Hey Joe, are you still proud of Hunter?

A federal grand jury indicted Hunter Biden on nine charges, including three felonies, most of them related to not paying taxes on income, including payments from those shady foreign businessmen. But the indictment lays out all kinds of shocking and sordid details indicating that Hunter Biden is either extraordinarily shameless, extraordinarily stupid, or both. If you’re going to hire a bunch of prostitutes, don’t tell the Internal Revenue Service that those were legitimate business expenses. At this point, one of the most intriguing questions is how much the Obama team saw Hunter Biden as a PR bomb waiting to explode, and whether this played a role in Barack Obama’s lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic Party nominating Joe Biden in either 2016 or 2020.

Hunter Biden’s Destructive Tendencies

There is a tendency in the national media to describe Hunter Biden as “troubled,” which is accurate enough as far as it goes, but somewhat insufficient. Trouble is not something that has randomly happened to him; trouble is something that occurs as a predictable and inevitable consequence of his decisions and actions.

There are a lot of men who go into strip clubs. There are significantly fewer who get the stripper pregnant. There are a lot of men who get a woman pregnant unintentionally. There are fewer who get into long, messy battles about paying child support for the child of that unexpected pregnancy, and exceptionally few who are legally permitted to pay child support in the form of paintings. There are many men who have lost a beloved brother. There are very few who promptly started an extramarital affair with their late brother’s widow.

(Earlier this year, we were told that President Biden recognized that he had seven grandchildren, not six. This year, the Biden family abandoned its tradition of hanging stockings by a fireplace in the White House for all the president’s grandchildren.)

It is as if, in every conceivable circumstance, year by year, Hunter Biden chooses the single most destructive option available. If almost anyone else on Earth made decisions like these, they would end up in the direst of circumstances, probably either behind bars or dead. But Hunter Biden has managed to escape the worst consequences, over and over and over again, because he’s been the son of a powerful senator, then the vice president, then a likely presidential candidate, and then the president.

Late last night, news broke that a federal grand jury in California has indicted Hunter Biden on nine charges, including three felonies, for failing to pay his taxes, understating his income, and exaggerating his expenses on tax returns. The details laid out in the indictment are sordid. Hunter allegedly spent $188,960 on “adult entertainment” instead of paying his taxes. What’s more, a lot of what he was paying for “adult services” he later attempted to claim as deductions for business expenses:

“A $1,500 Venmo payment on August 14, 2018. That payment was to an exotic dancer, at a strip club. The Defendant described the payment in the Venmo transaction as for ‘artwork.’ The exotic dancer had not sold him any artwork.”

“Payments totaling $11,500 for an escort paid by the Defendant to spend two nights with him.”

“The Defendant circled $1,248 in payments for airline tickets as a business expense for an exotic dancer to fly from Los Angeles to New York in September 2018.”

In other words, Hunter Biden was hiring prostitutes and then telling the IRS that the money he spent on them was a legitimate business expense. There’s a separate category of “payments, various women” that adds up to more than $683,000. Hunter Biden spent nearly $400,000 over a four-year-span on “clothing and accessories.” (Could you spend more than $100,000 per year on clothing?)

Biden also withdrew more than $1.6 million in cash over a four-year period, and let’s face it, when you’re buying drugs, you rarely write a check or put it on your credit card.

The indictment continues:

In each year in which he failed to pay his taxes, the Defendant had sufficient funds available to him to pay some or all of his outstanding taxes when they were due. But he chose not to pay them. Notably, in 2020, well after he had regained his sobriety, and when he finally filed his outstanding 2016, 2017, and 2018 Forms 1040, the Defendant did not direct any payments toward his tax liabilities for each of those years. At the same time, the Defendant spent large sums to maintain his lifestyle from January through October 15, 2020.

Also, if you’re going to claim a whole bunch of luxury-hotel stays as a legitimate business expense — and if the IRS is reading this, I deduct my costs of going on reporting trips, but not my family vacations! — you really should not write in your memoir about how you were on a bender and traipsing from one hotel to another the entire time:

Similarly, the Defendant circled hotel stays claiming they were business expenses, including approximately: i. $4,478 paid to the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California, in April and May 2018; ii. $11,133 paid to the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, California, in May 2018; iii. $11,169 paid to the Sixty Beverly Hills in June and July 2018; iv. $9,494 paid to the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in Beverly Hill, California in July and October 2018; v. $4,004 paid to the London West Hotel, in Beverly Hills, California in July 2018; vi. $4,347 paid to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in August 2018; vii. $7,761 paid to the Jeremy Hotel in Hollywood in May 2018; viii. $1,023 paid to the District Hotel in Washington, D.C. in May and June 2018; ix. $739 paid to 1 Hotel Park in New York City in January 2018; and x. $2,861 paid to the Roxy Hotel in New York City in June and December 2018. A number of these were the very same hotels that the Defendant identified, by name, in his memoir as the locations of his monthslong drug and alcohol binge.

Here’s how Hunter Biden described his time in those hotels in his memoir, Beautiful Things:

An ant trail of dealers and their sidekicks rolled in and out, day and night. They pulled up in late-series Mercedes-Benzes, decked out in oversized Raiders or Lakers jerseys and flashing fake Rolexes. Their stripper girlfriends invited their girlfriends, who invited their boyfriends. They’d drink up the entire minibar, call room service for filet mignon and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. One of the women even ordered an additional filet for her purse-sized dog.

Can I just pause and remind you of how President Biden, for decades, has insufferably and implausibly claimed that other senators call him “Middle Class Joe,” and claimed that he lives a modest, relatable lifestyle? Meanwhile, Hunter Biden is living a life that Caligula would find decadent.

I’m going to say something really controversial here*: I think Hunter Biden is not a good person. It’s not just that he stumbled into drug use decades ago and has been struggling with addiction ever since. It’s that he continually makes terrible choices, often breaking the law, and with terrible consequences for innocent people in his life — his children, his partners, and yes, his father and stepmother.

He is blessed with a family that loves him, that wants to help him to make better choices in life, and that has paid for all kinds of rehabilitation programs over the years. There are a whole lot of drug addicts who don’t have that, and who still manage to find a way to stay clean.

Hunter, your dad is 81. He’s trying to do the job of president of the United States. A whole bunch of us don’t think he should be in that job, but he is. What he faces, every day, is difficult enough without the burden of knowing his son is attracted to every conceivable self-destructive act imaginable.

Could you try to stop screwing up in the worst way possible for the next year and a half? Don’t you think you owe that to your dad? Maybe he’s not the perfect dad, and he’s enabled your worst habits for a long, long time. But don’t you think it’s time for you to grow the hell up, take responsibility for your actions, and stop using the old Hillary Clinton spin that a vast right-wing conspiracy is out to get you?

Some Democrat out there, embarrassed and desperate to ensure that the electorate doesn’t judge the incumbent president by this sordid mess, will ask what any of this has to do with the president.

Well, when Joe Biden spent decades enacting harsher penalties for drug use, possession, and dealing, it matters if Hunter Biden broke those laws many, many times and never suffered any legal consequence.

When Joe Biden spent decades attempting to restrict gun possession and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners, it matters if his son lied to a federally licensed gun dealer, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years in jail; made a false claim on the federal firearms application used to screen applicants, which carries a sentence of up to five years; and had possession of an illegally obtained gun, which carries a maximum penalty of ten years.

When Joe Biden to this day argues that the reason the U.S. has a debt and deficit problem is because the rich haven’t paid their fair share, it matters if his own son chose to not pay millions of dollars of taxes he legally owed.

Hunter Biden’s entire life, so far, has been a bold, defiant, shameless declaration that laws are for the little people, not for the Bidens.

Let me also point out that the argument from the Biden family this entire time has been that all of these foreign businesses and businessmen — Burisma Holdings Limited, Romanian real-estate tycoon Gabriel Popoviciu, Chinese energy-conglomerate CEFC China Energy Co Ltd., State Energy HK, a Hong Kong entity associated with CEFC — all chose to hire and make those extremely lucrative payments to Hunter Biden because he was such a smart guy, not because he was the vice president’s son. That explanation makes no sense. Everything we know about Hunter Biden during this period suggests that he was a spectacularly addicted, insanely self-destructive, out-of-control maniac who made the lifestyle of the typical hip-hop star look Amish. The only asset he brought to the table was his last name and his connection to his father.

Allow me to connect two dots. As noted, during the Obama presidency, there were people within the Obama administration who saw Hunter Biden as a potentially serious problem, but who could never get the vice president to address the matter seriously.

From newyorker.com:

Several former officials in the Obama Administration and at the State Department insisted that Hunter’s role at Burisma had no effect on his father’s policies in Ukraine, but said that, nevertheless, Hunter should not have taken the board seat. As the former senior White House aide put it, there was a perception that “Hunter was on the loose, potentially undermining his father’s message.” The same aide said that Hunter should have recognized that at least some of his foreign business partners were motivated to work with him because they wanted “to be able to say that they are affiliated with Biden.” A former business associate said, “The appearance of a conflict of interest is good enough, at this level of politics, to keep you from doing things like that.” . . .

Hunter’s meeting with Li and his relationship with BHR attracted little attention at the time, but some of Biden’s advisers were worried that Hunter, by meeting with a business associate during his father’s visit, would expose the Vice-President to criticism. The former senior White House aide told me that Hunter’s behavior invited questions about whether he “was leveraging access for his benefit, which just wasn’t done in that White House. Optics really mattered, and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close, even if nothing nefarious was going on.” When I asked members of Biden’s staff whether they discussed their concerns with the Vice-President, several of them said that they had been too intimidated to do so. “Everyone who works for him has been screamed at,” a former adviser told me. Others said that they were wary of hurting his feelings. One business associate told me that Biden, during difficult conversations about his family, “got deeply melancholy, which, to me, is more painful than if someone yelled and screamed at me. It’s like you’ve hurt him terribly. That was always my fear, that I would be really touching a very fragile part of him.”

Then, in both the run-up to the 2016 election and the 2020 election, Barack Obama seemed unusually unenthusiastic about the prospect of his vice president becoming the next Democratic nominee for president.

From Politico:

But numerous administration veterans, including loyalists to both Obama and Biden, remember it differently: Obama had begun embracing Clinton as a possible successor years before Biden lost his son, while the vice president was laying the groundwork for his own campaign. . . .

“It certainly felt like Obama’s world was behind us,” said one former Clinton campaign aide. “It wasn’t just Plouffe, Palmieri and Benenson. From the beginning, a lot of key Obama aides came over and helped stand up our campaign.” It was so blatant that some Clinton aides wondered whether Obama had just wrongly assumed that Biden wasn’t interested in running because of his age.

On January 5, 2015, Biden and Obama privately discussed a White House run at their weekly lunch. Obama “had been subtly weighing in against,” Biden recalled in Promise Me, Dad, his 2017 book. . . .

Obama pressed the issue in another private meeting. “The president was not encouraging,” Biden recalled.

Was it all just Obama thinking Hillary Clinton was already closer to the nomination, or that a younger nominee would have better odds against Donald Trump?

Or did Obama sense that someday, the ticking time bomb of Hunter Biden was destined to detonate?

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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