The Hunter Biden, China’s connection to the classified documents scandal: What you need to know

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In the classic film “Three Days of the Condor,” John Houseman played a weather-beaten spymaster who spoke of the good old days after the Great War “before we knew enough to count them.” When a subordinate asks if he misses “that kind of action,” Houseman replies dryly, “No. I miss that kind of clarity.”

The Democrats could soon have the same lawsuit. We have too many scandals to list, but what you’ll miss most after discovering top-secret documents in the president’s former private office is clarity. With the discovery, Democrats have lost clarity and separation with Trump. There are clear differences between the two scandals, but those differences may be lost in echoes of Biden’s own words about misuse of classified material.

Last year, President Biden was asked by CBS’s Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes, “When you saw the photo of the top secret documents on the floor in Mar-a-Lago, what were you thinking when you looked at that? Picture?”

Biden seemed to be struggling to control his disgust: “How this could happen, how someone could be so irresponsible. And I thought what data is in there that could compromise sources and methods.”


Washington is in full control of pundits who previously said even a misdemeanor conviction of Trump should prevent him from ever running for federal office again.

Again, there are differences, but we still don’t know the full facts, including whether additional classified information was previously returned or whether additional material may be in other offices. Nevertheless, there is no accusation of false testimony or obstruction.

Most notably, this could easily have been much, much worse had the Bidens pushed through to the alternate office that was being discussed after leaving government. Instead of the Penn Center, her effective landlord would have been a Chinese.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is once again shirking his most difficult obligation of demonstrating complete independence from his President.

For those of us who followed the Biden influence scandal, one of the benefits Joe Biden would receive from Chinese employees was an office he would use regularly.


In 2017, Hunter asked Biden to make keys for his new “officemates,” listing his father Joe Biden, Jill Biden, and his uncle Jim Biden. He said they planned to share the room with Gongwen Dong, whom he described as an “emissary” for Chairman Ye Jianming – CEFC Chinese Energy Co Chairman Hunter Biden also asked for a key phrase from Gongwen Dong. The manager was even asked to change the names on the front door to include Joe and Jill Biden.

The arrangement appears to have fallen by the wayside with other aspects of the Chinese deals. Instead, the Bidens found another source at the University of Pennsylvania to get their office supplies.

What is not known is whether any of this classified material was relevant to Biden’s book and lectures on diplomacy, raising the possibility that he worked with the documents on computers or discussed them with third parties. In the meantime they were apparently sitting in a closet, easy prey for any secret service.

While the media continues to dismiss the investigation into influence trading as a “personal” attack, as NBC’s Chuck Todd put it this weekend, a number of dangers posed by such access make it far more serious as a form of corruption . The millions given to Hunter Biden came from a variety of foreign sources, including some from figures linked to foreign intelligence agencies. That money not only gained influence, but also access to the Bidens.


Hunter himself stated that foreign intelligence agencies used hotel rooms to steal his files. A videotape is said to show Biden claiming one of his laptops was stolen by Russians for extortion purposes.

Aside from the lack of media interest in Biden’s allegation, there is no information on the FBI’s investigation that blackmail material may have been obtained about the Bidens.

The danger of influence is that not only is it the preferred avenue for corruption in Washington, but it often provides dangerous access to targeted leaders.

Even if the public evaded this danger to the China-funded office, it was not due to a lack of effort on the part of the Bidens. The question now is how can the public be confident that the FBI will show the same energy as Trump in investigating the Bidens?

Attorney General Merrick Garland knows that many citizens no longer trust the government, and his current position will only reinforce those concerns. There is growing unease over the litany of controversy over political bias at the FBI, including calls for a new “church committee” to deal with reform.


At the same time, Garland has maintained an incomprehensible position when he refused to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Biden influence controversy and other issues. He did so despite clear evidence that the president had lied by denying any knowledge of his son’s overseas dealings and repeated suggestions that the president was expecting a possible cut or benefits (including the Chinese-funded office) from the deals had received.

Garland’s position now borders on the comical. He announced he was being forced to appoint a special counsel into Mar-a-Lago and other possible Trump crimes after officially becoming a candidate in the 2024 presidential election. At the time, some of us noted that while Biden is actually the President, Garland has steadfastly refused to make such an appointment.

Now Biden is charged with the same underlying offense as Mar-a-Lago. While no false testimony or obstruction claims have been made, it’s unclear what allegations will emerge. More importantly, the offense of unlawfully removing and storing classified information is the same. However, Garland again declined to appoint a special counsel and will keep the matter within the DOJ’s grass roots.

Biden can count on every possible consideration and accommodation from the media. The public is used to that. However, Garland will undermine both investigations by continuing to block the appointment of a special counsel for Biden and his family.


The Biden discovery will complicate the narrative for many in Washington, particularly those who have previously taken the position that knowledge of possession alone warrants a criminal charge. Combined with Hillary Clinton’s destruction of tens of thousands of emails and the use of insecure private servers, Garland could create the biggest credibility crisis for the Justice Department in decades. It is due to his design of these investigations.

It’s all part of the incredibly shrinking Merrick Garland. At a time when leadership is needed, Garland once again evades his most difficult obligation of showing complete independence from his president by eliciting both complete facts and full accountability in one scandal. Otherwise, he will fuel distrust over the President’s handling of the two scandals and many more, and generations to come will likely wonder “how anyone can be so irresponsible.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JONATHAN TURLEY The Hunter Biden, China’s connection to the classified documents scandal: What you need to know

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