Recuse Yourself, Joe Biden

If we’re going to create transparently idiotic, partisan standards on the fly, they should be applied to everyone in government.

If Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has an ethical obligation to recuse himself from all cases related to the Jan. 6 riots because his wife Ginni has opinions on the matter, as most Democrats now contend, it’s clear that the president has a moral responsibility to step back from any more decisions concerning Ukraine and China.

Now that the New York Times and Washington Post have both authenticated the Hunter Biden emails — a story that was suppressed by the media and tech conglomerates on the flimsiest of pretexts to help Joe Biden win the 2020 election — it’s also what’s right for democracy. That’s how this works, right?

The Biden case is potentially worse because Hunter Biden, under criminal investigation, implicates his father as fiscal beneficiary in his dealings with corrupt Eastern European energy interests and the Communist Chinese. It’s plausible, of course, that Hunter Biden, and Tony Bobulinski, might have been lying about the “Big Guy.” It’s also true that if this story were about any Republican president, the media would be deploying squadrons of reporters to find out. After all, Joe Biden has previously said not only that he did not benefit from Hunter Biden’s work but that he knew absolutely nothing about his son’s influence peddling.

And yet there is much circumstantial evidence available that leads us to believe Joe Biden might be lying.

For instance:

—Hunter Biden accompanied his dad on an Air Force Two flight to China in 2013. What did the vice president believe his son was doing in China, if not going there on business? Hunter Biden’s associates also reportedly facilitated a meeting between Chinese officials and favored billionaires in Beijing and the vice president. Did the president attend? If so, what did they talk about?

—According to the New York Times, Obama administration officials openly worried about Hunter Biden’s corrupt relationships. Did they never mention these concerns to the vice president, who claims he knew nothing about his son’s corrupt business dealings?

—In 2018, Joe Biden bragged that as vice president he threatened Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko with the withdrawal of U.S. aid if he didn’t fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Did Joe Biden know at the time that Shokin was investigating Burisma, the oil company that was paying his son more than $50,000 a month? Did he ever talk to his son about Shokin? Seems kind of important.

—The verified Hunter Biden emails, first reported by the New York Post, contain a correspondence from an executive with the Ukrainian oil company thanking Hunter for brokering a meeting between himself and Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Did Joe Biden take that meeting? If so, did they talk about Hunter Biden’s work? If not, what did he talk about with the executive?

And the biggest question the press should be asking the president is: Did Joe Biden ever benefit financially from any of Hunter Biden’s dealings? The answer might very well still be “no.” There is, after all, no hard evidence to say otherwise. (And, considering the urgency of the institutional press to look into these matters, we’re probably never going to find out.) However, on a number of occasions during the past five years, I can recall reading deeply reported profiles about the business dealings of the previous president’s children. Journalists and pundits quite understandably wondered if the president himself had been aware of their dealings. They wondered if such relationships should be considered unethical.

Then again, even if Joe Biden was completely unaware of his son’s machinations, The Clarence Thomas Standard now states that it doesn’t matter. Joe Biden must recuse from making any foreign policy decisions for the sake of democracy. Otherwise, he should, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez maintains, be impeached.

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David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and author of "Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent."

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