Members Only | November 26, 2019 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Biden Is Righteously Pissed. Good
Lindsey Graham is lying maliciously about Hunter.
No, Joe Biden was not contradicting himself when he said he’s pissed off (my words) at US Senator Lindsey Graham for opening a Senate investigation into Hunter Biden’s role on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Post reporter Matt Viser wrote that the “personal and angry nature” of the House impeachment proceedings could undercut Biden’s key campaign message: “that comity and civility can return to Washington after President Trump’s departure and that he’s the man to make that happen.”
Like Tracy Morgan said: nope, nope, hm hmm, no—no no no no no—hell no, no, NO!
I mean, I don’t believe comity and civility will restore anything in Washington. There is no going back to a saner, more normal time. But I do believe a man has a right to be furious for righteous reasons. In announcing that the Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate Hunter Biden, the South Carolina senator is not only betraying his old friend; he’s doing what the president wanted the Ukrainians to do—mainline an ampule of Kremlin lies straight into the bloodstream of the body politic. That way, the Russians can repeat 2016 by aiding and abetting Vladimir Putin’s preferred candidate.
Graham is part of a scheme to defraud Americans.
Sure, Biden is trying to establish, or reestablish, political norms that once guided the parties. But should that prevent him from calling Graham out for the damage he’s doing not only to Biden’s family but to the country? No—no no no no no—hell no!
Thus far in the impeachment hearings, we have talked about two “investigations” that Donald Trump wanted from Volodymyr Zelensky. (In truth, publicly announcing them was almost certainly more important to the president than conducting investigations.) One “investigation” was into the Bidens/Burisma (the name of the gas company). The other was into Ukraine’s alleged role in attacking the 2016 presidential election. The first is a lie. The second is a Kremlin lie. Both serve the same purpose, which is to spread disinformation and paralyze the American people’s ability to choose a leader.
So we should really think of them as one thing. Indeed, the president did. George Kent, a senior State Department official, said in testimony that “investigations, Biden and Clinton” was shorthand for what Trump wanted from Zelensky. One for a 2020 rival; the other to exonerate the Kremlin so it’s free to undermine our sovereignty again. By investigating the Bidens, Graham is participating in a scheme to defraud Americans.
At the very least, he’s lying. Knowingly lying. Maliciously lying.
Lindsey Graham was among a group of GOP senators who, once upon a time, joined the Obama administration, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in pushing for more anti-corruption efforts by Ukraine’s government. When Biden was the vice president, he went to Ukraine to urge its former president to get rid of top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, a Putin patsy, for being too soft on crime. That’s the extent of Joe Biden’s role. It had a bipartisan blessing. It had Lindsey Graham’s blessing.
The facts are known. Lindsey Graham knows them.
I agree with those who say Hunter Biden had no business being on the board of a gas company. He was clearly cashing in on his dad’s name. That skirts the line of ethical behavior, but that’s it. Joe Biden, meanwhile, did not demand Shokin’s ouster in order to protect his son. Shokin made up a reason why he, a Kremlin stooge, was out of power. None of this is uncertain. The facts are known. Lindsey Graham knows them.
Graham also knows the Russians attacked us in 2016, not the Ukrainians, and that the Ukrainian “narrative” is a hoary Kremlin lie. The Times and CBS News confirmed over the weekend that top US intelligence officials recently briefed senators on Putin’s effort to frame Ukraine and dodge responsibility for the 2016 influence campaign. Olivia Gazis, from CBS News, wrote Friday: “Some of those narratives have been repeated by the president and his Republican supporters in recent weeks, and arose during the public impeachment hearings and closed-door witness depositions held this month.”
Fiona Hill, a former member of the White House National Security Council, said she would not “be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government is a US adversary, and that Ukraine—not Russia—attacked us in 2016.” She added: “In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”
Graham and the GOP know the truth. Yet they are lying, knowingly and maliciously.
Is Biden supposed to make nice with liars?
No—no no no no no—hell no!
John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.