When you get to make the rules, they always favor you. Parents can do things they forbid their kids from doing, bosses can take long lunches while insisting you not return late, and politicians can take pay-offs while…actually, there isn’t much of a private sector equivalent for that one.
The word “bribe” has an obvious, legal meaning that, through a few tricks built into the system by the politicians who wrote the laws, helps them avoid breaking them while taking what amounts to bribes.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a bribe as “1: money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgement or conduct of a person in a position of trust; 2: something that serves to induce or influence.”
Hiring the otherwise unemployable, crack smoking son of the vice president of the United States in the hope of gaining favorable opinion or treatment from the government of the United States, for example, would seem to go a long way toward fitting that definition. Actually getting that favorable treatment would complete that definition.
But it’s not a bribe, not legally. Not even a pay-off. It’s a perfectly legal coincidence.
Hunter was making a fortune with no skills, knowledge, or abilities, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to the net worth of the company. From their perspective, it was a smart and cheap investment.
It was also legal. As was all the other sweetheart deals Hunter got out of Russia, China, and who knows where else.
How? Because, unless there is a paper trail of Joe Biden saying he’d do something in exchange for cash, any favorable treatment Hunter’s sugar daddies got can be chalked up to coincidence.
Any illegal activity on behalf of Joe would come from him getting a piece of the action and hiding the money. While there are strong indications and insinuations that Joe was wetting his beak, he knows the law and it would be unlikely to be found out. This is compounded by the fact that no one is looking. Journalists aren’t interested, neither, it seems, is the FBI. If he wins next week, the story will disappear faster than Tara Reade’s name from newspapers.
What the Bidens appear to have done is not new. Direct payments of bribes is a thing of the past. Today’s politicians now engage in corruption by proxy.
Pioneers in this new bribery were none other than the Clintons. Bill and Hillary raked in a fortune through their “charities,” and lived quite well off that money.
When you think of bribes you think of very specific asks – do this and I’ll give you that. In international politics, bribes are ways to curry favor to get better treatment in the future. Saudi Arabia didn’t give $20 million to the Clintons’ charities because they wanted to provide mosquito nets to Africa. To do that, Saudi Arabia could have simply purchased $20 million worth of mosquito nets and sent them there directly. They wanted to be in the good graces of who they, and the world, thought would be the next president of the United States. The same is true for most of Hunter’s business deals.
The only difference between the shady dealings of the Clintons and the Bidens is the Clintons had the good sense to give it the cover of charity. The Bidens, just as corrupt as Bill and Hillary but not nearly as sophisticated, went right for profit; for cash payments.
Proving a bribe when filtered through others is nearly impossible; someone would have to roll. People in power know the rules, they wrote them. The public would be shocked if they knew exactly what is legal.
A member of Congress facing virtually no challenge in a safe district can’t take campaign cash and put it in their pockets because that would be illegal. They can, however, hire their spouse and pay them almost $3 million for “consulting,” or 70 percent of their campaign spending, and it’s perfectly legal. Ilhan Omar did just that. She couldn’t take the money herself, but she could pay her husband’s consulting firm $2.7 million and he could put his chunk of that money in their joint bank account and *poof* it’s legal.
There likely isn’t a cashed check or findable bank account with Joe Biden’s name on it. Even Joe is too smart to have signed anything. But Switzerland and many Caribbean countries don’t have strict banking laws and pride themselves on secrecy.
Joe has made millions since leaving office in 2017, so it’s not like he needs the money, especially at his age. Still, you make hay while the sun is shining. He likely wants to take care of his family after he’s gone. The motive is clear, the details are foggy, and the truth is most of what we’re likely to ever learn about it is quite possibly “legal.”