What Hunter Biden’s charges mean for the president
One group of people is deeply disturbed and angered by the fact that former President Donald Trump is currently confronting a total of 91 criminal charges at both federal and state levels.
They perceive this as part of a broader conspiracy involving elements of the “deep state,” partially orchestrated by the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden.
Conversely, another group believes that the same Department of Justice has spent an unjustifiably lengthy period targeting Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, primarily concerning his tax-related matters and his actions during a period when he openly acknowledged and sought treatment for drug addiction.
In essence, both factions in the United States share the belief that the institution responsible for upholding the nation’s laws has fallen under the influence of their political opponents and has become excessively politicized.
In response to Hunter Biden’s indictment on three federal gun-related charges, his attorney accused the prosecutor of succumbing to “improper and partisan interference” from Republicans who support Trump.
Meanwhile, Andy Biggs, a conservative member of Congress, suggested that these charges might be an attempt to create an illusion of fairness within the Department of Justice. He stated on X, formerly known as Twitter, “Don’t be deceived. They are trying to shield him from even more serious charges in the future!”
Certainly, Hunter Biden’s legal problems will have personal implications for his father and family. However, the consequences extend beyond their immediate circle.
Republicans have long recognized Hunter Biden as a potential vulnerability. Exploiting this vulnerability not only has the potential to provoke a strong reaction from Joe Biden but also serves as a distraction from their own legal troubles involving former President Trump.
Adding to this is the fact that a significant portion of Democrats are not enthusiastic about Joe Biden’s potential re-election bid in 2024. Hunter’s situation is seen as yet another reason for some to advocate for the 80-year-old president to step aside in favor of the next generation.
All these factors collectively underscore the significance of the outcome of Hunter Biden’s case, particularly in the context of what is anticipated to be a turbulent election year.
However, Republicans face a dilemma in this situation. While it is true that the three felony gun-related charges and potential future charges related to Hunter Biden’s taxes and foreign dealings are serious, they do not currently match the scale and quantity of alleged crimes associated with Donald Trump.
So any attempt to weaponize Hunter Biden’s problems could simply invite the American people to compare and contrast.
Also, as Democrats will no doubt continue to point out, Hunter Biden is not running for dog catcher, let alone to be President of the United States.
One intriguing aspect of Hunter Biden’s case is that his lawyers clearly believe the plea deal that broke down in July could still be resurrected – and that the recent expansion of Second Amendment rights by various courts could be an element in his defense.
After all, there is nothing in the Constitution about drug addicts being unable to bear arms.
That would be an extraordinary irony given where most Democrats stand on gun control.
Thursday’s indictment came just days after Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, announced an impeachment inquiry into President Biden – a move dismissed as a political stunt by the White House.
Mr McCarthy said there were “serious and credible allegations” into the family’s business dealings and President Biden’s conduct. And Republicans will hope this new inquiry implicates the president in the peddling of power and corruption.
So far, however, seven months of existing investigations into Hunter Biden have produced snippets from former business partners, an FBI informant, and a couple of IRS agents, but nothing that comes close to a real smoking gun.
That may change when the subpoenas begin to fly, but the Republican majority in the House is so slim, that it is far from certain that Republicans would win an impeachment vote on the House floor if it got that far.
What is certain, is that the once-clear distinction between the political and legal systems has become increasingly blurred. And that’s a major problem, according to Randy Zelin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School.
“Somebody woke up one day and said, boy, I have a new toy and that is called the federal criminal justice system, where I’m going to use the criminal system to punish people who don’t agree with my politics,” Prof Zelin told the BBC.
“I think the sole influence here is that this country is being torn apart by this never-ending battle.”