Republicans – and the right-wing media – are pressing ahead with their theory that Joe Biden, through his son Hunter, was involved in something unethical. What exactly is not clear.
Accepting bribes on behalf of foreign nationals to influence US policy?
Maybe the Bidens were involved in something illegal, or unethical. But Republicans have yet to offer any concrete evidence of Biden wrongdoing. Yet, along the way, during the several-months long inquiry, the Right has insisted on drumming up controversy – with various disclosures into Biden-world that, if considered in the most skeptical light, could be presumed nefarious. The latest example: a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed that Joe Biden’s vice-presidential office exchanged 19,335 emails with Hunter Biden’s investment firm Rosemont Seneca.
Republicans are letting the disclosure, the Biden-to-Biden emails, hang in the air with virile insinuation. The implication is clear: if the Bidens were sending so many emails back and forth, something must have been afoot. And maybe something was afoot. I have no idea. But the existence of emails doesn’t prove a thing.
The Right’s Take
According to The National Review, “the emails call into question President Biden’s repeated claims that he never discussed business with his son.” Maybe. I guess. Don’t get your hopes up. Representative James Comey of the House Oversight Committee has been promising something substantial for months, only to provide whimpering suggestions and insinuation. The prime example, so far, of the Oversight Committee’s false advertising was the Devon Archer testimony. Archer was formerly Hunter Biden’s best friend and business partner and was paraded out for a testimony that Republicans promised would include administration-defining disclosures. The grand disclosure, however, was the fact that sometimes when Hunter was in a business meeting he would call his dad and put him on speaker phone. Hunter would also explain “that access to the vice president served as the selling point of the Biden “brand” that allowed [Archer] and Hunter several lucrative financial opportunities, including the board of Burisma.”
Again, maybe something nefarious was afoot. It’s certainly possible. But Archer offered nothing substantial to indicate actual wrongdoing. What Archer offered sounded like stock nepotism. Now, nepotism is, in my opinion, a dire problem. But nepotism isn’t illegal, and it certainly doesn’t command the attention of the House of Representatives. Nepotism is, unfortunately, standard operating procedure at universities and companies and governments. That the Bidens potentially engaged in nepotism is unremarkable. If the Bidens happened to engage in nepotism that led to a foreign policy shaping bribery scheme, however, that’s another story.
Don’t expect the Right to back down, however; they’ve come too far – long since reaching the point of no return. Were Comey and the Oversight Committee to take their foot of the gas now, it would signal that they had engaged in wasteful and fruitless search, which would be politically untenable. The only path now is to insist the Bidens engaged in wrongdoing, to keep looking for evidence of that wrongdoing, and if unsuccessful in finding said evidence, claim the Bidens were slippery enough to cover it all up.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.