John Kennedy previewed this strategy this past weekend when he told WaPo, “The issue to be litigated … is going to be: Did the president have a good-faith reason to believe that Hunter Biden may have been involved in corruption?” That’s not quite right. The key issue is whether Trump had a good reason to believe that Joe Biden abused the powers of his office as vice president to pressure Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who posed a threat to Burisma. That’s the legitimate public purpose that would justify a presidential quid pro quo — finding out if the former VP was leaning on foreign governments to protect his sleazy kid. At the end of the day, what Hunter was up to is secondary to what Joe was up to.
But certainly, Kennedy’s right that evidence that Hunter Biden was up to no good would help build the case against Joe. If Hunter’s hands are clean then Joe would have no corrupt reason to pressure Ukraine to fire the prosecutor. If Hunter’s hands were dirty then we at least have an interesting question about Joe’s motives that might be explored. And look: The one fact that everyone should be able to agree on in the Ukraine saga is that Hunter Biden sitting on the board of Burisma when he had no apparent reason to do so is deeply shady. To all appearances, it’s a case of a foreign company rewarding the child of a high-ranking U.S. official with an eye to cashing in favors from the U.S. government later. Did Burisma ever cash in any favors with Joe?
They may have cashed in a favor with other U.S. officials by leveraging the Biden name, as Ed noted in a post yesterday.