- The Washington Times
Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday vowed never to let allegations of corruption against himself and his family deter his quest for the 2020 Democratic nomination, accusing President Trump and his “hatchet men” of a smear job.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Reno, Nevada.

“You’re not going to destroy me. And you’re not going to destroy my family. I don’t care how much money you spend or how dirty the attacks get,” he said in the speech.

Mr. Biden said that “abuse of power is the defining characteristic of the Trump presidency” and that he stands behind House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Allegations of corruption involving the Biden family in Ukraine are at the center of a complaint by a U.S. intelligence community whistleblower who accused Mr. Trump of attempting to force Kyiv to investigate Mr. Biden.

Mr. Biden as vice president in 2016 threatened to withhold a $1 billion loan guarantee from Kyiv unless the country fire its chief prosecutor. At the time, the prosecutor was looking into a Ukraine gas company where Mr. Biden’s son Hunter had a high-paying job on the board of directors.

Mr. Trump requested an investigation in a July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky but did not explicitly proffer a quid pro quo for U.S. military aid, according to a transcript of the call released by the White House.

The complaint that Mr. Trump abused his Oval Office power to personal political gain spurred the House impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump has insisted he acted properly and the corruption is on the part of Mr. Biden and his son.

“Biden’s son is corrupt, and Biden is corrupt. And I’d rather run against Biden than almost any of those candidates,” Mr. Trump said earlier in the day at a joint press conference with the president of Finland.

In the prepared remarks for the Reno speech, Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump’s actions “desperate and defensive.”

“I’m not surprised Donald Trump asked a foreign government for help to beat me. I’m not surprised the NRA met with Trump to prop him up. And I’m not surprised Trump’s special interest friends are spending millions to attack me,” he said. “I’m not backing down. And I’m not going to be distracted by the lies, smears, distortions and name-calling. I’m going to let Congress do its job on impeachment. And I’m going to stay focused on your lives.”

He continued: “What we can’t lose sight of in this election is that this election is about you. Your kids. Your family. And you can’t wait when it comes to health care or jobs or education or guns or climate. The world can’t wait for America to once again lead a stable, peaceful international order.”

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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