U.S. Representative Jim Himes, an agile Connecticut Democrat, is walking a very thin plank.
Appearing on MSNBC on July 28th, Himes said, “Let me say something that you never heard a Republican member of Congress say in the four years of the Trump administration, which is that if Hunter Biden broke the law, he should be prosecuted." And it is clear that he broke the law with respect to taxes and possibly the ownership of a handgun. He should be held accountable for that."
In addition, Himes acknowledged, “If he [Hunter] traded on his father’s influence, he should be held accountable for that. And I’m emphasizing this because you never, ever heard a Republican say the same thing about Donald Trump or his family.”
But, of course, there is a “but,” not unusual when a president’s son bangs up against prevailing laws and threatens to overthrow the second term presidency of his dad, Joe Biden.
According to the MSNBC account, “The Democratic congressman [Himes] argued there was no evidence that President Biden colluded with his son on any crimes, but insinuated that any evidence should be taken seriously if it arises.” Stressing his point, Himes mentioned several times that there was no evidence connecting Hunter’s dubious foreign business with Vice President and President Joe Biden.
And, Himes added, “Now, to the question about impeachment, there is today zero evidence, zero evidence that Joe Biden, the president of the United States, knew about what his son was doing. If he did know about it, if he participated in that, then that is a very different conversation.”
The devil, a careful reader will notice, lies in the “ifs.”
Before assuming congressional office in 2009, Himes was a banker in Latin America and New York, promoted eventually by Goldman Sacks to a vice president position. Though not a lawyer, Himes’ statements have in them some tortuous twists and turns and enough “ifs” to choke a goat.
Only last week, Hunter Biden was on his way to court to plead guilty to two charges – tax fraud and illegal possession of a fire arm -- for which, according to a “deal” agreed upon by prosecutors and defense attorneys, he would receive a mild sentence. But the deal fell through when the presiding judge realized she was being asked to decide an issue fraught with difficulties for the court. Did the prosecution and the defense understand that the “deal” not to prosecute Hunter for future claims thrust upon the court a decision making power that was likely unconstitutional? And did the deal preclude future prosecutions of Hunter Biden not at the moment before the court?
These questions, easily answered by forthright lawyers, but smothered in silence by prosecution and defense deal makers, brought the court proceedings to a screeching halt. And thus no court “evidence” of Hunter’s possibly illegal dealings with foreign entities hostile to the United States has yet been brought forward – unless one considers that the common meaning term “evidence” extends to “reliable data.”
So far, two investigators who had overseen Hunter’s involvement in dubious business dealings with foreign countries hostile to the United States, China among them, have testified under oath that their investigation had been slow walked until more serious charges had been derailed by prosecutorial statutes of limitations.
Does the sworn testimony under oath and on penalty of prosecution, if false, of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers, Joseph Ziegler and Gary Shapley, Ziegler’s supervisor, qualify as “evidence of wrongdoing” on the part of the Biden family who appear to have benefited monetarily from Hunter’s questionable foreign business dealings?
Do claims made in the recent release of an unclassified 2020 Federal Bureau of Investigation CHS Reporting Document qualify as “evidence”?
Acquiring the unclassified CHS Document was a difficult chore, and the following paragraph in the document helps to explain why: “Regarding CHS's aforementioned reporting that Zlochevsky said he has many text messages and recordings that show he was coerced to make such payments - CHS clarified ZIochevsky said he had a total of ‘17 recordings’ involving the Bidens; two of the recordings included Joe Biden, and the remaining 15 recordings only Included Hunter Biden. CHS reiterated that, per Zlochevsky, these recordings evidence [emphasis mine] Zlochevsky was somehow coerced into paying the Bidens to ensure Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired. Zlochevsky stated he has two ‘documents (which CHS understood to be wire transfer statements, bank records, etc.), that evidence [emphasis mine] some payment(s) to the Bidens were made, presumably in exchange for Shokin's firing.’”
Mykola Zlochevsky, accused of corruption and money laundering by various authorities, is the founder of Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest Oil and Gas Company. Burisma employed, for services unknown, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin was fired at then Vice President Joe Biden’s boastful entreaty and relieved of the onerous chore of investigating corruption in Burisma.
Now then, some of the claims made by Republican House members may or may not rise to the level of prosecutorial “evidence.” But no one in the United States, including President Joe Biden or Congressman Jim Himes, should be permitted to frustrate a conscientious congressional inquiry devoted to the production of prosecutorial evidence demonstrating that the Biden family had engaged in corrupt activities. You cannot put all the cards on the table by secreting some cards – the telling ones – under the table.
By conflating categorical differences, Himes seems unable to distinguish properly a “claim” and “evidence” and “a conviction at trial.” His constituents would be wise to take note of the failing.