Below is my column in the New York Post on newly discovered exchanges within the Biden family over the collapsing fortunes of Hunter Biden in 2018.
As one of the primary conduits for influence peddling in the Biden family, Hunter appeared to be in a free fall and his Uncle Jim appeared to offer him a “safe harbor” and to guarantee “all the deals are still alive.”
Here is the column:
In 2018, Hunter Biden’s world was collapsing.
The New York Times had run a story on one of his shady deals with the Chinese and his father, then vice president, was pulled into the vortex.
It appears that Hunter was in a free fall and his uncle Jim Biden reached out in newly discovered messages to offer him a “safe harbor.”
The exchange is an insight into a train wreck of a life of the scion of one of the most powerful families in the country.
However, it is also insight into a world of influence peddling where millions simply evaporated in the coffers of the Biden family.
On their face, the messages seem to contradict public statements from President Biden on the foreign-influence peddling that used to fund Hunter’s drug-infused, self-destructive lifestyle.
The Times story caused a panic in the Biden family.
Despite a largely supportive media, the Bidens have long been known for influence peddling.
Jim Biden has been repeatedly criticized for marketing his access to his brother in pitches to clients.
Hunter knew that the Times story was only the tip of an iceberg.
There were deals all over the world with foreign figures worth millions and some of these figures had close ties to foreign intelligence or regimes.
As revealed recently by the House Oversight Committee, the Bidens constructed a labyrinth of corporations and accounts to transfer millions from these deals to a variety of Biden family members, including grandchildren.
Nevertheless, Joe Biden repeatedly claimed as a presidential candidate and as president that he had no knowledge of any foreign dealings of his son.
Those denials now appear patently false.
The laptop includes pictures and appointments of Hunter’s foreign business associates with Joe Biden.
It also includes a recording concerning a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, the head of CEFC China Energy Company.
Ye would later be arrested for corruption.
As Biden associates pushed the Times to change aspects of the story, Joe Biden called to report on the results.
In his message, Biden ends his call to Hunter with the statement “I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance, give me a call, I love you.”
The new messages indicate that the Bidens were worried that Hunter was in a free fall as these dealings were becoming known and revenue was declining.
Jim Biden appears to be rushing to get Hunter to work the problem with the family.
He assures him that they can find him “a safe harbor” and that “I can work with you[r] father alone!”
The messages may refer to the fact that Hunter’s past complaint that he was giving as much as half of his proceeds to his father and was now facing towering financial demands.
He appears to have cut off the family.
That is a dangerous development for a man who had a long struggle with drugs and alcohol.
Hunter blew through a fortune on narcotics and women, including allegations that he may have used a shared credit card with his father to pay off prostitutes.
Both Joe and Jim Biden were reaching out to Hunter to assure him that he was in the “clear” and that there is a “safe harbor.”
However, Jim pushed him to remain in contact and in the fold: “I cannot find you, believe it or not I have been looking. I [have] driven by Hallie’s, you fathers. Called texted you. . . . I want to help all the deals are still alive.”
Putting aside the genuine desire to protect a family member with a history of drug abuse, the unpredictable Hunter also represented a threat to the entire family.
A panicked Hunter threatened more than family harmony. There were millions that were being generated in countries like Ukraine, Romania, Russia and China.
The messages show that the Hunter was spinning out of control and needed money fast — a lot of money. He told Jim Biden that he could not even afford “food and gas,” including his monthly alimony to his ex-wife Kathleen Buhle.
He relays how President Biden was told that he “was in a real danger zone.”
These messages highlight another inconvenient fact: Hunter was hardly a figure who generated confidence or cash.
In 2018, he was an utter mess at the very time that foreign figures were funneling money to him.
He was clearly noncommunicative with his family and still gushing money.
He had previously complained that the Russians had blackmail material on him. He was a danger not just to himself.
In his later book, Hunter admits that he was a crack addict and alcoholic: “drinking a quart of vodka a day by yourself in a room is absolutely, completely debilitating” as well as “smoking crack around the clock.”
Given these admissions, why were so many foreign figures rushing to give this human wrecking ball millions?
He not only lacked expertise in areas like energy or mining, but he was barely able to function, according to his own account.
The answer seems abundantly clear.
This was classic corruption. Indeed, influence peddling has long been the favorite form of corruption in Washington.
Yet, these latest messages add a particularly sad element to this scandal.
Joe and Jim Biden were propping up a man who was barely able to function.
However, Hunter was still the conduit for allegedly millions in foreign money.
He was the firebreak between the money and any scandal.This was made evident in a recent and rare sit-down interview; MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle delicately broached the scandals involving Hunter by emphasizing that it is a “personal” matter and assuring the president (and the viewers) that the still unknown charges involve “no ties to you.”
Hunter increasingly looks like the designated defendant of the Bidens; the sin-eater who may have to take one for the team in the form of a couple tax charges.
Yet, even now, to use Jim Biden’s words, “This can work.”
Hunter’s new “safe harbor” may be a limited indictment that conspicuously avoided charges as an unregistered agent.
Likewise, Attorney General Merrick Garland has seen to that by steadfastly refusing to appoint a special counsel despite references to the president getting a proposed cut of these deals and instructions to use code names for him like the “Big Guy” to conceal his role.
Most recently, an IRS whistleblower came forward to accuse the Justice Department of interfering with the tax investigation of Hunter by “slow walking” the investigation and making a series of decisions that worked to his advantage.
As made clear by Jim Biden, there is always a plan in the Biden family. Back in 2018, he assured his nephew that “as usual just need several months of [your father’s] help for this to work. Let’s talk about it. It makes perfect sense to me.” In the meantime, the message from Uncle Jim likely remains “stay calm and carry on.”