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The following is a transcript of my radar on Wednesday’s edition of “Rising” on Hill TV.
On January 3rd, 2019, around 7:30 p.m., Hunter Biden sent a text message to his 25-year-old daughter Naomi. “I love all of you,” he wrote, “But I don’t receive any respect and that’s fine I guess – works for you apparently. I hope you all can do what I did and pay for everything for this entire family for 30 years. It’s really hard.”
“But don’t worry,” Hunter continued, “unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary.”
We know this because the Daily Mail just published a screenshot of the message, which was reportedly recovered from Hunter’s infamous laptop. The laptop, like his memoir, continues fleshing out a tragic picture of addiction and dysfunction. Importantly, however, the addiction and dysfunction are the public’s problem too, given that Hunter was wrapped up in an influence-peddling operation in which he traded on his father’s name to carry out lucrative business deals. That makes the sad work of reading his personal correspondence crucial given that his father is the president of the United States.
In this era of media corruption, there are two layers to nearly every story: the substance and the coverage. They are often equally important. In this case, the media’s decision to spend last week squeezing every drop out of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s indictment obviously contrasts with its disinterest in the Hunter Biden saga which, by the way, implicates the sitting president.
Let’s now set that layer aside to focus on the substance of the story. “Unlike Pop I won’t make you give me half your salary,” Hunter wrote to his daughter.
Miranda Devine synthesized information from a handful of the laptop emails in a Fourth of July column for the New York Post. “There’s no direct evidence of such a wealth transfer on Hunter’s laptop,” she wrote. “But what we do know is that, while Joe was vice president, Hunter routinely paid at least some of his father’s household expenses, including AT&T bills of around $190 a month.
“We know from an e-mail on June 5, 2010, with the subject “JRB bills” to Hunter from Eric Schwerin, his business partner at Rosemont Seneca, that he was expected to foot hefty bills to Wilmington contractors for maintenance and upkeep of his father’s palatial lakefront property,” added Devine, noting, “Joe’s initials are JRB, for Joseph Robinette Biden.”
Hunter’s complaint about his father taking a chunk of his earnings might sound familiar. It’s basically exactly what we learned from Tony Bobulinski shortly before the 2020 election, even if the media chose not to treat that information credibly. Here’s more from Devine: “Further evidence that Joe expected to receive a slice of his son’s income was provided by Tony Bobulinksi, Hunter’s former business partner in a firm called Oneida, which was set up to enter a joint venture with the Chinese energy conglomerate CEFC. Bobulinski says that Joe was the “big guy” referred to in a 2017 e-mail who was to be allocated 10 percent equity in the firm: “10 [percent] held by H [Hunter] for the big guy.”
CEFC is a recurring character in the Biden drama. When the FBI caught Patrick Ho, an executive with CEFC, bribing African officials with cash in Chad and Uganda, he made a call. It was to James Biden, whose brother had just departed the vice presidency and was exploring a bid for the Oval Office. Why on earth would a corrupt Chinese business executive make an emergency call to James Biden? Well, according to Jim, Ho was actually trying to contact his nephew Hunter. Here’s how the New York Times reported on the exchange back in 2018: “In a brief interview, James Biden said he had been surprised by Mr. Ho’s call. He said he believed it had been meant for Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son. James Biden said he had passed on his nephew’s contact information.”
“There is nothing else I have to say,” James Biden told the Times. “I don’t want to be dragged into this anymore.”
Part of the point of paying Hunter Biden money to oversee business dealings outside his areas of expertise is so that you can make a call just like the one Ho made back in 2017.
So the new emails make it pretty clear that Hunter Biden’s corrupt foreign influence-peddling benefitted the current president of the United States. This is all enormously difficult to keep track of, and perhaps that explains a tiny part of the media disinterest, but we could go on for hours examining emails, texts, and public records outlining this pattern.
Just last week, Fox News obtained a picture of Joe and Hunter Biden sporting wide smiles next to Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, Interjet CEO Miguel Aleman Magnani, company chairman Miguel Aleman Velasco, and Jeff Cooper, a former managing partner of SimmonsCooper and a Biden donor.
Hunter set up meetings with Magnani and his father’s transportation secretary during the Obama administration. When Hunter and Cooper were working on a deal with Magnani, they were both on a 2016 vice-presidential trip on Air Force Two to Mexico.
“I really appreciate you letting me stay at your resort villa . . . but 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,” Hunter emailed Magnani after takeoff.
It’s incredible and, again, we could go for hours.
Let’s just dwell on one more recent release, this time involving emails that revealed longtime FBI director Louis Freeh dropped $100,000 into a private trust for two of Joe Biden’s grandkids in 2016, literally as he was seeking to pursue “some very good and profitable matters” with the former vice president. What? Seriously — what? Freeh’s firm has had some questionable dealings, which makes the exchange all the more interesting, but $100,000? Explain that as anything other than a huge bribe. Trump corruption matters. Clinton corruption matters. Biden corruption matters. Now, of course, Biden corruption matters most because it involves the president, and in a healthy media ecosystem, that would be glaringly obvious. Of course, nobody’s asked Jen Psaki about the most recent emails in a briefing. But on the matter of substance, the drip-drip of these emails is steadily exposing Joe Biden’s proximity to—and potential involvement with—rampant corruption. It’s possible none of it was even illegal which, of course, is how they were making good money. It’s plain as day in Hunter’s text to Naomi. So how much of his dirty money was Joe Biden taking? Is that why he took Hunter to Mexico and China on Air Force Two, facilitating meetings that could lead to profits that could lead to help from Hunter? The White House insists the father and son never discussed Hunter’s business. That’s farcical, but they’re getting away with it.
Corruption will always exist at the highest levels of our government, and probably any government. Influence peddling is wrong because it corrupts the motives of elected officials which leads to corrupted results. It’s wrong because it helps wealthy and powerful people leverage jobs funded by taxpayers to line their own pockets. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, in a healthy country, our free press would be highlighting the Biden family as the very picture of elite corruption. They would be pushing relentlessly for answers to the questions their emails continue raising. Instead, it’s mostly crickets. Sunlight is only a useful disinfectant if people know to look. The limit of the metaphor is that disinfecting corruption from our politics involves people giving a damn. But if the legacy media doesn’t care, and is increasingly untethered from a business model that makes these outlets responsive to the public, nothing will change and all the other versions of Hunter Biden will continue going about their dirty business, unbothered by potential exposure and the collective shrug it might induce.