When Rep. James Comer wondered on CNN whether special counsel David Weiss had indicted Hunter Biden on nine tax-related charges to protect him from having to be deposed in the House Oversight Committee and Accountability, Jake Tapper snarkily responded: “Yes, the classic rubric. He indicted him to protect him. I got it.”
Well, yes. Indicting a person on lesser charges can often protect him from more serious ones. It happens all the time. In this case, though, “him” isn’t Hunter. It’s President Joe Biden.
Weiss failed to indict Hunter for failing to register as a foreign agent or failing to pay taxes on the millions that flowed from those arrangements. Why? Probably because any investigation into Hunter’s $17 million foreign influence-peddling business—which Weiss has scrupulously avoided—leads to the president of the United States answering lots of awkward queries about his connection to disreputable people and authoritarian regimes. There is no Hunter Biden case without Joe. There is no Biden Inc. without Joe.
Hunter’s laptop—the one that the New York Post got its hands on, and that Tapper and others attempted to cover up—was crammed with texts and emails in which the son references his dad’s role in securing payments and taking cuts from the business.
Any genuine investigation into the 20-plus shell companies set up by James Biden, Joe’s brother, and Hunter would compel lots of people to answer questions on the record or under oath.
Weiss conveniently allowed some of these infractions to pass the statute of limitations, but some have not.
Hunter pulled in $1 million a year from Burisma from the years 2014-2017, while Joe was forging American policy in that nation. It’s only a weird happenstance, not a massive conflict of interest, that the sitting vice president’s decisions may have aided the oil concern while his son was being paid. Hunter’s salary fell to roughly $500,000 annually from 2017-2019, after Joe was out of the White House. Another weird coincidence.
But the president’s son also had a 10% stake in a Chicom investment fund named BHR Partners from 2013-2021. Joe flew him to China to set it up, met one of the partners, and then wrote a letter of recommendation for the man’s kid. All completely innocent, no doubt.
Let’s not forget, either, that without the IRS whistleblowers coming forward, Hunter would probably have escaped any charges.
And let’s also not forget that without U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika putting the kibosh on it, Weiss would have allowed Hunter’s lawyers to write an extraordinary plea agreement that not only would have ensured the president’s name wouldn’t be dragged into the investigation, but it would have let Hunter plead out to two of the least consequential charges—with virtually no punishment—in exchange for blanket.
At every turn, Weiss is protecting Joe.
Then again, this is about Hunter insomuch as all of this can be politically disastrous for the president.
On the Sunday talk shows, the president’s defenders portrayed Hunter Biden as a lost man struggling to overcome drug addiction and Joe Biden as the loving father, who had recently lost his other son, there to help. Others contended that Hunter was the real victim of an overzealous prosecution.
Hunter is a middle-aged Yale-educated lawyer, international lobbyist, foreign energy consultant, millionaire, and celebrated artist, whose work can go for upward of half a million dollars. The jails are strewn with Americans who have far more tragic stories to tell. Do they get to write off sex club memberships, prostitutes, and hotel rooms for his drug dealers? Would you?
Moreover, Hunter continued cheating on his taxes after he had supposedly gone clean and remarried. He set up his influence-peddling schemes before his brother Beau died—not in combat, as the president often claims, but from a brain tumor.
When ordinary Americans are being audited by the new supercharged IRS, or spending hours struggling to figure out the square-footage formula used to write off their home office in their 1040s, I hope they remember that Democrats believe Joe and Hunter are the real victims here.
At any rate, Weiss knows, despite the media’s insistence, that Joe doesn’t need to directly benefit from his family’s foreign ventures to corrupt himself—though there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that he did.
If one of the most powerful men in the United States government participates in a scheme—or allows people to believe he is offering access—that makes millions for his entire family, it may or may not be illegal, but it is corrupt.
And any investigation that leads to those questions is a disaster for the president.
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