If Joe Biden is not the Democratic presidential candidate in 2024, will former first lady Michelle Obama take his place? Some are betting that if the president is driven out of the race next year by corruption allegations, increasing signs of mental impairment and terrible approval ratings, only the former first lady has the name recognition and popularity to step in as a last-minute replacement. Mrs. Obama, one of the most admired people in the nation, would have an excellent chance of winning.
And yet, revelations about Hunter Biden’s influence-peddling and his father’s alleged complicity do not only taint Joe Biden’s presidency; they also cast a shadow on the Obama White House. To be sure, Michelle Obama was not the president, but it is her husband’s reputation and accomplishments that she would run on. Quite soon, people will ask: what did President Obama know about Joe Biden’s evident corruption and when did he know it?
The evidence suggests that the Obama administration, (erroneously) touted by liberals as “scandal-free”, may have turned a blind eye to the biggest political scandal of our time.
The House Oversight Committee under James Comer is crafting a solid case that Hunter Biden made millions of dollars selling access to his father while the latter served as vice president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017 and that Joe participated in his son’s shady activities. Democrats contend that the GOP has yet to connect the dots between Hunter Biden pulling in $20 million from companies in corrupt countries and his father Joe.
That is nonsense. Millions of dollars flowed through a dozen shell companies to numerous Biden family members, Hunter paid bills for Joe and Jill, Joe met with his son’s business associates, long-time FBI informants claim that Joe and Hunter both took $5 million bribes from a Ukrainian oligarch and eyewitnesses – former partners of Hunter’s – have publically said Joe profited from his son’s dealings.
Why did Obama not put a stop to activities that surely tested ethical and legal boundaries? After all, we know that Hunter’s dealings raised red flags in his White House.
Four years ago George Kent, a career State Department official, revealed to congressional investigators in closed-door testimony that in 2015 he had alerted a senior official at the White House that Hunter Biden being on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company, might constitute a conflict of interest.
Kent was anxious about Hunter’s position at Burisma because then-vice president Joe Biden, Obama’s designated point person on Ukraine, was set to lecture that country’s officials about cracking down on corruption. “Regardless of whether anything is wrong, it looks terrible,” Mr. Kent told the White House official.
Kent said he worried that Ukrainian officials would see Hunter Biden as a conduit for currying influence with his father. After all, there is no other possible explanation for Hunter Biden, who had no knowledge of natural gas or Ukraine, raking in $83,333 a month to serve on Burisma’s board. An amount, incidentally, that was sliced in half the minute Joe left the White House and that was described by Burisma’s CEO as “the highest in the company and higher than the standard director’s monthly fees.”
As to currying influence with the then-VP, a credible FBI informant has reported that Burisma’s CEO paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each to secure the firing of Viktor Shokin, a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his company.
The “nothing to see here” crowd in the liberal media has refuted Hunter and Joe’s role in the firing of Shokin, but the fact remains that the prosecutor was sacked, and that the investigation into Burisma, which has been described as “dormant” but not dead, in fact was closed.
In addition, Mike McCormick, a former stenographer for the White House, has claimed that Jake Sullivan, then Deputy Assistant to President Obama, told reporters that one of the missions of Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Ukraine (days after Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board) was to secure U.S. investment for that country’s energy sector. Months later, Congress delivered $50 million, which benefited Burisma, among others. McCormick has charged Joe Biden with “malfeasance” and offered to testify before a grand jury.
We know that the Obama White House was fully aware of Hunter Biden’s activities. A piece in the New Yorker about Biden’s son reported that “On May 13, 2014, after Hunter’s role on the Burisma board was reported in the news, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokesperson, said that the State Department was not concerned about perceived conflicts of interest, because Hunter was a “private citizen.”
Also, it has been reported that Amos Hochstein, the Obama’s special envoy for energy policy, raised concerns about Hunter’s Burisma affiliation personally with Joe Biden.
Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs “falsely claimed he had no knowledge about Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board.” But, the committee writes: “Kerry was briefed about Hunter Biden, Burisma and [his stepson Chris] Heinz the day after Burisma announced Hunter Biden joined its board.”
So, Sullivan, Kerry, and Hochstein knew about Hunter’s sleazy dealings; undoubtedly Obama knew as well. Is that why he failed to endorse Joe Biden’s presidential ambitions in 2016 and backed Hillary Clinton instead? Does Obama’s knowledge of Biden, Inc.’s dishonorable dealings explain his tepid enthusiasm for Joe in the 2020 race?
These questions will be asked. Just recently, Florida Republican Rep. Greg Steube delivered articles of impeachment against Joe Biden, including allegations of corruption and obstruction of justice. The pressure on the unpopular president to exit the 2024 race will only build. The longer he waits, the more frantic Democrats will be to find a last-minute candidate able to vault into the limelight.
Michelle Obama is the obvious choice. But she, too, may be tarred by Hunter and Joe Biden’s tawdry business schemes. As Obama reportedly said: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f**k things up.”