The responsibility of ensuring that President Joe Biden remains unscathed as the White House press secretary is not insignificant, particularly in light of the verbal incontinence that our 46th president has demonstrated in that capacity.
One constitutional scholar, on the other hand, argues that Hunter Biden’s defiance of a House GOP subpoena to appear was not a result of the infamous KJP’s words rescuing the president from trouble, but rather landed him in it.
Biden declined to appear before the House on Wednesday for a private deposition, stating that he would only provide public testimony.
“Republicans do not want an open process where Americans can see their tactics, expose their baseless inquiry, or hear what I have to say,” Biden said during a media briefing outside the Capitol, according to The Associated Press.
“What are they afraid of? I am here.”
The key questions, of course, are what Hunter Biden is 1) currently afraid of and 2) should be afraid of.
In terms of what he’s currently afraid of, it has to be something — since it’s worth noting that House Oversight Committee chair Rep. James Comer of Kentucky agreed he should have his chance to testify in public, but only after he testified on Wednesday.
“Hunter Biden is trying to play by his own rules instead of following the rules required of everyone else,” Comer said in November.
Because “subpoena” and “suggestion to appear” are not synonymous, he ought to be concerned about a contempt of Congress charge. Furthermore, his father now has something to be afraid of as well, according to an op-ed published on Thursday by conservative legal scholar Jonathan Turley. This is all because of Karine Jean-Pierre.
Turley criticized Hunter in the Messenger column for his media briefing, stating, “Biden and his legal team once again committed an unforced error.
“This one could prove as costly as pushing for an obscenely generous plea agreement and then telling prosecutors to ‘rip it up’ in July,” Turley wrote. “The evidence against him is overwhelming, as shown in his second federal indictment on tax charges. … Hunter simply could have done what prior witnesses have done: Go in and take the Fifth. That is what attorney and former IRS official Lois Lerner did — twice — when House Republicans wanted to ask her about the Obama administration targeting conservative groups.
“It was a no-brainer that someone appears to have radically over-thought on the Hunter Biden legal team,” Turley added, noting that “Hunter can now be held in contempt of Congress. That will force the hand of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who aggressively pursued Trump figures for contempt, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.”
That overthinking extended to the White House, where Turley said that “[t]here is another possible cost to this move.”
On Wednesday, after Hunter’s ersatz media briefing, Jean-Pierre was asked about it at her press conference. Her response? “Look, as you know, Hunter Biden is a private citizen. And so, I certainly would refer you to his representatives.
But then: “The president was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say. And I think what you saw was from the heart from his son. And you’ve heard — you’ve heard me say this; you’ve heard the President say this: When it comes to the president and the first lady, they are proud of him continuing to rebuild his life. They are proud of their son.”
One problematic sentence appears amidst the preceding information—that Hunter is a private citizen and that the first couple is proud of him for bucking the trend of spending millions of dollars on cocaine, sports cars, and prostitutes, among other things—and states, “The president was certainly familiar with what his son was going to say.”
Whoops, Turley wrote, given that the comment “suggests that the president spoke with his son before his act of contempt and discussed his statement.
“If that is true, it was a breathtaking mistake,” he continued. “One of the four most obvious potential articles of impeachment that I laid out in my prior testimony was obstruction. There already are questions over special treatment potentially being given to Hunter in the form of alleged felonies being allowed to expire, warnings about planned federal raids, and sweetheart deals.
“In addition, President Biden has enlisted White House staff to actively push challenged accounts of his conduct and attack the House Republicans’ investigative process. Such acts could legally bootstrap prior misconduct into his presidency under abuse-of-power allegations.
“If this latest allegation is true, the president was speaking with his son about committing a potentially criminal actof contempt,” Turley added. “Hunter was refusing to give testimony focused not on his own role but on his father’s potential role in the alleged influence peddling. The House can pursue evidence on that conversation and how the president may have supported his son’s effort.”
Again, this is the epitome of unintentional foolishness.
Hunter and his legal representatives declined a remarkably advantageous plea bargain unless it contained an innovative and unusual provision that, in their opinion, shielded him from prospective charges under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. As a consequence, special counsel David Weiss was appointed. To the delight of conservatives, Weiss has vigorously pursued the first son regarding his purported transgressions, filing charges against him for tax and firearms offenses that carry the possibility of lengthy incarceration.
At this time, his father is confronted with an impeachment investigation in the House and heightened scrutiny regarding purported “loan repayments” that ended up in the bank accounts of the now-president subsequent to Hunter and his associates receiving a series of money transfers from Chinese sources. It is the last thing his father needs: his son to deliver a media briefing while openly disregarding a subpoena and baiting the House Republican base with the question, “What are they afraid of?”
What does Joe Biden require last? His own press secretary threw him under the wagon by claiming he was aware and had discussed with him his son’s intention to perpetrate contempt of Congress.