NBC News is casting a light on Hunter Biden’s work in Romania, which they report raises questions about his overseas dealings in connection with this father:
NBC NEWS – In the final year of the Obama administration, an American lawyer traveled to Romania to meet with a businessman accused of orchestrating a corrupt land deal.
The businessman was Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, a wealthy Romanian real estate tycoon. The lawyer brought in to advise him was Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the matter.
“We don’t know what [Hunter Biden] was paid or what he was paid for but it does raise questions of whether this Romanian individual facing criminal charges was actually paying for a connection to the American vice president,” said Kathleen Clark, a Washington University law professor who specializes in government ethics.
Hunter Biden with another questionable deal? SHOCKING!
Here’s NBC’s reporting on what actually happened:
The case against Popoviciu was set in motion in 2005 when a businessman lodged a criminal complaint against him and the rector of a Romanian university relating to the sale of a 550-acre plot of land near Bucharest, according to documents from the European Court of Human Rights.
The businessman claimed Popoviciu had purchased the land for “significantly less money than it was actually worth,” the documents say. Further, the businessman alleged the plot wasn’t the property of the University of Agronomy, but was instead owned by the Romanian government, according to the documents.
Romanian prosecutors initially declined to investigate citing a lack of evidence. But in July 2008, the country’s National Anti-Corruption Protection Service took over the case.
The university rector was charged in March 2009 with abusing his position and Popoviciu was charged with “complicity in abuse of position,” the documents show. Two months later, Popoviciu was hit with a bribery charge.
Popoviciu was convicted in 2016 but launched an appeal. He assembled a high profile legal team to fight the conviction, which included former FBI director Louis Freeh, according to a release from Freeh’s firm.
That same year, Hunter Biden traveled to Romania to assist Popoviciu, according to two people familiar with the matter. The New York Times was first to report on the younger Biden’s involvement in Popoviciu’s case.
At the time he was brought in, Hunter Biden was performing work for the law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP where he was “of counsel.” The firm did not respond to a request for comment.
Romania was by then a familiar place to the Biden family. A close friend and former staffer of Joe Biden, Mark Gitenstein, held the position of U.S. ambassador to Romania from August 2009 to December 2012. In March 2012, Hunter’s brother, Beau, was asked to do the ribbon-cutting at the new U.S. embassy in Bucharest.
Vice President Biden visited Romania in 2014 and delivered a forceful speech against graft. “Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy,” he said. “Corruption is just another form of tyranny.”
It’s unclear how much assistance Hunter Biden provided in Popoviciu’s case. The Romanian real estate tycoon’s bid to overturn his conviction ultimately failed. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in August 2017, according to a press release from Freeh’s firm.
This one doesn’t sound like as big a deal because we don’t see Biden stepping in and using US aid to get anyone fired to protect his son’s client. Of course we don’t know what we don’t know, but if there was such an attempt, it failed.
But I find it curious that NBC News would report on this, raising questions about Biden’s son while he’s running for president. Are they trying to hurt Joe Biden? Do they want him to do worse so that Hillary steps in to try and beat Trump? Do they have an agenda at all with this reporting? It’s hard to say one way or the other just based on one article, but I’ve always thought that if the media want Biden out of the way, they will start writing articles like this, looking into son’s work. Reuters did it last week. Now NBC News. Who is next?