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Inglorious Politics: The Hunter Biden Problem

In May last year, the Washington Post ran a fairly typical piece about what the paper perceives as an unjustified conservative mania regarding President Joe Biden’s son. While those in the US worried “about such things as inflation and the war in Ukraine, the top concerns of congressional Republicans can be ranked roughly as follows: 1) Hunter Biden; 2) Hunter Biden; 3) Hunter Biden; 4) Hunter Biden.”

None of this can get away from the fact that Hunter Biden is an inkblot for his father and the Democrats. What matters is how big that blot is, and how far the ink has gone through the copybook. For Republicans, and Donald Trump in particular, the blot is so large as to be visible from space, an electoral opportunity to quarry and mine. When cocaine was found in the West Wing of the White House, Trump jumped at the chance via posts on Truth Social to link father and son in a seamless charge of criminal collusion. “Get Deranged Jack Smith to take just a ‘tiny’ portion of the millions of dollars he is spending illegally ‘targeting’ me, and let him go to the White House with his army of thugs to solve the Cocaine dilemma.” The inevitable question followed: “Is it Crooked Joe and his wonderful son, Hunter? Release the findings, release the tapes. We can’t have a crackhead in charge of our Nuclear Arsenal!!!”

Trump’s social media effusions agitated Hunter sufficiently to encourage his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, to send a cease-and-desist letter in July to the former president, insisting that Trump’s comments had “caused harm in the past and threaten to do so again if he does not stop.” According to Lowell, “The Biden family was not at the White House (let alone in the vestibule) in the period when the cocaine was found.”

The congressional GOP have also toyed with the idea of impeachment proceedings against Joe Biden, which would be, at this point, a long bow indeed. The whole matter is also wearing a bit thin with some party members, with Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, suggesting that the party focus on “the economy, the border, crime.”

For the Democrats, Hunter’s own fate does not deserve discussion. This, to say the least, is problematic. When his father entered the White House, Hunter’s own salty resume was always going to surface as an issue, be it the more prurient details, a history of drug addiction and various international business dealings in both Ukraine and China. The latter were always going to raise questions about the paternal connection. (For its part, the White House has repeatedly denied any involvement in such dealings.)

One issue that has not gone away is Hunter’s lengthy legal battle with his former personal assistant Lunden Roberts, with whom he fathered a child in 2018. It took a DNA test to confirm his paternity of Navy Joan, who has been a notable absentee in the scrubbed public image of President Biden, the family man. Media reports and releases continue to mention Joe Biden’s six grandchildren, omitting the seventh. “The Bidens have taken such great pains to avoid acknowledging Navy Joan,” write Molly Olmstead and Christina Cauterucci in Slate, “that it has begun to make the president and first lady look callous.”

Last month, Hunter and his lawyers attempted to enter a plea deal with the Department of Justice relating to various charges covering tax payments and guns. This included a guilty plea for misdemeanour counts for not paying, in timely fashion, his 2017 and 2018 taxes. As part of the deal, he would have also been charged, though not prosecuted, for purchasing a handgun in 2018 while using drugs, on the proviso that he remain clean for two years and agree never to own a firearm again. The plea deal subsequently collapsed, quashed by US District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika as being “unusual” in its proposed resolution of the gun charge, and for using “non standard” terms.

The polls regarding the Hunter problem are mixed. One Reuters/Ipsos poll found that half of the respondents, including 1 in 3 Democrats, felt that Hunter was getting more generous treatment from prosecutors by virtue of his father being the president. Not that this would necessarily affect their 2024 vote: the polarities of US politics have petrified.

The latest addition to the ongoing saga comes in an announcement by Attorney General Merrick Garland that David Weiss, the federal prosecutor responsible for investigating Hunter since 2019 when he was made attorney general for Delaware, will be given special counsel powers. This will enable him “to continue the investigation, take any investigative steps he wanted, and make the decision whether to prosecute in any district.”

The US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, for its part, was unimpressed. Its chairman, James Comer (R-Ky) accused the DOJ of attempting “a Biden family coverup in light of the House Oversight Committee’s mounting evidence of President Biden’s role in his family schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals.”

The Democrats nurse their own paranoid demons and obsessions, crowned in no small part by their terror of Trump and their own imbecilities for having selected Hillary Clinton as their candidate in 2016. Having lost to the orange-hued demon that year, the party has made it its one object to make sure the keys to the White House will be forever out of his reach. While the GOP concocts its own fantasies of the Father-Son nexus of alleged crime and corruption in the Biden family, all manner of conspiracies have been confected by the Democrats to achieve much the same aim. These, it should be said, keep company with genuine, prima facie assertions of impropriety, if not outright illegality on Trump’s part.

In the mix of loathing and paranoia, it has become hard to disentangle the fable of Russiagate with Trump’s own electoral interference in the aftermath of the 2020 election. The paranoid, desperate mind rejects such distinctions, fusing demonology and fact. It is precisely that state of mind, so ascendant in US politics today, that makes Hunter a political liability. How it computes electorally is something that remains enigmatic.


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  1. JulianP

    Dr. Kampmark thank you.
    That’s all very interesting but I’m curious why you haven’t mentioned other aspects of Biden family malfeasance:

    “The story of the Biden family’s corrupt influence-peddling scheme, which netted tens of millions of dollars from Ukraine, China, Russia and beyond, is scandal enough,” Devine writes. “But the coverup — from Big Tech’s censorship of the Post’s reporting from Hunter’s abandoned laptop, and CIA lies that it was Russian disinformation, to the burying of this [FBI document] FD–1023 — is bigger than Watergate.”

    Quoted in:


  2. Andrew Smith

    Good luck for the Special Counsel who has yet to find anything substantive to stick, even though a Trump appointee and ally.

    Further, for credibility, the media that flog this inc. not just FoxNews, but Zero Hedge i.e. Merkel, Obama & EU bad vs. Trump & Putin good, see researcher Pekka Kallioniemi’s Vatnik Soup for social media analysis (inc. couple of Australians too)

    And Koch Network (locally inc. IPA, CIS etc.) flagship The Heritage Foundation’s own outlet The Daily Signal, obsesses daily about Biden Jnr., while even locally Costello’s SMH’s Washington correspondent (looking for transfer &/or promotion to News?) helpfully rebooted the ‘Biden laptop’ conspiracy, using Murdoch’s NY Post as a source over a year ago, and again recently?

    JulianP: Consortium News is not considered a credible source but Kremlin mouthpiece and has support from Russian Ukraine invasion apologists, faux anti-imperialist sh*theads (Draitser Counter Punch) & tankies, RWNJs, inc. Scott Ritter…

    One the latter, in the Anglosphere, why do ageing ideological left and RW libertarians (authoritarians) share critical and negative talking points on Ukraine, Assange, Biden etc.?

  3. JulianP

    @Andrew Smith. August 12, 2023 at 7:46 pm.
    Your comment noted Andrew.
    BTW the article linked was written by journalist and author Patrick Lawrence.
    I assume you read it ?

  4. Phil Pryor

    There must be years and tonnes of Trump and Biden filth to chew on, indigestible and opaque.Comments here mention dodgy publication, and even that Murdoch harping Himmlerian harlot of right wing hardshitty sneaky gossip, M Devine, sent by Murdoch to get her away from Australia and operate in her ideal environment where filth, rumour, espionage, untrustworthiness, betrayal, moneygrubbing, utter self intoxiction and careering egofixated vanikty supports a living. The Trump and Biden stories, pasts, records, patterns, need opening up to a world naively thinking that “Foreigners” like Adolf and Josef were the only “Baddies” while western whitey whikz kids like J F Kennedy were saintly sweethearts (ask David Niven’s wife…) Has it ever been lower in USA diving political saga searching? Then it is an era of the Morrison, Johnson, Trump types, not exactly Pol Pot but on the effing nose.

  5. Canguro

    Yes indeed, PP, the power of propaganda… a constant stream of vilification of those whom the western powers deem threatening; barely a squeak as to their own evils and machiavellian shenanigans, and when the mice do dare to squeak, it’s a case of flatten them immediately, dare they squeak again. Just ask Assange, Daniel Ellsberg, Karen Silkwood, Mordechai Vanunu, Peter Wright, Jeffrey Wigand, Michael Ruppert, Chelsea Manning… just a few names amongst a long list of those who have been pursued, interrogated,intimidated, threatened, jailed, exiled, murdered.. for daring to tell the truth about the criminality of those in power.

  6. Phil Pryor

    Canguru, all through history, great aggregations and agglomerations, imperious murderers and thieves, with conquerors, prelates, viziers, advisors, guards, have fought to achieve supremacy, inner sanctum secrecies, fellowships, exclusivities, and have sworn by some drive, a national interest, a class primacy, a faultless pontifical high elevation, with operators, praetitians, S S, palace guards. Truth tellers who oppose even clear error are eliminated. Outsiders are discounted, removed, opposed, charged. The Romans sharpened all older positions, and Huns, Vandals, Goths, led the way for Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin etc. Thwarting and humiliating these, even a shitty Trump or Pol Pot, means courting finality. In the last two decades since the 9/11 episode, the USA, a land of peace, has killed over four millions, most of them like us and our families. Perhaps this will never end, but we must oppose…

  7. Clakka

    With Blinken saying “while he understood Australian concerns over the length of time for the case to be resolved, US “sensitivities” about Mr Assange also had to be considered”, I was struck by several ironies.

    1.0 the double-speak of “sensitivities”:
    1.1 the original US crimes exposed, or
    1.2 13 years of US/US sponsored extra-judicial actions, pursuits, entrapments, blackmails, lies and legal jiggery pokery against Assange
    2.0 that Blinken wrongly assumed that he was speaking to a confused and ill-informed Oz populace.
    3.0 that politics in Oz had not reached the level of an abject fetid lunatic soup as in the US.
    4.0 that the US cornerstone ‘freedom of speech’ had been abused by it so much as to become its own worst enemy.
    5.0 that the US thinks nothing of killing via duress those exercising ‘freedom of speech’, whether in the US or elsewhere.

    Since its year dot, the USA has had difficulty maintaining equilibrium and equity in its commercial sector so as to maintain universal benefit for its entire populace. Despite exceptional laws in that regard, it has never succeeded, and resigning opted for its embedment and participation in politics – it now seems almost inextricable – the lines blurred out of existence, giving rise to a xenophobic self-annihilation.

    The Joe McCarthy era brought sensationalism, paranoia and self-doubt to the largely European generations of migrants and exploitative opportunity for the old guard, and initiated a mindset of exceptionalism and a chauvinism and xenophobia.

    Today, the largely obsessively inward-looking populace and its broken corporate captured politics sees it failing to adapt and learn, hold onto redundant social and industrial architecture, ignore its scholars and scientists, and as it crumbles, resort to blame, drug taking and madness.

    It maintains a cold war against itself.

    How anyone could divine truth and meaning in such an environment is beyond me.

  8. Andrew Smith

    @JulianP Patrick Lawrence is another example of the issue of influence and narrative building by ageing political activists masquerading as journalists in the Anglosphere, anti-Ukraine, anti-Biden-Dems, anti-EU etc.. He writes for UnHerd another Koch Network linked UK entity doing the bidding of their investors i.e. donors & ‘owning’ the GOP, Tories & LNP, who manage to also influence the ageing left….

    On UnHerd: ‘Mic Wright called UnHerd “part of a right-wing ecosystem of people, think-tanks, and publications that cosplay as outsiders while having access to the people at the heart of power and often having had access to the levers of power themselves at some point”

    ‘The weird history of the cow site: Why Unherd shouldn’t be seen as ‘respectable’., Mic Wright, about UnHerdConquest of the Useless, 28 July 2020

    Curious as to why so many older Australians, supposedly centre or left, support Anglo right wing causes, maybe something to do with our own media not informing people, but manipulating them?

  9. JulianP

    @Andrew Smith August 13, 2023 at 8:14 pm.

    Andrew, thank you for taking the trouble to reply.
    I can see there’s a great deal more in these matters than meets the eye.

  10. Terence Mills

    Concerning Assange, two things :

    1.Prime Minister Albanese is to visit Washington D.C. in late October.

    United States ambassador Caroline Kennedy has flagged a potential plea deal between Julian Assange and US authorities that could end America’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder and allow him to return to Australia.

    With any luck he could be home by Christmas !

  11. Barry

    Andrew, I just looked at the Unherd site and there’s no mention of Patrick Lawrence as a writer.
    I’ve watched a few of the interviews conducted by Freddie Sayers and find him to be one of the best.
    David Speers of ABC Insiders could learn the art of not interrupting from watching interviewers at Unherd.
    You are right about older Australians demonstrating they are open to the idea of weighing up the arguments of both left and right (unless you think such people only read right wing dross). It is definitely “to do with our own media not informing people, but manipulating them”.
    The whole MSM propaganda show is transparent and stinks to high heaven. I only read it occasionally to see the latest psy-op.

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