Hunter Biden: A fair target?
Republicans are desperately trying to convince Americans that Joe Biden did something corrupt in Ukraine, said Greg Sargent in The Washington Post. Their smear, however, “is based on lies.” As vice president, Biden was the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, and he very openly withheld $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to pressure Ukraine into removing its prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. But now Republicans claim Biden forced out Shokin to protect his son, Hunter, who earned $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma. Contrary to the GOP’s assertions, Shokin was not investigating Burisma when he was fired, and the U.S.—and other Western governments—wanted Shokin out “because his office was actually facilitating corruption.” Republican attempts to smear Biden are a shameless “act of evasion,” said Amy Davidson Sorkin in NewYorker.com. Now that Republicans have let Trump off the hook for blatantly blackmailing Ukraine, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) promises a separate Senate investigation into the Bidens.
That investigation is long overdue, said Deroy Murdock in NationalReview.com. In 2014, the U.K. had just launched a money-laundering investigation into Burisma and its oligarch owner when Hunter Biden joined the company’s board, at a salary of more than $50,000 a month. A Washington Post editorial at the time indignantly complained that Hunter’s hiring “looks nepotistic at best, nefarious at worst.” Still, Joe Biden thinks his son is a victim, said Chrissy Clark in TheFederalist.com. Asked by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie this week why Hunter was hired by Burisma despite zero experience in the field, Biden said “because he’s a very bright guy,” and angrily denied it was because his last name was Biden. That’s transparently “preposterous.”
Hunter Biden may have milked the family name, said EJ Montini in The Arizona Republic, but compared with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, he made “chump change.” Ivanka’s stake in the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., netted her $4 million in 2018 alone, with corporate executives and foreign officials renting thousands of high-priced rooms “to suck up to the president.” While serving in the White House, Ivanka and Jared continued to operate businesses and investments that brought in $135 million in 2018. That screams “conflict of interest.” So if Hunter deserves to be investigated, what about Ivanka and Jared? ■