Earlier this week, Karine Jean-Pierre was asked whether “the White House and the president still stand behind his comment that he’s never been involved and has never even spoken to his son about his business?”
“So, I’ve been I’ve been asked this question a million times,” she responded. “The answer is not going to change. The answer remains the same. The president was never in business with his son.”
You can already hear Clintonesque semantics creeping into the White House’s answers. Joe Biden is going to end up doing to the word “business” what Bill Clinton did to the word “sex.”
First, Jean-Pierre didn’t answer the question, which isn’t whether Biden was “in business” with his son, but rather whether he was “involved” in the business or spoke to his son about it. Whatever Democrats might believe, Joe failing to list himself as the Founder and CEO of the Biden family enterprise on a business card isn’t dispositive.
Secondly, Jean-Pierre’s answer is very much not the “same” one she or the president have given a million times — or ever, as far as I can tell.
Remember when that middle-aged man in Iowa asked Biden if Hunter had “access to the Obama administration,” and the future president called him a “damn liar” and “fat” and told him he was “too old to vote for me” and then insulted his IQ (a classic) and challenged him to push-up contest like a deranged Izzy Mandelbaum?
Yeah, that was just one in a series of instances that Biden lashed out at those who wondered how his family was pulling in millions without leveraging access to the White House.
When Biden was asked if, knowing what he knows now, he regretted not discouraging his son from doing business with Ukrainian oil concerns, the then-candidate snapped back: “No. No, I don’t, because I never discussed with my son anything having to do with what was going on in Ukraine. That’s a fact.” A few weeks earlier, Biden said that “I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have. We’ve always kept everything separate.”
The White House’s definitive answer until very recently was that Joe had “never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever.”
In numerous emails and texts that he never thought would be made public, Hunter Biden openly talked about his dad helping him secure payments and taking a cut for himself. Hunter’s former business partner also contends that Joe was involved in the family business. Hunter’s former close friend is reportedly going to testify under oath that Biden made at least 24 calls for the business (there are another 200 alleged incidents of contact). An FBI informant says Biden was pressuring foreign companies to send millions to the family business. An IRS whistleblower in charge of investigating Hunter Biden’s tax case testified under oath that not only was Joe Biden present at least one meeting, but that the Justice Department wouldn’t let the agency investigate Joe’s role.
That’s a lot of compelling circumstantial evidence. Why would all these people make the same claims about Joe Biden helping his son and brother — sometimes years before they knew he would stumble into the presidency?
One suspects we’re only a few weeks away from hearing that none of these revelations matter since none of it was technically illegal. So, let’s concede the point for argument’s sake. Donald Trump did nothing technically illegal when pressing Volodymyr Zelensky to give him dirt on Biden, either. Yet, it was an impeachable offense.
Even if Joe merely knew about the family business, but wasn’t “in business,” that not only means he spent nearly a decade aggressively lying about his role but that he knowingly used the U.S. government to help his family make millions rather than stepping aside or dissuading them from taking advantage.
In 2014, when Hunter first became a public issue, the White House used Democratic Party front-groups like “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington” to give Joe and Hunter Biden a clean bill of health. “It can’t be that because your dad is the vice president, you can’t do anything,” Melanie Sloan, executive director, told Reuters. “The most important thing is for Biden not to be speaking about these issues with his dad, and for them to try and draw the lines.”
If Joe was speaking to his son — literally the most important thing he shouldn’t be doing — and then, say, knowingly blackmailed the Ukrainian government into firing a prosecutor investigating a company sending his family hundreds of thousands of dollars, that would be a corrupt conflict of interest, at the very least.
Among the contents of Hunter’s laptop — which FBI and other intel officials knew was real but still tried to suppress — is an email from a Burisma official thanking Hunter for brokering a meeting between himself and Joe Biden while the latter was still vice president. Why would the guy make that up? Yet, even in 2019, Biden was bragging about his ability to withhold a billion dollars in aid to Ukraine.
Even Obama-era diplomats raised alarms over Hunter at the time. Obama officials worried about Hunter – who accompanied his dad on an Air Force Two flight to China in 2013, where he reportedly facilitated a meeting for his dad with Chicom billionaires in Beijing — and yet the vice president didn’t even try, according to his own words, to dissuade his family from making millions on these connections he helps solidify.
Now, I don’t want to get carried away with cynicism, but I’m going to go out on a limb and contend that Hunter Biden earned his $17 million in foreign investments much as he did $1.3 million from selling art. And Joe, at the very least, knew and helped Hunter, anyway. “In business” or only business adjacent, it’s corrupt.