As long as Hunter Biden had not been convicted of anything, the chances were pretty good he’d be able to run the clock out past the end of his father’s time in the White House. Now that he’s decided to plead guilty, that calculus changes.
The conventional wisdom going forward will focus no doubt on how Hunter Biden’s plea of guilty to two tax misdemeanors and a felony gun possession charge in exchange for no jail time will accrue to his benefit as well as the president’s. The common consensus will be something on the order of it providing the opportunity for a fresh start for the president’s son and a chance for Joe Biden, as he pursues another term in the White House, to distance himself from potentially damaging allegations that he profited personally from his son’s business activities.
Few things could be further from the truth. The “nothing left to see, please keep moving” argument won’t wash. The plea deal makes it more, rather than less likely the American public will be willing to move on from the credible allegations that have been raised suggesting members of the Biden family — including the president — took bribes from foreign business officials, intervened in official U.S. government investigations and are guilty of misconduct on a level never before uncovered inside the executive branch.
Biden’s allies in the political arena may also try to make that case, but face tough sledding if they do. Republican Kentucky Rep. Jamie Comer, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability chairman, made that clear in a statement he issued shortly after Hunter Biden’s plea deal was announced.
“Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery. These charges against Hunter Biden and sweetheart plea deal have no impact on the Oversight Committee’s investigation,” he said.
Nor should it. The American public understands the trade-offs involved in, for example, sending Al Capone to jail for evading payments on his income tax only because there was no way to prove he was responsible for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. What was before the nation then and now are quite different.
Courtesy of Hunter Biden’s laptop and the courageous media establishments that were willing to report what was on it, the public knows evidence exists that supports the influence-peddling allegations that have dogged Hunter, his father, and other members of the Biden inner circle since the 2020 presidential campaign.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called the deal “a thumb in the eye” to the idea of equal justice under the law.
Contrasting Hunter Biden’s plea deal with the ongoing efforts by the Justice Department to prosecute former President Donald J. Trump, Fitton identified the primary beneficiary of the agreement as President Joe Biden.
“For far too long,” Fitton said, “Biden has avoided any serious investigation of his involvement in Hunter’s corrupt foreign business dealings. The plea deal, which doesn’t address the strong evidence of Biden family racketeering, is a sham.”
Indeed, rather than putting an end to the conversation about corruption in the White House, Hunter Biden’s plea agreement is likely to give it more steam. The adage about smoke and fire seems to apply, whether it comes from a burning building or a crack pipe.
A former UPI senior political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a senior fellow at several public policy organizations including the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network. Contact him at RoffColumns AT gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter and TruthSocial @TheRoffDraft.
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