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Defenders Of Joe Biden’s Corrupt Phone Calls Sound Ridiculous

Jonathan Lemire and Eugene Robinson
Image CreditTwitter/MSNBC

It’s a little-known fact that the Bidens are keen amateur meteorologists. So much so that Hunter Biden will often call his dad out of the blue — sometimes even interrupting important business meetings in Dubai with execs of Eastern Europe energy interests — just to chit-chat about the weather. You know how it goes.

Joe’s love of the all-things climate, in fact, had him regularly engaging in “casual conversation” about the “niceties about the weather,” congressman Daniel Goldman explained after Hunter’s business partner Devon Archer reportedly testified under oath that the patriarch of the family had talked to Biden Inc. clientele at least 20 times.

To be fair, others have theorized that it wasn’t really the barometric readings as much as Joe’s boundless love of his son that kept the two on the phone. On MSNBC, Jonathan Lemire of Politico contends that we need to put the story into context; after all, “this is the time when Beau Biden, the president’s other son, was ill and dying and then passed away. So perhaps he wasn’t as attentive to what he should have been.”

“We know how important family is to the president,” added the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, the same week Joe recognized the existence of his four-year-old grandchild for the first time. “So, do you hang up on your son?”

These people think you’re a bunch of gullible nitwits.

And, yes, if your crack-addicted son puts you on speaker phone with executives from a company under investigation by Ukrainian authorities, after you’ve been named the point person in the Obama administration’s efforts to root out corruption in that country, you hang up and call him back later. It’s not as if Hunter was difficult to get a hold of — he reportedly had 13 burner phones going, as one does when engaged in legitimate business.

Axios and other outlets tried a different tack, reporting that Archer told Congress that Hunter sold “the illusion of access” by putting his father on speaker phone but that then-vice president “never talked shop.” Of course, the reporting didn’t get it right. Archer reportedly testified that, though he didn’t hear the conversation, Burisma execs and Hunter called “D.C.” about the problem of prosecutor Viktor Shokin. And guess what also happened by complete happenstance soon after?

The “illusion of access” canard makes it sound like Joe was a hapless good-hearted dad roped into the family’s shady influence trading scheme. And I can’t help but be reminded of the scene in “Casino,” in which Ace Rothstein fires an incompetent, possibly crooked, pit boss: “Listen, if you didn’t know you’re being scammed, you’re too f*cking dumb to keep this job. If you did know, you were in on it.”

The notion that Joe was completely in the dark about the family racket has been buried under mounds of convincing circumstantial evidence. Either the then-vice president allowed himself to be used in creating the “illusion” that Burisma and others were obtaining something of great value in return for enriching his family, or he exerted the force of the U.S. government to enact policy that helped enrich his family. Both are corrupt.

“We all understand that a lot of these relationships operate in the gray areas intentionally, CNN’s Dana Bash said, offering perhaps the most honest justification. “Especially when you have somebody who is either related to a famous person or powerful person … you want your clients to know that you can get them on the phone.”

For sure. There is no business without Joe. If Biden knew his son was working with Burisma execs and then still threatened to withhold American aid from Ukraine unless the government fired Shokin, it would be corrupt. Biden could have recused himself from the task — there were already “concerns” about Biden within the Obama administration — but, instead, he bragged about it. Donald Trump was impeached for far less.

Still left unexplained is why Joe felt the need to spend years explicitly lying about these completely innocuous and perfect phone calls to his son. Indeed, Biden has yet to explain what services his family provided to Romanians, ChiComs, and Ukrainians that were worth millions. And no amount of dissembling, deflection, spin, rationalization, or fantastical stories about family man Joe Biden will change that fact.

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