House Republicans are chasing Hunter Biden. Here’s why the White House is concerned.

The House Republican majority immediately went on the offensive this week, promising subpoena-backed committee investigations into the business dealings of Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s 52-year-old son.

At a joint news conference, Republican Representatives Jim Jordan and James Comer, the incoming chairmen of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, slammed the table with allegations of Hunter influence peddling and hinted at broader corruption by the “Biden family.”

For those Americans who accept the legal outcome of the 2020 election, the sight of these two election enforcers talking about “whistleblowers” ​​and “schemes” and a dated laptop computer may bring to mind the Benghazi investigation into the 2012 deaths of four Americans of House Republicans. It turned into an obsessive exercise to settle scores against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But Hunter Biden is not Benghazi.

Benghazi was a fake scandal. On the other hand, Hunter Biden’s career has all its real advantages. The fact that Trump and MAGA election deniers are lining up to push Hunter Biden’s corruption allegations doesn’t make the evidence supporting the allegations any less troubling. Nor would it protect the Biden White House from potential fallout from the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, which is still ongoing.

Let’s review what is already known and documented about Hunter Biden. During Joe Biden’s presidency, Hunter Biden was openly circulating by the Biden family name. As an international business consultant, he charged clients six and sometimes seven-figure fees for what seemed to be little more than beltway access and high-powered introductions. One potential partner reported that despite reports of Hunter’s feminization and drug use, he could still be a valued partner due to his alleged “access” to the State and Treasury departments as well as to the “highest level” in China.

In 2013, Hunter accompanied his father on an official visit to Beijing, where Joe Biden shook hands with Jonathan Lee, a Chinese venture capitalist. Lee had already contracted with Hunter and Associates to start the private equity fund. Later, another Chinese tycoon gave Hunter Biden a 3-carat diamond. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to take it,” he told The New Yorker. However, this is exactly what he did.

Other documents, derived from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, indicate that aides have been managing some of Joe Biden’s finances and paying Delaware utility and home repair bills from his son’s accounts. A report in the New York Times suggested a possible connection between Joe Biden’s diplomacy in Ukraine and Hunter Biden’s lucrative role on the board of directors of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. In 2017, Hunter requested that his father have his own key to his company Rosemont Seneca’s Washington, D.C., office.

After his father won the presidency, Hunter reinvented himself as an artist and spoke out about his drug use. But questions about his business dealings persisted. The identities of the patrons paying six figures for his paintings remain unknown. Their vetting process — conducted by Hunter’s own legal team, not White House counsel — is opaque. Joe Biden has said there is an “absolute wall” between making policy and his family’s business interests. According to The New Yorker, “An informal arrangement was established: Biden would not ask Hunter about his lobbying clients, and Hunter did not tell his father about them.” What Joe Biden has not done so far is explicitly prohibit family members from taking money from people seeking influence.

On Thursday, the House Oversight Committee released its 31-page “Temporary Working Group Report.” In addition to paraphrasing public materials, the document contained excerpts from alleged suspicious activity reports filed with the Treasury Department regarding some of Hunter Biden’s financial dealings.

The Treasury Department did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the commission said that rescue reports had been obtained from a “whistleblower”.

Hunter Biden’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment Friday about the imminent possibility of a congressional investigation. In an email, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office called the GOP effort “politically motivated attacks peppered with long-debunked conspiracy theories.”

Why does any of this matter?

First, the full extent of Hunter Biden’s dealings with foreign clients remains unclear. With the GOP’s new majority comes subpoena power, which can be used to expose new documents and compel testimony. Comer said Thursday that there is a “very good possibility” that Hunter Biden will receive a subpoena.

However, one thing is clear, Joe Biden’s approach to many of Hunter Biden’s controversies – reiterating unconditional love for the troubled son while disavowing any specific knowledge or involvement in his dealings. This could backfire if strong evidence emerges that Joe Biden was in fact in the Rosemont Seneca episode, rather than simply being mentioned by others. But so far, that hasn’t happened.

It should also be noted that previous efforts by Donald Trump and others to capitalize on Hunter Biden’s vulnerabilities as a political strategy have ended in failure. Trump also tried and failed to force the Ukrainian president to investigate Hunter Biden. That attempt led to his impeachment for the first time.

Much of the influence happening around Washington is superficial and entirely legal. It remains unclear whether Hunter Biden has crossed the line. Even if he did, there is little evidence that Joe Biden had much to do with it. But there are still some who believe that the First Family should go beyond avoiding criminal liability and actually lead by example. As Walter Schaap, who headed the Office of Government Ethics under President Obama, said last year, “‘less smarter than Trump’ can never become the norm.”


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