J Michael Waller / Center for Security Policy / October 19, 2020
The issue for this election is not whether presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter was involved in sketchy business deals.
It’s about whether and how those business deals were criminal attempts to influence the foreign policy of the United States.
Most of the press coverage of the Hunter Biden computer and email controversy is whether or not the son of the former vice president did anything illegal, and whether the computer drive and emails might be Russian disinformation.
What did the vice president know, and when?
What’s missing in the mainstream reporting is any effort to adapt the famous Watergate question and ask, “What did the vice president know and when did he know it?”
It’s certainly important to investigate whether the new revelations are part of a Russian hack-and-dump disinformation operation as Biden proponents allege, even though they state it as fact with no substantiation.
However, it’s just as important to investigate whether and how Chinese, Ukrainian, Kazakh, and Russian oligarchs used Hunter Biden and his group – which includes close associates of then-secretary of state John Kerry – to buy influence with the Obama administration through vice president Biden.
Senators Johnson and Grassley have been trying to find out …
That’s what the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees were doing when they investigated Hunter Biden’s operations earlier this year. The interim report under committee chairmen Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), “Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on US Government Policy and Related Concerns,” was by its title concerned about corrupt foreign influence on American government policy.
… but Biden backers baselessly have been calling the probe ‘Russian disinformation’
Instead of helping to answer the question, Biden supporters in the Senate, including Ron Wyden (R-OR) and Chris Murphy (D-CT), accused the committees of promoting “Russian disinformation.”
They accused a key witness, former Ukrainian diplomat Andrii Telizhenko, of being a “Russian asset” even though the Obama White House and State Department had worked with him extensively. Emails uncovered during the Senate investigation found that Obama and Biden loyalists were comfortable with Telizhenko until he spilled the beans about Hunter Biden and his role as a board member of Burisma, the controversial Ukrainian gas company.
More than that, Senator Johnson asked the intelligence community to wave off his committee if it was inadvertently relying on compromised foreign witnesses or any other source of Russian disinformation.
The intelligence community did not.
Biden won’t answer any questions
On the presidential campaign, Joe Biden has angrily brushed off questions about whether his son was part of corrupt foreign efforts to influence the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Since the New York Post reported last week on emails and other material on a computer drive attributed to Biden’s son, the Democratic candidate has refused to speak to the public or reporters about the issue, while his surrogates blasted the report as more Russian disinformation.
Rather than treat the scandal in a statesmanlike fashion to address the national security problem of corrupt foreign influence, Joe Biden has responded personally and defensively.
He appears to have gone into hiding until Thursday, a full week after the New York Post revelations. His campaign has not denied the authenticity of any of the reported email contents so far.
With major news organizations attacking the messenger and making unsubstantiated allegations – again – of Russian disinformation, it’s clear that much of the professional news industry is not interested in getting to the bottom of what could be a severe national security crisis.
This makes it all the more important for the public to demand, “What did vice president Biden know about the apparent foreign influence operations through his son, and when did he know it?”
More importantly for the country, Joe Biden should be explaining how he intends to prevent corrupt foreign influence on his administration if he is elected president.