Below is my column on the search for the true identity of Robert L. Peters, the name Republicans believe was used by then Vice President Joe Biden in emails that contradict his past claims on the influence peddling scandal.
Here is the column:
He is a man with many names. “Celtic.” “The Big Guy.” According to congressional investigators, most citizens know him as “President Biden.”
Aliases are tricky things. They are sometimes innocent or essential like the code name that the Secret Service gives you as part of your protection like “Celtic.”
Then there are nicknames that are preferred to your given name. Take the Big Lebowski. He did not like being called Mr. Lebowski and preferred “Dude” but he was flexible: “I’m The Dude. So, that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or, uh, Duder, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”
It appears that President Biden also preferred on occasion not to be called “Mr. Biden.” The question is why and whether Mr. Peters is more Big Lebowski or Big Guy.
People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Biden associate James Gilliar explained the rules to Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, and 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.”
So it was not “Mr. Biden” who would receive a planned 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm. It was “the Big Guy,” who also was to receive benefits like office space from foreign sources.
Recently, an FBI document showed that a trusted source relayed an allegation of bribery where a Ukrainian businessman said that he was told not to send money directly to “the Big Guy” but used a complex series of accounts to transfer the funds.
The question is whether “Robert L. Peters” used in various emails was in fact Joe Biden.
House investigators want to find out, but the Administration does not seem eager to resolve the question.
The earlier email using the alleged alias is from 2016. It holds particular significance for House investigators because it cc’d Hunter Biden about Ukraine. In the now widely accepted influence peddling operation, the object of the influence was Biden.
We now know that the President lied for years in denying knowledge or conversations about his son’s foreign dealings.
Even the Washington Post now admits that the President lied when he said that Hunter made no money in China.
However, these emails may show the quid in the quid pro quo. Biden is accused of sending official information on these countries to his influence peddling son.
The nothing-to-see-here crowd is dismissing the allegation while resisting any further confirmation of these emails. (Notably, many of them insist that the false claims of Russian collusion against Trump were established by the fact that his campaign chair, Paul Manafort, gave polling data to a Russian client).
Yet, there are 27 emails linked to Joe Biden’s alleged “Robert L. Peters” alias including one sent from John Flynn, a former senior adviser to Joe Biden, with the White House “@ovp.eop.gov” domain name.
For his part, Peters uses “@pci.gov” domain name on a government network, which includes the Executive Office of the President.
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) has pushed the National Archives to share unredacted copies of these emails and has said that the House has not received the evidence. If so, it is not clear why the Archives would redact names from these emails or other information. If that matter comes to a head, the House is likely to win in court. However, efforts to obstruct such efforts could soon be one of the subjects of an impeachment inquiry.
It is also not clear why Joe Biden will not simply make this information and his financial records available to resolve any lingering questions over his past conduct and ongoing denials.
It is not likely to happen. Joe Biden has not taken well to reporters using his aliases. When a reporter who asked him about being “the Big Guy,” President Biden was irate and asked “Why’d you ask such a dumb question?”
If the answer was not clear before, it was clear after that response.
It appears that other Obama Administration officials used such aliases. The question is whether Mr. Peters was doing something that Mr. Biden did not want to be associated with. He was not the “brand” being sold by Hunter, but he may have been a conduit to deliver on that brand.
The House is unlikely to tolerate further delays in answering these questions. One thing is clear. For a fictitious figure, Mr. Peters has a growing number of people eager to make his acquaintance.
This column was posted on Fox.com