A Politicized Challenge

What’s most important is the chance to show that Hunter Biden benefited financially while his father was vice president.

Amid allegations that have become part of American politics, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives is preparing to attempt to impeach President Joe Biden on claims they hope will arise from corruption charges against his son, Hunter.

If all goes as expected by the more conservative and determined groups, the decision to approve the impeachment inquiry will happen within the week*.

The decision, in a way, has already been made. All that remains is to formalize it with a vote in which the Republican majority, now composed of 221 legislators after the expulsion of George Santos for verifiable fraud, is expected to vote in the necessarily unanimous manner.

But the legitimacy of the indictment depends on Republicans being able to link Biden to his son’s issues, which they have so far been unable to do in the 10 months of conducting a congressional probe.

What’s most important is the possibility of demonstrating that Hunter Biden, considered the black sheep of the family, benefited financially while his father was vice president.

In fact, it is recorded that he earned $1 million annually as a member of the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian electricity company. But his salary dropped to $500,000 in March 2017, after President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden’s administration had ended.

This accusation is at the center of speculation in the House Judiciary Committee, which, under the chairmanship of Republican Jim Jordan, alleges that Hunter’s employment was linked to his father’s position. It’s possible, of course. But their insistence on questioning Hunter behind closed doors, although the accused has offered to do so in public, strengthens the impression that this is a politicized case.

A federal grand jury recently returned other indictments on tax matters. These include nine counts (three considered felonies and six misdemeanors) of alleged tax crimes, between 2016 to 2019, filed Thursday in a Southern California federal court by special prosecutor David Weiss.

Hunter Biden is accused of masterminding a scheme to evade paying at least $1.4 million in income tax, instead spending it on drugs and escorts. There are also three charges related to illegal gun possession, filed in September in Delaware. The charges include making false statements and obtaining a gun and possessing it for 11 days in 2018, when he was prohibited from doing so because of his drug addiction.

Are those charges sufficient to constitutionally impeach Joe Biden? The reality is that it’s a political game and the Republicans know that the indictment will die when it reaches the Democratic-controlled Senate. But the idea is to make noise in an election year.

*Editor’s Note: The decision to formally open an impeachment inquiry passed 221-212 on a strict party line vote on Dec. 14, 2023.

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