Earlier this month, President Biden organised a much-publicised conference on “democracy”. It was an event he’d promised on the presidential campaign trail. The aims were highly laudable, not least as the meeting with the heads of state of Australia, India and Japan was to ensure that “the way in which technology is designed, developed, governed and used is shaped by our shared values and respect for universal human rights.” Biden called together more than 100 leaders from democratic countries around the world for a virtual Summit for Democracy. But one problem facing President Biden is that controversy surrounding his son Hunter (pictured) just refuses to go away and this is the subject of a new book by a respected New York Post journalist which seeks to get to the bottom of Biden’s business affairs – writes Martin Banks.
The controversy, it is claimed, is very much concerned with democratic oversight and goes to the heart of what that rather over used word, democracy, is all about.
Hunter Biden was, one should recall, the focus of attacks from the then President Donald Trump and his Republican allies during the campaign for the White House.
There has been extensive coverage of the scandals surrounding Hunter’s business and alleged personal transgressions revealed by his abandoned computer. The computer was mistakenly left at a repair shop in Delaware in the spring of 2019, just six days before Biden senior announced his candidacy for the United States presidency;
The book, by Miranda Devine, who works at the New York Post, claims the laptop uncovered a “treasure trove of corporate documents, emails, text messages, photographs, and voice recordings” spanning a decade, that “provide evidence” that President Biden was involved in his son’s ventures in China, Ukraine, and beyond, despite his repeated denials.
President Biden, for his part, says he “is deeply proud of his son, who has fought through difficult challenges, including the vicious personal attacks of recent months, only to emerge stronger.”
During the presidential campaign, Trump and Republicans questioned potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden’s position on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma at the time his father was vice president to Democratic President Barack Obama.
An 87-page report by Republican senators called the younger Biden’s role at the company suspected of corruption “awkward” and “problematic” at a time when the US was trying to help clean up corruption in Ukraine.
The senators’ report detailed the breadth of Hunter Biden’s connections to questionable foreign interests and business leaders in Ukraine and China – creating “criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns”. It suggested tmhat Joe Biden’s son was profiting from his family name – a potential conflict of interest that while, unsavoury is not unusual in Washington’s corridors of power. The Biden campaign rejected the report as an attempt by Republicans to undermine him
Of course, Trump was impeached by the Democratic majority U.S. House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress stemming from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and Joe Biden won the election.
The book recalls that investigators have been examining other multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and his associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.
The book claims to provide an “inside story” of the saga, in particular, the aforementioned controversial laptop.
The author claims it remains a “ticking time bomb” in the shadows of Joe Biden’s presidency. What is clear is that the laptop of its “secrets” almost derailed Hunter’s father’s presidential campaign.
Devine goes on to claim that the laptop’s contents also “ignited one of the greatest media coverups in American history”.
In “Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide,” she refers to the apparent reluctance of the mainstream US media to report on the affair in the run up to the election. She takes aim at tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as the media establishment.What she calls this the “unvarnished truth”, which also criticises US intelligence operatives and says there was a clear attempt to “stifle” the New York Post’s coverage.
Whatever verdict the reader comes to, if any, what is clear is that this is a well researched, intelligent and intimate insight into Hunter’s lifestyle.
But, why does all this matter, you may say?
Well, if for nothing else it matters because Hunter is the son of the vice president who would go on to become the leader of the free world.
Democracy is also all about an open and transparent dialogue – even for presidents.
This article first appeared in EU Reporter, and is reprinted here with the author’s permission.