KER Politics – Wed 2 Oct, 2019

Why is the media bending over backward to absolve the Bidens of any wrongdoing?


BY MARC A. THIESSEN

WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP

WASHINGTON Let’s be clear: President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was not “beautiful” or “perfect.” Far from it. Trump should not have asked Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden or to cooperate with his private attorney Rudy Giuliani’s investigation of the former vice president’s son. Since Trump made no promises or threats in the call, it is a stretch to claim his conduct rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But it was highly inappropriate.

However, it does not follow that Trump’s malfeasance absolves Joe Biden and his son of their malfeasance. Two things can be true at the same time: that Trump did something wrong, and that Joe and Hunter Biden did something wrong as well. This seems to be lost on many in the media, who are bending over backward to absolve the Bidens of wrongdoing.

For example, many in the media state as fact that Biden’s actions in encouraging the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin had nothing to do with his investigation of the natural gas company, Burisma, which employed Hunter Biden as a board member. His firing was justified, they say, because the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund and other U.S. allies were demanding he be fired as well. Furthermore, as CNN’s Jake Tapper insisted this weekend, “according to the Ukrainians that investigation [into Burisma] was dormant at the time.”

First, the phrase “dormant” means, by definition, that an investigation into Burisma existed and was not closed. Second, we don’t know for certain that the Burisma investigation was, in fact, “dormant.” Shokin has sworn in an affidavit it was not. His successor says it was. Who is lying? Nobody knows for sure. Journalists don’t get to choose which version they prefer and report it as fact.

But here is what is incontestably true: Joe Biden had a conflict of interest. His son took a position with a Ukrainian natural gas company, despite having no experience in Ukraine or natural gas, the very same month the elder Biden visited Kiev and urged Ukraine to increase its natural gas production. As Yoshiko Herrera, an expert in Russia and Eurasia policy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, put it, “conflict-of-interest rules should have applied.”

The latest spin is that there is nothing to see here because, as Reuters reports, the investigation of Burisma “focused solely on activity that took place before Hunter Biden, son of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, was hired to sit on its board.” Did it occur to anyone that maybe that is precisely why Burisma hired the American vice president’s son? According to The New York Times, Biden’s hiring “allowed Burisma to create the perception that it was backed by powerful Americans.” As Robert Weissman, president of the progressive watchdog Public Citizen, has said, “It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Hunter’s foreign employers and partners were seeking to leverage Hunter’s relationship with Joe, either by seeking improper influence or to project access to him.” The revelation that Hunter Biden accepted a job with a Ukrainian company that was under investigation while his father was taking the lead in fighting corruption in Ukraine is damning, not exculpatory.

Biden knew about his son’s involvement with Burisma, because the New Yorker has reported that in December 2015 Obama energy czar Amos Hochstein “raised the matter with Biden.” We also know, via The New York Times, that “some State Department officials had expressed concern that Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine could complicate his father’s diplomacy there.” No doubt, there is a paper trail at the State Department to that effect.

The Code of Federal Regulations (§2635.502) clearly states that when a federal official takes action he knows will affect “a relative with whom the employee has a close personal relationship” and “the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the employee should not participate in the matter.” In other words, Joe Biden should not have taken the lead on Ukraine policy while Hunter Biden was working for Burisma. And even if Shokin deserved to be fired, Biden had no business being the one to deliver the ultimatum.

Hunter Biden’s business dealings, in Ukraine and elsewhere, are crying out for investigation. That does not mean it was appropriate for Trump to raise them with the Ukrainian president. But the fact that Trump did so does not give the media carte blanche to make excuses for the Biden family.


Comments:
  1. On October 2, 2019 at 7:21 pm,
    Ronald Bennett says:

    Crimes are obvious but not ok to inquire about them. you are a moron.

    • On October 2, 2019 at 9:21 pm,
      Bu says:

      Let’s get Hunter Biden out of rehab & hear the real deal

    • On October 2, 2019 at 9:31 pm,
      Buzz says:

      Let’s get Hunter Biden out of rehab & hear the real deal

  2. On October 2, 2019 at 8:47 pm,
    CFS says:

    MARC A. THIESSEN’S piece is utter bullshit.

    The US has a treaty with Ukraine, requiring Ukraine to investigate criminal activity if asked.
    Trump was merely asking for assistance with crime investigation.

    • On October 3, 2019 at 11:26 am,
      Jim M says:

      Agree CFS, DOJ and Pres have a right to ask for investigative assistance. According to the transcript, not the spin, it was primarily related to the CROWD STRIKE server, only tangentially Hunter Biden. Some BS pundits, Like Napalitano, are arguing there is no investigation so this was not a valid request – we know DOJ and Durham are investigating impropriety in 2016, much of it started in Ukraine – this is all relevant, and a huge can of worms for the DNC and Obama/Clinton loyalists.

      But I do think Thiessen’s other points on media are valid.

  3. On October 3, 2019 at 2:52 am,
    CFS says:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/schiff-and-nyt-do-damage-control-over-sneak-peek-cia-whistleblower-complaint-trump-says

    I DON’T BELIEVE SCHIFF WROTE THE COMPLAINT…..HE’S NOT SMART ENOUGH.
    However, I’m sure he was involved with the attorney(s) that did write it and was fully aware of contents.
    I am also sure there is total collusion between Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and others in effectuating the “impeachment Coup”.

  4. On October 3, 2019 at 3:00 am,
    CFS says:

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14894/swedes-are-fleeing

    SOME SWEDES ARE PERHAPS REALIZING THEY ALLOWED THEIR GOVERNMENT TO “KILL” THEIR COUNTRY AS THEY ONCE KNEW IT.

    Alas, much of Europe and the US is only a generation or two behind.

  5. On October 3, 2019 at 3:08 am,
    CFS says:

    OFF TOPIC:

    https://summit.news/2019/10/02/china-unveils-doomsday-bomb-while-u-s-military-concentrates-on-diversity/

    Still think China is friendly?

    And the Government is faffing around over a potential impeachment coup.

  6. On October 3, 2019 at 3:19 am,
    Robert Moriarty says:

    CFS:

    The reason you can’t see the forest is because all the trees are in the way.

    How many wars has Chinas started in the last twenty years?

    And you think that China is a threat?

    You might want to sign up for a logic course.

    • On October 3, 2019 at 11:37 am,
      Jim M says:

      So Bob,
      China is no threat to US and western manufacturing capacities?
      No threat to human rights?
      No threat to personal freedom thru tech surveillance state?
      No threat militarily with J-20 fighters, DF 17 hypersonic missles, DF 21, DF 25 Carrier buster missiles, DIRFM jammers, a massive build up of carrier and amphibious warfare capabilities and strategic lift – far outpacing US and US regional partners?
      No threat to financial systems with debt, currency manipulation?
      No threat to US defense related steel/aluminum production?
      No threat with control of rare earths?
      Did you have a lobby contract for the Communists?
      You amaze me each time you reply these days.

  7. On October 3, 2019 at 6:41 am,
    CFS says:

    And you, Sir, refuse to see the long term goals of China.

    I do not believe China is a nuclear threat, unless the U.S. makes some stupid mistake.
    I do believe, however, China intends to be the number 1 world power, dominating all trade.
    I understand how much cheaper it is to steal intellectual property than to develop it, do you ?
    I do recognize high intelligence combined with ruthless desire, do you ?
    I do recognize that China thinks in the long multi-generational term, do you ?

    • On October 3, 2019 at 7:02 am,
      Dick Tracy says:

      CFS, all of your thinking is based on supposition, Bob M’s reasoning is based on fact. You can suppose, and suppose, and suppose, as much as you want but supposition doesn’t rely on anything except on how your brain is wired. That is plain stupid. DT

  8. On October 3, 2019 at 7:00 am,
    CFS says:

    As regards how many wars, since you ask….

    I wonder what the people of Tibet, or the Uyghurs think about that.
    Of course there won’t be many that survive internment camps.
    Any then there will be Hong Kong.

    • On October 3, 2019 at 8:31 am,
      Robert Moriarty says:

      CFS:

      So you see China and Tibet entirely different than Israel and China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as terrible but when Israels mows down children in Gaza, that’s perfectly fine.

      Do you even understand the concept of talking out of both sides of your mouth?

      • On October 3, 2019 at 10:15 am,
        CFS says:
      • On October 3, 2019 at 11:15 am,
        CFS says:

        I recognize war crimes….
        e.g.
        https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2018/08/18/19432/
        (Obama sale)
        But I also recognize Israel’s right to exist and how small it is, AND it’s need for defensible borders.

        • On October 3, 2019 at 11:32 am,
          CFS says:

          “No one is educated who knows only one side of an argument.”

          JOHN STUART MILL

        • On October 3, 2019 at 11:33 am,
          Robert Moriarty says:

          CFS:

          We both know that countries have borders.

          Israel does not have borders.

          They change daily. All illegal by the way.

          Does Palestine have a similar right to exist and have need for defensible borders? If Israel has some biblical right to Palestine as they claim, don’t they have a better claim on both Egypt and Iraq?

          Or do you just toss your barely logical opinions out like birdseed for the squirrels and ignore perfectly reasonable and logical questions?

  9. On October 3, 2019 at 9:44 am,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    PELOSI……….is in the MOB……….think about it…………
    do your homework…

    • On October 3, 2019 at 9:50 am,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Some of the news cast are DUMB……….and so are the articles…….

  10. On October 3, 2019 at 9:47 am,
    OOTB Jerry says:

    BIden………and Whitey Bulger………crime family who popped 52 people….

    • On October 3, 2019 at 9:49 am,
      OOTB Jerry says:

      Biden on drugs…….and compromised, and will do anything, and say anything….LIARs
      Greedy for GAIN…..