As the House barrels closer to an impeachment vote, Democrats are vowing to defend Biden to the end — Joe Biden, that is, and not Hunter.
Top Democrats are coalescing around a strategy to oppose the GOP’s impeachment inquiry: cleaving off the son’s conduct from his father’s. They think they have the facts to back them up, since the probe has yet to find any evidence directly linking Hunter Biden’s business dealings to Joe.
“Our job, or my job, will be to remind the American people of that over and over again — that Hunter Biden is not the administration,” said Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.), the party’s top member on the subpanel tasked with investigating GOP claims of federal government bias.
“You can’t impeach Hunter Biden, but he will be prosecuted,” seconded Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the party’s top member on the Oversight Committee.
Democrats don’t plan to even try to defend Hunter Biden’s conduct during his time serving on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. That arrangement, Republicans say, allowed him to trade on his father’s influence at the time as vice president.
Instead, the president’s party is keen to keep Joe as far away as possible from the drip-drip of damaging information coming out about his son.
“Hunter Biden may have very well done some improper things. He’s a disturbed man. Almost every president has had problematic family members,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the party’s top member on the Judiciary Committee.
As part of their anti-impeachment messaging, House Democrats also plan to cast Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) as the real leader of Republicans — not Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Recall that former President Donald Trump talked with Greene about impeaching Biden at his New Jersey club recently, as POLITICO first reported.
Greene is a member of the Oversight Committee, so she will play a big role in any impeachment process. Of course, she’s also Democrats’ favorite bogeywoman these days.
House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries illustrated how the Hunter-Joe split will play out by saying in an interview that “it’s an illegitimate impeachment inquiry. There’s not a shred of evidence that President Biden engaged in any wrongdoing.”
Left unsaid: Hunter, who’s still in real legal peril over potential gun-related charges, may be a different story.
During House Democrats’ closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday morning, Jeffries was optimistic that Biden’s impeachment would provide his party an opportunity to put the GOP on defense.
The New York Democrat told his members that impeachment would provide “another opportunity to illustrate [GOP] extremism,” according to a person in the room who was granted anonymity to speak candidly.
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