Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant: How to Make a Full-Sized Scandal Vanish in Front of an Audience of Millions

This week marked the anniversary of one of the greatest political tricks in history: the disappearance of Hunter Biden scandal. New emails were released that added new details to what was a raw influence peddling operation that netted millions from foreign sources. A new tranche of emails connecting President Joe Biden to key accounts proves just how this political sleight of hand was worthy of Houdini. After all, Houdini only made an elephant disappear. The Bidens made the equivalent to an entire circus disappear in front of an audience of millions.

How Houdini made his 10,000 pound elephant Jennie disappear every night in New York’s Hippodrome remains a matter of some debate. There are no good pictures of his famous cabinet and Houdini later threatened to sue those featuring acts with “disappearing elephants.”  What is clear is that the sheer size and audacity of the act (like that of the Bidens) contributed to the trick. The fact is that Jennie never left the large cabinet, people just didn’t see it.

The Bidens achieved the same effect. They made a full-sized scandal disappear with the help of media and members who did not want the public to see it.  Twitter banned postings about the laptop until after Biden was elected. The media dismissed the story as a conspiracy theory with some mocking the “New York Post and everyone else who got suckered into the ridiculous Hunter Biden Laptop story. Take a bow.”

Committee Chairman Adam Schiff assured that public that “this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.” Some 50 former intelligence officials, including Obama’s CIA directors John Brennan and Leon Panetta, also insisted the laptop story was likely the work of Russian intelligence.

The laptop is, of course, now recognized as genuine even by some of the early deniers. Hunter remains under criminal investigation for possible tax and money laundering violations. But the greatest “reveal” is the person referred to as “the Big Guy” and “Celtic” in these emails: President Biden.

Recently released emails reference payments to President Biden from his son’s accounts and indicate the possible commingling of funds.  Even more embarrassing, the shared account may have been used to pay a Russian prostitute named “Yanna.” In one text, a former secret service agent warns Hunter (who was holed up with a prostitute in an expensive hotel) “Come on H this is linked to Celtic’s account.”

The question is whether prosecutors will continue to act like they do not see the elephant. Consider these established facts:

First, it is widely believed that Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden, received millions in influence peddling. For his part, Hunter only had influence and access to sell. He admits that he was a crack addict and alcoholic all the way up to the start of his father’s presidential campaign — in his words, “Drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating,” as well as “smoking crack around the clock.”

Second, Joe Biden has continued to deny knowledge or involvement in these foreign dealings and those denials are now directly contradicted by emails and witnesses. Hunter himself contradicted his father’s repeated denials. Likewise, a key business associate of Hunter Biden, Anthony Bobulinski, directly accused Joe Biden of lying about his involvement. Bobulinski has detailed a meeting with Joe Biden in a hotel to go over the dealings. Past emails included discussions of offering access to then-Vice President Biden. They also include alleged payments to Joe Biden. In one email, there is a discussion of a proposed equity split of “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” Bobulinski confirmed that “H” was used for Hunter Biden and that his father was routinely called “the big guy” in these discussions.

Third, while he was vice president, Joe Biden allowed Hunter to fly on Air Force 2 to countries like China where he was seeking millions. He also met with Hunter’s foreign business associates. In 2015, a State Department official flagged the possible conflicts from Hunter’s dealings during the Obama Administration.

Fourth, new emails suggest a commingling of funds between Hunter and his father. Emails from Eric Schwerin, his business partner at the Rosemont Seneca consultancy, refer to the payment of household bills for both Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. He also notes that he was transferring money from Joe Biden. Rosemont Seneca is directly involved in the alleged influence peddling schemes and questionable money transfers from Chinese and Russian sources.

Finally, Hunter himself admitted that his missing computers files may have been stolen by foreign agents for blackmail purposes. Hunter’s emails claim one of his laptops may have been stolen by Russian agents after a drug and alcohol binge with prostitutes.

Given the ongoing criminal prosecution, that would seem an ample basis for the appointment of a special counsel. The President is mentioned repeatedly in emails and by witnesses in relation to influence peddling schemes and even receiving funds from shared accounts. He has also denied knowledge that key witnesses refute, including his son.

Influence peddling is common in Washington and can be done legally. Yet, it has also been the subject of intense criminal investigations. For example, the FBI raided the home of Trump counsel Rudolph Giuliani and others based on allegations of influence peddling in an ongoing criminal investigation. The Justice Department wants to know if Giuliani secured contracts in exchange for access or influence. The media gleefully recounted the raids and how Giuliani may have cashed in on his access.

Yet, an influence peddling scheme that directly impacts the President and his family continues to be officially unseen. Indeed, the value of involving the media in the original trick is that it invests reporters in the illusion. It is like calling audience members to the stage to assist in the performance. Reporters have to insist that there was nothing to see or they have to admit to being part of the deception.

This is why, in Washington, the illusion depends on the specific elephant.

Houdini once said that “It is still an open question . . . as to what extent exposure really injures a performer.” The same question can be asked about a politician. President Biden is in full display in these emails. The question is whether the public – or the prosecutors – want to see him.

228 thoughts on “Joe Biden and the Disappearing Elephant: How to Make a Full-Sized Scandal Vanish in Front of an Audience of Millions”

  1. As the United States of America has become the United States of the Media….. what’s the big surprise? Most Americans can’t, don’t or won’t read. And most Americans think that 2000 Facebook friends means they have a lot of friends and are well informed. Add to that the American psyche of; it didn’t happen to me or anyone I actually care about and you get… the commie 2019 virus and the POTUS without a brain who is run by the deep state. Imagine if you will, President Trump saying in an interview or speech…. what am I doing here!
    We are truly done if people don’t stand up and fight back. In any way they can.

    1. Judith says:

      “We are truly done if people don’t stand up and fight back. In any way they can.”

      You mean bloody violence, don’t you?

      1. Certainly. nobody wants ‘bloody violence” nor do people want to be enslaved, and will do what they must to retain their freedoms. In simple terms, stand up or fall back. We all have a choice.

        1. Clark says:

          “Certainly. nobody wants ‘bloody violence” nor do people want to be enslaved, and will do what they must to retain their freedoms. In simple terms, stand up or fall back. We all have a choice.”

          In other words, bloody violence is not off the table.

  2. I was a portfolio manager in the 1990s, and our team was a) part of a prominent Boston money management outfit, and b) had an outstanding performance record. When Hunter Biden’s antics were exposed, the one that really stuck out was his brief trip to China that culminated in his gathering of $1.5 billion in new assets. Anyone who’s been in that business knows how much that stinks. This was naked corruption, plain and simple.

  3. Houdini didn’t have the entire MSM and “Justice” department working on his behalf, along with every censor on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Houdini was a magician. Clueless Joe is just a grifter, a con man, and a traitor.

  4. Jay says:

    “Seriously, what is it with you Jews? Godless leftists, 80% of you.”

    Darren, is this anti-Semitic smear civil?

    Since, it was not removed, I guess not. Do you consider Jay’s reply, “better speech”?

    I suppose if Jay called me a “k*ke,” you might think about removing it?

    My guess is that most of Turley’s followers here think that my presence on this blog is less welcome than Jay’s.

    I wonder what Turley thinks….sadly, we’ll never know.

    1. All about you, eh Jeff.

      Deal with the issues being discussed….and do it in a reasoned rational way and all of a sudden it will be about issues and not you perhaps.

      Try it…we would all like it if you did. Give it a try….see what happens.

      Can you go just one day without dissing Professor Turley and/or President Trump? Just one day….I bet you cannot!

      1. Ralph says:

        “All about you, eh Jeff.”

        When I receive an Anti-Semitic smear like this:

        “Seriously, what is it with you Jews? Godless leftists, 80% of you.”

        Yeah, I guess it is all about me. Keep up the good work, Darren! Maybe I should email Turley to get a ruling on whether this violates the intent of his hard and fast “civility rule”? I take it that your discretion is not above reproach.

        1. What is the time hack on this Jay person who made the anti-semitic statement?

          I have not seen it.

          Darren has to go through hundreds of posts if not thousands daily, and those are just the ones that are not SPAM. At some point in time, he does have to take a bathroom break, and I am sure he likes to eat.
          At some point he also clocks out of work.

          So he may not have seen Jay’s post yet. Or not till later or even this morning.

          1. I’m not that bothered by it. I have stated before that I would not wish Darren’s job on my worst enemy. You could not pay me to read all these inane Trumpist comments. The civility rule stated it prohibited racist remarks I believe. I guess it slipped through the Darren filter.

            1. If a person posts as a new post, it generally goes through automatically.
              Darren does not have the time to read and approve each and every post. That would take too long.

              Darren, sorry for the double post. I hit the return key too fast. Didnt think the first one as Annonymous would go through, and posted as myself to address Jeff S.
              My bust.

            2. “Jews? Godless leftists, 80% of you.”

              Jeff, I wasn’t happy with the comment, but I don’t remember it. Dealing with the above quote, I think you need to consider what the above quote says.

              I think you and the frequent anonymous leftist poster both said you do not believe in God. You both come from the left. I think 80% is that person’s approximation of the number of Jews voting Democrat.

              Though my feelings may say one thing, my intellect tells me that the above remark is factually close to the truth, though Godless is a debatable term.

              This is how you respond to Trump and Turley. Your feelings and bias are out in front. Whatever intellect you may or may not have remains hidden.

              1. “Jews? Godless leftists, 80% of you.”

                While that is not an assertion of fact that is demonstrably correct – is it “racist” ?

                First what is a “jew” ? Is that a member of a religious faith or a specific race ?

                Many of those from the mideast – jews or not are semites.

                Next what is racism ?
                Is calling some group godless leftists – racist ?

                If I say Fin’s godless leftists 80% of you – is that racist ?

                Are all incorrect statements about a group racist ?

                What about correct statements ?

    2. Jeff S.
      What was the time hack on Jay’s anti-semitic comment?

      I am not seeing it anywhere.

      Darren has to go through hundreds if not thousands of comments every day, and that is not including the SPAM ones. At some point in time, he needs to take a bathroom break (this is not Amazon), and I am sure he likes to eat too.
      At some point, he clocks out and logs off.

      I am guessing Darren removed the comment when he logged back on/clocked in.

  5. At last nights Major League Baseball game in Boston the fans were cheering on President Biden. Of course msm would not report on this.

  6. How many accomplices did Houdini have? Seems to me more like a Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization. Another example of why we may be seeing the last days of the American empire. Where is the rule of law? Apparently it does not apply to certain people.

  7. Turley steadfastly believes in the rule of law. His commitment to pursue the guilty without fear or favor, as in the case of the Biden’s, is to be commended.

    No one is above the law- no sitting president nor out-of-office. Accordingly, Turley will spurn any cries of “witch-hunt” or “hoax” by the lying Trumpists if and when Trump and his cronies are facing civil and criminal culpability of their own.

    Let’s hope ALL criminals end up where they belong or pay their victims what they owe.

    1. Trump had to sit for a deposition just yesterday.

      He’s also been ordered to be questioned under oath in a videotaped deposition by December 23 in the defamation case that Summer Zervos filed several years ago and that Trump has been trying to escape from. What a wuss he is. He likes to dish it out but runs from the consequences of his speech.

      1. You distorted the facts. The Mexican protesters alleged they got roughed up by Trump’s security. Where’s the big SCANDAL? If you protest and block streets you SHOULD get roughed up.

      1. I never said Turley has cried “hoax.” I said he NEVER has and NEVER will. This fact proves he is not a Trumpist because he will not lie for Trump. Turley’s great shame is that he will NOT condemn those who do lie for Trump.

        1. This is my first jaunt into the comments section for the writings and musings of the esteemed Jonathan Turley…Jeff Silberman, you come off as so very, very self important and frankly, very tedious. I enjoyed some of the comments but noticed that the “locals” spent more time assuaging your concerns voiced over and over and over again, instead of getting to impart their knowledge and opinions which is the true point of a functional comments section…the meat and potatoes of true intellectuals and their discourse with the scurrilous types (whom would never cross paths in r/l). I enjoyed the article and look forward to revisiting the site soon!

          1. Anonymous says:

            “Jeff Silberman, you come off as so very, very self important and frankly, very tedious.”

            My advice- do what I do to tedious posts by self-important contributors- don’t read them. I have made a list. You do the same, and put me at the top! Welcome aboard!

  8. “Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy.”

    “Hell has open borders.”

    – Mac’s Fresh Market, Arkansas, Louisiana

  9. “I began by telling [America] that there was a cancer growing on [America] and that if the cancer was not removed [America] [itself] would be killed by it.”

    – John Dean, Nixon White House Counsel, 1973

  10. OT

    The Jan. 6 Select Committee has just voted unanimously — 9 to 0 — to recommend holding Steve Bannon be held in contempt for refusing to comply with a subpoena for their investigation.

    Next step is a vote by the House as a whole. That occurs on Thursday.

    1. Sounds like a Stalin type court. All the members are chosen based on what Stalin wanted the results to be.

      You are a real fascist. After all according to you fascism is good for the little people.

            1. You say that only because of your ignorance of what fascism is. We went through that in the past as well and we found that you didn’t know very much about the different ideologies though it seems you promote socialism which is related to fascism. You also don’t seem to like this country, its Constitution or its citizens.

      1. Anonymous, we saw it all, in real time, but Republicans claim we saw something different. Despite the 1,000 assaults against police officers captured on video. Then, outrageously cynical commenters declare that any effort to establish the truth is somehow ‘stalinistic’.

        1. Pelosi et al denying security for crowd control, assembly, and petition. The embedded instigators a la Whitmer-closet. The murder of an unarmed woman for a plausible (novel apology for self-defense), but improbable cause. Capitol police assaulting and forcing disorder (“riot”). Denying civil rights for over three trimesters to those arrested. Handmade tales spun, published, and broadcast for political effect. Speaking truth through projection after more than 16 trimesters.

          1. N.N., if there’s any truth to your laundry list of What Abouts, Republicans should want a thorough investigation. But they don’t! Because any investigation would have to start with the question of ‘what’ Donald Trump was doing that whole afternoon. And that’s one question Republicans can’t possibly explore. The truth is that Trump sat around all afternoon watching the riots on TV.

            Trump could’ve stopped the riots any time by issuing a statement. But he was enjoying them too much to even think of intervening.

            1. The head of the FBI could have stopped the whole thing before it started. But that wouldn’t have fit the narrative or the pogrom. So guess what? More of the same old same old about Repuglican domestic terrorists. By Dimocrat Snow White who don’t have a clue about what a mirror is.

    2. …and Obama and Harris will NEVER be “natural born citizens” and Obama and Harris will NEVER be eligible for the office of vice president or president.

      Dang that Constitution, huh?

    3. These clowns are unabashed, incorrigible and unrepentant communists…Liz Chenny, Adam Kinzinger, Buh, Bye! The Jan. 6 Committee is a pungent red herring. This is what a congressional “communistee” looks like in a one-party communist state:

      Jan. 6 Communistee:


      Bennie Thompson, Mississippi, Chair
      Zoe Lofgren, California
      Adam Schiff, California
      Pete Aguilar, California
      Stephanie Murphy, Florida
      Jamie Raskin, Maryland
      Elaine Luria, Virginia


      Liz Cheney, Wyoming, Vice Chair
      Adam Kinzinger, Illinois

      1. Blame the Senate Republicans. They’re the ones who filibustered the vote on the National Commission, which would have allowed McConnell and McCarthy to appoint half the Commission.

      1. Ridiculous, but one has to wonder about the Democrats, Biden and their affinity to socialism and fascism. They hate this country so are illegally opening America’s boundaries for the destruction of America.
        Biden administration has been secretly flying underage migrants to New York: Report


      1. Again: Blame the Senate Republicans. They’re the ones who filibustered the vote on the bicameral National Commission, which would have allowed McConnell and McCarthy to appoint half the Commission.

        Bannon deserves to be prosecuted for contempt. He was not even a WH employee at the time.

  11. One has to read European news agencies to learn how poorly Biden and Democrats are trending in the US because the slanted DNC/MSM liberal media are so blatantly dishonest about everything. I still would be surprised if Youngkin won, in spite of few McAwful yard signs in Richmond. When it comes to elections the Dems cheat 25/8, 367 days of the year. The news media in VA runs hit pieces on Youngkin weekly, and McAwful has blasted Youtube with forced ads that play prior to playing any YT video. It detects our IP address and pushes McAwful’s ad. Despicable how Big Tech manipulates America’s elections. Despicable.

    Democrat in key Virginia governor race hanging on by a thread in further blow for ailing Biden administration

    The tight polling numbers in the Virginia race echo Mr Biden’s decline in national polling, amid rising inflation and a stalled domestic agenda, and has rattled the Democratic Party.

    According to Rasmussen Reports, 56 per cent of voters disapprove of his record and 43 per cent approve. A Reuters/Ipsos poll gives him a more modest two per cent disapproval rating.

    A defeat in Virginia could spell disaster for the Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections when the balance of power in Congress – and the fate of the remainder of Mr Biden’s first term and his progressive agenda – will be decided.

    Acknowledging the stakes, Mr Biden told reporters on Friday the race was understandably being read as a “bellwether of what may happen” next year.

    Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, told the Telegraph a loss for Mr McAuliffe would be “disastrous for Democratic prospects in 2022.”

    “If Virginia is going to go Republican it would pretty much close the books on Democrats maintaining control of Congress,” he said.

    Mr McAuliffe, 64, has partially blamed his narrow lead on Mr Biden’s low popularity and a spending row between Democrats in Congress that has brought their legislative agenda to a standstill.

    1. Estovir, with the massive boost that the mainstream media and Big Tech give Democrats, it’s a surprise when any Republican or Libertarian wins any office.

      The boost is significant and measurable. Perhaps such propaganda should have to be declared campaign contributions. The media squashing the perfectly legitimate Hunter Biden laptop scandal alone gave Biden an advantage.

      1. I would like to see SCOTUS remove all legal protections against the MSM so that anyone can sue them for misinformation. We would make bank off of CNN, MSNBC and Big Tech in record time

          1. The first Amendment doesn’t give one the freedom to slander and libel people. NYT v Sullivan does that.

            1. No, NYT v Sullivan does not do that.

              NYT v Sullivan only held that “A State cannot, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, award damages to a public official for defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves “actual malice” — that the statement was made with knowledge of its falsity or with reckless disregard of whether it was true or false.” It doesn’t even apply to most people, and it still allows public officials to be awarded damages for defamation if there was actual malice.

  12. Speaking of corrupt politicians …

    The US Attorney in L.A. says “Federal grand jury indictment charges U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry [R-Nebraska] with one count of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators looking into illegal contributions to his 2016 campaign.”

    1. Speaking of unbalanced and fraudulent “reporting” by communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs)…

      “Durham issues fresh round of subpoenas in his continuing probe of FBI investigation into Trump, Russia”

      – CNN

      “Grand Jury Indicts D.C. Attorney, Michael A. Sussmann, 57, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, with Making False Statements to the FBI in 2016 Regarding Alleged Communications Between Trump Organization and Russian Bank”

      – Department of Justice

    2. All he had to do was sell a few paint doodles for $500,000 each. There’s absolutely no problem with that. All the politicians are probably taking art classes as we speak.

    3. It’s bogus. The FBI doing what it does best – acting like partisan hacks and fabricating a case.

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