“So Hunter Biden’s business is news after all,” said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. “Who knew?” Back in October, the New York Post published damning emails retrieved from the laptop of Hunter Biden, 50, son of the now president-elect, but the mainstream media dismissed the story as “Russian disinformation” funneled through President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Now, with the election over, the truth is coming out. This week, Hunter Biden confirmed that federal prosecutors in Delaware are “investigating my tax affairs,” while denying any wrongdoing.
Credit should go to outgoing Attorney General William Barr for keeping the investigation secret during the campaign. Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s investigations into his son—including a second one by the U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh into information from Ukraine provided by Giuliani—“certainly complicate life for whomever Mr. Biden nominates to be his attorney general.” These investigations should shame news outlets and so-called intelligence experts who dismissed the Hunter Biden story as a smear, said Rich Lowry in NationalReview.com.
They “deliberately misled the public.” Nice try, said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com. The unsurprising news that the president-elect’s “hot mess” of a son may have tax problems is “completely unrelated” to the New York Post’s fizzled bombshell. The allegation then was that Joe Biden was corrupt, and that he’d improperly used his clout as vice president to shield Hunter’s Ukrainian employer, Burisma, from investigation.
That claim has repeatedly been proven false. In addition, the FBI ihas reportedly examined the laptop Giuliani provided and found no crimes or anything related to the tax investigation. Trying telling that to Fox News, said Alex Shephard in NewRepublic.com. Fox and other right-wing media are giving nonstop, sensationalized coverage of Hunter’s tax woes “as a kind of Benghazi scandal” they will flog night and day to damage Joe Biden. This case demands a special prosecutor, said Andrew McCarthy in NationalReview.com. Federal investigators have reportedly found that Hunter received “highly lucrative, highly suspicious streams of income from China, Ukraine, and Russia,” some of it while Biden Sr. was involved with foreign policy in those countries. The case needs to be walled off from Joe Biden’s Justice Department appointees.
That’s neither necessary or advisable, said William McGurn in The Wall Street Journal. If Biden simply lets the Republican-appointed U.S. attorney overseeing Hunter’s case finish his work, it would show Biden is “serious about his pledge’’ to run a nonpartisan Justice Department. Investigate away, said Molly Jong-Fast in Vogue.com. But if “presidential offspring” are fair game, shouldn’t we also find out what Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have been up to since 2017? They continued to make more than $35 million a year while serving as senior advisers to the president, with the power to affect policies affecting their own businesses. Indeed, Ivanka’s self-dealing during the 2017 inauguration is already facing “legal scrutiny” by the Washington, D.C. attorney general. “Time will tell” whether Hunter committed any crimes, said Ed McCaffrey in CNN.com. But after the last four years, it’s highly encouraging that Biden Sr. reacted to the bad news about his son not by tweeting “WITCH HUNT!” and “HOAX!” but by assuring Americans he would not interfere. “It’s not my Justice Department; it’s the people’s Justice Department,” the presidentelect said. That alone is a “cause for celebration.”