For years, President Joe Biden insisted he had no knowledge of his son’s overseas business affairs. But when it became clear that Hunter Biden’s former business partner and long-time friend Devon Archer would testify before the House Oversight Committee in July that Joe Biden had appeared, either by speakerphone or in person, at Hunter’s meetings with foreign business associates on at least 20 occasions, the White House was forced to change its narrative: the president was never in business with his son, nor is there any evidence of his involvement in his son’s deals.
Now, as evidence of Biden’s complicity continues to be corroborated by bank records, eye witnesses, and text messages, Democrats have been forced to pivot once again: Republicans have no direct evidence of his involvement.
But it was House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry against the president on Tuesday that sent Democrats into a full blown frenzy. They are well aware that the enhanced access to information the inquiry will provide to House investigators will not only put the Bidens in jeopardy, but may also reveal the complicity of the intelligence community and the legacy media that have spent the last 10 years in cover-up mode.
Indeed, Democrats are already circling the wagons. Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House Counsel’s Office, sent a 16-page memo to “editorial leaders at U.S. news media organizations” in which he urged journalists to scrutinize the House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry, which he claims is “based on lies.” The document was sent to a small group of media outlets on Tuesday and to “a White House press list” on Wednesday, according to the New York Post.
The memo by Sams is titled: “It’s Time For The Media To Do More To Scrutinize House Republicans’ Demonstrably False Claims That They’re Basing Impeachment Stunt On.” And it smacks of desperation.
Sams told journalists there is “no evidence that Joe Biden did anything wrong” and that “should set off alarm bells for news organizations.” He noted that, “Covering impeachment as a process story — Republicans say X, but the White House says Y — is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.”
“And in the modern media environment, where everyday liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to FOX, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth.”
Sams reiterates the claim that “[t]he House GOP investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS. In fact, their own witnesses have testified to that, and their own documents have showed no link to POTUS.”
“Opening impeachment despite zero evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS is simply red meat for the extreme rightwing so they can keep baselessly attacking him,” he continued.
It’s an extraordinary document which every journalist should find offensive. But the White House needn’t worry. Their media sycophants have already heeded the call to action.
On Wednesday, CNN fact-checked McCarthy’s claims and deemed several of them to be “unproven.” For example, CNN reports, “There is no public evidence to date that the president personally received any money.”
No, but Republicans have bank records showing that nine Biden family members, including a grandchild, received money from Chinese and Romanian nationals for no discernible business purpose. And they know these funds were transferred via a network of up to 20 shell corporations set up by Hunter Biden and his associates to create confusion.
CNN’s conclusion that Biden is somehow exonerated because only his family members received payments shows willful ignorance of how influence-peddling schemes actually work. Whose influence do they think foreigners were trying to buy? Hallie Biden’s?
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley explained that if they paid Joe Biden directly, it “could be seen as a bribe.” He noted, “The whole purpose of influence peddling is to use family members as shields for corrupt officials … The payments were going to his family, but he was the object of the influence peddling.” Bribery law does not require the funds to go to the object of the scheme.
Next, CNN dismissed Joe Biden’s appearances, both in person and on speakerphone, at Hunter Biden’s meetings with foreign business associates because he supposedly didn’t discuss business. Sure.
Finally, the significance of Washington Post columnist David Ignatius’ Tuesday op-ed cannot be overstated. The piece, titled “President Biden Should Not Run Again in 2024,” is widely viewed as a green light from the intelligence community to replace Biden. And Vice President Kamala Harris too.
Ignatius has spent the last four decades cultivating his niche as a mouthpiece for U.S. intelligence agencies. In fact, it was his now infamous January 2017 article that led to the resignation of Gen. Michael T. Flynn, former President Donald Trump’s one-time national security adviser, and the start of his four-year-long legal nightmare.
As independent journalist Glenn Greenwald humorously noted in a Wednesday night interview on Fox: “There is no member of the media more loyal to the CIA and to its narratives than he. If David Ignatius’ mouth is moving, it means the CIA is talking.”
A previous version of this article appeared in the Washington Examiner.
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