CNN producers must have freaked out a little on Tuesday when guest and political scientist Ian Bremmer told “New Day” hosts that while Democrats may be enjoying the spectacle surrounding President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, it might be a bit early to break out the champagne. Because for all the reports to the contrary in the media, this whole scandal involving Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, isn’t the “nothing” that his supporters are claiming it to be.
Bremmer, who is the Time magazine editor at large, said, “Biden does have a problem here. I have to say $50,000 a month for Hunter Biden—clearly to be selling influence because otherwise, no one would ever pay him that kind of money—for a company that, frankly, was pretty corrupt and has been before and has been since under investigation.”
While the hosts pushed back, insisting that it was possible that the former vice president had no firsthand knowledge about what his son was up to, Bremmer assured them that it was a problem either way.
“It’s hard to imagine Joe Biden wasn’t aware of it,” Bremmer said. “I expect that President Obama, if he had known about the reality of the situation, would’ve probably told Biden ‘get rid of this, we shouldn’t have your son working in this situation.’ That would have cost him something. I fear even if maybe Biden wasn’t aware but Biden should’ve been aware that that would cause an issue for him.”
It’s getting lost in all the muck about Trump’s supposed “treason,” in which he asked the Ukrainian president to look into the allegations against Biden and his son, but there are substantial issues at play here. The media can use words like “unfounded” and “uncorroborated” all day long, but it won’t change the truth of the situation. We’re talking about a man, in Hunter Biden, who had little to no experience in the energy business. But that didn’t stop Ukrainian gas giant Burisma from paying him more than $3 million for a 16-month stint on their board of directors. In and of itself, that’s fishy as hell.
But the plot thickens when you bring the vice president into the mix. Biden was largely in charge of the Obama administration’s Ukrainian policies, and he had a hand in crafting the anti-corruption policies that governed companies…well, companies like Burisma.
We have it from Biden’s own mouth that he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine if they did not fire a prosecutor. That prosecutor just happened to be in the middle of investigating a company by the name of…you guessed it…Burisma.
Was Trump ethically golden when he brought up these allegations in the infamous phone call? Perhaps not. But in exerting the power of the U.S. presidency in such a way that might help himself politically, he’s done no more or less than every single president who held the office before him. We don’t blame the Democrats for making some noise about it, but impeachment? It fails the laugh test.
The river is muddied for Biden, though, and whether or not he thinks it’s the “right question” to be asking, he must answer for his role in protecting his son’s foreign nest egg.