Those of us who follow the news for a living understand the details of the three indictments to date against former President Donald Trump. The average American understands only that he’s been indicted three times and that a fourth is likely on the way in Georgia. Those who get their news from legacy media sites are told that Trump threatens the very fabric of our democracy. But from there, it gets nebulous.
On the other hand, the accusations against President Joe Biden and his knowledge of and involvement in his son’s overseas influence peddling business are far more straightforward. The average American understands bribery, greed, and lies, concepts that are as old as mankind.
Evidence is mounting that, during Biden’s tenure as vice president, his son was on a mission to exploit his ability to sway U.S. policy for the family’s financial gain. At the right price, Joe Biden’s influence was for sale.
Special Counsel Jack Smith’s case against Trump shows how wildly he had to wrestle with the truth to arrive at an indictment.
Smith may have jumped the shark with his latest indictment. Especially since it came the day after Hunter Biden’s former business partner and longtime friend Devon Archer reportedly confirmed that Hunter had put then-Vice President Joe Biden on speakerphone at least 20 times during meetings with his foreign business associates.
Paramount among Archer’s statements was that Hunter was “selling the brand,” meaning access to the second most powerful man in the U.S. government on a moment’s notice. Now that’s impressive.
According to a committee press release, “Devon Archer testified that the value of adding Hunter Biden to Burisma’s board was ‘the brand’ and confirmed that then-Vice President Joe Biden was ‘the brand.’ … Archer admitted that ‘Burisma would have gone out of business if the brand had not been attached to it.’”
I imagine that outside of Biden’s base, the implication of these phone calls in a pay-to-play scheme wasn’t missed.
Democrats such as Rep. Freshman Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), who is quickly becoming the Adam Schiff of the Biden influence-peddling scandal, was the lead attorney in the Democrats’ 2019 impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. (He’s also an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.) He spoke to reporters immediately after hearing Archer’s testimony.
“The witness was unequivocal and stated very clearly that they never discussed any business on [those] phone conversations,” Goldman said. “There were niceties. And there was a hello. And [they] talked about the weather or whatever it was, but it was never any business.”
Goldman suggested that Hunter Biden and his father were in constant contact because they were grieving Beau Biden’s May 2015 death. He said, “The witness described in vivid detail about how devastating that was to both Hunter Biden and to Joe Biden, and how their communications picked up dramatically in the aftermath.”
A pathetic defense to say the least. That’s not how influence peddling schemes work and Goldman knows that. Following Archer’s testimony on Monday, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explained that Joe Biden was the “subject” or the “object” of the influence peddling scheme meaning he doesn’t get involved in the “business” end of the deal.
This is how you influence influential people in Washington. You give money to their siblings, their spouses, their children. And that’s what happened here.
[While Hunter’s] influence peddling and business dealings in Ukraine, China, Kazakhstan, and Russia might be legal, it is corrupt.
[This is] perhaps one of the largest influence-pedaling schemes we’ve seen in Washington, which is considerably a long list of examples.
Now, the question is, is there more? Does this violate the criminal code? Clearly the U.S. Attorney’s office thinks it might have. There’s a long line of people still going into the grand jury.
Former White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that “no matter what Hunter may have done, it is a ‘private matter’ and has no connection to President Biden.”
Now, the statement that this has nothing to do with the president simply ignores reality. I mean, the president is referred to in many of these e-mails. And while the press has agreed that the laptop is legitimate, they have really tried to avoid talking about what is on the laptop.
And those e-mails refer to the president under code names like “Celtic” and “The Big Guy.”
In one e-mail, a person is told not to use the president’s name.
But there are plenty of details there involving money that may have gone to the president to pay for expenses and an office that was allegedly being arranged for his use and the first lady’s use. Those are all connections. But the biggest connection is that this was an influenced pedaling scheme, and he was the object. He was the reason people were giving millions to these various firms, to his son.
And so it’s bizarre to claim that this was an influence-peddling scheme where the object was entirely irrelevant.
The predatory, political and contrived nature of the indictments against Trump, and the degree to which Jack Smith and his team had to strangle statutes and reality to arrive at a predetermined conclusion is not lost on Americans.
The straightforwardness of the Biden family’s influence peddling operation makes it easy for all but the most rabid Democrats to understand.