Saunders: Hearings catch Hunter benefiting from ‘Biden lift’

Republicans have failed to connect the president to his son’s crimes, but there’s no denying those.

By Debra J. Saunders / Las Vegas Review-Journal

“This is the best guy they can get?” Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., asked rhetorically at a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday to look into President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s alleged influence peddling.

The “guy” was Jason Galanis, a witness, invited by Republicans, who testified remotely from a Alabama prison where he was serving 14 years for fraud. He talked about his business dealings with Hunter Biden some 10 years ago.

The problem with Lynch’s put-down was the person invited by committee Democrats to speak as their key witness: Lev Parnas. In 2021, Parnas was sentenced to 20 months in prison after he was found guilty of conspiring to make illegal political contributions by a foreign national, participating in wire fraud, and making false statements and falsifying records.

Galanis looked gaunt and repentant as he talked about his conviction on multiple security fraud charges that have nothing to do with the Biden family.

“I’ve pleaded guilty,” he said, and deserved the long sentence. He also made it clear that he thought Hunter Biden’s contribution to their deals was the Biden name. Galanis called it “the Biden lift.”

The lift works so well that Hunter Biden did not testify publicly before the committee. He kept changing the terms under which he would talk to the committee, something the rest of us chickens couldn’t get away with. He said he’d only testify publicly. Then he wouldn’t. On Feb. 28, the president’s son was deposed behind closed doors.

Cable news devoted days to former President Donald Trump’s conjecture that there would be a “bloodbath” in the auto industry if he is not elected in November. But the president’s son’s refusal to testify in public wasn’t even a one-day story. Not much to see here; except a glaring double standard.

On Tuesday, Peter Navarro, former Trump trade adviser, reported to the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami to begin a four-month sentence for two misdemeanor counts of contempt of Congress. His crime: The Harvard-educated economist wouldn’t testify or hand over documents to Congress. “I’m pissed,” he told reporters before the prison doors slammed behind him.

And so, Democrats see a win here. They gleefully slammed Republicans for failing to come up with articles of impeachment; as impeachment is the pretext for these hearings.

Fact is, there are House Republicans who won’t vote to impeach. They shouldn’t. There are no stipulated high crimes or misdemeanors. And one party without some support across the aisle should not use its power to overturn an election, especially when the election is months away.

Besides, the Democratic-controlled Senate won’t convict. So this exercise was simply performance art, without the art.

At the end of the day, Americans understand that at a time when Hunter Biden was torching his career and reputation, he nonetheless was raking in millions by waving the family name. And according to special counsel David Weiss, who has filed tax evasion and gun charges against Hunter Biden, the president’s son plowed that money into “drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing, and other items of a personal nature; in short, everything but his taxes.”

Former business partner Tony Bobulinski summed it up well when, according to The Wall Street Journal, he said, “Just read the latest motion by the Department of Justice related to Hunter Biden’s criminal indictments in California. The DOJ states that he made large sums of money for very little work.” It’s called the “Biden lift.”

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Saturday, May 25

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - A worker cleans a jet bridge at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., before passengers board an Alaska Airlines flight, March 4, 2019. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines owns Horizon Air. Three passengers sued Alaska Airlines on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, saying they suffered emotional distress from an incident last month in which an off-duty pilot, was accused of trying to shut down the engines of a flight from Washington state to San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: FAA bill set to improve flight safety, experience

With FAA reauthorization, Congress proves it’s capable of legislating and not just throwing shade.

The author’s 19-year-old niece, Veronika, was among seven people killed by a gunman on May 23, 2014, in Isla Vista, Calif.
Comment: I lost my niece to gun violence 10 years ago this week

Since then, Washington state voters and lawmakers have taken bold steps to discourage gun violence.

Comment: Reroute of Harvey Field runway not worth flood risk

Without a projected need for expansion, the work risks flooding impacts to wildlife and residents.

Forum: How we employ hope in our work toward what we hope for

When reaching goals takes time, do we use hope to sustain us or to redefine what we sought in the first place?

Forum: As goes Boeing, so goes state funding for schools

Boeing tried to update the 737 on the cheap. The state has done the same in funding schools.

Tufekci: Scarlett Johanson’s voice isn’t only thing AI is after

Humanity’s collective creative output is being repurposed and monetized as AI companies see fit.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, May 24

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

The vessel Tonga Chief, a 10-year-old Singaporean container ship, is moored at the Port of Everett Seaport in November, 2023, in Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald file photo)
Editorial: Leave port tax issue for campaign, not the ballot

Including “taxing district” on ballot issue to expand the Port of Everett’s boundaries is prejudicial.

Schwab: MAGA GOP threatens supply chain of gobs to smack

Even if you ration your gobs, the week’s Republican outrages have created a nationwide shortage.

Alternative is needed to 8-hour shutdown of I-5

I was in the catastrophic I-5 backup on May 16 trying to… Continue reading

Herald, please bring back Today in History, professional sports scores

First off, thank you for continuing to publish The Herald. I have… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.