Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle

Below is my column in The Hill on President Joe Biden doubling down on his absolute defense of his son Hunter Biden. The comments only magnify the concerns over Attorney General Merrick Garland refusing to appoint a special counsel despite the clear basis for such an appointment.  It is clear that the President “absolutely” stands by his son and that the media absolutely stands by the President. The question is whether Garland will stand by justice and appoint a special counsel.

Here is the column:

“We absolutely stand by the president’s comment.” With those words, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield reaffirmed that President Biden maintains his son Hunter Biden did “nothing [that] was unethical” and never “made money” in China.

Those claims appear demonstrably false — and they make the positions of both the media and Attorney General Merrick Garland absolutely untenable.

For the media, the ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden by U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware has presented a growing danger of self-indictment over its prior coverage (or noncoverage). Weiss has called a long line of witnesses before a grand jury, and there is growing expectation of criminal charges against Hunter Biden.

Nothing concentrates the mind as much as a looming indictment.

Thus, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other media faced the embarrassing prospect of an indictment based on a story they previously suggested was either a nonstory or Russian disinformation. Suddenly, in recent days, they all rushed to declare the story legitimate, 18 months after the New York Post reported it in October 2020.

What quickly emerged, though, was a new narrative: None of this implicates President Biden. On CNN, White House correspondent John Harwood declared, “There is zero evidence that Vice President Biden, or President Biden, has done anything wrong in connection with what Hunter Biden has done.” Anchor Brianna Keilar then added for emphasis that Harwood was making “an important distinction.”

It was important, but not because it was true. While many media figures now willingly admit the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s abandoned-laptop story, they are avoiding what the emails found on that laptop actually contain. Hundreds of emails appear to detail a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling enterprise by the Biden family, including Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden.

Influence peddling has long been the way Washington’s elite enriches itself. This common source of political corruption involves the relatives of powerful government figures who shake down corporations or countries for access and influence.

The Bidens would seem to be standouts in this common practice, engaging in a virtual family business. James Biden has been accused of marketing his connection to his brother. And in the emails discovered on his abandoned laptop, Hunter Biden practically sold timeshares of his father by dangling meetings and dinners for investors.

The key in any influence peddling scheme is to protect the principal. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”

Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes.

Despite President Biden’s repeated claims he knew nothing about these dealings, Bobulinski has said he personally met with the senior Biden to discuss Hunter Biden’s business activities. Bobulinski had been selected by the family to handle these deals.

As vice president, Joe Biden flew to China on Air Force Two with Hunter Biden, who arranged for his father to meet some of his business interests. Hunter Biden’s financial interest in a Chinese-backed investment firm, BHR Partners, was registered within weeks of that 2013 trip. Yet, President Biden repeatedly insisted that he never discussed such dealings with his son, a claim Hunter Biden has contradicted.

There are emails of Ukrainian and other foreign clients thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. There are photos from dinners and meetings that tie President Biden to these figures, including a 2015 dinner with a group of Hunter Biden’s Russian and Kazakh clients.

It is important to note that when these foreign interests were clamoring to give Hunter Biden millions of dollars, he was, by his own admission, a hopeless addict. In his 2021 memoir, Hunter Biden admits he was “drinking a quart of vodka a day” and “smoking crack around the clock,” up until his father’s 2020 presidential campaign began. So why would Russian, Chinese and other foreign figures give Hunter Biden all of this money, if not to influence his father?

The new narrative suggests that, while Hunter Biden maintained one of the largest influence-peddling schemes in recent history, it did not involve the object of that scheme — his father.

Even if President Biden was not influenced by all of this, it’s hard to believe he didn’t know his son was selling access. In his book, Hunter Biden claims his father repeatedly intervened due to his addictions — and yet we are to believe that Joe Biden did not express curiosity about how his addicted son was raking in millions from foreign sources?

The point is that President Biden really did not have to ask: Hunter Biden had nothing to sell but influence. All President Biden had to do to facilitate such schemes was to be accessible — to allow his family to deliver face-to-face meetings and photo ops.

And that brings us to the untenable position of Garland.

It is hard to imagine a stronger case for a special counsel. Any effort to investigate Hunter Biden’s dealings will lead investigators to encounter repeated references to the president and how he may have benefited from those schemes. At the same time, the president is “absolutely” standing by his denial that his son did anything wrong or made any money from China.

The White House statement this week serves as a reminder to investigators that the president is heavily invested in this narrative and his denial of now-established facts.

This is not to say that Weiss, the U.S. Attorney investigating Hunter Biden, will not be independent in his efforts. However, the concern is the appearance of how a conflict might affect the investigation or limit the scope of any potential charges. Moreover, absent a special counsel, there is unlikely to be a report on these apparent influence peddling schemes.

Garland pledged to protect the Justice Department from such conflicts and to avoid even the appearance of political influence. He now has a president stating that alleged wrongdoing by his son is “absolutely” untrue, including dealings possibly impacting the president personally and financially. If Garland declines to appoint a special counsel, he will absolutely fail on his pledge.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

226 thoughts on “Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle”

  1. Tech Stories In The News:

    TRUTH SOCIAL A LOSER (even Trump stays away)

    In October, Donald Trump announced he was planning to launch a revolutionary technology company. “I created Truth Social… to stand up to the tyranny of big tech,” he said.

    The app launched on Presidents’ Day, 21 February, but six weeks later is beset by problems. A waiting list of nearly 1.5 million are unable to use it. Truth Social might look like Twitter, but it isn’t available on Android phones, web browsers or, apparently, to most people outside the US.

    On 21 February, Truth Social was one of the App Store’s most downloaded apps – but many who downloaded it were unable to use it. There was an assumption this problem would soon be resolved and Mr Trump would start posting his “truths” in the coming days – but neither of those things happened.

    Users who find their way in can find the app a little empty, as many big voices on the American right have so far stayed away. Another study found downloads have fallen by as much as 95%. But quite why the app is having so many problems has baffled experts.

    Mr Trump is said to be furious, asking why more people are not using Truth Social. He has about 750,000 followers but has not posted a “truth” for well over a month. Mr Trump’s last Truth Social post was mid-February.

    Edited from:

    1. Who knows what will happen. Most fail. Unfortunately some idiots don’t realize the site was in Beta and March 31 was the expected start date.

    2. If people are staying away, it’s because this and previous administrations have used the intel community to monitor and to intimidate
      those who support a candidate who is independent. Of the Uniparty.
      People don’t want the IRS or the unequal justice system being used against them or their families.

  2. Thinkitthrough,

    You can’t convict on an assumption and you first have to prove to get money from the Chinese is illegal.

    What exactly is the crime here? The Trump children benefitted from the same opportunities Hunter Biden does.

    1. The globalist narrative DENY, DENY, DENY, LIE. Direct evidence of criminality has never meant anything to globalists.

        1. What have you done to help secure our nation’s freedom and liberty? You have the freedom to watch porn and smoke weed all day (in some states) because of the sacrifices our military men and women have made through out the history of our country. Not one single drop of American blood shed has been in defense of socialism. You are welcome by the way..




    Biden Lifting Title 42

    “I’ll have those [Mexicans] voting democrat for 200 years.”

    – Lyndon Baines Johnson

    “It Can’t Happen Here”

    It can never happen here.

    It’s been happening here since 1863 when the Constitution was sentenced to death.

    Free America lived for 71 years.

    It is the duty of President Biden to enforce American borders.

    It was the duty of President Lincoln to enforce immigration laws and compassionately repatriate illegal aliens.

    “I’ll have those [non-American, illegal alien, foreign invader hyphenates] voting democrat for 200 years.”

    – American Communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs)

    “Who’ll Stop The Rain”

    Long as I remember the rain been comin’ down
    Clouds of mystery pourin’ confusion on the ground

    Good men through the ages tryin’ to find the sun
    And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?

    I went down Virginia, seekin’ shelter from the storm
    Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow

    Five Year Plans and New Deals, wrapped in golden chains
    And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?

    Heard the singers playin’, how we cheered for more
    The crowd had rushed together, tryin’ to keep warm

    Still the rain kept pourin’, fallin’ on my ears
    And I wonder, still I wonder, who’ll stop the rain?

  4. The junior Democrats in the US House and Senate are looking at having to find real jobs. Meanwhile the Big Guy’s drug addict, crack head, #MeToo, lowlife son is swimming in millions of US-Chinese dollars thanks to Dah-dee!

    Democrats for months have feared they will lose the House majority this fall, and they are worried about losing the Senate, too, with polls showing Biden performing poorly in key states such as Arizona.

    “It’s bad,” said one Democratic strategist. “You have an energy crisis that’s paralyzing and inflation is at a 40-year high and we’re heading into a recession. The problem is simple. The American people have lost confidence in him.”

    1. No American with a brain ever had any confidence in him, beyond “his ability to f*** things up”.

  5. Making False Statements

    As applies to:
    Pres. Biden, for statements regarding his Own and Hunter’s activities in Burisma and Et. Al..
    Hillary Clinton, regarding Clinton Campaign and DNC for statements related to the Steele Dossier.

    Re: Title 18 § 1001 as amended of the United States Code

    902. 1996 Amendments to 18 U.S.C. § 1001

    The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996 (FSAA), Pub. L. No. 104-292, H.R. 3166 (October 11, 1996), made several changes that affect the work of United States Attorneys’ Offices, including revisions to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001, 1505, 6005, and 28 U.S.C. 1365. This section describes the changes to section 1001.

    Section 2 of the FSAA revises section 1001 of title 18, United States Code. The new 18 U.S.C. § 1001, effective October 11, 1996, reads as follows:

    Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully —

    falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

    makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

    makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

    Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.

    With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only in — administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

  6. Maybe Hunter borrowed the million dollars to pay off his tax liability from U.S. Bank of China. Just spittballen.

  7. Svelaz, Natacha, ‘Anonymous’, Sammy, somehow have the remarkable privilege of time to post here all day, every day. Every single day, all day. That should be your first red flag. The second: they post nothing of substance, just the usual DNC talking points for the day, as though they received a memo or spreadsheet, which they likely did. They are either paid or beyond the imagination pathetic, subsisting on a diet comprised exclusively of MSM BS, never bothering to step outside and talk to real, breathing, people, especially those that might be a little more tanned than they are if they aren’t cleaning the lamp shades. Heaven forbid they speak a different language. Don’t be fooled. They are here to create chaos, and due to the newest to oldest nature of default WordPress comments, to try to claim a majority opinion (if you really want to screw them up, wait to post your comments until after they have chimed in – then yours will be on top) and nothing else. The rest of us just want to have a conversation. Thankfully, the vast, vast majority of folks here see them for exactly what they are, even if they do hijack the thread into pages. And thank you Professor, for fighting the good fight. Not all of us are restricted to two firing synapses and 30 seconds of real life experiences, and your site is a welcome voice.

    1. James,

      Your paranoid assumptions are just that, paranoid assumptions.

      The miracles of technology seem to live somewhere else besides your mind.

      Speaking of substance what have posted that is substantive to this issue besides moaning about others posting more than you?

  8. Oh, and how many millions did Hunter fail to declare to generate a $1m+ balance due? You can bet it wasn’t $1 and $999,999 penalty and interest. Where did the money come from? Ukraine, China, Russia, Kasakhstan or other graft?

  9. I wonder if Hunter paid gift tax or at least filed a gift tax return on all the $ he spent to pay Jill and Joe’s expenses.

    1. Tax evasion, perjury, destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, corruption, criminal fraud under color of authority, influence peddling, money laundering, etc., etc., etc.,…

      The Biden Crime Family should be commended for ambition, endeavor, self-reliance, and the pursuit of happiness.

  10. It is very important that you CALL both of your home-state senators TODAY at 202-224-3121.

    Tell them to VOTE NO on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

    Her 100% record of extreme leniency for sex predators of kids is DISQUALIFYING.

    ~Mike Davis

    1. Mike, can we call many times asking our Congressmen to vote NO on Jackson’s nomination, just like the voting habits of Democrats?

  11. Joe Biden et al. are guilty of influence peddling and money laundering; Merrick Garland is a complicit accomplice by omission and wilful and deliberate dereliction of duty.

    SinoHawk would be 50 percent owned by Ye Jianming, chairman of CEFC, through a Delaware-incorporated CEFC entity, Hudson West IV LLC. The other 50 percent would be owned by Oneida Holdings LLC, another Delaware firm set up by Bobulinski.

    Oneida would be split according to an email sent by James Gilliar to the group on May 13, 2017, laying out the distribution of shares.

    “The equity will be distributed as follows,” wrote Gilliar, listing the shares in percentages.

    “20 H [Hunter]

    “20 RW [Walker]

    “20 JG [Gilliar]

    “20 TB [Bobulinski]

    “10 Jim [Biden]

    “10 held by H for the big guy.”

    Three years later, Bobulinski would tell the world that “there is no question” that “the big guy” is Joe Biden.

    – New York Post

    Provided in the Constitution by its Framers, the solution to corruption by “…all civil officers of the United States…” is impeachment and conviction.

    Article 2, Section 4

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    1. Tax evasion, perjury, destruction of evidence, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, corruption, criminal fraud under color of authority, influence peddling, money laundering, etc., etc., etc.,…

      The Biden Crime Family should be commended for ambition, endeavor, self-reliance, and the pursuit of happiness.

  12. Wonder where Joe got the $2m+ that his Rehoboth Beach “cottage” cost? That happened while Hunter was raking in the big bucks. Could one of Joe’s joint accounts with Hunter have provided the down payment? 20% down to avoid excess mortgage insurance would be more than $400k.

    Also, where/how did Hunter “borrow” the $1m+ to pay off his tax debt? Bet there’s a story there too.

    Just as with Watergate the trick to unraveling the conspiracy is to “follow the money”. With the lack of a special counsel we could sure use even one of America’s fabled investigative journalists of yore. I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping that some of the wokeing dead will wake up, but I’m not holding my breath. Maybe one of Kamala’s sycophants…

    1. Biden says it is the “house that Beau built” because it supposedly was paid with the book advance for Joe’s ghostwritten book about Beau dying from cancer. A book no one bought, just like Hunter’s memoir.

      To which we all say: Sure it was, Big Guy.

  13. There’s only 1 way to bring Hunter Biden in for questioning. That’s strapped in a dolly cart at an undisclosed location. Tell me Senator?

  14. Svelaz,
    Trump’s kids made their money before daddy got into politics…. not because Daddy was in politics.

    Seems your TDS and Partisan DNC hack is showing.


    1. G,

      “ Trump’s kids made their money before daddy got into politics…. not because Daddy was in politics.”

      No, Trump’s kids also made money during daddy’s stint as president. Precisely because he was in politics.

      1. Svelaz, are you telling us that any relative of Donald Trump down to his second cousin should divest himself of any financial holdings before his second cousin can become President. Why don’t you include Hunter divesting his holdings when his father became President. At the time that Joe Biden was Vice President why were you not calling for Hunter to end his financial relations with foreign nations who exist as rivals of The United States. It’s obvious that you do not think about things that you do not think about.

  15. By God, Turley, do you ever quit? You know the disciples don’t notice your little qualifiers when you try to accuse Joe Biden, the media and Democrats of wrongdoing. You say: “those claims APPEAR to be demonstrably false.” You also claim: “hundreds of emails APPEAR to detail a multimillion-dollar influence-peddling enterprise by the Biden family, including Hunter Biden and his uncle James Biden.” I notice you don’t have anything to say about JOE Biden having done anything wrong. Then, you proceed to opine about the falsity and influence peddling, as if these were established facts, pushing for appointment of a “special counsel”, which you know would add credence to the allegations, all without having any actual facts as to what is or isn’t there. You have previously admitted that even if influence peddling is shown, THAT’S NOT A CRIME. You’re just a political hack, Turley, but worst of all, you do know that the disciples don’t notice your little qualifiers (because, as has been amply proven, they’ll eve believe the Big Lie), and, judging by the hateful comments, this tactic is working. So, if it turns out there’s no “there” there, you can just shrug your shoulders and say “well I said it only ‘appears’ to be the case. Of course, all of this comes as we’re gearing up for the midterms.

    1. Not paying income taxes on your graft is a crime. I get it, you have a brain dead scumbag and his father to protect, for whatever reason – kiddie-diddler? abortion provider? race hustler? Got to be some reason that directly benefits you, because those scumbags don’t benefit The People – so deny, obfuscate, whataboutisms, ad hominems, use whatever deceit and logical fallacies you have – maybe david brock will let you fellate him, but you’ll never reveal the bidens as anything more than criminal American-sell-outs. Enjoy – they’re all yours.

  16. Every Morning I attend Professor Turley’s web site in an effort to maintain some Continuing Education on Constitutional Law and related issues.

    Occasionally there is some really enjoyable and rick humor offered both by the Professor and those who post replies.

    This morning the Prize goes to Mespo for his offering….that led to my having to clean up some Coffee being sprayed upon my desk as I laughed well and long over his comment…..Well Done and Well Said, Mespo!

    The Professor skipped over some issues that Hunter’s Defense Counsel best find some very good answers to or else the “Big Guy” is going to be hard pressed to answer in Court.

    Hunter was living like a high roller…..and Daddy knew it.

    Hunter was traveling on Air Force 2….to China and other places…..and Daddy damn sure knew what Hunter was going along for….and it wasn’t to see the Forbidden City or Great Wall of China.

    Daddy says he never discussed Hunter’s business dealing with him….Hunter and the Laptop along with Bobulinski state otherwise.

    Daddy on video, later bragging about it during his campaign, delivered an ultimatum to the Ukraine President….fire the Prosecutor looking into Burisma or forgo the Billion Dollar Foreign Aid package…..while he knew his Son was on the Board of Directors charged with Legal Affairs for the Corporation. Ukraine yielded to that ultimatum.

    Daddy shared bank accounts, credit cards, and other monies with Hunter…..Hunter has Tax Problems with the IRS and had to borrow a Million Dollars to settle his arrears…..and as any Tax Accountant, Tax Lawyer, MBA, or IRS Official will tell you….that makes you jointly liable for those arrears….exactly as if you are married and file a Joint Tax Return.

    Brother Jim, despite not being in the construction business prior to Afghanistan received Hundreds of Millions of Dollars worth of Construction Contracts from the US Government for work in Afghanistan… did that happen?

    The Good Professor….nails it….when he calls for a Special Counsel to investigate the Biden Crime Family….with the head of it being Joe Biden.

    If Merrick Garland does not appoint one….he should be impeached by the House in 2023…..and Tried by the Senate as soon as possible.


    1. Ralph:

      “This morning the Prize goes to Mespo for his offering….that led to my having to clean up some Coffee being sprayed upon my desk as I laughed well and long over his comment…..Well Done and Well Said, Mespo!”
      Thanks, Ralph. I’m here to serve – just desserts!

  17. Another word salad, another lapse in memory. Just your typical babbling idiot occupying the White House

    the Big Guy on “DOCTOR” Jill Biden: And I’m deeply proud of the work she is doing as First Lady with Joining Forces initiative she started with Michelle Obama when she was Vice President and now carries on,’

  18. Please read this critically important @nypost piece.

    Judge Jackson has an indefensible, disqualifying record of extreme leniency for those who watch and trade sex torture videos of young kids–even babies.

    Tell both your senators to vote NO:

    ~Mike Davis

  19. “The question is whether Garland will stand by justice and appoint a special counsel.”
    Garland’s a mealy-mouthed, beta male who’ll cave at the slightest pressure from Biden. Expecting him to do anything of merit is like hoping Dumbo wins the International Ballet Competition. We dodged a major bullet when the GOP in the Senate passed on his SCOTUS nomination.

    1. Now, if Turley doesn’t know what the contents of the laptop are, which he admits when he uses the qualifier “appears”, then how can it be “justice” to appoint a special counsel, especially in an election year?

      1. So an investigation led by a Biden appointee is a good idea? Bet you used that same theory on any GOP related issue

        1. Emails from the laptop show that Hunter got money from China, as does the information obtained by Grassley and Johnson. Emails and texts from the laptop also show that Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s business deals. In addition to 10% to be held by H for the big guy, there is Hunter’s email to his daughter saying he handed over half his earnings to his father and emails from Hunter to Bobulinsky saying in effect that Joe rejected some of Bobulinsky’s governance proposals for Sinohawk. Bobulinsky also said that he was vetted by Joe before he could take on his role managing the relationship with CEFC.

          So pursuing the facts and the law wherever they might lead will require looking into Joe’s involvement in Hunter’s business in China and elsewhere. Since Joe has said that he knew nothing of Hunter’s business dealings and in addition that Hunter earned nothing from China and did nothing wrong, the investigation will at a minimum contradict what the President has said.

          None of this is really new, and Barr declined for reasons unknown not to appoint a special prosecutor, even though he appointed Durham one. This would seem to be a pretty good case where one should be appointed.

      2. Fun Natacha.
        You have a skill set. Put it to use counting all the qualifiers in the Judge Carter ruling.

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