They want those two words imprinted in your mind whenever you hear about the House impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. “Since gaining the House majority in January,” writes the Associated Press, “House Republicans have aggressively investigated Biden and his son, claiming without evidence that they engaged in an influence peddling scheme.” Many other pieces use the same language.
Sticking the words “without evidence” into a story is meant to insinuate that the impetus for an investigation is itself meritless. What kind of people make accusations without evidence, right? But, as they know, inquiries exist for the purpose of uncovering evidence.
Then again, there already exists tons of substantive proof that Joe Biden was likely “engaged” in the family racket. Now, it goes without saying that without the Biden last name, there is no Biden Inc. But numerous witnesses, many with no connection to one another or political agendas, have independently testified that he was involved.
Let’s start with the IRS whistleblowers charged with investigating Hunter Biden’s tax case, who testified under oath that Joe was present in at least one meeting with Hunter’s foreign clients. In numerous private emails and texts and WhatsApp messages he never imagined would be made public, Hunter talks about his dad not only helping him secure payments but taking a cut for himself.
Hunter’s former business partner contends that Joe was involved. Another of Hunter’s partners, who is also a former close friend, maintained under oath that Joe spoke to Hunter’s associates at least 24 times, often being dialed in on the phone during business meetings. An FBI informant documented conversations that indicated to him that Joe pressured foreign companies to send millions to the family business.
And listen, I get that Democrats want us to believe it was just crazy happenstance that Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor who happened to be investigating a company that was paying his son $1 million a year. But if the vice president knew the two were in business — and since he had a sit down with Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi, it is highly likely he did — then his actions were a corrupt conflict of interest, at the very least.
That’s also all evidence.
Yet, Democrats want to create new evidentiary standards for both congressional investigations and for impeachment. No, Joe didn’t need to commit a crime to be impeached. We know this from the first Trump impeachment.
And, no, Biden didn’t need to directly benefit from his family’s corrupt business ventures to be corrupt. If one of the most powerful people in the United States government allows or participates in a scheme to trade on his power to make millions for his family (or deliberately gives the impression that he’s willing to do so), it may or may not be illegal, but it is clearly unethical.
Money, incidentally, is fungible. Just because a shady Ukrainian isn’t writing “re: Joe Biden influence trading” on the memo line of a check doesn’t mean the president didn’t benefit. Perhaps further inquiry into the 20 shell companies and dozens of bank accounts, or the 5,000 emails in which Joe used pseudonyms to converse with Hunter and presumably others — all of it completely normal stuff for an above-board family business, right? — will provide some answers.
Now, obviously there are partisan dimensions to an impeachment. And obviously some people overstate the existing case against the president. But let’s not forget that Joe Biden has been lying about his knowledge of Hunter’s “work” for years. If the president’s relationship with Hunter was entirely separate and innocent — a product of their love — why does Joe feel compelled to lie?
Whatever the case, standards have suddenly changed. Recall that Democrats claimed without evidence for years that Donald Trump was a Russian asset. To say there is more evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing than was offered in any story connected to Trump-Russia collusion, a hysteria based on leaks, anonymous sources and fictitious works of political opposition, is to dramatically understate the matter.
Take Rep. Adam Schiff, who famously claimed not only to have uncovered a criminal conspiracy by Trump’s 2016 campaign but also to be in personal possession of smoking-gun “direct evidence.” I have gone through dozens of pieces related to Schiff’s declaration, and not one reporter writes that the California congressmen did so “without evidence” — or anything approaching that kind of wording. Not in the text, much less in a headline.
If the legacy political media were doing their job defending “democracy,” outlets would be deploying teams of crack journalists to track down leads and find out if there is any evidence related to Biden’s wrongdoing, as they did with Trump, rather than playing defense for the most powerful man in the world.
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Harsanyi is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of five books — the most recent, “Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent.” His work has appeared in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, New York Post and numerous other publications. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.
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