As President Biden launches his reelection campaign, his son, Hunter Biden, has been making his own headlines.
The younger Biden appeared in court on Monday over a paternity case, where a judge ruled that he would have to disclose his finances, including investments and money made from art sales.
Last week, in a separate case, the younger Biden’s lawyers met with prosecutors at the Justice Department to discuss potential charges against the first son relating to tax fraud, CNN reported.
The legal action coincides with a House Oversight and Accountability inquiry into Hunter Biden’s business transactions, part of the GOP’s efforts to investigate the president’s son and drag him into 24-hour-news cycles.
Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) vows that the initial inquiries into the younger Biden’s financial transactions are just “the beginning.”
He accused Hunter Biden’s lawyers just this week of communicating to potential witnesses and whistleblowers in an intimidating manner.
“In communication with our witnesses and with people who are cooperating from a subpoena standpoint, we know that they have been contacted by the attorneys for Hunter Biden,” Comer said Monday in an interview on Fox News. “We feel that this is really close to crossing the line. Obviously, their objective in my opinion, is witness intimidation. This will not stand.”
Democrats have downplayed the focus by the GOP and conservative media on Hunter Biden, saying it’s not something normal voters care about and won’t make a difference in 2024.
“Unless you are perpetually online and red pilled, no normal voters care about, or even really know anything about Hunter Biden,” said Democratic strategist Eddie Vale. “This isn’t a theory. It’s a fact that every poll shows people think Republicans have wrong priorities chasing down these conspiracy theories instead of doing things to actually help people.”
But GOP strategists see it as a political winner — which explains in part the focus by Comer, some say.
“He’s certainly not an asset to his father, that’s for sure,” said Shermichael Singleton, a political consultant who left the Republican Party in recent years.
“It will constantly come up,” he added. “You don’t want this when you’re running for president.”
Stories about Hunter Biden’s legal issues are a constant on right-leaning news channels, and there is some evidence that some voters are interested.
A Fox News poll out in late March revealed that 43 percent of those surveyed said they believe Hunter Biden did something illegal, a number that rose six points since a February survey. The younger Biden’s alleged actions grew among independents in particular, a 12-point increase since the last survey.
Another poll conducted for Newsweek last month showed that 42 percent of those surveyed said Hunter Biden was “guilty of a crime.” The same survey also found that 46 percent of those polled said former President Trump had also committed criminal acts.
At the same time, there are polls that suggest the GOP’s focus on Hunter Biden could backfire.
An NBC News poll from January revealed that 55 percent of Americans — including a majority of independents — said they believe Republicans spend “too much time investigating President Biden and not enough time on other priorities.”
White House allies have maintained in recent months that the House investigation in particular is a political stunt. And they predict that Republicans will inevitably overplay their hand ahead of the 2024 election cycle.
“This is pure politics,” said one Biden ally. “Pure bs.”
Comer’s panel has been monitoring the paternity case in Arkansas.
In that case, a judge ruled on Monday that the president’s son needs to provide written answers about his finances by next week and then appear for a deposition next month. Biden is seeking to lower his monthly child support payments to an Arkansas woman who is the mother of his child.
If he and the woman, Lunden Roberts, don’t come to an agreement, Biden could be headed for trial in late July.
A spokeswoman for the Oversight committee called the Arkansas case “interesting” adding that it “could shed some light on Hunter Biden’s financial records.”
But the spokeswoman added that the committee’s investigation “isn’t focused on this lawsuit.”
“We are pursuing our investigation on multiple fronts, and we have obtained thousands of pages of financial records related to the Biden’s family business schemes.”
Hunter Biden and his camp have sought to turn the tables on the GOP by going on offense and taking control of the public narrative.
Last month, he accompanied his father —together with his aunt, Valerie Owens —on a trip to Ireland.
He has also been seen more publicly at White House events after he became a frequent target of Republicans who often poked at him with the “Where’s Hunter?” dog-whistle to the base.
Democrats say there’s no question the GOP will continue to try to make the case against the younger Biden as they attempt to muddy the waters in 2024.
“There’s no there there, but they’re clearly going to try and see what sticks because what else do they have?” one Democratic strategist said.
“Republicans are going to do whatever they can to leverage this,” he said. “And these lawsuits clearly are not going away.”
Source: The Hill