The Inexorable Weight of Being Hunter
The self-destruction of Biden's son isn't just his fault
In his text messages, Hunter Biden has depicted himself as Atlas, carrying his entire family on his back — their financial and emotional burdens taken unto himself, turning his life into a black hole of drugs, debts, and duplicity. You have to be a certain kind of troubled to carry on an affair not just with your brother’s widow but her sister as well, corresponding with them with disturbing texts in between wiring them money. The threats of self-harm and the mournful late night desperation alternating with chest-thumping declarations that he’s the only one earning money for the family are all recognizable as aspects of someone with serious substance addiction. If he wasn’t so clearly an awful person, you’d almost feel sorry for the guy.
Almost. The reason you don’t need to feel sorry for Hunter Biden is that last name, which he has used repeatedly as a get out of jail free card throughout his life, but particularly in recent years. If his name was Hunter Smith and his gun brandishing crack pipe videos were filmed in Southeast D.C. instead of a Rehoboth beach house, the outcomes in this case would almost certainly be markedly different. Instead, he’s getting a slap on the wrist — misdemeanors for his failures to pay taxes or properly report millions of dollars in money from overseas parties interested in using him for their influence campaigns, and a gun felony that disappears if he completes a program he’ll almost certainly fudge.
As Jonathan Turley puts it, Hunter has become the family’s designated defendant — a fall guy for everything they need him on, and one who’ll do or say anything to keep his father out of the spotlight:
Yet this may be the most vital role that Hunter has played for his family. He will declare himself guilty so the media and the political establishment can declare the scandal to be a closed matter: Nothing more to see here, other than a plea to a couple misdemeanors… The hope is that Hunter takes the hit for the family. He will avoid jail time, and his father can avoid a political scandal.
Hunter responded, “I want to be important.”
Like much else about Hunter’s life, that statement now seems tragic on a Shakespearean level. Hunter allegedly was key to bringing in millions of dollars in exchange for influence with and access to his father. He is now taking a plea to tie off a scandal threatening his family. He is the designated defendant who will stand in the dock and take the hit. In that perfect Bidenesque moment, he will plead guilty to not paying taxes but avoid answering questions on how he made his money.
That certainly seems to be the media mantra on this question: this is over, nothing more to see here, time to move on. Except there are obviously enormous questions left unanswered, not just about the foreign employers — what they paid, and what they wanted for it — but how the money flowed through multiple LLCs and other entities designed to keep it secret from the public and the tax man. The Bidens went to a lot of effort on this: why? And why didn’t Hunter ever file with FARA as a representative of these foreign entities? And what about the discrepancies involving the Bidens’ own ethics and tax forms?
One big question could be whether this matter is deemed ongoing or resolved — something where both parties are still at odds:
“With the announcement of two agreements between my client, Hunter Biden, and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware, it is my understanding that the five-year investigation into Hunter is resolved,” one of Biden’s lawyers, Chris Clark, said in a written statement on Tuesday.
“The investigation is ongoing,” Weiss’ office said in a Tuesday statement.
This isn’t just a matter of semantics. An ongoing investigation can be used to excuse the Justice Department from answering questions from Congress they might otherwise be forced to answer. Republicans in Congress should demand clarity on this point, and then redouble their efforts to access the kind of evidence that can answer the questions above, and more. Allowing the Bidens to turn Hunter’s lightning rod status to their benefit should be considered a massive failure for Congressional investigators.
This wasn’t the only area of business the Bidens tried to resolve this week. As the Biden team likes to dump a lot of things at once, that may include a settlement in another case, where former Hunter fling Lunden Roberts reportedly agreed to a 75 percent cut in her child support payments for her daughter — from $20,000 a month down to $5,000. That’s a steep drop — perhaps another of Hunter’s art-buying anonymous friends is stepping in to help out? One wonders what hasn’t been disclosed about the agreement, if there is an agreement.
As for the White House, they’re breathing sighs of relief and working the spin machine to put this all behind them. But Hunter isn’t going anywhere — he’s already been a regular presence in public during the administration, and this deal will likely make him all the more active in 2024. Everything will be fine now that the legal weight is lifted, and Joe will keep saying “I’m very proud of my son” as if none of this ever happened. And for regular Americans, it all serves as a reminder: it’s good to be protected from up on high by the Prince of Darkness — or by Dark Brandon in a pinch.