You don’t need to be a political genius to see that this Hunter Biden indictment is an obvious smokescreen for the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
The three-part indictment is very simple and straightforward and could’ve been brought a long time ago… so why this week? Why does it come after a rough opening to September for Democrats, with horrible polls released concerning Joe Biden’s age and approval ratings — and particularly the same week that Republicans finally pulled the trigger on an impeachment inquiry?
First, it serves to muddy the waters. The counts in these indictments have nothing to do with what Republicans are doing with their impeachment inquiry, but the two stories will be combined by Democrats and the media — already James Comer is having to separate the two strands.
The gun charges are also the most sympathetic of Hunter’s misdeeds, given the drug addiction involved, and therefore allow the White House to spin it as targeting the Biden family in an aggressive way —”He was going through a lot, Joe has nothing to do with buying a gun,” etc. The death of the sweetheart plea deal can now be swept under the rug by saying, “Look, we’re the party of law and order now, no one’s above the law! This indictment proves it — let the courts work, just like with former President Trump.” Already Jamie Raskin is sounding this line.
More pointed Democrat trolls can also call Republicans hypocrites, because Hunter’s lawyers will challenge gun provisions deploying NRA-style arguments, particularly last summer’s Bruen ruling. Do only the Bidens not have gun rights?
Everyone knows Joe Biden will never let his sole surviving son see the inside of a prison cell. He will either win re-election and pardon him, or lose and pardon him, or pardon him then resign or not run, clearing the lane so Kamala Harris takes over (something David Ignatius’s piece this week seems to hope to forestall). The actual big and relevant Hunter violations of the law — on FARA, tax fraud and more — are all the “next shoe” to drop.
We’ll see if there’s enough pressure that they ever do. At that point the question becomes whether a pressure campaign from Democrats puts Joe Biden in a position of making his son a fall guy for all of this, or chooses the pardon path.
One last unanswered question: if Hunter Biden hadn’t gone to that state dinner just days after his deal was announced, does this all play out the same way?