How The Surgical Charging of Hunter Biden Ignores a Pattern of Concealment

Below is my column in The Hill on the impeachment inquiry and one striking pattern among the alleged crimes facing Hunter Biden: they all served to conceal the influence peddling efforts to sell access or influence to his father. The investigation and charging of Hunter Biden has, thus far, been strikingly surgical in avoiding this pattern of concealment.

New York Times columnist (and my former classmate at The University of Chicago) David Brooks said this week that the corruption scandal “merits an inquiry. It does not merit … an impeachment inquiry.” While I understand the distinction, I do not understand the basis for it in this situation. There are a variety of alleged crimes related to this corruption that may involve the President. There are also allegations like abuse of office that have been cited in past impeachments. We do not know if those connections exist but, if they do, they would clearly constitute impeachable offenses. Moreover, it is unlikely that we will get those answers without an impeachment inquiry. An impeachment inquiry does not inevitably lead to impeachment, but it does tend to lead to answers on whether impeachable conduct has occurred.

Here is the column:

In both the law and psychology, the concept of “willful blindness” is a long-recognized pattern of human conduct. It has been described as circumstances where “you could have known, and should have known, something that instead you strove not to see.”

The indictment of Hunter Biden on three counts of federal gun violations illustrates the myopic view of many in the media and the Justice Department.

Although there is a real possibility of additional charges against Hunter, the move to charge the gun violations reinforces a concern that the Justice Department continues to focus on charges that stay as far away from Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden, as plausible. The gun charges are conveniently self-contained and insulated for the administration.

The unseen pattern is becoming more and more troubling.

For years, many of us argued that Attorney General Merrick Garland’s refusal to appoint a special counsel in the Biden corruption scandal was baffling. Even some Democratic members of Congress and many in the mainstream media now admit that Hunter was engaged in a multimillion dollar influence-peddling scheme. He was also engaged in alleged criminal conduct.

However, the appointment of a special counsel on the influence-peddling would have required an investigation of the president himself.  He was, after all, the one whose influence was being peddled as what Hunter’s friend and associate Evan Archer called the “Biden brand,” and he directly interacted with Hunter’s clients. It is impossible to pursue these payments and efforts without running into multiple references to the president or his various code names.

We also know that whistleblowers in the IRS said that they were told to avoid references to Joe Biden in their investigation of Hunter Biden. Moreover, they testified that the statute of limitations on the most serious charges related to these foreign payments were knowingly allowed to expire by the Justice Department, even though it would have been possible to extend the statute of limitations.

The Justice Department then attempted an absurd sweetheart deal to close off the case without felony charges or jail time. That deal collapsed after a federal judge confirmed that even the prosecutors themselves had never seen such a sweeping deal.

Garland finally yielded to the calls for a special counsel, then appointed David Weiss, who was responsible for the deal. He also did not expressly give Weiss a mandate to investigate the influence peddling or the president.

That brings us back to the gun charges.

Thus far, the Justice Department has surgically avoided charges that would implicate the president. This may simply be a coincidence, and correlation does not constitute causation. However, the other charges (including those that the Justice Department effectively killed by slow-walking its investigation) have an obvious potential connection: They all worked to help conceal the influence-peddling operation.

None of this means that this unifying theory is true, but it cannot be ignored by anyone investigating this corruption scandal.

First, there are the tax violations. While Hunter may be charged with some tax violations, the statute of limitations has now run out on the most controversial payments in the 2014 and 2015 period for foreign sources such as Ukraine’s Burisma. The obvious value in not claiming income is to avoid taxes. However, claiming income also highlights not just the receipt of these funds but their sources. Likewise, falsely claiming income as a “loan” can keep the money off the books or make it less likely to trigger scrutiny on the source and purpose of payments.

Second, there are the money transfers. The House has now detailed millions in transfers to Biden family members from a dizzying array of dozens of companies and accounts. The use of a complex labyrinth raises obvious concerns that it is a tactic used by individuals to conceal money transfers.

Third, many of us have noted that there seems ample basis for charging Hunter Biden under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, particularly given previous charges against such defendants as Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.  Registering as a foreign agent obviously invites much greater scrutiny over foreign dealings and the specific nations involved in lobbying efforts.

Again Hunter could still eventually face charges for avoiding taxes. But there is little evidence that the Justice Department has actively pursued these broader implications or motivations.

For many, the marginalization of these charges raises troubling concerns, particularly in light of the failed sweetheart deal and the allegations from the whistleblowers. Even if the tax charges are brought, the framing of the investigation has been on the income rather than the influence sought in these dealings.

Instead, there seems confusion rather than clarity in how the Justice Department has handled these allegations for years. Even CNN legal analysts are now calling the handling of the investigation at the Justice Department an “unholy mess.”

This also explains why the public has little faith in the Justice Department in the investigation of Hunter Biden. In a new AP poll, half of the public says that they lack confidence in the integrity of the Justice Department’s investigation. Another 59 percent is extremely or somewhat concerned that Joe Biden committed wrongdoing in these dealings.

That follows an ABC News/Ipsos poll in which roughly half said they lack trust that the Justice Department will conduct the Hunter Biden investigation in a “fair and nonpartisan manner.” Finally, in a recent CNN poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Joe Biden was involved in his family’s business deals with China and Ukraine; only 1 percent of those who say he was involved believe that he did nothing wrong.

The public is not willfully blind to the evidence or the possible motives behind some of these alleged crimes. That is precisely why there is ample reason for the House to have launched its impeachment inquiry.

E.F. Schumacher wrote that “everything can be seen directly except the eye through which we see.” For the media and the Justice Department, it will become increasingly difficult to turn a blind eye to the evidence of corruption and influence peddling surrounding the Biden family, including the president himself.

These patterns and allegations can be disproven, but the public’s lack of confidence in the Justice Department increasingly appears justified. For most citizens wanting to see the truth behind these dealings, they will clearly have to look to Congress for the answers.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University.

271 thoughts on “How The Surgical Charging of Hunter Biden Ignores a Pattern of Concealment”

  1. Turley is a hired gun who will say anything — ANYTHING! — just to be on TV. The man doesn’t believe in anything. He used to be a regular guest on MSNBC lambasting Republicans and conservatives (remember his criticism of Alito for mouthing “Not true” at Obama’s State of the Union?). Now he’s working for Fox, so he’s blaming everything on Biden, the Democrats, and Jack Smith. But not Trump – never. Ugh. What a joke. What a hack. What an embarrassment to the profession.

    1. Jack, and yet you are here? Now what I don’t watch…MSNBC. Know what I don’t read…The NY Times and the WAPO. Know what site I don’t visit…Huff Post.

      Feel free to stay the heck away from the site that is run by a guy you loathe. What is it that makes you come here, read the column and then attack it with your limited IQ?

      1. I don’t agree with “Jack’s” comment, however I’m unaware of any reason to believe that people who disagree Turley shouldn’t comment here. Do you only post comments about things with which you agree?

        1. I domt agree with his comment either, i just had a different way of characterizing it. You are one whiney beotch though.

  2. Vodka isn’t free either. Does that mean my hard-earned money should be confiscated by my government to purchase vodka for someone in a faraway country I’ve never met?

  3. They say that “freedom isn’t free”, which implies that it entails an expense. Knowing this, then why the problem with expenditures that go towards freedom in Ukraine?

      1. It looked more like 80% destroyed than 80% free. We tend to think of freedom as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not seeing much of that in my feeds. Free to hide in the bomb shelter of your choice hardly seems like freedom to me.

        As with anything else i’m looking to purchase, can you tell me how much more it will cost?

  4. Gigi says: “How on earth any servicemember or member of their family could support Trump, a well-established loser, is beyond me.”

    And since you asked, GIGI, i am also going to give you and your fellow tools some insight, from the perspective of someone who isnt eaten up inside with hatred of one man, as to why there are people who would follow this flawed man off of a cliff.

    8 years of ruling by edict. Anything he couldnt bulldoze thru the congress, he just EO’d it
    8 years of the disgusting smugness. “Elections have consequences”
    “At least I will go down as A President”
    Transformational change. Apologizing for US.
    8 years of divisive instead of leading. Trevon Martin

    Then after they put up with that for 8 years, you offered up Hillary Clinton. Possibly the most despised person in America by conservatives, men and women alike.
    The champion of women, Who called the first me too movement a vast right wing conspiracy
    The woman who called 1/4 of the country “deplorables”
    The woman who, as a “feminist”, let her husband treat her like total freaking dogsh!t, and stayed the course just for power
    She then proved EXACTLY who she is with the Russia Hoax. How sick to accuse Trump of exactly what she was up to.

    After all of this, conservatives were FED UP. ANGRY. FRUSTRATED.

    Trump didnt create the populist movement, and thats the biggest reason you folks have earned the title of tools. Get a better argument than “Trump”. Its weak sauce and only shows you dont have a clue.

  5. 1. Joe Biden lied to the American public in September 2019. Joe Biden to Fox News’ Peter Doocy, claiming: “I’ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

    2. There is extensive evidence of Joe Biden’s history of corruption. Vice President Joe Biden engaged in financial political quid pro quo favor in exchange for disbursement of monies to Biden’s corrupt family members. Biden (aka the Big Guy) took a cut of the disbursements. These are all corroborated via “bank and corporate records, suspicious activity reports, emails and text messages recovered from Hunter Biden’s laptop, travel records, reporting from a “highly credible” CHS, and testimony from Hunter Biden’s business partners per Margot Cleveland

    3. Cover-ups for Biden’s crimes. Both the FBI and CIA engaged in 2020 presidential election interference by censoring Big Tech regarding Hunter Biden’s laptop and promoting the Big Lie of “Russian disinformation” as articulated in lock step by the MSM, all lies

    4. DOJ cover up for Hunter Biden. Biden’s AG Merrick Garland and various US Attorneys have juiced the legal system and interfered on behalf of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter

    An impeachment inquiry has been long overdue of Joseph R. Biden. Add to the list: Merrick Garland, Alejandro Mayorkas, Antony Blinken, Christopher Wray, and many more Executive Agency directors

  6. Biden and the left hate America and its people. There is no other explanation.

    Cartels sending migrant mobs of thousands to overwhelm the US border
    MaryAnn Martinez
    Drug cartels are sieging the border by deliberately sending thousands of migrants a day to hand themselves over to Border Patrol officers in different US border towns, sources revealed to The Post.

    The tactic is meant to tie up already overworked border agents so Mexico’s cartels can carry on their drug and human smuggling operations undisturbed in less populated areas, law enforcement officials explained.

  7. The comment section here in Turleyville is quickly degenerating into a no-rules grab bag of off-topic nonsense, ad hominem BS, and childish feuds having virtually no relationship whatsoever to the topic of the articles. This is a phenom happening all across the internet virtually anywhere that the general public is invited to freely post comments.

    Any nutbucket with access to a computer, lots of time on their worthless hands, and a fake screen name (or no screen name at all, allowing this website to label them as “Anonymous” — yes, THAT’S how it works) can sit around ALL DAY taking a dump on legitimate, intelligent, meaningful discourse concerning important issues, and turn the comment section into something that resembles a kindergarten filled with brain-damaged glue-sniffers.

    Is this really what “free speech” is all about?

    1. “Any nutbucket with access to a computer, lots of time on their worthless hands, and a fake screen name (or no screen name at all, allowing this website to label them as “Anonymous” — yes, THAT’S how it works) can sit around ALL DAY taking a dump on legitimate, intelligent, meaningful discourse concerning important issues, and turn the comment section into something that resembles a kindergarten filled with brain-damaged glue-sniffers.”

      “Is this really what “free speech” is all about?”


    2. Some free speech is better than others, Ralph.

      At a spry 83, Nancy Pelosi is answering the call to fight the multitude of fascist MAGA hat “TRumpites” infesting the Town Hall of free speech. And the evil that lurks in men’s heart.

      “These Trumpites were attacking the Capitol, fighting the police, threatening my life and the life of the vice president … there is a sickness here, and there has to be an intervention,” Pelosi stated.

      *’doing right ain’t got no end’ ~ Pelosi for Senate 2024

      1. “These lefties were attacking police precincts, a federal building, and the White House, fighting the police, threatening the life of Judge Kavanaugh, shooting congressman on a baseball field…”

        Fixed that for the old bat

        1. That old bat is full of righteous indignation and will cling to power like a wolverine on Trump’s rump.

          *there is only Trump .. and untold countless hoard of seething MAGA hat fascist Trumpites that follow him.

    3. Hey Ralphie,
      You know what they say… opinions are like _holes.

      But yes, its so easy to get so many idiot posts who want to deflect and not have an intelligent conversation.

      But free speech means they have the rights to be idiots.


    4. As of 8pm eastern time, EVERY “reply” I’ve gotten to this post has been a degenerate defense of moronic conduct that is making this one of the most-worthless comment sections on the web. The people replying so far are all in a race to the bottom of the free-speech barrel.

      1. And just like that, i defend your right to say

        “degenerate defense of moronic conduct”

        “The people replying so far are all in a race to the bottom of the free-speech barrel.”

        Even though i think you’re a tool for saying it.

        1. Oddly enough, I posted a different reply that misteriously never got posted. But maybe the disappearnce isn’t so mysterious after all.
          Of course, I’m also off-topic with my complaint, but I’m getting to the point where I’m just about done here, and there was no way around going off topic unless to not complain about something that really NEEDS complaining about, because the entire web — which could have been such a valuable tool for civilization — is being taken over by malignant idiots whose IQs are smaller than their shoe sizes..

          1. Although i served to defend your right to have ridiculous opinions on a wide range of topics, and still defend it, i cant say i wont be sad to see you go. You represent what gives these imbeciles on the left any ground at all on which to stand.
            Frankly, You are the mirror image of the likes of gigi and ats. They would breathe their last breath defending the indefensible, and so would you, from what i have witnessed.
            You could easily have done what i have done and just scrolled past your comments, because i know you dont have anything to say that i would consider worthwhile.
            I’ve little patience for whining beotches, be they on the far left or far right.

            1. LOL — You’re one of the worst of the worst poluters of public discourse infesting this garbage site. From reading 90% of your ridiculous bulk-quantity of comments, no reasonable person could even venture a guess at what the topic of the article is that you’re SUPPOSED to be commenting about.

              1. And right on cue, just like the lefties you despise, you obfuscate and deflect instead of admitting what your real problem is. Its the same one you have with Turley. That he doesnt share your creepy love affair with all things Trump. If you cant keep up with the convo, like i said, scroll on past. Pretend to hold the high ground if you like, but any time someone doesnt tow your line, your vocabulary deteriorates as fast as anyone here. Man up or whine on, matters not to me which.

                1. I guess we should all just come here every day, and watch you and dennis tell Turley what a (fill in the blank)-wing hack he is, and marvel at your brilliance.

                  If i’m hanging out by the dumpster, and complaining about the stench, what does that make me????

                2. You jokers that talk about how you “served to defend” my rights are among the biggest frauds and ingrates on the surface of this bug-infested planet. You’ve NO clue what work I’ve done or sacrifices I’ve made to defend YOUR rights and the rights of malignant morons like YOU — because I don’t go online shooting my mouth off to take credit for doing what is a citizen’s DUTY.

                  But you go ahead and keep telling youself and everyone stupid enough to read your ignorant comments that you’re the great hero to whom the rest of us freeloader owe everything.

                  1. “and everyone stupid enough to read your ignorant comments”

                    Uhhh, apparently, that includes you. You seem keenly aware of the context of my comments.

                    Far be it from me to argue that.

                    You may not like my comments, but clearly you dont know the meaning of the word ignorant. Which means you are what???

  8. It appears Hunter’s legal woes are adversely impacting his parents. As fast and furious Hunter pushes on being exposed for the leech he has been and continues to be to America, apparently his denialism is also hurting Joe’s physical health. I have always thought that if Hunter is drug free, his behavior is consistent with what AA calls being a “dry drunk”. Once an addict, always an addict. The drug of choice is secondary. So now we know that Hunter’s current addict behavior, not accepting responsibility for the damage and hurt he had caused others, continues to hurt his family. Small comfort for the millions of Americans suffering due to Biden’s handlers putting a bullseye on the heads of parents and the irreversible harm they did to the youngest generation in America with COVID, killing morale in the military, pushing bodily mutilation of children, ….the list is endless of how the Bidens have hurt America.

    Hunter may be the death of Joe after all.

    Biden, 80, has even since lamented aloud that he might be dead before his son’s case would be resolved, according to another source close to the Bidens. The president and first lady are even more reluctant to hear about any of the political implications from close aides and are resigned to the fact that Hunter’s legal problems will likely worsen in the months ahead, this person said.

    So sensitive are White House aides about the matter that “everybody walks around on eggshells in the West Wing” and are loath to raise the topic, another source familiar with the matter said.

  9. Gig says:

    “A new report details…”

    “The allegations were first reported in The Atlantic…”

    “From Vox: “The Atlantic story also details”

    All of these were in a single post.

    Hey Gig, go look up the definition of ECHO CHAMBER


  10. Speaking of surgery: The Octopussoir is a monster that was Princess Clara’s vagina. When Clara was very young, her Evil Stepmother put a curse on Clara’s vagina, causing it to turn into a hideous, tentacled (and male) monster. Despite its frightening appearance (which makes nearly everyone vomit the first time they see it), the Octopussoir is actually quite kind, only attacking people when it is frightened by loud noises or provoked in some fashion. When the housemates first found out about it, they wanted to kill it, but came to accept it once they realized how kind it was. Princess Clara never got over the stigma she felt not having a normal vagina, so she got rid of it through plastic surgery. She eventually reconsidered, but when she tried to get the procedure reversed, Octopussoir told her that he had moved on, having completed college and married a 38-year-old Jewish woman.

  11. In fact, I think I will test it right now. Here is a previous post of mine.

    Jonathan: Why do you continue to allow me to post on this blog? Do you think I have a patina of brown in the keyboard diarrhea I post here? For some reason I can’t help posting my narcissistic, self agrandizing rants here every day. I am an unrepentant liar and a coward. Need proof? Here are a few examples.

    1. I called a commentor a racist, and gave no basis for my assertion, even when asked to do so. I consider myslf above having to explain when I violate the civility rules, but whine like a little beotch when someone calls me out.

    2. I plagiarise much of what I post here, giving no credit for the site that I lift the words from, which makes me a thief of intellectual property. One of these copy and pastes resulted in my assertion that an “ideal athlete is 6’3″ and 176-215 pounds. I don’t know how in the world the LA Rams ever could have paid Aaron Donald all that money…I mean, that slob is 6’1” and 280 pounds!!! He’s no athlete! So he can run 100 yards in the time it takes my puny a$$ to run 40, so what???

    3. I have defended DA Fani Willis over and over again. Not to be repetitive, but she gonna spank that fanny for ol’ Donny. So she can’t spell RICO, or know “nothin’ ’bout that computer stuff”, big deal? So she call the Fulton County election handlers out until she found out Biden won…big deal. So she has questioned election results over and over again, EVEN AFTER THEY WERE CERTIFIED, big deal? You aint no democrat if you don’t agree with me. It aint about free speech, dammit!!!! (STAMPING MY FEET)

    4. You call “dangerous” any attempt to bar DJT from the ballot under the 14th Amendment with good reason. Because a state attorney general deciding who is eligible for president is about as undemocratic as it gets. But I’m all for it when it nets the result I want, because I am also a fraud.

    For those on the blog who still think I’m not a whacko….oh, who am I kidding, they all know, and always have.

  12. Estovir

    That is never off topic here. I have often wondered how bad we are being punked by these “people”. As I’ve said before, no one could be that stupid or want to look that stupid, without getting paid.
    I am happy to oblige them in their quest to look stupid, but I also wonder if they get paid by the # of responses they get, and the joke’s on me.
    I have to admit, I sometimes wonder if George is one as well. I have noticed that frequently he posts immediately after Dick Head, with his 2,728 lines of the same sh!t he posted yesterday and the day before and the day before, pushing the previous posts down the line.

  13. Is there a prosecutor anywhere that would allow the statute of limitations to expire on tax evasion charges given the fact pattern evinced? No non corrupt federal prosecutor would allow this.

  14. OT:

    I’ve said it for years on this forum: George Soros funds “Act Blue” & “Media Matters” to employ DNC paid trolls to wreak havoc on this forum, spread Leftists talking points and attack ala Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”. George Soros has now branched to Tik Tok. Take note of the following article.

    Joe Biden’s ‘TikTok Army’ received hundreds of thousands from George Soros to push left-wing causes, bash conservatives

  15. “In both the law and psychology, the concept of “willful blindness” is a long-recognized pattern of human conduct. It has been described as circumstances where “you could have known, and should have known, something that instead you strove not to see.” …”

    Britney Spear is the Poster Child of the ‘willful blindness’ in Washington D.C.
    D.C. is “The Problem Child” the Three Branches are not working to balance “The System” as designed.
    (OH No! James Madison, What do We do Now!)

    Perhaps we should take a page from Ms. Spears’ life and strip down, get Naked, jump on a Horse, and ride like Paul Revere, Village to Village and let everybody know: The Bankers Are coming, The Chinese are coming, The Russians are coming, The Media is coming, The _b_l_a_n_k_ is coming, … Then maybe Somebody will notice.

    Britney Spears Bares All During Horseback Ride Following Sam Asghari Split
    By: Marisa Losciale – September 5, 2023

    P.S.: Daren – What are you waiting for? The crazy Ones are the best! Go get Britney before its to late.
    Trust Me, I’ve been married to One for 63 Years! I went ‘willfully blind’ long ago.

  16. I don’t disagree with anything in the piece, but the question is: does it matter anymore? The modern dem party doesn’t care one iota about law or decorum (see the rolling back of dress code. Too many words could be said about that). Still, thank you Res Ipsa team, for shining the light. To most left-leaning people across the entire globe, admitting as much is like donating a kidney, even though they know it’s true, and they are equally suffering. Amazing to me that so many never ask, ‘Why?’, and then pursue that inquiry to it’s conclusion. There has only been one administration since 2020, and it all falls on them. Never thought I’d see this in my country. If you still vote dem, I’d love for you to very honestly ask yourself why you do it when this is all now hitting pretty much everyone. The Soviet Union even banned music; ask yourself if you really want to live in that world.

  17. Here ya go Gerling…giving you a shot

    $100 to the charity of your choice, if you can hnestly answer thihs question.

    Who do you think Hunter and Zlovchevsky likely called fromDubai in December 2015. and what was the purpose of that call?

  18. “But we never actually see ‘what’ the libtard wrote.”

    Thats why I have adopted the policy of cutting and pasting the libtards comments. Just like yours.


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