Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said Tuesday he will introduce legislation to prohibit immediate family members of U.S. lawmakers from doing business in Ukraine.
Kennedy’s office states the bill also bars immediate family members of the president, vice president, and cabinet members from working as a “consultant, employee, independent contractor or board member for or owning 5% or more in any entity doing business in or with Ukraine.”
In a statement, Kennedy criticized the Ukrainian government as “historically corrupt” and said senior federal officials “should not be a part of, or seen to be a part of, this conduct.”
Sen. John Kennedy is filing legislation to ban immediate family members of top U.S. politicians from doing business in Ukraine pic.twitter.com/BHBllUx7gD
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) October 1, 2019
“My bill will remove any appearance of impropriety or potential conflict of interest for any immediate family member of a senior United States official. The best way to resist temptation is a proper upbringing, a strong set of values and tough laws,” the Louisiana Republican added.
He said he will file the bill following Congress’ returns from its two-week recess on October 14th.
Kennedy’s announcement comes as House Democrats are moving swiftly with a formal impeachment inquiry sparked by a partisan CIA officer who alleged in a so-called “whistleblower” complaint that President Donald Trump pressured Ukrainian President
Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the business activities of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 White House candidate Joe Biden.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this year, Biden forced out former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin as he was investigating an energy company called Burisma Holdings, which was paying Biden handsomely as a member of its board. The former vice president even boasted to the Council of Foreign Relations last year that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless the prosecutor was fired. (He did not tell the audience about his son’s role.) Conservatives claim Biden obstructed justice to protect his son — who enriched himself using his father’s prestige.
Appearing together at the United Nations last week, President Trump and Zelensky dismissed the complaint — which was based on second-hand information and included several inaccuracies — affirmed that no pressure whatsoever was applied to examine the Biden family’s ties to the eastern European country.
“I think you read everything. I think you read text. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be involved to democratic open elections, elections of USA. No, sure, we had I think good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things, and I — so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me,” Zelensky told reporters.
Kennedy’s announcement also comes after a photo has emerged of Biden and son Hunter golfing with Devon Archer, who sat on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings with Hunter.
The photo, first published by the Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, is believed to have been taken at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, New York in 2014. Both Hunter Biden and Archer joined Burisma Holdings as board members in April 2014.
BUSTED: Photo shows Joe Biden and son Hunter golfing with Ukraine gas company exec back in 2014https://t.co/0pCHXuZ3oY
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) October 1, 2019
The newly-released picture raises questions about what Biden knows about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. Earlier this month, the former vice president said he and Hunter never discussed his son’s ties to the country.
“I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings,” Biden told reporters during a campaign stop in Iowa. “I know Trump deserves to be investigated. He is violating every basic norm of a president. You should be asking him why is he on the phone with a foreign leader, trying to intimidate a foreign leader. You should be looking at Trump.”
Yet, in a wide-ranging interview with New Yorker magazine, Hunter Biden said that he and his father discussed his business activities in Ukraine “just once.”