“The bottom line is if you cannot admire Joe Biden as a person than you have a problem and need to do some self-evaluation, because what is not to like? He is the nicest person I think I have ever met in politics and as good a man as God ever created.”
If one had to guess who uttered these flattering words about Joe Biden, the logical choices would be Democratic figures such as Speaker Pelosi, Adam Schiff or perhaps President Obama. Yet it was it said by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham in 2016, in an emotional statement about his friend Joe Biden.
It is what most non-partisan people in Washington would say about Joe Biden nowadays and many GOP politicians before Trump. A man, who has been through repeated, unimaginable tragedy and yet continued to move on, serve his country to the best of his ability while always being capable of working with his political rivals on a common solution – while never losing his dignity.
This week, Graham has made clear that his words were yesterday’s news, as he now appears to make Biden’s son, Hunter, the Republican’s main target. It provides a first taste of how egregious the upcoming months on the Hill may become while reminding all of those who, in their noble naivete, believe in a utopian unity, that politics, for many, remains a business. Nothing personal.
In a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, Graham’s Senate Legislative Council calls for the release of documents related to Joe Biden’s role and the Ukrainian investigation into his son Hunter. Of particular interest are documents and transcripts of talks between Biden and the former Ukrainian President Poroshenko during February and March 2016.
Graham and his office seek to find out whether Biden had mentioned his son in these conversations, who, at the time, had been a board member at the Ukrainian company Burisma. One of the GOP’s main talking point has been that Biden pressured former President Poroshenko to fire Ukrainian Attorney General Shokin to cease an investigation into Burisma and his son Hunter.
Moreover, the Legislative Committee has also requested the release of all documents and transcripts of talks between Devon Archer, a business partner of Hunter Biden, and then US Secretary of State John Kerry in March 2016.
Joe Biden himself stated in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday that “Lindsey is about to go down in a way that I think he’s going to regret his whole life,” before saying he was truly embarrassed for Graham, his behaviour and the way he had become a puppet for Trump, out of fear not to win his Senate re-election bid.
The degree of spin Republicans, as well as Democrats, have delivered to the public since the Biden story first emerged continues to dilute the facts. If one listened to the Republicans, Biden is the embodiment of the Washington establishment and highly corrupt. For the Democrats, on the other hand, Biden did nothing wrong.
The unbiased truth is that Hunter Biden should probably never have worked for the Ukrainian company, period. Without even going into the legal facts of the case, an inexperienced son of a Vice President receiving a high-profile job looks simply “swampy”, no matter the party affiliation.
On a human level, most people would arguably have done the same. Very few in power will not be utilizing their influence to get their offspring in promising positions but rather have them flip burgers at McDonald’s. It is a reoccurring scheme, with President Trump and his children providing yet another example.
However, there is a time and a place for everything and Joe Biden, the timing is atrocious. With the GOP appearing to make the Hunter Biden saga its weapon of choice, it poses a serious problem for Biden in the election circle.
Moreover, it indicates what direction the impeachment will take. While there is little doubt that Trump will be impeached in the House, Democrats and Independents had been expressing some hope that the twenty Senate Republicans needed to obtain a conviction were out there, ready to jump ship if Trump’s house of cards began to collapse.
Graham’s actions have evaporated this idea. Particularly as Graham has been one of the few remaining Republicans, who have dared to openly criticize Trump.
If a more or less rational Republican is now making his decision in favour of Trump under the premise of throwing his friend, the nicest person he has ever met in politics, under the bus, one can imagine how alive and well the party of Lincoln and Reagan is and how ugly the election year will begin.