Joe Biden likes to say that Donald Trump’s intemperate behavior is “corrupting” America’s children. It is a curious charge coming from a pol whose own son, Hunter, is a walking display of corruption. Lost on Biden is the irony that while he worried about the bad “example” Trump might set for America’s children, his own child was self-destructing.
Biden casts the Obama years as scandal-free, even as his son’s scandal from those years continues to erupt.
It appears that Joe and his lobbyist brothers James and Frank didn’t set a particularly good example for Hunter. They taught him early in his career that he could make easy money off the family’s political connections. Long before Hunter cashed in on his father’s last name in China and Ukraine, he was profiting off it in Delaware. Joe Biden arranged gigs for him, shortly after he left law school, with MBNA, the credit card company in Delaware. While Joe Biden was pushing legislation beneficial to MBNA, Hunter was picking up mysterious checks from it for unspecified “consulting” work.
“A son of Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was paid an undisclosed amount of money as a consultant by MBNA, the largest employer in Delaware, during the years the senator supported legislation that was promoted by the credit card industry and opposed by consumer groups,” reported CBS in 2008.
This was shrugged off at the time, but it foreshadowed Hunter’s ride on the Biden gravy train during the Obama years. Thanks to Sen. Ron Johnson’s report released this week, we now know that included a $3.5 million payment to Hunter from the richest woman in Russia, Elena Baturina. “The report described her involvement with Biden as ‘a financial relationship,’ but declined to delve deeper into why the wire transfer was made,” says the New York Post.
In light of his son’s shameless dealings, Joe Biden’s pledge to remove “dark money” from politics looks absurd. He should have begun his lectures on this subject with his own son.
Biden has excoriated the Trump family for supposedly enriching themselves off the government while pretending that his own family is guiltless of that charge. In fact, Biden knew his son was cashing in on his last name and did nothing. As the Sen. Johnson report makes clear, skittish Obama administration officials raised the Hunter Biden problem with Joe. They saw Hunter’s profiteering in Ukraine as a blatant conflict of interest for a vice president in charge of Ukraine policy. But Joe Biden didn’t care.
Biden casts the Obama years as scandal-free, even as his son’s scandal from those years continues to erupt. He allows himself such musings as
For the eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, there was not a hint of scandal. The administration established the most stringent ethics code ever adopted by any White House. Its procedures ensured that all decisions were made on the merits, without bias, favoritism or undue influence…. The Trump administration has shredded those standards. Trump is accepting foreign emoluments, and has disregarded his pledge not to expand his business overseas. And, Trump is using the federal government to prop up his resorts with countless tax dollars.
Some stringent ethics code. It obviously didn’t stop Hunter from traveling with his father to China to set up sweetheart deals for himself.
Had the media been less besotted with Obama, it would have highlighted Hunter’s scandals. Instead, it barely reported on them. His ejection from the Navy reserve for cocaine use got little coverage. The media also showed little interest in Hunter’s name turning up in the hacked subscriber data for the dating site for adulterers Ashley Madison. But in retrospect, that too was foreshadowing. As the New York Post reports:
Hunter Biden allegedly sent “thousands of dollars” to people who appear to be involved in the sex industry, according to Wednesday’s report released by Senate Republicans.
The report claims unspecified records show that Biden “has sent funds to non-resident alien women in the United States who are citizens of Russia and Ukraine and who have subsequently wired funds they have received from Hunter Biden to individuals located in Russia and Ukraine.”
“The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.’ ”
The allegations are contained in a footnote to a section of the report that details potential “criminal concerns and extortion threats” involving Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family.
Try as he might, Biden can’t erase his son’s scandals. They remain a blot on him and a weapon in the hands of Trump. If Biden foolishly attempts in the upcoming debates to pontificate about “foreign emoluments” and the like, all Trump has to do is raise the name of Hunter and ask, Why, Joe, didn’t you get his dirty money out of politics?
George Neumayr is author of The Biden Deception.