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Shed no tears for Hunter Biden, who exploited the family name but also broke the law

A little more than two years ago, when Hunter Biden was selling his memoir, “Stunning Things” on “CBS Sunday Morning,” he told an interviewer that he was “100 percent sure” that by the end of ‘a Justice Department investigation into his funds, “I will likely be cleared of any wrongdoing.”

In fact, that wasn’t the case.

Opinion columnist

Robin Abcarian

Learn more about Robin Abcarian

On Thursday, after a plea deal he had reached fell through, federal authorities announced they had charged Biden with three counts of lying about his illegal drug use in order to buy a gun in 2018, while in the throes of a crack habit.

It remains to be seen how lawyer David Weiss, designated by Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland will handle misdemeanor tax evasion charges that were part of the failed plea deal. And while it’s very rare to be prosecuted for lying about any type of gun, it doesn’t appear Hunter Biden is getting off easy.

He is the prodigal son of a president whose unconditional love for his children blinded him to the political danger of being used by his drug-addicted and alcoholic child to make money, or just a few million.

As a presidential election approaches, Hunter Biden, 53, has moved beyond being a mere distraction and has now become a pawn in the nation’s partisan political wars.

And of course, it really is his personal fault.

Biden is the one who carelessly left a laptop with proof of its private disintegration at a food store. He’s the one who took naked selfies when it was excessive. He was the one who recorded meandering conversations about drugs with his brother’s widow. And he’s the one who wrote a memoir about his painful long-term crack habit, which is effectively an admission that he lied to buy a gun.

“I made a lot of decisions that I probably shouldn’t have made,” Biden told “CBS Sunday Morning,” in what feels like the understatement of the last decade.

By now, the broad outlines of the Biden family history are known:

When they were younger, Hunter and his older brother, Beau, were almost killed in a car accident that took the lives of their mother and younger sister. Their father was sworn in for his first term in the Senate at their hospital bedside. Hunter, the underachiever, struggled with sobriety and survived. Beau, the top performer, was elected attorney general of Delaware, served in Iraq, was diagnosed in 2013 with brain cancer and died.

After his brother’s death in 2015, Hunter, who had been in rehab in 2003 and 2012, relapsed with a vengeance. The long-married father of three immersed himself in weeks of drinking and drug bingeing, prostitutes and drug addicts, while raking in millions of dollars from deals in China and Ukraine. He didn’t pay taxes on income over $1.5 million. He impregnated a woman he claimed not to remember. A tempestuous affair with his brother’s widow ended disastrously. His marriage ended disastrously.

At one point, he purchased a .38 caliber handgun. He did not use this weapon to commit a criminal offense. But he was clearly using medication during this time.

I haven’t invested much in Hunter Biden’s destiny.

He’s a privileged child who failed to use his powers for good. And while I believe, as many brain researchers do, that this habit is a disease and not an ethical lapse, you can’t say the same about using your family’s name to rake in unearned millions . (And of course, the latter applies to adult children on both sides of the political divide.)

Biden is still on the nepotism gravy train, having reinvented himself as a Malibu-based painter who charges indefensible prices for his work. He is remarried and has a younger son named after his late brother. I want him sober and I hope he pays his taxes.

It’s also worth noting, for anyone familiar with the corrosive impact of drug addiction on entire households, that his ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, published her own memoir last year, “If We Break: A Memoir of Marriage, Dependancy, and Therapeutics.” .”

Marrying into a family like the Bidens, who have blue blood in their habits if not in reality, who are high-profile, political, and protective of their public image, may come as a surprise to anyone who grew up in an uneventful bourgeois setting. Unsurprisingly, Buhle got lost in the process of becoming Biden.

The layers of secrecy, dishonesty and anger surrounding Hunter Biden’s drug and alcohol use contributed to a kind of family denial that ultimately destroyed the couple and led to their current legal peril.

Buhle is responsible for all of this and his personal complicity in the Hunter debacle. (For example, he was under intense pressure as the family’s sole true breadwinner, and although she loved spending money, she never questioned where their money came from or how much.) This was not the case. It was not until at least his third rehabilitation stay, perhaps even later, that she became involved in family therapy with him.

And the children, who informed Kathleen that Hunter and Beau’s widow had had an affair, had been informed at night about most of their father’s rehabilitations and relapses.

Whatever happens to Hunter, I hope voters won’t uphold his failures toward his father, whose older age raises concerns that threaten to overshadow his strong record of success during his first term.

MAGA Home Republicans, egged on by the much-indicted former President Trump, are doing their best to tarnish Joe with Hunter’s sins, going so far as to open an impeachment inquiry in the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing from the president, until you depend on it. supporting his son, perhaps for the sake of indulgence, as an excessive crime or misdemeanor.

Home’s outlandish venture recalls Rudy Giuliani’s well-known line about non-existent 2020 election fraud, cited by then-Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives Rusty Bowers to the committee on January 6: “We have received numerous theories, we just don’t know. have the proof.



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