Attention readers: Neil Patel is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by David Harsanyi.
First, Joe Biden's Praetorian Guard in the media argued that the New York Post's Hunter Biden scoop was "Russian disinformation." The DOJ, FBI and DNI each publicly disagreed. No one in the Biden camp has denied the veracity of a single email thus far. Yet, as of this writing, the Post's Twitter account is still frozen, and most major news outlets won't report the story.
The next deflection was to play on your emotions: "How dare you mock a father struggling with the addiction of his son?!" This isn't about Hunter's addictions, predilections or life choices, but about his favor-trading, and whether a presidential candidate benefited from them during his tenure as vice president of the United States. We shouldn't mock those with addiction, but a person isn't inoculated from scrutiny merely because he's an addict, either.
Today, a Wisconsin reporter finally asked Biden what he thought about Senator Ron Johnson accusing his family of profiting from Hunter's shady arrangements.
It should be said that reporters have adopted a pusillanimous positioning in which they refuse to ask Biden straightforward questions, but rather frame their queries as accusations from "the right." In this case, Biden teed off on Johnson, who he claimed "should be ashamed of himself" for suggesting that the Bidens "profited off" the family name -- an indisputable fact, and one that Hunter himself has admitted. Biden went to claim that the "vast majority of the intelligence people have come out and said there's no basis at all" -- a complete fabrication. What he didn't do was answer any specific questions.
If all of this is really so wild and crazy conspiracy theory -- "spaghetti being thrown at the wall," as one CNN host claimed -- then Biden would be champing at the bit to dispel it. In fact, he very well might have some good answers to the questions that journalists ought to be asking him. For instance:
In 2018, you bragged that as vice president you had threatened Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko with the withdrawal of United States aid if he didn't fire state prosecutor, Victor Shokin. You called Poroshenko on Feb. 11, 12, 18 and 19 and demanded he fire the prosecutor -- only days after the prosecutor had seized Burisma owner's property. Did you know at the time that Shokin was investigating Burisma, the oil company that was paying your son Hunter more than $50,000 a month? Did you ever talk to your son about Shokin?
Last year, in an interview with Axios, you claimed that you had no idea what Hunter was doing at Burisma. Yet, in 2015, two Obama administration officials had raised concerns to the White House about Hunter's relationship with the oil company, worried that the relationship undermined the administration's anti-corruption message. Did you hear about these complaints at the time? Were you troubled that Hunter's leveraging of the Biden name might look like influence-peddling? Why did you think he was making so much money?
Similarly, though you have claimed that you had no idea what Hunter was doing at Burisma, an email found on Hunter's laptop -- now verified as authentic by Fox News -- shows an executive from the oil company thanking your son for facilitating a meeting between you and he while you were still vice president. Did you take that meeting? If so, did you talk about Hunter's work? If not, what did you talk about with the executive?
Have you ever financially benefitted from Hunter's relationship with Bursima or any Ukrainian company -- or has he held money for you in trust from any such a deal?
Again, you claimed in the past to have no idea about Hunter's business, but yet he accompanied you on Air Force Two flight to China in 2013. Two years earlier, you reportedly met with Chinese Communist Party members and favored billionaires in Beijing as vice president, in a meeting facilitated by Hunter's associates. What did you discuss at this meeting?
Hunter's emails also claim that you would be getting a 10% share in a deal he struck with a Chinese energy firm -- that he secured trading in on the Biden name. Did you ever benefit financially from this deal, or any other deals made by Hunter in China, or has he held money for you in trust from any such a deal?
There may well be excellent answers to all these questions. Journalists, of course, won't even investigate these incidents now, much less put the presidential candidate on the spot.
David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and the author of the book "First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History With the Gun." To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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