Pushed to the back pages by more pressing news, in particular Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel, allegations of corruption against President Joe Biden and his family have been relegated to the bottom of the news scroll. But it’s still very much an issue for American voters, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
The I&I/TIPP Poll first broached this topic in July, when voters were asked what should be done if charges that Biden’s family had taken more than $30 million in payments from overseas governments and corporations proved true. The poll then began tracking responses in August.
As the data show, little has changed since. If anything, views have congealed somewhat, as potentially damaging revelations continue to dribble out from ongoing congressional investigations into the Biden family’s finances.
In this month’s online national poll, taken Nov. 1-3 from among 1,400 registered voters, 65% agreed that if evidence showed Biden was taking bribes from foreign sources, he should either resign (26%) or be impeached (39%). That includes 49% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans, and 64% of independents.
Apart from impeachment or quitting, three other responses were offered: That Biden would be allowed to finish out his term, but not run again, which was supported by 15% of those responding. Or that Biden should be allowed to finish his term and run again in 2024, which found 10% support. And “not sure,” 11% chose.
The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.7 percentage points.
As noted, responses have been consistent throughout. The combined “impeach/resign” option garnered 67% in August, when many of the charges of financial misconduct were still fresh. Since then, the combined response has remained at 65% for September, October and November, a strong statistical consensus.
Biden, of course, has yet to be found guilty of any crime, either in a court of law or through the impeachment process. Though evidence has piled up, it hasn’t reached a tipping point as far as impeachment is concerned.
“We’ll just go where the evidence goes and we’re not there yet,” Nebraska Republican Rep. Don Bacon told the Washington Post, summarizing newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson’s current position on impeachment. Johnson took over the speaker position on Oct. 25, roughly three weeks after moderate California Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted
“Most of us are saying, look, we can’t even get a single Democratic vote on this right now. I think the voters will reject what they are seeing when it comes to Biden (policies) — but high crimes and misdemeanors? I don’t think we’ve seen that or enough data to really make a good case and I feel like (Johnson) really agreed with us on that,” Bacon said.
Earlier this month, when asked during a press conference about possible articles of impeachment against Biden, Johnson was circumspect: “As we stand here today, I’m not predetermined that, but I do believe that very soon we are coming to a point of decision on it.”
A major roadblock to impeachment is that not a single Democrat so far has said publicly that he or she would support such a dramatic move, despite putting former President Donald Trump through two impeachment proceedings.
Recent evidence uncovered by Congress and the media suggest trouble ahead for Biden.
The Senate’s ongoing investigation, spearheaded by Iowa GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, found a “highly credible” source who reported that both Joe Biden and son Hunter took $5 million in bribes each from the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. All told, the Senate probe suggested the amount of the influence-peddling could exceed $30 million to $40 million.
Perhaps worse: The investigation has unearthed evidence of what The Federalist called evidence of “the DOJ, FBI, and now the Biden administration’s cover-up of the scandal and their cover-up of the cover-up.”
“I’ve obtained the names of 25 DOJ and FBI personnel to interview at a future date,” Grassley wrote in a letter in October to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Last week, the House Oversight Committee sent out subpoenas to both Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s brother James and former business associate Rob Walker, along with a handful of other family members, including Sara Biden (James Biden’s wife), Hallie Biden (Beau Biden’s widow), Elizabeth Secundy (Hallie’s sister), Melissa Cohen (Hunter’s wife) and Tony Bobulinski (Hunter’s former business partner).
Is it a fishing expedition, or does the committee have sufficient evidence and merely want to put people on the record for possible future legal action?
Recently, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer claims a check cashed by Joe Biden in 2017 shows unmistakably that he took “$40,000 in laundered China money” from brother James.
“Remember when Joe Biden told the American people that his son didn’t make money in China? Well, not only did he lie about his son Hunter making money in China, but it also turns out that $40,000 in laundered China money landed in Joe Biden’s bank account in the form of a personal check,” Comer said. “And the Oversight Committee has it.”
Biden “benefited from his family’s shady deal” with the communist-tied Chinese energy company CEFC, according to Comer.
But the dealing goes well beyond a mere $40,000, which the White House claims was nothing more than James Biden paying back an earlier loan from Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden’s WhatsApp account shows him strong-arming CEFC for $10 million on behalf of SinoHawk Holdings, a joint venture between Hunter Biden and others with CEFC. Biden’s comments appear damning, not only because it seems to suggest influence-peddling, but also includes mention of Joe Biden.
“I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter said in a message to Henry Zhao, director of Chinese asset management firm Harvest Fund Management. “And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”
Zhao’s response? “CEFC is willing to cooperate with the family.”
President Biden himself has been adamant in his denials: “My son has not made money in terms of this thing about, what are you talking about, China.”
But, as the New York Post pointed out, “The Big Guy (Joe Biden) was slated to take 10% of just one Chinese deal Hunter had with CCP linked energy company CEFC, and Joe met Tony Bobulinski twice in LA to vet him as CEO of the joint venture between the Bidens and China.”
If the investigation confirms what looks like a classic political shakedown, it will be very bad news for President Biden and his family, both legally and politically. The scale of the money alone is alarming, but the revelation of possible influence-peddling, which could make President Biden susceptible to blackmail, poses a real national security risk.
This may be why nearly two-thirds of Americans, including almost half of all Democrats, now agree that Biden should either quit or be impeached if the allegations prove true. The evidence is growing that they are.
I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique, and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP’s reputation for polling excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.
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Geopolitics And Geoeconomics
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. media that a deal could be afoot to free hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip but declined to provide details for fear of scuttling the potential plan.
“I think the less I say about it, the more I’ll increase the chances that it materializes,” Netanyahu told the NBC show “Meet the Press.”
The Al-Shifa facility in Gaza City has become a focal point in the territory’s bloodiest-ever war, which erupted five weeks ago.
The sounds of small arms fire and aerial bombardments were echoing across the sprawling complex amid reports that the infirm – including children – were dying for lack of basic provisions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City “is not functioning as a hospital anymore.”
The WHO says, “Constant gunfire and bombings in the area have exacerbated the already critical circumstances.”
Hospitals in the north of the Palestinian enclave are blockaded by Israeli forces and barely able to care for those inside, according to medical staff.
Israel says Hamas has placed command centers under and near hospitals, and it needs to get at them to free around 200 hostages the militants took. Hamas has denied using hospitals in this way.
Turkish President Erdogan called for pressure on the U.S. to stop Israel’s offensive in Gaza but said there would be no agreement unless Washington accepted the enclave as Palestinian land.
Turkey is technically a candidate for eventual EU membership, and even if this seems a distant prospect, Erdogan’s portrayal of Hamas militants as “liberators” – which differs sharply from the bloc’s – has caused unease.
The conflict is becoming more expensive for Israel than first predicted and is putting a strain on public finances.
With Israel’s war against Hamas costing the economy around $260 million every day, payouts to ultra-orthodox schools and other causes championed by right-wingers in the ruling coalition have set off a reckoning for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Russian air defense forces intercepted two rockets of the U.S.-made HIMARS multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) and destroyed 42 drones launched by Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
On the other side, Kyiv said the Russian army attacked southern Ukraine with a ballistic missile, likely an Iskander-M and Kh-59 guided aerial missiles overnight.
Ukraine will have enough energy resources for the coming winter, but an expected surge in Russian attacks may disrupt the supply networks, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said.
In the past few weeks, Russia attacked Ukrainian infrastructure 60 times, Kyiv said this week, raising concerns that Moscow may have already started to target the power grid for a second winter at war. Last winter, thousands of Russian drones and missiles hit power infrastructure, causing sweeping blackouts.
The United States will treat Russia as a full participant in this week’s Asia-Pacific summit in San Francisco, despite U.S. efforts to isolate Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, a senior official said.
With a visit by President Vladimir Putin politically unthinkable, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk will represent Russia at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
Even as Europe, Japan, and the U.S. tighten exports of critical technologies to China on security grounds, the outflows have not stopped.
Professor Heigo Sato of Takushoku University, an expert on export controls, told Nikkei that companies face a significant dilemma and it is “difficult to prevent technology drain perfectly.”
Protesters took to the streets in Madrid against an amnesty deal between the ruling socialist party and Catalan separatists that allowed the acting prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, to stay in power.
Sanchez has been considering granting pardons to hundreds involved in the 2017 push for northeastern Catalonia independence.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the “precision strikes” targeted a training facility and a safe house in response to continued attacks against U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq.
The U.S. strike is the third in just over two weeks as Washington attempts to put an end to drone and rocket attacks against its forces in Syria and Iraq that began when the Israel-Hamas war started a month ago.
The U.S. European Command (EUCOM) said all five crew members were killed when the aircraft went down on Friday evening “during a routine air refueling mission as part of military training.”
The military says the cause is under investigation, but there are no indications of any hostile activity involved.
Iraqi oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani said that Iraq had reached an “understanding” with Turkey in relation to the resumption of northern oil exports.
Turkey halted 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of northern exports through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline from March 25 after an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration ruling. The ICC ordered Ankara to pay Baghdad damages of about $1.5 billion for unauthorized exports by the KRG between 2014 and 2018.
The latest agreement comes as the U.S. and its two Asian allies have been striving to strengthen trilateral security cooperation as long-frayed relations between Seoul and Tokyo have significantly warmed up.
Last month, the three nations jointly conducted their first aerial drills and a maritime interdiction exercise near the Korean Peninsula, the first of such in seven years.
One of Australia’s major ports operator is back online after a cyber-attack crippled its facilities. Operations at DP World Australia container terminals in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth were disrupted from Friday to Monday morning.
Darren Goldie, the government’s Cyber Security Coordinator, said that the government had not yet identified the perpetrators of the cyber-attack, which caused the firm to disconnect its ports from the internet. Australia has seen a rise in cyber attacks since late 2022.
“A staggering 347 million children under 18 are exposed to high or extremely high water scarcity in South Asia, the highest number among all regions in the world,” the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) said.
“Climate change is disrupting weather patterns and rainfall, leading to unpredictable water availability,” the UN said in its report.
The latest negotiations towards a global treaty to combat plastic pollution open in Nairobi on Monday, with tensions expected as nations tussle over what should be included in the pact.
Some 175 countries agreed last year to conclude by 2024 a UN treaty to combat the plastic blighting oceans, floating in the atmosphere, and infiltrating the bodies of animals and humans.
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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights