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What Exactly Is the Biden Impeachment Inquiry and Should We Be Worried?

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 13, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | September 13, 2023 |


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Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy opened an impeachment inquiry into President Biden yesterday. If you are wondering about its significance, it appears far lower on the home page of The Washington Post than an op-ed from a 73-year-old columnist suggesting that Joe Biden should drop out because he might lose to Trump, partly due to his age.

There’s a reason I mention both stories together, and it is this: With two-thirds of Democrats saying they don’t want Biden running again, the one thing that might rally Biden’s supporters to his side is a good old-fashioned witch hunt. The real kind, not the Trump “witch hunts.” Hell, it has worked for Trump: The four indictments against him have made him more relevant than he’s been since leaving office. Imagine what an impeachment inquiry made up of actual trumped-up charges might do for Joe Biden. It should be noted, too, that the inquiry came without a House vote, and that’s because Kevin McCarthy knew that he probably wouldn’t have received the votes he needed. The inquiry is designed to satiate a few hard-right Republicans like Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz, who have spent the last several years screaming “HUNTER BIDEN” AND “BURISMA” until both words have lost all meaning.

Nevertheless, the inquiry signals the beginning of an official impeachment investigation. The hard-right Republicans, who have been investigating these matters for years (and most of the charges precede Biden’s Presidential term), have been making a lot of insinuations, but they don’t have any evidence. And even if they did have evidence, what Biden is being accused of preceded his time in office and does not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors.

The gist is this: Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, is a troubled individual with a history of drug abuse and illicit affairs. Hunter Biden did some shady things and used his father’s name to gain powerful positions and strike business deals. I hate to make the comparison, but it’s apt: Hunter Biden pulled the same maneuvers that the Trump kids have pulled all their lives—using their dad’s name to get ahead.

It doesn’t mean that Joe Biden actively helped his son, and in fact, there’s little to no evidence that he did, beyond the fact that Hunter Biden would put his father on speakerphone during calls with important people to present the illusion that he had access to his father’s power, although there is no evidence that Joe Biden ever did anything to help Hunter.

There was also a conflict of interest at one point that gave the illusion of impropriety. In 2014, as Vice President, Joe Biden was sending out strong anticorruption messages about Ukraine while his son was sitting on the board of Burisma, which was operated by a corrupt oligarch. Joe Biden called for the removal of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, which the Republicans have tried to suggest was done to help Hunter. In fact, the top prosecutor was corrupt and refused to prosecute the head of Burisma, and the EU was also calling for the prosecutor’s removal. Moreover, there is no evidence that Joe and Hunter ever discussed Ukraine business beyond a single statement by Joe to his son, “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

There’s evidence that Joe Biden was involved in his son’s life because he is a loving father, but there’s little to no evidence that Joe Biden was involved in his son’s business dealings. There’s a lot of salacious material out there from Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the Republicans are basically trying to tie Joe Biden to the sordid behaviors of his son, which is like suggesting that Tom Hanks is an anti-vaxxer because Chet Hanks has expressed some anti-vaxxer opinions.

There really isn’t anything here beyond innuendo, none of which has been confirmed. The Republicans are trying to suggest that Joe Biden operated a bribery scheme with Hunter, which is absurd. Joe Biden is not a perfect man, but he is not corrupt, and I think that most people—except those with brain worms—know that. Voters have legitimate concerns about his age, but after four years of Trump, trying to make unsubstantiated charges stick to Biden seems silly.

The Republicans are also trying to suggest that the DOJ has gone easy on Hunter Biden because he’s the President’s son, never mind that Hunter Biden was originally charged with a gun crime that almost no one ever gets charged with. A plea deal, however, fell apart because Hunter Biden wanted assurances that the DOJ would finally leave him alone after he accepted the plea. The DOJ could not offer such assurances, the plea deal fell apart, and a special prosecutor—who will bring charges against Hunter—was assigned. The reality is: Hunter Biden is in more legal trouble as the son of the President than he would be as a regular citizen.

I don’t want to play a game of whataboutism and list the many, many, many legally and ethically improper things done by Jared Kushner and the Trump children, but also: COME ON. Jared Kushner got a $2 billion kickback from the Saudi prince, and the Republicans are going after Joe Biden because his son did crack. It’s exactly this kind of hypocrisy that makes at least me more enthusiastic about voting for Biden for another term, notwithstanding his age.

In answer to the question: Should we be worried? I’m going to let Senator Fetterman handle that one:

It’s good to see him Fetterman being Fetterman again.