Banks, Biden, and Trump: Oh, Bleep

The New York Times published this story four days ago, and I missed it — “Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies.”

Here’s the backstory: Back when he was vice president, Joe Biden took on the job of pushing Ukraine to get rid of its notoriously corrupt prosecutor general. This prosecutor general was, by all accounts, a real sleazebag who was intensely disliked by everybody who had to deal with Ukraine. Nobody seems to think that this guy’s dismissal from his job was a bad thing.

However, Joe Biden’s son Hunter directly benefited from this dismissal, because Hunter Biden “at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general,” the article says.

Hunter Biden was a Yale-educated lawyer who had served on the boards of Amtrak and a number of nonprofit organizations and think tanks, but lacked any experience in Ukraine and just months earlier had been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine. He would be paid as much as $50,000 per month in some months for his work for the company, Burisma Holdings.

Nice work if you can get it without being the son of a vice president of the United States. This connection was known at the time and raised some concern in the State Department, but apparently not enough concern that anything was done about it. The prosecutor general was a genuinely bad guy and wasn’t pushed out just because of Hunter Biden.

This story is news today because Trump’s sending Rudy Giuliani to dredge up dirt about it. Josh Marshall writes,

Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer has been meeting with Ukrainian officials repeatedly and dangling the possibility of better relations with President Trump if they will reopen the investigation into the Hunter Biden-affiliated company. Let’s repeat that. The President’s personal lawyer is going abroad and using the lure of better treatment from President Trump to get them to reopen an investigation that could damage the man who is possibly Trump’s presidential competitor next year.

That’s not all.

Giuliani and Trump have asked Attorney General Bill Barr to get the material Ukrainian prosecutors have assembled and start his own investigation in the US.

Mark my words: If Biden is the nominee, instead of Hillary Clinton’s emails we’ll be hearing about Hunter Biden and the Ukranian bank. Incessantly. Still think Biden’s so electable?

Let’s review.

Possible sketchy dealings from several years ago, long since settled legally and in the past. Giuliani starts meeting with Ukrainian officials who are for reasons we all understand desperate for favorable treatment from President Trump. He tells them that the way to get better treatment is to start an investigation into the Joe Biden’s son. Giuliani routinely briefs President Trump on his activities. They both go to Bill Barr and start pushing Barr to piggy back on the Ukrainian investigation and start his own probe in the US.

And you know Bill Barr will do it.  This is from the New York Times story:

The Trump team’s efforts to draw attention to the Bidens’ work in Ukraine, which is already yielding coverage in conservative media, has been led partly by Rudolph W. Giuliani, who served as a lawyer for Mr. Trump in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Giuliani’s involvement raises questions about whether Mr. Trump is endorsing an effort to push a foreign government to proceed with a case that could hurt a political opponent at home.

Mr. Giuliani has discussed the Burisma investigation, and its intersection with the Bidens, with the ousted Ukrainian prosecutor general and the current prosecutor. He met with the current prosecutor multiple times in New York this year. The current prosecutor general later told associates that, during one of the meetings, Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Trump excitedly to brief him on his findings, according to people familiar with the conversations.

Mr. Giuliani declined to comment on any such phone call with Mr. Trump, but acknowledged that he has discussed the matter with the president on multiple occasions. Mr. Trump, in turn, recently suggested he would like Attorney General William P. Barr to look into the material gathered by the Ukrainian prosecutors — echoing repeated calls from Mr. Giuliani for the Justice Department to investigate the Bidens’ Ukrainian work and other connections between Ukraine and the United States.

Mr. Giuliani said he got involved because he was seeking to counter the Mueller investigation with evidence that Democrats conspired with sympathetic Ukrainians to help initiate what became the special counsel’s inquiry.

I don’t personally want the future of the planet and human civilization to turn on how much dirt somebody can find on Hunter Biden et al. I also feel compelled to point out that what Guiliani is doing might be described as collusion with foreign governments to change the outcome of an election.

Joe and Hunter Biden


20 thoughts on “Banks, Biden, and Trump: Oh, Bleep

  1. Hunter is Joe's only remaining child.  He has had a couple killed in an automobile accident along with his wife at the time.  And, he had a son die of brain cancer just recently.  If if were me, I would stay far, far away from Trump.  Remember: everything dies around Trump–even America.  I do not see any hope for America if it votes for Trump again.

  2. I'd like to believe Joe knows he can't be the nominee and is just using the backing he has as a platform to make ads blasting Trump. He had no real chance before this news item and has none now.


    • I'd like to believe that too. It would be nice to think that Biden would serve as a vicious attack dog and tear Trump up to the benefit of other candidates. Let Trump expend all his nastiness on a target that never intended to go the distance. Trump has managed to offend every normal and decent demographic, but I don't think it would help Trump to tighten up ( fine tune) on the anger and disgust people feel for him already by attacking Biden.

      I don't want to be seen as attacking Biden per se. I like Biden and I see him as a decent guy who is up to being presidential. But, I'm also an aging white male who strongly believes it's time to pass the baton to a younger generation and allow them to express their hopes and ideals for their vision of what America should be.

      • I'm an old white guy too and, maybe consequently, also like Joe. However, demographics is destiny, and Americans tend to choose a president who's a contrast to the last. We went from a low-key, knowledgeable, emotionally mature black man to an old white jerk. I give Kamala Harris a good chance.


  3. Giuliani takes money from the Mujaheddin El Kalq. 

    TheUkrainians should be prosecuting Manafort. After trump was elected that was dropped so as not to offend the US. 

  4. I saw a post today about Barr being connected to the Russians via his law firm, and an Opus Dei connection, too.  I should have bookmarked those items. But looks to me like Barr is someone who should never have been trusted at all if those reports are true.



  5. " Trump’s sending Rudy Giuliani to dredge up dirt about it "

    " Mark my words: If Biden is the nominee, instead of Hillary Clinton’s emails we’ll be hearing about Hunter Biden and the Ukranian bank. Incessantly. Still think Biden’s so electable? "

    So apparently your in agreement with Giuliani? I know you own this blog and can write what you wish, but you just had a post yesterday exclaiming the virtues of having a primary and letting people vote for their candidate. Today you seem to be joining the Trump train to trash the democratic front runner? Trump is going to dig up dirt, real or imagined on whomever he feels threatened by, I'm not buying his bullshit.


    • My point is that if you are rallying around Joe Biden because he is "electable," please think twice. If you like Biden because you sincerely believe he is the best person for the job and believe he has the vision and understanding of the electorate to take the country and the Democratic party forward, then by all means go ahead and vote for him. I might presume you are demented, but I wouldn't say so. 

      • Most people talking about Hunter Biden are the redcaps. So if Biden gets the nomination, you'll vote for Trump?

        • If someone says that "electability" is not a valid criteria when comparing Biden to other well qualified candidates during the primary, that somehow translates to Uncle Dad, that if Biden gets the nom, that person would vote for Trump. To quote Uncle Dad, "I'm not buying his bullshit." 

  6. "If Biden is the nominee, instead of Hillary Clinton’s emails we’ll be hearing about Hunter Biden and the Ukranian bank."

    Indeed, and we will hear about it incessantly, even if Biden is not the nominee; that's just how the GOP rolls.  When you got nothing, the only thing left is to dirty up your opponent.  And when there is no real dirt, make it up.  Then let the media clean up with bothsiderism. 

    The right has made a living on that for decades.  If it weren't for that, the so-called conservative movement would have imploded decades ago.

  7. OTH, when I first saw "banks" in the lede, I thought of Biden's long term and destructive, at least from the perspective of most of us, relationship with the banking and credit card industry.  

    • This may be cynical, but upon first reading this article I thought, "Why didn't Biden use all those years of political connections to get his wayward kid a quiet, safe office pod job in a Delaware bank while he straightened himself out?" If Biden's track record is any indication,  he'll fold over it before the first caucus.


  8. Well Joe has hole cards, as he knows much more about state secrets going back years and where the bodies are buried.  It is fairly obvious that Russian collusion and collaboration have gone on over many administrations, with much misinformation and some skin of transparency.  Putin and Russia put much effort and treasure into getting their people into the U.S. government. This we know as a fact.  They did this for a reason which was ignored or supported by major domestic forces. They will use these same people to influence the upcoming election.  They have the support of major power players who can and do  manipulate the Republican party. These facts point to a serious breakdown in relations with Obama/Clinton and even probably Bush era government personnel.  Biden knows much of what happened, but we don't.  Much continues to be hidden behind walls of redactions and such.  The Ukraine, Turkey, and Syria seem ground zero for much of the mystery.  Manafort never did come clean even with Mueller.

    Barr seems a tool to even keep Mueller report facts from our representatives in congress much less those of us who must support and elect.  We will be making our choices impaired by the Russians and with tainted information and misinformation.  Remember what Cohen testified under oath.  Trump will not step down even if election results cannot be manipulated his way and he loses.  Also remember Trump and the Republicans use constant attack as a primary defense strategy.  Remember they pride themselves in bending, distorting, and hiding the truth.  They are professional puppets and we have little clue who is pulling their strings.  We do know Putin has a string or two at least in the game.  The House of Saud has shown it's ability to yank too.  The informed U.S. citizen's strings are being cut every day.  Oh bleep indeed.

  9. All I know, is I picked a bad decade to give up sniffing glue.. 

  10. The paradox of the flaunt-your-dirt-in-plain-sight folks fighting to reveal the dirt of others in order to make them appear badly, and worse, hypocritical!

    I'm so tired of this damn koan.

  11. In reading a different story about corrupt charter schools in Florida, it seems Biden's brother is involved in that sleazy mess. I don't mind that they defraud the state of Florida, the citizens there deserve every bit of it they get, but they also get millions of dollars from the federal Department of Education thanks to Betst DeVos. Literally tens of millions of dollars going to charter schools that close in a couple of months or never open at all. I expect we'll be hearing more about that, too. And just because you like Biden doesn't mean he isn't corrupt. Just because the prosecutor was genuinely corrupt doesn't mean people he was investigating were not. Yanukovych was incredibly corrupt, and so is Burisma Holdings.

  12. IMO, Trump is watching the field of Democrats as they develop and trying to 'pick' the contender Trump would prefer to run against. (HRC did this and prayed for Trump in her arrogant certainty Trump wasn't electable.)  My read of the tea leaves as Trump tweets is that Trump would rather run against Bernie than Biden. Trump is not engaging against Warren at all.

    I think Trump will be a no-show at debates unless Trump can write the debate questions.

  13. I was very impressed with the precision that Kamala Harris used to carved up Barr last week.  She's my go-to-guy now.  And, to solve another problem, let's just have a law put in place ASAP that yes, a sitting President can be indicted if there is evidence that he committed a crime or crimes while in office.  The sooner he is removed from office, the better for the country.  Right now trump and barr are showing great contempt for the United States Constitution and the American people.

  14. I just recently worked on bumper stickers for the 2020 elections.  Here they are:

    Republicans LOVE Russia!
    Republicans LOVE Putin!
    Republicans will STEAL your babies and put them in cages!
    Republicans LIE!!  ALL THE TIME!
    Republicans cannot win elections without cheating!!!
    Republicans have already asked Russia to help them win 2020!!
    If you want to speak Russian, vote Republican!
    A vote for Trump is a vote for Vladimir Putin!!!
    Republicans ARE NOT the family values party!
    Trump’s presidency is a NATIONAL SECURITY CRISIS!!!!


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