Report: Hunter Biden Touted Political Connections to Teach Drug Policy Course at UCLA

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ABC News

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter touted his political connections last year while unsuccessfully trying to convince the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to hire him to teach a drug policy course, according to a new report.

Hunter’s struggles with drug addiction are well known to the public. The UCLA School of Law reportedly considered Hunter’s proposal, but the negotiations ultimately fell through after the former vice president’s son failed to submit materials requested by the university.

In October 2019, Joe, who has emerged as a front-runner in the hunt for the Democrat party’s presidential nomination after a strong Super Tuesday performance, acknowledged to reporters that Hunter was going to “be teaching at law school next year.”

The Daily Caller reported on Wednesday, citing emails between Hunter and UCLA obtained through the California Public Records Act:

In his pitch [for the drug policy teaching gig at the UCLA School of Law], [Hunter] Biden listed off a number of possible guest speakers, most of whom had ties to his father, Democratic front-runner and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Bill Kisliuk, a top spokesman for the UCLA School of Law, talked to the Daily Caller about Hunter’s efforts to get a teaching job at the university.

“In 2019, Hunter Biden inquired about the possibility of teaching a course at UCLA School of Law, and he and school leaders held preliminary conversations about the possibility,” Kisliuk, told the Daily Caller via email.

“Mr. Biden subsequently did not submit further materials for the proposed course, which is a required step when the school is considering adding a course. There are no plans for Mr. Biden to teach at the law school,” he added.

In trying to convince UCLA to hire him, Hunter reportedly said he “would like to focus on domestic and international drug policy” in the proposed course.

The former vice president’s son attached a syllabus of a class he co-taught for Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Officials at UCLA were slow to embrace Hunter’s proposal, even after he touted his connections to former Obama administration officials and friends of his father, the emails obtained by the Daily Caller show.

“I will have some combination of key decision-makers, leading thinkers, policy implementers, and grassroots advocates as guests for each topic,” Hunter reportedly wrote, citing prominent political figures as possible guests or co-teachers.

Jennifer Mnookin, the dean for UCLA’s law school, met with Biden and his wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, the emails indicated.

“It was great to meet you and Melissa last month, and I very much appreciate your following up and sending along the attached syllabus,” Mnookin wrote in an August 9, 2019, email. “I think this offers some very exciting possibilities, and I look forward to seeing what we may be able to do.”

Talks between the two parties ultimately broke down after Hunter failed to “submit further materials for the proposed course,” the UCLA Law spokesman told the Daily Caller.

Republican lawmakers are currently investigating the Bidens’ ties to foreign companies, particularly the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Hunter served on Burisma’s board of directors between 2014 and 2019, reportedly getting paid a lucrative $83,000 per month, more than the average executives who sit on major corporate boards.

The Obama administration allowed Hunter to work for Burisma as his father led U.S. policy towards Ukraine, prompting conflict of interest concerns.

People from inside and outside the Obama administration warned of a conflict of interest stemming from Hunter’s work at Burisma while his father was in charge of Ukrainian policy.

In 2015, then-VP Biden’s office dismissed Burisma-linked conflict of interest and corruption concerns raised by an official from the U.S. State Department.

Joe has boasted about the fact that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine to pressure the Eastern European country to fire its top prosecutor in 2016, who wanted to investigate Burisma.

Ukrainian investigators have opened an investigation into Joe’s role in the firing of the Eastern European country’s former prosecutor-general, Viktor Shokin.

Hunter’s ties to foreign companies in China have also prompted concerns. The Biden’s have denied any wrongdoing.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is leading the investigations into the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine, indicated this week that there is no evidence of misconduct because no one has adequately investigated Joe and Hunter.

Hunter has a long and muddled history of benefiting financially from business interests linked to his father’s political influence.

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