The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete

Below is my column in the Hill on how the Hunter Biden plea deal is one of the most surgical and skillful examples of a “controlled demolition” in the history of political scandals. While the public has raised rightful concerns over a two-tiered system of justice, you have to admire the skill of the political and media elite in dropping this scandal without collateral damage to themselves.

Here is the column:

About a year ago, I wrote a column describing what I saw as evidence of a “controlled demolition” in progress in the Hunter Biden scandal. The media and political establishment had reached the point where they could no longer bury the influence peddling scandal by claiming that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation.

That worked for defusing the scandal in 2020, but now another election was fast approaching, which called for a “controlled demolition” to protect political and media figures from any public backlash. I wrote: “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.”

The key was to get Hunter to plead to a couple of minor offenses with little or no jail time. The White House and the media could then declare the scandal over and insist that there is nothing more to discuss.

Of course, there is a great deal more to discuss. For critics, the plea agreement looks like rushing to the scene of a bank robbery and giving the getaway driver a ticket for double parking.

The House Oversight Committee has documented potentially millions in financial transfers from foreign sources to Biden family members. The labyrinth of LLC corporations and accounts used for the transfers seems designed to evade detection. Indeed, allegations from a trusted FBI source referenced payments that were being made to the Bidens without directly involving “the big guy.” That was the name allegedly used for President Biden after associates insisted that no one should use his name.

Attorney General Merrick Garland took the most important step in pulling off the controlled demolition by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel. Such an appointment would allow the release of a report that would detail the alleged corrupt practices of the Biden family and the knowledge and involvement of the president. It is the essential framing used in demolition to avoid broad blast effects.

The second key is the charge. In buildings, you have to use just enough explosives to take out supports to collapse the structure in on itself. In scandals, it comes down to the criminal charges. You need an assortment of minor charges to suggest equal justice without anything large enough to cause collateral damage to others. It also has to be minor enough to get Hunter to take one for the team.

The Hunter plea is the perfect charge load for the scandal. He will plead to a couple of misdemeanors on tax violations without addressing how he actually made this money. The gun charge looks like a serious threat for incarceration, but it is little more than a phantom felony count under which Hunter will be allowed to go into a diversion program and ultimately negate the violation.

The problem for those seeking to drop this scandal in a confined fashion is that the House GOP is now investigating the influence-peddling scandal. The Democrats’ loss of the House in 2022 was a huge blow to the Biden team and, when the new Congress was sworn in, it was essential to enter a plea deal before the release of more serious evidence. In May, I called it a “capstone plea” to make it more difficult for the Justice Department to be pressured into stronger action.

The House will push ahead, but the media has already imposed another blackout on coverage. The challenge for the White House is that this plea could come at a tactical cost. If this is the end of the Hunter Biden investigation, the Justice Department and FBI will have a more difficult time withholding evidence on the basis of an “ongoing investigation.” That is why it is a bit suspicious to see U.S. Attorney David Weiss state that that there is an “ongoing investigation.”

The Justice Department will not say whether this is an investigation continuing in conjunction with the prosecution or whether there is a mandate to investigate the influence peddling scandal.

The House will also be able to inquire how the Justice Department investigated the influence peddling charges, if at all. House investigators have said that there is no indication that some of their evidence was previously acquired by the Justice Department. In the meantime, IRS whistleblowers have alleged that Hunter Biden was given preferential treatment in their investigation and that the Justice Department cut them off from further work on the case.

Chris Clark, Biden’s attorney, insisted that “with the announcement of two agreements between my client, Hunter Biden, and the Unites States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved.”

If true, the demolition of this case will constitute one of the most impressive scandal managements in American history. Mark Loizeaux, president and owner of Phoenix, Maryland-based Controlled Demolition Inc., once said that the success of the company is due to their effort to “identify the sensitivity of each of the neighbors to the unavoidable byproducts.” In this case, the “neighbors” are the White House, the media and a host of others that want this scandal taken down without implicating their earlier dismissals and denials. Just a couple of muffled thuds, a puff of smoke and an empty space.

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

147 thoughts on “The Hunter Biden ‘Controlled Demolition’ is Complete”

  1. What I see is Hunter skating on crimes that per DOJ standards they would have him in jail for years but the FBI and a Judge let him go, which both were clearly biased. People in all sides are going to remember this. They see J6 people setting in jail with no bail and sent to prison for walking into the Capitol. They see other people doing similar things and paying years in prison and being all different races and parties, but not getting the Two Tiered Justice system. It is clear that Biden is killing the economy, justice, the border, and America’s way of life. People are starting to fight back economically and against ways to groom children and this will lead to voting for Republicans. If the 2024 election is stolen I worry that CW2 will start.

  2. It might be a little early for a column admiring the corrupt and unconstitutional Hunter Biden deal that was orchestrated by an army of self-anointed, leftist elites. The deal did not go unnoticed by high-profile, Democrat members of the Black community, who have watched friends go to prison for lesser offenses. This is on top of sky-high prices, out-of-control, illegal immigration, naked men in girls’ locker rooms, and a dangerous war against a country with nuclear weapons. As 2024 approaches, don’t be surprised to see a steady stream of Democrat voters switching their support to Trump.

  3. “…you have to admire the skill of the political and media elite in dropping this scandal without collateral damage to themselves.”
    “Attorney General Merrick Garland took the most important step in pulling off the controlled demolition by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel.”

    Ergo, Garland is the most admirable, I get it.

    1. I just watched some msm live video feed where Hunter walked onto the steps and inside the plane behind dear ol demented dad.
      So they are still doing it right now. Making deals and getting bank from foreign countries.

  4. “About a year ago, I wrote a column describing what I saw as evidence of a “controlled demolition” in progress in the Hunter Biden scandal. The media and political establishment had reached the point where they could no longer bury the influence peddling scandal by claiming that Hunter’s laptop was Russian disinformation.”
    The stooges at DOJ don’t get paid to run “controlled demolition(s).” They get paid to abide by and enforce the law. This is just another reason why the bonfire of Washington is both overdue and necessary for our survival as a nation. The place is utterly, irretrievably and proudly corrupt. It’s Sodom without Lot but a lot (note pun) more deserving of the same fate given the volume of mayhem it engenders. Witness the Swamp’s complete disregard of the hopelessly outgunned Ukrainians fighting the best land army in the world with hand-me-down weapons. Zelensky is a penis piano playing DC puppet and while he can sure dance, he can’t win. Still we’ll fight to the last Ukrainian for war and profits. It’s immoral just like the District is immoral. Outrages like this don’t last long.

  5. The only one fooled is Biden.
    Everyone on his side points and goes “na, na, na, we take care of ours!” And those on the others side says “thanks for settling the “dual just-us” argument!”“Equality under the law” was always a wobbler, but now its demise is official government policy!

  6. Professor Turley’s oddly admiring post is a disappointment. I had hoped when he called Garland an utter failure that Mr Turley had finally decided to get off the fence. Instead, he verbally high fives the Biden crime syndicate for skating on yet another outrage and making a mockery of what used to be a Justice system.

    1. One can appreciate the cunning handiwork – the legal, political and media demolition of all charges against Hunter Biden (allegedly) et el – without supporting the evil that spawned it.

      *’we’re an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality’ ~ The Turd Blossom

  7. Hunter is a sideshow. His tax and gun offenses are trivial. Joe Biden is the head of a crime family, and should have been the target of the investigation. Hunter could have been squeezed to rat out Joe. That is what a real investigation would have done.

    Now it’s up to Comer to use all the tools he has to reveal the truth about bribery and influence peddling to the public. And it’s up to McCarthy to assign Jordan as Judiciary Committee Chairman an impeachment investigation of Biden for bribery and influence peddling. There is more than enough evidence to launch this.

    OT: I listened to some of the Durham hearing today. Only Massie and Gaetz asked Durham about Mifsud. Durham added nothing. Gaetz also called out Durham for not investigating the Mueller operation, which was part of his mandate.

    1. 1. How do you conclude that GOP is seriously interested in enlightening then VP Biden’s “role in his family members’ and business associates’ foreign and domestic business practices” up to ten years ago?
      * Why don’t they have the books and records (including invoices, contracts and agreements) concerning the huge amount of $$$ from China’s, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, wire transfers?
      * Why don’t they have secured testimony of the parties involved and those who have direct knowledge of the Biden family’s operation (What is so difficult to ask Hallie Biden who commissioned her to do what to raise funds from Romanian and China companies)?
      * Why didn’t they obtain FBI and DOJ records that allegedly describe “a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and an unnamed foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions”?

      2. As usual, GOP is unorganized, poking around in the dark and had only a few hot button questions like Rep Dan Bishop (when did Durham found out that Danchenko had paid CHS status?) On the contrary DEMs are highly organized, have coordinated their talking points and are totally in control of the narrative.

      1. Charlotte K I agree entirely. The Republicans are ineffectual. If Pelosi and Schiff had on Trump what we now have on Biden he would have been subject to an impeachment investigation long ago, and anyone resisting requests for information would have been subject to contempt and judicial enforcement. The Republicans are pathetic.

        1. The “fundamental transformation of USA” unsettled many patriots. To the chagrin of the Republican leadership, Donald J. Trump was elected president in 2016. To prevent this from happening again, all measures are (tacitly) supported. GOP leaders are neither “ineffectual” nor “pathetic”, they act by intention to destroy MAGA grassroot movement by “getting rid of Trump”. Everything else: Side show.

      2. Democrats choose to be democrats because they really believe in their political ideology. Republicans choose to be republicans because it would help their careers.

        1. * DEMs took power, fight for their ideology, win on the floor despite slim majority, issues subpoenas & lead interviews, know elections’ ground games, play dirty, defend theirs, ….

          * REPS take office, are split, don’t care about ideology (launched factcheckbiden website), lose on the floor despite slim majority, say they take Biden accountable (in writing reports, letters and holding pressers) don’t care about elections’ ground games (and blame candidates’ quality for their losses), play dirty against theirs, take the job and are traitorous (to the president), instead of Trump, the Marxists should win, …

  8. Forget Hunter Biden. Hunter is a failed son from a failed family. Clearly their wealth, fame and connections did not help them. Our children are in severe crisis on many fronts, none of which helps Biden nor Democrats. Our families and children are far more important and should be our number 1 priority. Get back to basics. Throw out politics from our daily diet

    NB: it is surprising WaPo even reported on this news item

    National test scores plunge, with still no sign of pandemic recovery

    2023 Long-Term Trend (LTT) Age 13 Reading and Mathematics Highlights
    Compared to 2020: Average scores decline in both subjects
    Scores decline across five selected percentiles in both subjects; larger declines for lower-performing students in mathematics

  9. Lying about drug and alcohol abuse on a federal firearm registration form is a very serious offense that then-senator Joe Biden touted when he was the leading proponent of the legislation designed to show how very serious Democrats are about “gun crime.” Making the false statement and yet not getting the weapon might be an arguable case for a misdemeanor charge, but making the false statement and then getting the weapon is clearly a felony that would get anyone but Hunter Biden imprisoned for up to ten years.

    Failure to pay income taxes for a brief period of time may be only a misdemeanor offense, but the concealment of income and making it difficult if not impossible to discover is the very essence of tax evasion and a clear felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for each count. That again, however, appears only to be the case for anyone but Hunter Biden.

    1. “[T]he concealment of income and making it difficult if not impossible to discover is the very essence of tax evasion and a clear felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment for each count.”

      1. Hunter hided income from the federal government via shell companies, if this goes also for other Biden family members is unknown. In fiscal year 2020, the average of tax fraud offenders were 16 months. Sentences were increased for sophisticated means to execute or conceal the offense. [1]
      2. Actor Weseley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison back in 2008 and fined $5 million for willfully failing to file millions of dollars worth of past tax returns. Appeal was denied.
      3. From David Weiss’ press release: “The investigation is ongoing.”


    2. And making a false statement on one’s voter registration form in FL can also land you in jail. Yet when Trump made a false statement on his FL voter registration, he got a pass. The wealthy of all political parties get these benefits.

      1. There is a place for whataboutism, but the comparisons always should be apples to apples, oranges to oranges.

  10. Hunter copped a misdemeanor plea. Honestly, I’m surprised he even conceded that much (kudos to Bill O’Reilly and Buck Sexton for totally nailing their predictions).

    This plea deal is a pathetic joke, and even the most ignorant voters will know it. And I agree with Bill and Buck, this plea is just an attempt to bury the more serious charges. That prediction will also come true.

    The Deep State is making itself the number one campaign issue of 2024. To paraphrase Emerson, when you strike at the Constitution, you must kill it. That appears to be the DOJ’s plan.

    Cromwell had another quote: “Keep your faith in God but keep your powder dry.”

  11. Democrat privilege. There is a very different justice system for Donald Trump and Dinesh D’Souza than there is for Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden.

    Democrat activists control all 3 letter agencies – including the DOJ, FBI, and IRS. They control the messaging through most of the media. They control what most people can search for on the Internet, with Google algorithms deliberately coded to benefit Democrats. They control what most people learn at schools and universes, with monopolies on the DOE, virtually all public schools, and universities. As Democrats control pension funds, such as CALPERS, they require DEI for investments, thus motivating major corporations like Anheuser-Bush and Target to promote the ideology that men can declare themselves women, and should be entitled to compete in women’s sports, gain access to women’s spaces, and harass and disparage women who voice other opinions about their own gender.

    The Democrats have assembled a god machine that it employs to protect its own, and promote its interests.

  12. Every msm, is in adam schifty mode, repeating the authorized phrase, from the authoritarian gov. “Trump appointed DA. “ Nasty nadler is still repeating that Durham failed to prove Russian collusion, therefore he’s lying. To quote Carl Sagan: “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.” Libs are bamboozled bamboozlers .

  13. Under Huner’s diversion program, he will probably be required to perform “community service.” Here are some likely tasks the DOJ will assign:
    1) raising money from foreign sources for the DNC;
    2) testing new variants of cocaine and other illegal drugs;
    3) traveling to Eastern Europe to report on human trafficking;
    4) writing on a blackboard 10 times: “I will not lie on government forms.”; and
    5) picking-up his father when he falls down.

    1. Here’s a question: if I were found guilty of income tax evasion and filing a false firearm’s application, those would be crimes of moral turpitude and they would jerk my law license in a minute. Will responsible jurisdictions jerk Hunter’s law license?

      1. Here’s a question, If I had a hundred classified documents in my house, would I be free out on bail after bing arrested? Reality Winner has an answer for that. For a far less alleged crime she spent time in prison.

        Deferential treatment? You bet, the trump crime family is finally getting their just deserts.

        1. Baby Trump – you ask: “If I had a hundred classified documents in my house, would I be free out on bail after bing arrested?” If you were a Democratic politician, or operative, you would never have been bothered, or at least not very much, by the FBI. Look at: Sandy Berger (who purloined and destroyed classified documents from the National Archives, and never spent a day in jail); Hillary Clinton (who kept dozens of classified emails on her illegal, personal server and then lied about it and then destroyed evidence, and laughed about it all later); Barack Obama (who took boxes of classified documents with him back to Chicago when he left office); and James Comey (who took classified documents with him when he unceremoniously left office). Bill Clinton took documents (tapes) of historical interest and was allowed to keep him. There are rules for Trump and a different set of rules for Democrats.

  14. Professor, yesterday you was booked by FNN, today your commissioned work was published in “themessenger”, NYP & “The Hill” (& maybe other outlets I am not aware of). All in all you where focused on Hunter Biden and DOJs decision to accept this plea deal after an investigation of five years!

    Here are my takes (old wine in new bottles, I know) why I don’t have “to admire the skill of the political and media elite in dropping this scandal without collateral damage to themselves” within a widely labeled corrupt justice system:

    1. Anyone who has followed the political career of the former “Senator from MBNA” (the legislation the Democrat promoted was beneficial to CC companies because it made it much more difficult for clients to get bankruptcy protection) even marginally can see that Biden’s main focus was on family’s gains!
    2. During the Clinton administration, his son Hunter worked at Department of Commerce, where he met Kathy Chung [1], later then VPs gatekeeper.
    3. What started on a moderate pace in 2009, developed into a thriving family business operation from 2014 onwards with the “big guy” as boss and Hunter as capo(decina).
    4. In the Department of Finance, the referrals have piled up; it quickly became clear that the fragmented wire-transfers from Russia, Ukraine, China, Rumania and elsewhere (divided among several family members) were used to hide the purpose of the flown $$$.
    5. Those who gained a leading role in DC are not suckers and that naive to be unable to make this system transparent in a timely manner!

    And that’s the real scandal: That GOP has been playing along for more than ten years, only to get “rid of Trump”! That grassroots have established themselves in opposing “the fundamental transformation of USA”. Who cares?

    In theory, that would also be an approach for a column; but who exposes themselves to be singled out as outlaw and put his “good reputation” into jeopardy?


  15. I think the Democrats just may have handed the 2024 election to Republicans even if Trump were in jail!
    We all see this for the two tiered justice system, the corruption at every level.
    Just like in 2016, the Democrats will have not only a non-likeable candidate, but with the Russiagate hoax, the Durham report highlighting the corruption within the FBI, the sweetheart deal for Hunter Biden, voters just may vote as a rejection of the corruption that Biden embodies. Just like Clinton.
    This only goes to show, to vote for Biden is a vote for more forever wars, more grift, more corruption, more two tiered justice system.
    2024, no matter who the Republican candidate is, I am voting for them. Even if it is Trump in jail.

    1. “I think the Democrats just may have handed the 2024 election to Republicans even if Trump were in jail!”

      Wow, you are way more optimistic than I am. The libtards don’t care as evidenced by their “in your face” corruption on several fronts. The only thing that matters to them is that the cog of Marxist socialism moves forward. This cog can’t move back unless there is a violent revolution (which 2024 just might set into motion). The transformation of America is much like Islamic extremism. It is patient and will take a few hits now and then because it knows this one simple fact: True freedom contains within it the cancerous cells of Marxist socialism. Self reliance is always a losing political message compared to social safety nets.

      1. Jim22,
        I am looking at the polling numbers of Independents and the Democrats who have a poor view of Biden.
        I think it is the former who voted for Trump not for him persay, but as a FU to the establishment. I could see them doing it again.
        As for the latter, the majority of them want someone, anyone else and not Harris.
        The current economic environment is going to be a drag on the Biden campaign. Economists and banks have said they expect a recession later this year.
        Fed chairman Powell said more interest rates are to be expected. The fight against inflation has a long fight to go. Expect higher interest rates for home mortgages and a housing slump. More so than we are seeing now.
        American savings is at a 2008 low. Many people are resorting to credit cards to make ends meet.
        Casual dinning restaurants are seeing a major hit as people are cutting back on dinning out.
        I am looking at it from those perspectives.
        But not ruling out some kind of social or civil unrest as you point out.

        1. I hear what you are saying but I still think it doesn’t matter what happens in 2024. Even Trump with both houses of congress didn’t get rid of Obamacare. The policies the Biden crime family has and will put in place will survive regardless of who is in office. Even if R’s could change it do you really think they can’t screw it up in a year and a half? they couldn’t win PA or GA in the senate when every indication was that a “Red Wave” was coming. My prediction is that the Biden crime family will not run and Newsom with Dead-In-The-Eyes Michelle Obama will steal another election.

          1. Jim22,
            You have a point there.
            Some of Biden’s go green programs are having serious effects on domestic energy or are going to be abject failures that will cost us all in terms of higher fuel and utility bills.
            Newsom does appear to be running without the announcement. Or he is hopeful. His track record in CA though is nothing to cheer about. For that matter, the mess he has made is the reason why so many people are leaving CA.
            If it is Biden in 2024, I could see more and serious election “irregularities.” There was a paper released about the Dominion voting machines vulnerabilities. I could also see Democrats just staying home.

        2. Yesterday, Northern Virginia reelected for Democrat primaries George Soros groomed District Attorneys Buta Biberaj of Loudoun County and Steve Descano of Fairfax County. NoVa has some of the wealthiest counties and residents in the country. Loudon County is the wealthiest county in America with Fairfax County being the fifth wealthiest county. Wealthy = George Soros vision of “reformed minded prosecutors”. Not so much for the poor or middle class.

          Can Republican opponents beat these 2 Soros clones in the general election in November? Will the GOP retake the Virginia Senate and give Governor Glenn Youngkin full control of the Commonwealth? It will likely take not wealthy parents and salt of the earth folks throughout the Commonwealth to out vote wealthy residents of NoVa, liberal Richmond and military Norfolk area.

          Democrat$ today are the Republicans of yesteryear

          Top prosecutors survive challenges in Virginia’s primary elections

          1. @Estovir: For NYC the struggle has been described as being between the Uber Class and the Subway Class. There might be a similar analogy in the jurisdictions you speak of. Those who see themselves as justified in telling ‘the rest’ where and how they must live, as long as it isn’t anywhere near those on the reviewing stand. Multifamily housing, and public transportation are envisioned, far away by highway from the gated communities in which stand million dollar homes on 5 acres lots. Nothing new for the Democrats in NYC.. and for others elsewhere

  16. The Democrats and their media propagandists do not care what anyone who is not on their team thinks. They will go on TV every night and talk about the climate apocalypse. They will talk about a random white shooter, the need to suppress your 2A rights and ignore the genocide in the Black neighborhoods. They will censor concerns about proper age consent to mutilate your body and celebrate mental disease. All you have to do is look at the street of LA and San Fran to know what they are about.

  17. Jonathan: There is no there–there! Just like the Durham investigation (two trials and two acquittals), David Weiss, a holdover from the Trump administration, could come up with only two misdemeanor charges against Hunter for his failure to pay taxes and the gun registration violation. Both settled with no prosecutions. The Durham investigation lasted 4 years. David Weiss took 5 years to reach similar conclusions! What a waste of time and taxpayer money!

    And another failure of your long campaign to show a vast “alleged corrupt practices of the Biden family”. But, yes, James Comer and Jim Jordan will continue to try to manufacture charges against the Biden family. But as I have pointed out in previous comments these investigation have come up with no crimes–at least nothing to establish probable cause. Comer has admitted all of his “informants” against the Bidens have gone “missing”. Nada, zilch!

    It requires a lot of contortion to claim the gun charge against Hunter “looks like a serious threat of incarceration”. Really? Lying about drug and alcohol abuse on a gun registration form is not the “serious” offense that requires the wasting of valuable DOJ resources and money on prosecuting a low-level offender. That’s why a diversionary program was the appropriate remedy.

    So far, the only “muffled thuds, a puff of smoke” are coming from your continued empty campaign against Biden family!

    1. apparently you didn’t understand his analogy.. The prosecutors can only investigate what they are allowed to investigate

    2. If lying on 4473 about the use of a controlled substance is not a “serious” offense, then why is it a federal felony?
      Had I committed the same crime, I would charged, found guilty, sentenced and in a federal prison.
      But if my last name was Biden . . .

    3. Didn’t a certain ex president own a posh hotel in Washington DC while he was President? Weren’t foreign nationals a common resident at that hotel? Isn’t there a constitutional provision about taking money from foreigners while President? So who is the easily demonstrably corrupt presidential family here?

      But hey, don’t go there, The dear professor likes his Fox News money.

      1. “Take money”? Do you mean provide use of a hotel room and facilities in EXCHANGE for money?

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