The Hunter Biden scandal indicates that Joe Biden, while vice president of the United States, knowingly allowed his son to sell access to the Obama administration, then lied about it.The Biden Corruption Scandal Isn’t About Hunter, It’s About Joe — The Federalist
Hunter Biden’s addiction is not the issue. Joe Biden’s addiction is: His addiction to power and money. And it is the evidence of the former vice president’s corruption, and the national security risk our country would face by electing Biden, that is the story of the MacBook hard drive, not the salacious, verified photographs and videos of Hunter Biden.
For nearly a week, corporate media successfully ignored or downplayed news of the trove of Hunter Biden’s emails, texts, photographs, and videos recovered from a laptop abandoned at a Delaware computer repair store. Then confirmation of the authenticity of the materials first reported in the New York Post, and the release of a second set of emails — also confirmed— from another source finally forced the press to acknowledge the issue.
On Friday evening, CBS News’ Bo Erickson asked Joe Biden about the New York Post story as the Democrat candidate for president departed from a campaign stop in Michigan. “I have no response. It’s another smear campaign — right up your alley, those are the questions you always ask,” Biden snipped at the long-time reporter.
With more details coming out daily, this non-answer will not placate even a compliant press for long. Nor will the “Russia disinformation” narrative pushed by Biden’s media boosters suffice because multiple confirmations of the evidence establish this story is not disinformation.
It’s Not about Hunter’s Addiction, It’s about Joe’s
So, the dissembling will start, with Biden attempting to make the story about his son’s drug addiction. We already saw this when President Trump hit his opponent during the first presidential debate with the fact that once Biden “became vice president [Hunter] made a fortune in Ukraine, in China, in Moscow and various other places.” Biden’s first response was outright denial: “That is not true.” But that won’t work with the constantly accumulating evidence from the hard drive and the other independent emails.
So Biden’s second tack will likely be his campaign’s official response once they regroup over the weekend: “My son, like a lot of people at home, had a drug problem. He’s overtaking it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him, I’m proud of my son,” Biden punched back during the first presidential debate.
Wisely, President Trump ignored the misdirection, replying, “But why was he given tens of millions of dollars?” “Moderator” Chris Wallace rescued Biden by interjecting, “We’ve already been through this. I think the American people would rather hear about more substantial subjects. Well, as the moderator, sir, I’m going to make a judgment call here.”
Senate Report Confirms Corruption
While Hunter Biden’s highly lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma has received some press, the media all but ignored the U.S. Senate committee report on “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns.” This report not only details “examples of extensive and complex financial transactions involving the Bidens, it also describes the quandary other U.S. governmental officials faced as they attempted to guide and support Ukraine’s anticorruption efforts.”
The report’s key findings included concerns raised by “officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board,” and a senior State Department official’s warning to Vice President Biden or his staff “that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.” The report also confirmed that former Secretary of State John Kerry “had knowledge of Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board,” even though he falsely denied that knowledge during a town hall event in 2019.
The report was not limited to Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board and the Obama-Biden administration’s knowledge of that conflict of interest. The Senate committees also detailed Hunter’s receipt of “a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow,” and Hunter’s opening of “a bank account with Gongwen Dong to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden,” as well as his “business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army.”
“Those associations,” the report continued, “resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow,” some of which Hunter “paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an ‘Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.’”
Whistleblower Turns Over Hunter’s Laptop
Then on Saturday, we learned from a letter sent by Sen. Ron Johnson, the chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to FBI Director Christopher Wray, that the report triggered “a whistleblower” to contact Johnson’s “committee and informed [his] staff that he had possession of a laptop left in his business by Hunter Biden,” clearly the same source as behind the New York Post’s story.
The letter continued: “He also informed us that he provided its contents to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in response to a December 9, 2019 grand jury subpoena.” The FBI refused to confirm any or deny any information sought by the committee, including questions unrelated to ongoing grand jury investigations. Johnson stressed the importance of the FBI responding to the committee’s inquiry: “I have a responsibility to validate and verify the contents of any information produced to my committee. The committee must know if it receives information that could be fraudulent or not accurate.”
“For example,” Johnson’s letter continued, “if any information offered to the committee was linked to a foreign adversary’s attempt to interfere in the election, I would expect the FBI to ensure the committee is protected and receives a defensive briefing.” Additionally, as Johnson noted, “knowingly providing false information to Congress is a crime.” Johnson then listed a litany of questions concerning the laptop and the FBI’s efforts to verify the authenticity of the material, asking for an answer by Oct. 22, 2020.
It seems unlikely the FBI will respond to the inquiry, or at least not publicly, but to date, several outlets are claiming they confirmed the validity of the emails and other material on the hard drive, and the personal texts and photographs and videos released leave little doubt that the hard drive truly was Hunter Biden’s.
This Is about Joe Biden, Not Hunter
That is the extent of the relevance of the personal information being released: The public does not need to know of the unsavory and illegal behavior Hunter engaged in—much less watch it—while he was in the throes of addiction. America also does not need to read the words of anguish exchanged between an addict son undergoing rehab and his famous father.
Yet Hunter Biden’s addiction, and the fact that tens of thousands of other Americans suffer similar demons, does not atone for the sins of the father. And that is what the email and text scandal concerns: Evidence that Joe Biden, while vice president of the United States, knowingly allowed his son to profit by selling access to Biden and others in the Obama administration, including to Communist Party of China leaders, and then lied about it.
The emails and texts Joe personally received also suggest a cut from Hunter’s influence-peddling. For instance, one email published by the New York Post detailed a deal Hunter Biden pursued with China’s largest private energy company that was “interesting for me and my family.”
A May 13, 2017 email with the subject line “Expectations” listed expected “renumeration packages” for various individuals, including “‘H,’ apparently referring to Biden.” The Post noted that “the deal also listed ‘10 Jim’ and ‘10 held by H for the big guy?’” but did not identify the “big guy.” However, sources have told Fox News “‘the big guy’ is a reference to the former vice president.”
A text recovered from the hard drive also suggests the former vice president may have received a cut of Hunter’s “earnings.” “I Hope you all cal do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family Fro 30 years,” a screenshot of a text from January 2019 to Hunter’s daughter read. “It’s really hard. But don’t worry unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”
This Compromising Material Is a National Security Risk
Evidence of this scandal is too strong to ignore or to allow Joe Biden, the Democratic Party, or corporate media to cast aside as an unseemly attack on a recovering drug addict, and not merely because of the corruption at issue. Every country, every foreign politician or political faction, and every corrupt oligarch or business that paid for access has the emails, notes, receipts, itineraries, fund transfers, and maybe even photographs or recordings. And that makes Joe Biden a national security risk.
Remember, it was Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ concern that then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was a national security risk that sent her to the White House to get him fired. The Russians would know, she maintained, that Flynn had misrepresented to Vice President Mike Pence his conversations with the Russian ambassador, and that would leave Flynn compromised. Of course, that theory was so preposterous that even disgraced former FBI Director James Comey called it a stretch.
But there is a world of difference between a conversation among a transition team member and a foreign ambassador and a conversation between individuals with foreign interests and the former vice president, bought and paid for with cash funneled through his son. A compromise of that kind holds serious national security issues, which is why our country needs a full vetting of this evidence.
If the emails and texts are fake, we need to know that. But all indications to date are that they are real, and spectacularly damning. And that has nothing to do with Hunter Biden’s addiction, and everything to do with Joe Biden’s unfitness for office.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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