Eagerness to put Donald Trump behind us shouldn’t mean turning our backs on Hunter Biden’s, Jim Biden’s business entanglements.
I need to get something off my chest before the election.
For Joe Biden to be a good president, he needs to put a brick on his family members and their business entanglements and leave it there.
Look, I voted for Biden, no hesitation, no second thoughts. This country needs to be rescued from Donald Trump, and Biden should do the trick if he wins.
But our determination to close the book on Trump shouldn’t prevent Biden supporters from admitting there is a foul aroma arising from Hunter Biden’s past business dealings, especially his involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma.
There’s practically a conspiracy of silence among Democrats about Hunter Biden. Not an active conspiracy to cover up the way that Republicans might imagine it, more of a passive acceptance to get past the election. I’ve been part of it.
I attribute it to the Trump effect. Since he became president, nobody wants to admit their candidate has flaws. To do so would show weakness.
In the post-ethical political world that began the day Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016, the only thing that counts is whether you win or lose. And weakness loses.
Trump, as we know, is someone for whom morality is not even a part of his personal equation, which makes it is easier to shrug off the former vice president’s foibles.
But that’s no reason for us to accept a post-ethical White House as a constant. If Biden becomes president, that will require him putting an end to family members trading on his name to enrich themselves.
In January, Biden sort of did that, promising his family wouldn’t have “any involvement with any foreign government at all” with him in the White House. I’d like to see that message broadened and reinforced, even if it has to wait until Nov. 4. As it stands, Biden might spend the first years of his presidency bogged down by old questions.
Even if you totally discount the latest wild accusations involving the laptop allegedly discovered in a Wilmington, Delaware, computer shop (for today’s purposes, I am discounting them entirely), it’s plain that Hunter Biden and the vice president’s younger brother Jim have a history of profiting off their connection to him.
The most notorious of these arrangements is Hunter Biden serving on the board of directors of Burisma from 2014, when his father was vice president, until just last year.
It has been reported Hunter Biden was paid “up to” $50,000 a month in the role, though other reports suggest that’s not necessarily accurate. The bottom line is there never was any legitimate reason for recruiting him to hold the position.
The key question is whether Joe Biden ever has allowed those connections to influence his actions as Barack Obama’s vice president or as a U.S. senator.
My media brethren who have investigated these matters have never found evidence Joe Biden profited from his family’s activities or acted improperly.
But they’ve also clearly established that Biden has a blind spot regarding his family members’ business pursuits, almost as if he had a policy of anything goes as long as they don’t tell him about it.
I want more from our next president than deniability.
Biden should have taken his son aside long ago and told him he shouldn’t be taking money from people who would try to use him to project political influence.
That’s a method of doing business with which we are very familiar in Illinois.
My great wish for Hunter Biden would be that he spend the next four years where we last found him: quietly painting from a poolside studio in the Hollywood Hills.
Hunter Biden promised then that he wouldn’t be doing any overseas business if his father became president.
Maybe Dad could send him an allowance to keep him out of trouble.
Jim Biden, the Democratic nominee’s 71-year-old brother, who has been charitably described as an entrepreneur, ought to seriously think about retiring.
And the rest of us shouldn’t be afraid to speak up when something about “our candidate” is troubling.