September 25, 2023 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Actually, the Biden administration is upholding the rule of law

Indictments against Hunter Biden and Bob Menendez make that clear.

Images courtesy of Reuters.
Images courtesy of Reuters.

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Donald Trump and his confederates in the US House of Representatives want us to believe that Joe Biden is personally directing the two indictments and two forthcoming trials of the former president. Moreover, they want us to believe that “the Bidens” are a “crime family,” and that the Biden administration is protecting them with “special treatment.”

When he announced two weeks ago the opening of an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that, “it appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration, treatment that they not otherwise would have received if they were not related to the president.”

He was referring to the president’s son, and a plea deal that fell apart, but McCarthy’s “reasons” for alleging “special treatment” now appear moot. Shortly after his announcement, the Justice Department itself announced Hunter Biden’s indictment on federal firearms charges.

As the majority party, the Democrats are invested in demonstrating that they mean what they say. If no one is above the law, as they often say these days, then no one is, and they are eager to prove that by putting in place people who are going to uphold the law no matter who the president is.

Hunter Biden allegedly lied about being addicted to drugs during a gun purchase. He also remains under investigation for tax-related crimes. (The president’s son spent some years peddling “the illusion of access” to his dad, according to a former business partner. Hunter is basically a failson. Don’t be surprised if another indictment is in the offing.)

Hunter Biden’s indictment should determine that there is no “special treatment” by the president for his family, even if we choose to believe Trump’s claptrap about Biden personally directing the federal criminal indictments against him, as if they were some form of election interference, which is precisely what he and his confederates claim. If that’s true, what about Hunter Biden? Is the president, by directly indicting his own son, interfering with his own reelection campaign?

Nonsense. We shouldn’t believe Trump’s claptrap. Biden is not making law-enforcement decisions any more than you and I are. The entire discussion is ridiculous, which is where Trump prefers the discussion to be. All discourse is better discourse, for him, when it’s upside down, backwards and prolapsed. If we just stopped listening to the claptrap for a moment, however, we might see what the facts are telling us – to this president, no one is above the law, not even his own (fail)son.

That no one is above the law to this president is also evidenced by the federal charges, unsealed Friday, against US Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey. According to the Post, the indictment alleges “a corrupt scheme involving gold bars, stacks of cash and using the senator’s powerful position to secretly benefit the Egyptian government.” It lays out “wide-ranging abuses of power that the senator and his wife, Nadine Menendez, are accused of committing in exchange for cash and gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.” 


Again, Trump and his confederates want us to believe that Biden is personally directing the criminal prosecution of his most likely rival. If so, are we supposed to believe that the president actually wants to sabotage his own party’s control of the US Senate? (It’s nearly evenly divided.) Are we supposed to believe that other Democrats, who are calling on Menendez to resign, are in on some kind of plot to … well, I don’t know? Anything, I suppose, as long as it redirects from what the facts tell us, which is that this administration upholds the rule of law.

From the Republican point of view, the Democrats can’t be better than the Republicans, because, to them, everything is about power and control. If power and control require rallying around the very worst person, so be it. That’s why the GOP is nearly uniform in its support for Trump, even though he is, truly and dearly, the very worst person. 

The Democrats want power and control, too, make no mistake. But power and control compete with other things for their attention. As the majority party, they are invested in demonstrating that they mean what they say. If no one is above the law, as they often say these days, then no one is, and they are eager to prove that by putting in place people who are going to uphold the law no matter who the president is.

Whether Hunter Biden and Bob Menendez are convicted is another matter. There seems to be some question about the constitutionality of the gun laws being thrown at Hunter Biden. Recent Supreme Court rulings have made anti-corruption charges, such as those against Menendez, impossible to prosecute. But whether they are convicted is, politically speaking, beside the point. The Democrats are not as bad as the Republicans, and any reading of the facts should make that clear.


John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.

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