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating corruption in Burisma Holdings; Shokin was fired on March 29, 2016.
China private equity
Peter Schweizer, author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, wrote: "In December 2013 Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, travels with his father aboard Air Force Two to Beijing. ... Shortly after they return to the U.S., Hunter Biden's firm receives a $1 billion private equity deal from the Chinese government. The deal was later increased to $1.5 billion."
Biden is on the board of Bohai Harvest RST (also known as BHR Partners) which, according to reporting in The Intercept, invested in Face++, a mobile phone app built by the Chinese government to introduce a mass surveillance state and spy on its citizens. The application has been used to spy on Muslims in China's western province of Xinjiang, where an estimated 1 million Muslims are being held in “re-education” camps, providing government authorities access to data that shows personal information.
According to Peter Schweizer, Bohai Harvest "became an “anchor investor” in the IPO of China General Nuclear Power Corp., a state-owned energy company involved in the construction of nuclear reactors. In 2016, the US Justice Department would charge CGN with stealing nuclear secrets from the United States". Bohai Harvest also "joined forces with a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned military aviation contractor Aviation Industry Corporation of China to buy American precision-parts manufacturer Henniges."
Hunter Biden partnered with James Bulger, son of former Massachusetts state Senate President William Bulger. According to The Intercept, business registration filings in China list Hunter Biden and James Bulger as key officials at Bohai Harvest.
On May 16, 2006, Biden was nominated by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of Amtrak. He was confirmed unanimously on July 26, 2006, by the U.S. Senate for a term of five years, and was the vice-chair of the board until January 29, 2009.
Biden served as honorary co-chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden inaugural committee and is a former board member of the CSIS Executive Council on Development and the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.
Biden is currently Chairman of the Board of the World Food Program USA. In addition to holding a directorship on the Board of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, he sits on the Chairman's Advisory Council for the National Democratic Institute (NDI). NDI is a project of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Biden is a member of the President's Advisory board of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington; and a member of the board of the Israel Idonije Foundation.
In 1993, Biden married Kathleen Buhle, and together they have three daughters. In 2015, Biden was named as a user of the online dating service Ashley Madison in the company's data breach scandal. He denied that the account belonged to him.
Biden has spent much of his adult life struggling with alcohol and drug abuse.
Biden and Buhle divorced in 2017. In 2016, he began dating Hallie Olivere, his former sister-in-law and the widow of his brother, Beau. The pair were reported to have split in 2019. In May 2019, Biden married Melissa Cohen. According to one report, Biden proposed to Cohen less than a week after they had first met.
In June 2019, it was reported that Lunden Roberts had filed a petition for paternity and child support against Biden in Arkansas in May 2019. Roberts alleges that Biden is the father of her child, born August 2018.
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