Below is an expanded version of my New York Post column this week on the latest moves by Hunter Biden and his team. It is the latest reinvention of Hunter but it is unlikely to succeed any more than the earlier incarnations. Yesterday, the deadline to turn over evidence passed for Hunter, his uncle, and one of his associates. They have decided to go full Bannon, even though this course took the former Trump adviser to a speedy conviction for contempt.
Here is the column:
It appears that the Biden franchise is about to follow a new vision for the male scion of President Joe Biden. Just as Christopher Nolan introduced a darker Batman, a new team of political advisers and lawyers have reinvented Hunter Biden in a new and more menacing image. Biden is threatening lawsuits and reportedly preparing a scorched Earth campaign against political and media critics. He is even in court trying to prevent his own daughter from using his name.
Welcome to the new Dark Biden.
Hunter Biden has long been a reclamation project for the media and the Biden team. Despite ample evidence that he and his family may have engaged in one of the largest influence peddling operations in history, the media has struggled to find a redeeming image for someone who has committed his life to a toxic mix of nepotism, narcissism, and narcotics.
First, there was the “Hunter: the wrongly accused international businessman.” This blanket denial of wrongdoing was maintained by his father and dutifully repeated by the media. Hunter Biden did “nothing wrong” and reporters pressing questions of corruption were immediately attacked.
Then came “Hunter Biden: victim of Russian Disinformation.” Before the 2020 election, the media repeated the false claim that the Hunter Biden laptop was likely “Russian Disinformation.” Despite the denial of American intelligence and self-verifying emails on the laptop, the media accepted without question the dubious claims of former intelligence figures organized by longtime Democratic operatives.
Then came “Hunter Biden: heroic recovering addict.” As the media denials became more difficult to maintain on his dealings, Biden released a book that detailed his struggle with drugs and debauchery. The media again launched into the same fawning, unquestioning mode. Hunter appeared on every network touting his book “Beautiful Things,” that Simon and Schuster reportedly gave him $2 million to write (despite less than 10,000 book sales in the first week). He was portrayed as the very image of courage in speaking openly of the details of his sex and drug addictions even though he repeatedly claimed no memory on issues related to his business dealings or the laptop.
Now we have the Dark Biden. Hunter’s handlers are reinventing Hunter in a more combative image. He is an edgy and aggressive antagonist ready to fight fire with fire against Republicans. A team was assembled to reportedly attack potential witnesses and critics. With a possible criminal indictment and congressional investigations looming, Hunter the businessman or recovering addict or victim will not do.
Hunter appears to have acquired lawyers by the gross, including former Clinton counsel Abbe Lowell. Lowell recently sent out a letter that caused a stir by not only seemingly confirming the authenticity of the laptop but threatening a host of critics. Biden called for groups to be stripped of tax exemptions, suggested a host of possible defamation actions, and even demanded criminal investigations against critics.
The problem is that, unlike Dark Batman, Dark Biden is missing one critical element: a credible threat.
Undeterred, Lowell recently defied a demand for evidence from the House Oversight Committee. In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY), Lowell declared “Peddling your own inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation, turns the Committee into ‘Wonderland’ and you into the Queen of Hearts shouting, ‘sentence first, verdict afterwords.’”
Lowell categorically refused to turn over a single document to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), saying there was no “legitimate legislative purpose” for the investigation into Hunter. He left open the possibility the House might convince Hunter to cooperate. Perhaps the House could try to “say it nicer,” as Hunter once instructed ABC News reporter Amy Robach.
The message is “fear us” but it could not be less convincing than if Lowell put black tights and an eared mask on his client. It just does not fit.
Congress clearly has a legitimate interest in investigating whether millions of dollars from foreign interests, including some connected to foreign intelligence, were funneled to the Biden family to influence President Biden.
Emails repeated references not only Joe Biden and suggest knowledge of the dealings despite his repeated denials of any knowledge or involvement. There is also a clear effort to hide Joe Biden’s involvement. In one email, Biden associate James Gilliar instructed Tony Bobulinski, then Hunter’s business partner: “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.” Bobulinski has given sworn statements that he personally met with Joe Biden to discuss these dealings.
Emails used code names for Joe Biden such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is mentioned as possibly receiving a 10% cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm. There are also references to Hunter paying off his father’s bills from shared accounts.
Code names, cuts for “the big guy” and millions in mysterious foreign transactions are ample reasons for congressional inquiry.
The new buff Biden is a bluff and the Committee just called it. He has until Wednesday 11:59 p.m ET to hand over documents to the House Oversight Committee related to his foreign business dealings or else face a potential subpoena from Republicans.
He would then become less Batman and more Bannon. Unless Lowell backs down, he will follow the same strategy of Steve Bannon who was ultimately charged with contempt and convicted. At the time, I said that Bannon was asking for a contempt charge.
Despite the considerable risk, Hunter Biden is holding to character. He has not shared information on his art sales despite concerns over influence peddling and money laundering. Now his art dealer, Georges Bergès, has also reportedly refused to provide the House Oversight Committee with the identities of the buyers of Biden’s high-priced art work.
It won’t work. It is a course that could lead to a criminal charge entirely separate from the underlying allegations. It just shows, as Joker stated in the Dark Knight, “Madness…is a lot like gravity. All it takes is a little push.”