It is now clear, after the appointment of new attorney general, Merrick Garland, that he must, not may, appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Hunter Biden in public corruption matters that may substantially involve his father.
This is especially clear now that it is known, contrary to his fervent denials, that Joe Biden met with Hunter’s corrupt Ukrainian and Russian clients at least once at Café Milano in Washington, D.C. There are likely more meetings, but once is enough. He also met at length in the White House with Hunter’s partner, Devon Archer, as the two were pitching their services to the corrupt Burisma Holdings, as it was being targeted by a joint UK/US task force. As a result, they scored a deal in which they each received $1 million annually in fees, plus other lobbying and legal fees. More strikingly, an email from Hunter on his laptop states without ambiguity he was paying his father half of his fees. He need do that, of course, only if Joe was in on the game.
Why, you may ask, would this Special Counsel appointment be required if former Attorney General William Barr, clearly on the other side of the political fence, determined that such an appointment was not appropriate? That question answers itself. Barr had no “political connection” with either Biden and therefore the Special Counsel statute, 28 C.F.R. §600.1, would not apply.
However, there can be no doubt but that Garland has a clear political connection to President Joe Biden. Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by the Obama/Biden administration. The more obvious, inarguable connection is Biden’s appointment of Garland as attorney general.
The applicable statute requires the appointment of a Special Counsel if there is a conflict of interest:
The Attorney General … will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and
That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the department…
Department of Justice guidelines (28 C.F.R. § 45.2) tell us unequivocally that there is a conflict of interest if there is any “political” relationship to anyone with substantial involvement in the investigation:
… No employee shall participate in the criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with
(1) Any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution; or
(2) Any person or organization he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution.
Clearly, Biden, who has a political relationship with Garland, would have a specific and substantial interest in the outcome of an investigation of his son, and he was “substantially” involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation and prosecution.
Since any investigation of Hunter Biden should be aimed at determining whether or not he was peddling influence in Ukraine in a corrupt manner, seeking favorable action for his clients by his father.
An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain… or for the private gain of friends, relatives or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a non-governmental capacity.
This regulation does more than make clear that Joe Biden had a raging conflict of interest in dealing with the Ukrainian government while Hunter’s clients were subject to prosecution by that same government. But, more importantly, this regulation also makes clear that if Vice President Biden did so, that was a corrupt act, and therefore as a public servant, he was not providing “honest services.”
If Joe Biden was in fact receiving payment from Hunter or a Hunter client to influence actions of Ukrainian officials, such would appear to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as “honest services” fraud prohibitions. Indeed, if Hunter received payment from his clients for the purpose of corruptly influencing the actions of Ukrainian officials, whether or not his father was witting, the same laws would be violated.
In order for there to be a valid predicate to begin an investigation, there should be some reasonable cause to do so. As we know from the Horowitz Report on the FBI “Russiagate” FISA investigation, the bar is very low to open a case. But what reasonable possibility of criminal misconduct do we discern regarding Hunter Biden, or, for that matter, his father?
Certainly, by hustling Burisma Holdings (which includes owners Mykola Zlochevsky and Igor Kolomoisky) into $3.5 million in total consultancy fees (plus lucrative lobbying and legal retainers), it is likely that the Vice President’s influence (and John Kerry’s through his nonparticipating stepson Christopher Heinz, Hunter’s partner) was “sold” to seal the deal.
Put differently, would sophisticated, corrupt oligarchs agree to pay these amounts without some assurances of influence? Of course not, and an investigation should capture emails and internal communications bearing upon the initial sales pitch and subsequent negotiations with the clients. Even if it turns out that Joe Biden’s influence was sold without his assent, a promise by Hunter or Archer to obtain his influence, to win the gig, would appear to be “honest services” fraud, as well as a corrupt foreign practice since, presumably, the Vice President’s purportedly purchased influence would be to influence, in turn, Ukrainian official action.
A major predicate for any such investigation would be official Ukrainian actions favoring Burisma/ Zlochevsky/Kolomoisky which were likely influenced by the American “point man” on Ukraine, Vice President Biden.
Hunter and Archer were hired just as the U.S./U.K. task force had seized $23 million, seemingly from Burisma coffers, on its way through a London bank to Cyprus for Zlochevsky’s individual benefit. All the British court required was a letter from the Ukrainian prosecutor attesting that the money was Ukraine’s, and it would be ordered returned.
But when honest agents, including the FBI, tried to obtain such a letter, officials in the Prosecutor’s office would hide, scatter, or simply make sure they were absent. A frustrated British court, after waiting eight months in vain, returned the $23 million to Zlochevsky on its way to Cyprus.
Did Hunter lobby his father to influence this lack of action? Whether or not this can be shown, did Joe himself, or through his offices, discourage cooperation with the British court? What do Burisma and Hunter Biden documents say in this regard?
Later, an emergency grant of $1.8 billion in foreign aid, to save the Ukrainian banking system, quickly disappeared. The foreign aid, influenced by Joe Biden and John Kerry, was deposited directly into PrivatBank, owned by Kolomoisky. The money immediately went to PrivatBank accounts in Cyprus for six companies, controlled by Kolomoisky, to whom PrivatBank had loaned the money, backed by illusory contracts. The loans soon defaulted and Kolomoisky was $1.8 billion richer.
Did Hunter or Archer, or related lobbyists, lobby for the foreign aid, or arrange it to go to PrivatBank directly? Since this aid would not be granted without Joe’s approval, don’t we have presumptive corruption, since Joe had to know that Hunter represented Kolomoisky?
One clear quid pro quo was the widely known admission by Joe Biden that he withheld foreign aid of $1 billion unless Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin was fired. Shokin’s apparent failing? At the urging of honest Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Shokin was investigating Burisma and Zlochevsky for corruption, having raided Zlochevsky’s home just two months before being fired. Hunter’s lobbying arm was working furiously for Zlochevsky and Burisma during these months. This tableau smells very strongly like corruption, since, after all, if it quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it just may be a duck.
Oh, yes, Hunter’s investment fund’s partnership with the Bank of China profited from the sale to China of Henniges, which had militarily valuable vibration-reducing technology.
If all this is so, why hasn’t there been a special counsel appointed? Biden’s attorney general will not appoint one unless the mainstream media raises a ruckus, a familiar predicate to all who are familiar with post-Watergate politics. But an outcry from our media will only happen if they are not themselves intellectually corrupt. So, bottom line, if Vegas is offering a line on this one, hold your nose and bet on corrupt inaction, both by our government and our media.