Letters to the Editor: The Ukraine mess is bad for Joe Biden. He should not run for president

Then-President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine and then-Vice President Joe Biden of the U.S. after their meeting in Kyiv on Jan. 16, 2017.
(Genya Savilov / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Former Vice President Joe Biden should voluntarily step aside from the presidential race right now. This would boost Democratic Party unity and improve the Democrats’ chances to win the White House in 2020.

If Biden didn’t have a clear conflict of interest as President Obama’s point man in Ukraine during the time his son Hunter happened to join the board of a Ukrainian energy company, the L.A. Times’ on-the-ground story shows a damning appearance of such conflict.

Biden is old-school as well as old in years. He relies on his long history of political involvement and still fundraises among wealthy donors rather than a progressive base of small contributors. He is defensive and irritable answering questions about some issues, and this one has become a political albatross.


Many qualified and compelling Democratic candidates are running for president. The party must avoid another disastrous “coronation” of a fatally flawed insider like Hillary Clinton. Nominating Biden, with his son’s Ukraine baggage, will guarantee the reelection of President Trump.

Frances O’Neill Zimmerman, La Jolla


To the editor: Biden warned Ukraine in a 2017 farewell speech to fight against the cancer of corruption and interference from the Kremlin, and to guard against rule by cronyism and kleptocracy. That was four days before Trump’s inauguration.

His prescient warning would have been just as relevant if it was delivered to Americans on that day.

Howard S. Blum, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: Government corruption occurs when a politician or a member of his or her family gains an unwarranted financial benefit by virtue of his or her political position.

It was the height of hypocrisy to have Biden lecture the Ukrainian parliament on corruption in 2015 when his son, with no apparent qualification, sat on the board of a Ukrainian gas company and received $50,000 a month in compensation.

Harold Mirels, Rolling Hills Estates


To the editor: Biden’s visits to Ukraine were above-board endeavors that had the support of the Obama administration and both parties in Congress. As such, exhaustive accounts of the meetings, including what was said and by whom, are certainly available to the Trump administration, and there are legal and ethical methods for the White House to obtain them.

The only logical reason to ask a foreign government to investigate the Bidens is if Trump expects it to invent something that never happened.

Gary Gegan, Culver City