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Michael Ramirez Essay: An Inconvenient Son
From America's Premier Editorial Cartoonist
Sins of the Child
Michael Ramirez, August 20, 2023
They say children are a reflection of their parents… but I have many friends, good people, who have rotten parents, and I know many great parents with rotten kids. Adding crack cocaine to the equation probably makes things even more complicated.
Hours after Hunter’s lawyers struck a deal with the Justice Department to plead guilty to federal tax charges, President Biden was asked at an A.I. conference if he had a reaction to Hunter’s plea deal. Asking a question about Hunter Biden when discussing artificial intelligence might seem appropriate. The President responded, “I’m very proud of my son.”
Now you can’t blame a father for wanting to protect his son. Defending your children is a biological impulse passed down in our DNA from generation to generation. But defending a son who used drugs, peddled influence to foreign countries, “forgot” to pay his taxes, possessed a gun while using drugs, foolishly took photos of it, and then illegally purchased another gun while still on drugs, goes beyond a natural instinct.
A father might defend it as a “difficult situation” and retain a limitless and abounding love for his son. He might call it a “complicated circumstance” and declare always to support him because he is flesh and blood…
I’m pretty sure no one would use the word “proud.”
It was a tremendous demonstration of blind love and familial devotion… or maybe just early-onset dementia.
What Biden probably didn’t know at the time, according to an article in Politico, was that his son’s lawyers had threatened to put the President on the stand if the Justice Department were to charge Hunter on federal gun violations. In other words, the Hunter Biden legal team, with total disregard for President Biden’s reelection, would throw the President under the bus to defend Hunter.
Did Hunter know about this?
Last October, Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, was worried about news that revealed federal agents were contemplating charging Hunter with illegally purchasing a gun while a drug user.
“The leak was “illegal,” the (Hunter’s) lawyer wrote to the U.S. attorney overseeing the probe. The prosecution, he argued, would be seen as purely political, and it might even violate the Second Amendment.
Then he issued a warning: If the Justice Department charged the president’s son, his lawyers would put the president on the witness stand.
“President Biden now unquestionably would be a fact witness for the defense in any criminal trial,” Clark wrote in a 32-page letter reviewed by POLITICO.”
I’m sure the administration was relieved that Hunter Biden could plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and enter into a two-year diversion program for the gun charges. This would have insulated the President from the prosecution of his son during his reelection campaign and simultaneously kept Hunter out of jail.
However, the deal quickly unraveled when the Biden legal team was informed that it was limited to the tax and gun charges. During the hearing, it was revealed that the investigation of Hunter Biden was still ongoing, and Hunter could face additional charges, among them a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
It would seem that what many Republicans viewed as a “sweetheart deal,” the two misdemeanor charges for the willful failure to pay some $200,000 in taxes for the years 2017 and 2018, the get-out-of-jail free card for the gun violations, and allowing the additional tax violations for the years 2014, 2015, and 2016 to exceed the statute of limitations, was not enough for Hunter.
Those years included the failure to pay taxes on more than $400,000 in unreported income. IRS supervisory special agent and whistleblower Gary Shapley stated, “The years in question included foreign income from Burisma and a scheme to evade his income taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon”
According to Joseph Ziegler, the second whistleblower and a 13-year IRS special agent with the Criminal Investigation Division, Hunter and his associates received approximately $17.3 million from Ukraine, Romania, and China from 2014 through 2019. Hunter’s cut was around $8.3 million.
Hunter is right to fear the consequences of further investigation. I’m sure he believed that this one deal would resolve all his legal problems. After all, he’s entitled. In his self-deluded realm of narco-narcissism, he’s an artist; he can do drugs without consequence, foreign entities will pay him millions for doing nothing, and the world will always bend to the will of the prodigal son.
Hunter was foolish to abandon the slap on the wrist that his team negotiated on his behalf. These legal problems will now play a more prominent role in his father's presidential campaign, regardless of the outcome.
I read a quote without attribution that stated, “A true test of character is not how you are on your best day but how you act on your worst days.” Hunter failed this test when he repeatedly used his relationship with his father to enrich himself and again when his lawyers used it to negotiate a plea deal.
A couple of weeks ago, President Biden finally publicly acknowledged the 4-year-old granddaughter of Hunter Biden…. three years after DNA evidence confirmation.
Thomas Paine once wrote, “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”
Hunter Biden still has not acknowledged publicly if he has even met her.
Sometimes you end up with a rotten parent.
It would be politically astute for President Biden to no longer acknowledge his son or his antics. Sometimes, the father has to bear the sins of his child… but “Proud” is not the term anyone would use in association with Hunter Biden.
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