Hunter Biden has defended his foreign business dealings amid attacks by the White House and increasing media scrutiny.
The son of former Vice-President Joe Biden – who has had business ties in Ukraine and China in recent years – told ABC news that he had done “nothing wrong”.
However, he admitted to “poor judgment”, leaving him open to political attacks.
Hunter Biden’s foreign work and President Donald Trump’s intervention have sparked impeachment proceedings against the president.
His interview with ABC comes ahead of Tuesday evening’s Democratic debate, where Joe Biden – a 2020 frontrunner – will square off against 11 other presidential hopefuls.
Breaking his silence on his foreign business dealings, Hunter Biden, 49, dismissed claims of impropriety.
“Did I do anything improper? No, and not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever. I joined a board, I served honorably,” he said, adding that he did not discuss such business with his father.
However, Hunter Biden acknowledged the possible political ramifications of his work, saying his failure to do so previously demonstrated “poor judgment”.
“Did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in the grand scheme of things, yeah,” he said.
“But did I make a mistake based upon some ethical lapse? Absolutely not.”
Hunter Biden stressed his record on the board of the UN World Food Program and work for US corporations to defend his lucrative role as a board member for a Ukrainian gas company.
He said: “I think that I had as much knowledge as anybody else that was on the board, if not more.”
However, he acknowledged the appointment may have resulted from his father’s clout.
“I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden,” Hunter Biden said.
His foreign business ventures have pulled him to the epicenter of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
President Trump and his allies have claimed that as vice-president Joe Biden encouraged the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor because the prosecutor was investigating Burisma, a gas company that employed Hunter Biden.
These allegations – though widely discredited – were raised by President Trump in a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This call has fuelled the Democratic-led impeachment investigation. The inquiry is trying to establish whether President Trump withheld nearly $400 million in aid to nudge President Zelensky into launching an inquiry into the Bidens.
President Trump tweeted: “A big scandal at @ABC News. They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria. A real disgrace. Tomorrow they will ask softball questions to Sleepy Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, like why did Ukraine & China pay you millions when you knew nothing? Payoff?”
The president has continued to seize on Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine and China to stage political attacks against him and his father, charging both Bidens with corruption, without offering specific evidence.
In an interview on October 15, Hunter Biden dismissed the president’s claims as a “ridiculous conspiracy idea”.
Last week, Hunter Biden announced he would step down from the board of BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company.
His lawyer, George Mesires, told media his client had not acquired an equity interest in the fund until 2017, after his father had left office.
Hunter Biden said last week that he would not work for any foreign-owned companies if his father is elected president.