Below is my column in Fox News on the status of the Hunter Biden investigation and how it presents a challenge for many in Washington. Due to the continued work of a small number of media outlets like the New York Post, it is no longer possible to bury the story or continue the false claim that it is “Russian disinformation.” The hope now appears to be a “controlled demolition” where Hunter is indicted on limited grounds without causing collateral damage to the political and media establishment. Scandal implosion is as much an art as it is a science and could be the most brilliant achievement in this ongoing scandal.
Here is the column:
For news junkies, there has been a remarkable and sudden shift in the media in the coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal. The shift is the very fact that there is suddenly coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal. From CNN to NPR, reporters are now acknowledging that the infamous laptop is not “Russian disinformation” as was widely claimed before the 2020 election. After years of burying the story, the media is now attempting an even more precarious exercise.
It is called controlled demolition: the implosion of a scandal to limit any blast effect on nearby structures or individuals. Like those buildings dropped between other structures, it takes precision and, most importantly, cooperation to pull off. Specifically, this controlled demolition will require the perfect timing of the media, Democratic politicians, and most importantly, the Justice Department.
That was the same alliance that successfully killed the story before the election despite evidence of a multimillion dollar influence peddling scheme by the Biden family. The media eagerly spread the false claim of 51 intelligence experts who declared that the laptop was likely “Russian disinformation.” Twitter and social media companies imposed a news blackout before the election. Recently, GOP senators also accused the Justice Department of effectively spiking the investigation — displaying the same bias documented in the Russian collusion investigation.
For his part, Attorney General Merrick Garland has refused to appoint a special counsel despite the overwhelming need for such an appointment. Even former Attorney General Bill Barr recently said that new evidence makes such an appointment essential ( a reversal of his initial position in giving the case to United States Attorney David Weiss in Delaware).
I previously wrote a column on the one year anniversary of the Hunter Biden laptop story that marveled at the success of the Biden family in making the scandal vanish before that 2020 election. It was analogized to Houdini making his 10,000-pound elephant Jennie disappear in his act. With the help of the media, the Biden trick occurred live before an audience of millions.
The problem is the public can now see the elephant.
That is why the media is now recalibrating. That was most evident in the recent statement of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that “I know The New York Times felt it didn’t pursue it originally as much as it wanted to; then it followed up, as I recall.” Friedman does not explain what overrode that journalistic interest in the story or why the “follow up” came a year after the election of Joe Biden.
It appears that President Biden is no longer seen as a political asset with most Democrats refusing to publicly support him in his promised reelection bid. Biden now could endanger Democratic control of Congress. The question is how to drop Hunter (and even his father) without causing damage to the media, the Democrats, or others in Washington. It requires a controlled demolition.
The most important thing is to control the blast. By refusing to appoint a special counsel, Merrick Garland has effectively blocked the risk of a report on the extensive influence peddling, including the repeated references to President Biden. the “Big Guy” is discussed in emails as the potential recipient of a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm as well as other benefits. Emails also refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Recently, there was additional support showing that “the Big Guy” was indeed Joe Biden.
The problem is that embarrassing evidence is mounting by the day. That includes the recent disclosure new open influence peddling by Hunter, referencing access to his father. Some emails show Hunter using trips with his Dad to arrange meetings with business associates like Magnani. Indeed, in one exchange with Magnani, Hunter complains that he is not getting responses on his business dealings, objecting
“I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration and then you go completely silent,. I don’t know what it is that I did but I’d like to know why I’ve delivered on every single thing you’ve ever asked – and you make me feel like I’ve done something to offend you.”
The cringeworthy email only adds to the embarrassment not of Hunter Biden but the media struggling to control the damage from the scandal.
Yet, none of that would be the focus of coverage if the case can be ended on narrow criminal charges.
In other words, the case can then be collapsed by triggering a smaller explosion. Rather than pursue wider conspiracies connected to the influence peddling, Hunter could be indicted on a few tax or lobbying counts. That would allow for a plea bargain that would allow the media to focus narrowly on those counts and not the broader influence peddling by the Biden family.
Of course, controlled demolition can at times take an unexpected turn. The greatest danger is that either house of Congress could flip to GOP control. That would open up the entire matter to congressional investigation. Yet, if a plea has already closed the case, the legal blowback could be confined.
The key to political controlled demolitions “to ‘implode’ the building, that is, make it collapse down into its footprint.” The footprint is now Hunter Biden, confining the implosion to him while leaving the media and establishment untouched.