The National Archives is aiming to release hundreds of pages of emails about Hunter Biden and Burisma collected during Joe Biden’s years as Vice President in the Obama Administration. But now that the elder Biden is president, he is angling to block any of the records that might confirm his son’s suspected corruption and expose the father’s complicity. In a story first reported by Business Insider, the White House is refusing to say whether it will stop the release.
The irony and hypocrisy should be lost on no one.
Biden weaponized his Department of Justice to go after Trump documents under the Presidential Records Act and scoffed at his predecessor’s assertion of executive privilege. Now, Biden is reportedly considering the use of executive privilege and the same Records Act to prevent the release of his own documents that may incriminate him in his son’s influence peddling schemes involving the Ukrainian energy company. Evidence shows that foreign entities and governments including Russia, Ukraine, and China forked over tens of millions of dollars for access and promises of influence.
In other words, Biden wants records that he likes to be handed over, but wants to keep records that he doesn’t like secret. Hypocrisy has always been Joe’s specialty
Biden promised “the most transparent presidency in history”. In truth, he’s the least transparent. Opaque is a better description. Much of what he does is shrouded in secrecy. For example, he refuses to disclose visitor logs at his Delaware homes where he’s spent a record amount of time meeting with people there. He refuses to make public his Senate documents housed at the University of Delaware. FISA court documents? Won’t make them public. Complying with legitimate FOIA requests. Won’t do it.
Biden’s potential use of executive privilege is itself an abuse. The privilege covers confidential advice that, if disclosed, would impair the function of government. That doesn’t remotely fit conversations about Burisma and his son’s illicit dealings with the Ukrainian energy company that paid him an absurd amount of money despite the fact that Hunter had no experience in natural gas or energy.
Moreover, in U.S. vs. Nixon the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the privilege does not apply to information that is relevant to a criminal case or investigation. Here, Biden’s son is under a criminal probe based on evidence of corruption, influence peddling, bribery, tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering. Burisma is a key part of it. Joe Biden was allegedly complicit.
So, the father cannot legally withhold documents under executive privilege.