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If there’s one thing Joe Biden doesn’t need, it’s more problems. With soaring inflation pushing household budgets into the red, crime rising everywhere, the southern border open to all comers and his agenda stalled in Congress, the 46th president is beyond beleaguered.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine and his efforts to rally NATO initially seemed to give him a second chance with disappointed voters. After Biden focused a big portion of his State of the Union address on the war, he did get a bump in the polls.
But it didn’t last, and even his recent trip to Europe that was filled with photo ops with refugees and tough, if bizarre, talk about Vladimir Putin couldn’t stop the spiral. Two surveys released since the president returned show him with just 38% and 39% approval, respectively.
These are dead-man-walking numbers, and another bombshell waits in the wings. This one has the potential to deliver a fatal blow to his presidency.
The federal probe of Hunter Biden is no longer taboo, and the media floodgates are opening. Where once The New York Post stood alone in reporting the skeezy details of the many millions the first son gained by selling his family name overseas, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and CBS News, among others, are belatedly joining the chase and conceding e-mails found on a laptop Hunter abandoned are authentic, just as The Post said they were 17 months ago.
Even network correspondents are asking pointed questions about the president’s insistence in a 2020 campaign debate that “nothing was unethical” about Hunter’s lucrative foreign entanglements.
Last Thursday, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield claimed in response to the question from NBC that the administration still stands behind that entire comment in which Joe Biden also said, “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what you’re talking about, China.”
That’s a very odd lie to defend, with a Senate probe showing at least $11 million was wired from a Chinese official to accounts controlled by Hunter.
In addition, Hunter reportedly still has a 10% stake in a partnership with a Chinese bank arranged on a trip to Beijing in 2013 with his father, then the vice president.
The sudden about-face from media outlets that scandalously said The Post was spreading Russian disinformation in 2020 reflects the likelihood that the Justice Department is close to deciding whether to file criminal charges against Hunter. A federal grand jury in Delaware has been hearing from a flurry of witnesses, indicating the case is coming to a head.
If Hunter is indicted, it’s hard to see how his father’s presidency survives.
That’s because any indictment of the son, no matter how carefully drawn, will inevitably implicate the father. Assuming an indictment would follow the usual prosecutor pattern of connecting the dots to associates to show evidence of Hunter’s guilt, it’s possible the president could be referenced in charging papers.
That would directly contradict Joe Biden’s claims he had no involvement in his son’s business and never once discussed it with Hunter.
Beyond the absurdity of the claims, we know they are lies thanks to laptop e-mails and photos showing that Joe met Hunter’s partners and some of his foreign paymasters. Other e-mails suggest Joe and Hunter co-mingled their money through checking accounts.
And thanks to Tony Bobulinski, we have known since October 2020 that Joe knew all about the big China deal by early 2017. Bobulinski was the former CEO of the joint venture between a Chinese energy tycoon and Hunter, Joe’s brother Jim Biden and others, and says he met with Joe Biden to discuss the plan.
An e-mail detailing the equity divisions of that deal is where another partner wrote that Hunter was holding 10% “for the big guy.”
Bobulinski said publicly that Joe Biden was the big guy — and told that and everything else he knows to the FBI.
Yet just last week, the White House claimed Joe Biden “has never even considered being involved in business with his family, nor in any overseas business whatsoever.”
None of this is to suggest the president is in danger of being indicted, which would run afoul of Justice guidelines against charging a sitting president.
But charges against Hunter, even without reference to the father, would likely trigger another big decline in the president’s already-weak support.
Facing doom in the midterms with him at the helm, many Dems might try to save themselves by calling for Biden’s resignation.
Still, there are two potential escape hatches for the president and his party.
First, it’s possible the media come-latelies are just changing tactics and are writing about the probe of Hunter to reposition their defense of Joe.
A clue is the repetition of the mantra in the coverage that there is “no evidence” linking the father to the son’s potential wrongdoing.
The defense is BS, and there is little reason to assume the public would buy it, because most Americans don’t trust the press. Indeed, already enjoying near-lockstep media support, Biden is still wildly unpopular among voters, so it’s not clear how much more the media could help him.
The second escape hatch offers a far more likely scenario: Biden’s Justice Department, already up to its neck in politics, bends to pressure from Dems and refuses to indict Hunter to protect the president.
The Times, in its role as Deep State errand boy, seemed to be laying the groundwork recently when it cited an internal debate among prosecutors about whether civil charges would be more appropriate. The paper reported that Hunter borrowed about $1 million to cover back taxes in hopes he would not be criminally charged and said the payment might make it more difficult to gain conviction at trial.
Among the advantages for the family with a civil case is that Hunter could cut a deal to keep details of the investigation secret, and could keep his law license. The fallout on the president would be minimal.
That would leave the White House where it is now — still failing because of an incompetent president and his disastrous policies.