I’ve been trying to keep an open mind about the Ukraine inquiry because Donald Trump, William Barr and Rudy Giuliani are not a trio that inspire a lot of confidence. I’m willing to bet that the role in this affair of Giuliani, who has made a number of trips to Ukraine since 2017, becomes a major embarrassment as subpoenaed documents emerge.
Rudy’s always been a hustler and has kept much of his business dealings secret since creating Giuliani Partners in 2002 and pursued international security contracts. He also helped Purdue Pharma, the maker of the OxyContin, reach a deal in 2007 “to avoid a bar on Purdue doing business with the federal government which would have killed a large part of the multibillion-dollar market for the drug, this story in The Guardian said. “The former New York mayor also secured an agreement that greatly restricted further prosecution of the pharmaceutical company and kept its senior executives out of prison.”
Rudy’s dealings in Ukraine, and elsewhere, are not going to be a huge embarrassment to Trump, especially because it’s never clear when he’s on private business or when he’s acting as Trump’s personal attorney.
Furthermore, given the Trump family’s repeated attempts to monetize the presidency, tweets like these are rather amusing.
At the same time, MSNBC, Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the usual #Resistance figures are also hard to take seriously. Just as Trump’s defenders have immediately and reflexively dismissed any impropriety on the president’s side, the Democrats — and much of the media — have rushed to defend the Biden family from allegations of political profiteering.
Yet there’s plenty of evidence to back that up, even if Trump has exaggerated many of the charges. Much of it has already emerged and plenty more will during the Democratic primaries, because it’s low hanging fruit for his rivals for the nomination. “Interviews, court records, government filings and news reports, however, reveal that some members of the Biden family have consistently mixed business and politics over nearly half a century, moving from one business to the next as Joe’s stature in Washington grew,” Politico reported in early August, in a story headlined “Biden Inc.”
Today NBC had a story about a 2013 trip to China by Joe, then Veep, and son Hunter Biden, then looking for business opportunities, that looks shady as shit. Here’s an excerpt:
As he accompanied his father to China, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund that associates said at the time was planning to raise big money, including from China. Hunter Biden has acknowledged meeting with Jonathan Li, a Chinese banker and his partner in the fund during the trip, although his spokesman says it was a social visit.
The Chinese business license that brought the new fund into existence was issued by Shanghai authorities 10 days after the trip, with Hunter Biden a member of the board...
Hunter Biden’s spokesman, George Mesires, told NBC News that Hunter Biden wasn’t initially an “owner” of the company and has never gotten paid for serving on the board. He said Hunter Biden didn’t acquire an equity interest in the fund until 2017, after his father had left office.
And when he did, he only put in about $420,000 — a 10 percent interest. That puts the total capitalization of the fund at the time at about $4.2 million.
Joe Biden has said he has “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings. Hunter Biden has said he didn’t meet with Chinese government officials during the trip and did no business on it, even though he met with Li, the Chinese banker and soon-to-be business partner. And oh yeah, the investment fund’s formation documents were filed in November 2013, just a month before the the China trip.
Trump causally lies and tosses out misinformation — he has claimed Hunter Biden walked out of China with $1.5 billion — but questions about Hunter Biden’s overseas trips and investments are as legitimate as those about Trump Inc.