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Washington Wednesday: Investigating the family business

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WORLD Radio - Washington Wednesday: Investigating the family business

House Republicans call attention to concerning reports about the behavior and business dealings of the President’s son


President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden at Fort McNair in Washington, June 25 Andrew Harnik via The Associated Press

MARY REICHARD, HOST: It’s Wednesday the 5th of July, 2023. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Time now for Washington Wednesday.

Today, the Democrats’ Hunter Biden problem.

The U.S. Justice Department recently cut a deal with President Biden’s son that will likely allow him to avoid prison in exchange for a guilty plea on tax and weapons charges.

REICHARD: Republicans have called it a “sweetheart deal,” and further evidence of a two-tiered justice system: one standard for those who have connections, and another for those who don’t.

Meantime, House Republicans are digging into what they say is a potential Biden family scandal involving millions of dollars in payouts from foreign nationals.

EICHER: GOP lawmakers say testimony from whistleblowers and other evidence suggest the Biden family peddled political influence when Joe Biden was vice president.

All the while, embarrassing and damaging evidence continue leaking out. They appear to show Hunter Biden flouting the law for years, living a high-rolling, drug-abusing lifestyle.

Joining us now to talk about it and what it means for the Biden campaign is political strategist Matt Klink.

REICHARD: Matt, good morning!

MATT KLINK: Hey, Mary. Good morning. How are you?

REICHARD: Doing well and glad you’re here. Well, as we mentioned, House Republicans are really digging into all of this. What can Republican-led panels accomplish independent of the Justice Department?

KLINK: The Justice Department is going to slow walk anything related to Hunter Biden beyond what they've already done, primarily because the judicial process just moves slowly. It doesn't run on a political calendar, hearings take a long time to schedule, discovery is never a linear process. So I think that the Republicans in Congress will be able to make more hay and garner more publicity than will the work of the special counsel in the Hunter Biden case.

REICHARD: Some IRS agents came forward as whistleblowers. What did they tell the committee?

KLINK: There were two credible whistleblowers: one who came out by name and one who requested to remain anonymous. They requested whistleblower status. And the big irony here is that when whistleblowers were targeting Republican members of the Trump administration, the Democrats were all hot to say that whistleblowers should be believed and they deserve protection. Yet, because now Joe Biden's in the White House, the Democrats have gone out of their way to attack the credibility of these two IRS agents. The one that became public has said very forcefully that the IRS investigators were stymied at every turn by the FBI and by the Department of the Department of Justice in their efforts to pull information about Hunter Biden, as well as anything even indirectly related to Joe Biden or has been said in the Hunter Biden laptop, “the big guy.” And that's very concerning. They specifically said that the special counsel was denied the request to prosecute Hunter for much more serious felony related crimes of tax evasion in both California and Washington, DC, and was denied. And that the Special Counsel did not, contrary to what Attorney General Merrick Garland said, did not have the authority to do whatever he wanted. So again, it's very problematic that this is happening. And it just shows that the Justice Department is really doing the President's bidding and trying to stick up and protect Hunter Biden, who is clearly weighing down on President Biden.

REICHARD: This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on spats between the FBI and congressional members, but Director Christopher Wray came dangerously close to a contempt of Congress charge for initially withholding an FBI document outlining whistleblower complaints connected to the Bidens . How has this particular investigation affected the ongoing crisis of public trust in the FBI?

KLINK: Well, it's always a clash, right? Because you have the Congress, which is charged with oversight means that they have to get information to analyze it and critique it. And then you have the Justice Department of which the FBI is one of the entities under that umbrella. They always want to keep their information siloed and /or private, because it usually involves court cases. And most attorneys don't want too much to be made public because it hurts them in court. The problem is, is that it seems to a broad swath of Americans, that all of the antics by the Justice Department and the FBI, really since 2016, have skewed to the benefit of Democrats and to the detriment of Republicans. So, the Republicans have said very forcefully that there are two systems of justice. If you have a D behind your name, you're given the benefit of the doubt, aka Hillary Clinton, and in your handling or your dealings with law enforcement. However, if you're a Republican, you're not. They'll they'll come and raid your house, not just with a knock on the door. They'll knock your door down at three o'clock in the morning and hold you at gunpoint in front of your family. So two systems of justice, the systems aren't fair. Lady Justice with the you know, the blindfolded woman with the scales? They're not balanced. They're heavily tilted in the favor of Democrats.

REICHARD: Explain to us what the financial disclosure document the House Oversight committee viewed in June might reveal. What does it mean when the FBI “hasn’t disproven the allegations?”

KLINK: So that's word word gymnastics. There are lots of ways when you do media training, and when you do prison training, presentation training, to respond, to answer. So instead of saying simply, yes, you can say, you know, your statement would not be inaccurate. So it's just a way of, of responding to a question without coming out and giving a direct yes or no answer. And believe me, Christopher Ray is the head of the FBI. He's been trained up for quite a long time. And they all want to avoid being pigeon- holed, and nothing is ever a yes or no answer, even when the question is a yes or no question.

REICHARD: Well, there are outstanding questions about the potential bribery scandal. But there is plenty already known about Hunter Biden’s behavior. The White House is trying to spin this as a story about a father’s love for a son with a drug addiction. How do you think that will play with voters over the course of this campaign?

KLINK: Well, it's important for a couple reasons. One, I think that, you know, the Biden White House is doing the right thing is that, you know, Hunter Biden is Joe Biden's only living son, deeply troubled as he is, it's all he's got. So the fact that the father and son relationship is close, I think that any anyone who's a parent can relate to that. The problem, though, is when you have Hunter Biden, who has made arguably 10s or hundreds of millions of dollars, lobbying for foreign governments exerting influence using the Biden name, with this complex scheme of apparently transfers to multiple members of you know, that Republicans will say the Biden crime enterprise, let's just say to multiple members of Joe Biden's family, that is an abuse of power. That is, you know, trading on the president's name to make money. And it frankly, it's just wrong, and it's disgusting. So the the Biden campaign wants to put Hunter Biden in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible. That's why they talk about Joe being the family man and loving his grandchildren, et cetera, et cetera. But the Republicans will keep Hunter Biden in the news for as long as they can. Hunter Biden will not win the elections for the Republicans. But it just shows that Joe Biden is part of the DC swamp culture that has made politicians multiple millions, even though their salary every year doesn't justify them having that much money.

REICHARD: And I will add that President Biden does not acknowledge one of his grandchildren, through Hunter. So there's that.

KLINK: Which is tragic. It's sad. There was a really long article this weekend in the New York Times about that. That you know, he he has said very pointedly he has six grandchildren. Meanwhile, Hunter is the father of a young woman or a young girl in Arkansas, who has been completely ignored by the Biden family. Just tragic.

REICHARD: Do you think the bribery allegations and Hunter Biden’s legal woes serve to take some of the heat off of Donald Trump?

KLINK: I think that it what it does for a lot of people is it reinforces that Washington DC is the problem. It's the swamp culture, that Joe Biden's problems, ie between Hunter and his brother, equate to some of the problems that Donald Trump has, although I will tell you the other problems that Donald Trump has are much more related to actions that he has done. They deal more with elections and with the handling of classified documents, so no, it will not replace. It will not.... one scandal will not replace the other. I just think that it hurts Joe Biden, because he's not talking about what he wants to talk about in his reelection.

REICHARD: All right, Matt Klink with Klink Campaigns has been our guest, Matt, thanks so much.

KLINK: Thank you, Mary.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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