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Requiring The Bidens To Testify Would Help Determine If They Thought America Was For Sale

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If impeaching President Donald Trump is truly about arriving at the truth, then the Democrats who have obsequiously lectured about this for the past several weeks should have no problem including Joe and Hunter Biden in the impeachment proceedings. Forcing the Bidens to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee would provide an opportunity for Americans to learn to what extent, if at all, former Vice President Joe Biden used his position to financially benefit several of his family members, most notably his son Hunter.

Less than a month ago, there were murmurs that the Senate Judiciary Committee, under the auspices of Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was considering having the Bidens testify before the committee on their actions in Ukraine. Graham received some pushback for considering this move, Sen. Chuck Grassley declaring that he would support such a endeavor only if there were a certain level of precision in the line of questioning. “I’d want to know what he wants to accomplish by bringing [Joe Biden] before the committee,” Grassley stated, when asked about Graham’s potential plans.

Others, such as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed skepticism at the thought of having Joe Biden testify before the committee. “It wouldn’t be my highest priority. We need limited bandwidth if we need to try to focus on getting things done, not contributing to the sideshow,” Cornyn stated back in October.

Now, GOP senators are once again considering including the Bidens in Trump’s impeachment trial. There’s a legitimate (and arguably, well-founded) fear that involving the Bidens in the impeachment process is a “risky political ploy.” However, it’s more damaging to our democratic republic to have a class of politicians immunized from investigation because they happen to be running for president.

At one point, the Democratic field had 30 contenders. Did each of these individuals become vaccinated against possible accusations of corruption because they were in the running to become Donald Trump’s chief contender? Phrased differently, is there enough hatred of Trump swirling around Washington that we are not interested in determining whether the individual who held the second-highest office in the land for eight years allows his son to sell access to foreign governments?

Despite the media’s attempts to portray the accusations against Hunter Biden as mere “nothing burgers,” Hunter Biden unequivocally established relationships with foreign actors interested in shaping U.S. policy at critical junctures in his father’s career. The question at the base of these accusations is how aware then-Vice President Joe Biden was of such arrangements and whether the line between crony capitalism and sheer corruption was ever crossed. Although neither is particularly desirable, one is legal, while the other is not.

Hunter received a position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company of Burisma with a salary of $50,000 per month, despite having no experience in the energy sector and at a time his father was the point-man on the United States’ Ukraine policy. His father eventually pushed to have the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating Burisma fired under the banner of waging an “anti-corruption” campaign in the country.

On a 2013 diplomatic trip to China, then-Vice President Joe Biden permitted his son Hunter to join him on Air Force Two. At the time, Hunter had recently teamed up with Chinese businessman Johnathan Li to start a Chinese-backed private equity firm, and during the Bidens’ time in China, Hunter eventually introduced Li to his father. It’s worth noting that prior to the trip, Hunter had been awaiting approval for a business license from the Chinese government. Within two weeks of the trip’s end, he had received it.

The strangeness does not end there. Less than two weeks ago, it was revealed that Joe Biden, while a prominent U.S. senator, had consulted various government agencies to advocate for specific agenda items that his son’s lobbying firm then happened to be pushing—a coincidence that miraculously occurred several times.  Individually, each incident might seem benign or excusable; however, taken together, they paint a far more complex and alarming picture.

Based on recent testimonies, the question at the center of the impeachment inquiry is now whether, when President Trump withheld aid on the basis of encouraging Ukraine to fight corruption, he did so under the auspices of the correct authority. Answering this question will likely require ascertaining the legitimacy of the corruption accusations against the Bidens.

I penned the following reflection back in September, and it largely still holds true, whether you believe a quid pro quo took place or not.

…Much of the discussion of the whistleblower complaint has centered on amplifying and condemning Trump’s behavior without much mention of what Joe Biden’s son was doing in Ukraine. There’s a pervasive attitude among those in the media and on the left that if Trump improperly requested an investigation into Biden’s son Hunter, the impropriety of the request somehow makes the potential behavior of Hunter Biden and his father acceptable. This reaction is incoherent and bizarre.

It’s unfortunate that because President Trump is asking the questions, the behavior of those he seeks to investigate suddenly becomes palatable or eligible to be shoved under the rug. There are some disturbing coincidences that deserved to be investigated, whether it is Trump seeking to investigate them or not.

If it has to be under the banner of Trump impeachment, so be it. I, for one, would like to know if our executive branch was for sale from 2008 to 2016, and although Trump may present his own concerns, him asking the question doesn’t undermine the American public’s need to know the answer.

Erielle Davidson is a Staff Writer at the Federalist and a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. Find her on Twitter at @politicalelle.