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Putin: ‘I don’t see anything criminal’ about Hunter Biden’s business dealings

Russia's President Vladimir Putin. (Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS/Abaca Press/TNS)
October 27, 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that he did not see anything criminally wrong with Hunter Biden’s foreign business activities.

Reuters reported Putin said, “Yes, in Ukraine [Hunter Biden)] had or maybe still has a business, I don’t know. It doesn’t concern us. It concerns the Americans and the Ukrainians.”

“Yes he had at least one company, which he practically headed up, and judging from everything he made good money,” Putin added. “I don’t see anything criminal about this, at least we don’t know anything about this [being criminal].”

The New York Post has recently reported on a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which they reported contained numerous business emails from Hunter Biden. The New York Post reported the laptop included an email in which a business partner of Hunter Biden thanked him for arranging a meeting with Joe Biden, Hunter’s father. Joe Biden has denied having knowledge of his son’s business activities.

During last week’s final presidential debate, President Donald Trump criticized his opponent, Joe Biden, for his son’s business dealings. At the debate, Trump told Biden, “You were vice president when some of this was happening. I think you owe an explanation to the American people.”

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The U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee, in September, released a report that Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.

During his comments Sunday, Putin responded to comments Trump has made about Baturina’s tied to Putin and the $3.5 million payment she made to Hunter Biden. Putin said he did not know about the existence of any commercial relationship between Hunter and Baturina.

Fox News reported Hunter Biden’s lawyer George Mesires, denied the allegations about his client’s financial relationship with Baturina. Mesires said, “The Senate report falsely alleges that Hunter Biden had a financial relationship with Russian business executive Yelena Baturina and that he received $3.5 million from Baturina.”

Putin’s response to the criticisms Trump raised about Hunter Biden, comes after the U.S. intelligence community, in August, released an assessment that Russia was seeking to denigrate candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election cycle.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in an interview with CNN following the initial reporting about Hunter Biden’s laptop, also said, “We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.” Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe disputed claims the laptop was a Russian disinformation effort, saying, “Let me be clear: the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.”

Putin, in separate recent comments, denied claims of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections and said Russia would work with either candidate following the election. Putin, at the time, said the U.S. Democratic Party shares some ideological similarities with communist Russia, values Putin said he still likes after having been a member of the Soviet Communist Party for 18 years.

Putin also praised Biden’s willingness to work towards nuclear arms treaties. Putin said, “Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty.”