Saunders: If Hunter Biden’s looking for cash, he’s in trouble

He hasn’t faced criminal charges before for his indiscretions, but that may be changing soon.

By Debra J. Saunders /

The Washington Post reported last week that “allies” of Hunter Biden are considering setting up a legal defense fund for the president’s son.

Has President Biden’s son been charged with criminal wrongdoing? Amazingly, no.

In his memoir, “Beautiful Things,” Hunter Biden writes about his crack habit and drug-fueled travels. In 2016, Hertz alerted local police who notified the Secret Service after Hunter Biden returned a rental car with drug paraphernalia and white powder on the armrest in Arizona. No charges.

In 2014, Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve after he tested positive for cocaine. It was embarrassing, but the bad test was not followed by the sort of serious punishment the now 46th president championed when he was an anti-drug warrior in the U.S. Senate in the early 1990s.

Despite his public screw-ups, Hunter Biden kept raking in big bucks. Months after the bad drug test, the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma was paying him some $50,000 per month, even though, The New York Times reported, the son “lacked any experience in Ukraine.”

“My son did nothing wrong,” Biden said of his son’s Burisma deal during a 2019 debate.

I disagree. But then, I’m not a bank account.

Hunter Biden’s “luck” may be running out. In October, The Washington Post reported federal agents believed they had sufficient evidence to charge the president’s son with tax evasion and lying about his drug use when he purchased a gun in 2018. Hence the need for more money for lawyers.

For me, the problem is that while the president likes to style himself as “Middle-Class Joe,” the one thing that seems unthinkable within the family was Hunter getting a job with an upper-middle class salary.

“In my mind, I couldn’t afford to work for the Justice Department or as a public defender,” Hunter Biden wrote in “Beautiful Things.” “Obviously, people who have families and debts get by on those salaries every day. What I didn’t realize until later is that whatever I made wouldn’t pay enough for what Kathleen and I thought we wanted.”

So the son has been showing his “artwork” for up to $500,000 a piece. It’s another way of peddling the Biden name.

At the National Press Club Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer discussed possible reforms to keep a chief executive’s family from cashing in.

“What business is Hunter Biden in?” Comer asked. “I would argue it is influence peddling, and I’ve got a problem with that.”

Me, too. And really, nobody is fooled. Not even Joe Biden.

Debra J. Saunders is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. Contact her at Copyright 2023,

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