Sen. Rand Paul is not happy about impeachment, particularly when it comes to rhetoric involving who’s making money off of access to power.
The libertarian-leaning Republican from Kentucky appeared Tuesday on Fox News, the same day that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer held a news conference in which he accused both Donald Trump and his children of making money off of the presidency.
The accusations had to do with former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming tell-all in which he reportedly claims he was concerned about the president granting favors to leaders in China and Turkey, countries not known for their dedication to democracy.
The book isn’t out yet and the accusations, while serious, still seem a bit more like a promotional campaign than something the Democrats ought to be basing their hopes on.
Schumer was willing to extrapolate much further, however, speculating that the president and his family had used the deals to profit from the office.
“Now, just look at the other New York Times report last night about Ambassador Bolton’s book,” Schumer said at the news conference. “Several members of the administration had concerns about the president’s dealings with autocrats.”
As Fox News reported, Bolton’s new book “claims the former adviser wrote that the president told him in August that he wanted to continue to freeze almost $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including the Biden family.”
“However, the Department of Justice said in a statement Monday night that the Times report ‘grossly’ mischaracterized the exchange.”
On one hand, nobody expected Schumer to buy the DOJ’s claim. On the other hand, nobody expected him to insinuate the president and his family were somehow making money off of despots.
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“Did the president have financial interests at stake when he was talking to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or … [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] and others?” Schumer said.
“Maybe his kids had some economic interest at stake. And, did it impact our nation’s foreign policy with those countries?” he added. “Those questions are not the subject of the president’s impeachment trial, but this report should be a warning sign to any Republican.”
Given the strangeness of certain aspects of the statement, it was difficult to tell what one was to infer about Schumer’s remarks.
If the line about Trump’s kids was partially sarcasm designed to minimize Hunter Biden’s Burisma connections, it fell flat with the same kind of leaden thud that Adam Schiff’s “parody” version of President Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president did.
If it wasn’t sarcasm, this is indeed a curious charge, given the fact that no one has yet accused Trump or his children of doing this.
That makes this seem a bit less like spitballing and a bit more like defamation of character.
Whatever the case, Paul has a slightly more plausible theory of who’s making money off of politics, at least in this situation: Bolton and the Bidens:
“You know, I’m offended and shocked that Schumer would be so scurrilous as to accuse the president and his children of making money illegally off of politics when the only people we know who have actually made money off this have been Hunter Biden and Joe Biden,” a visibly irritated Paul said on “America’s Newsroom.”
“So Hunter Biden makes a million dollars a year, that’s documented, but Schumer simply creates and makes up and says, ‘Oh, maybe the president’s kids are making money,’” he continued.
This is indeed an interesting point inasmuch as Hunter Biden would be nigh unemployable if he didn’t share a last name with one of the most powerful individuals in American politics.
It’s not just Ukrainian natural gas concerns that have curiously offered Hunter Biden employment despite the fact his qualifications were dubious at best. In fact, plenty of his jobs seemed curiously tied to interests close to Joe Biden’s career.
I’m not writing a non-fiction novella here so I can’t possibly include every single instance of suspicious synchronicity between Hunter Biden’s employment history and Joe Biden’s legislative interests, but consider the fact that Hunter was on the payroll of credit card giant MBNA at the same time Joe Biden, in his role as a Democratic senator from Delaware, was aggressively promoting legislation which would make it more difficult to discharge credit card debt in bankruptcy.
(In fact, Joe Biden’s fealty to the Delaware-based banking titan was so notorious he was derisively known for many years as “the senator from MBNA,” meaning Hunter could perhaps have been considered a legislative assistant.)
Another person making money from politics, according to Paul, is Trump’s former national security advisor.
“Look, a month ago, he didn’t want to testify in the House. Why? Maybe his book wasn’t finished. Now his book is finished. He wants to testify,” he said.
“John Bolton is making money as we speak. He’s probably already gotten a several million dollar advance for this book. He’s making money by testifying against the president,” Paul said.
“The only people we know that have actually made money: Hunter Biden and now John Bolton. And, they’re not objective. John Bolton’s not objective in any way now that he’s been cashing million-dollar checks. To have Schumer come up and say out of the blue, ‘Maybe the president’s kids are making money,’ with no evidence at all, that’s defamation and they ought to sue him,” Paul added.
“There’s nothing in the record about the president’s kids,” the Kentucky Republican said.
“So Schumer just has created this whole thing out of whole cloth and said, ‘Oh, well why don’t we go after the president’s kids? We don’t know yet whether or not the president’s dealings with the Chinese president have something to do with the Trumps making money.’ He just made it up. Completely made it up! That is defamation of character, and he ought to go to court and be sued for it.”
There’s zero chance of that happening — although, quite frankly, if Trump decided to go with that strategy, I think we might finally have some evidence he used his office to get some money.
Instead of getting it from Xi or Erdogan, however, he’d be getting it from Chuck Schumer.
Hunter Biden and Burisma might not be the most egregious example of corruption in Ukraine, but give any Democrat a polygraph and ask them a) whether they thought Hunter Biden had any qualifications to serve on the board of Burisma and b) whether Joe Biden had a clear conflict of interest in calling for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who once investigated Burisma, however corrupt said prosecutor may be, and you’d either have a demonstrably lying Democrat or a demonstrably faulty polygraph machine.
As for John Bolton, there are plenty of conservatives who have held him in high respect, including this writer.
He’s had an admirable career.
He also left the Trump administration under the saltiest of circumstances and is currently promoting an inside-the-Beltway tell-all with a very felicitous release date.
As these tell-alls go, the most salacious allegations are always leaked in the vaguest of terms to the publications most inclined to make the biggest deal out of them.
Are the accusations inaccurate or exaggerated? Nobody can be sure, but they’re certainly making John Bolton money.
But that’s the great thing about Schumer’s remarks.
Is there any evidence Hunter Biden benefited financially from his surname?
Is there any evidence John Bolton is benefiting from the controversy surrounding his book? ¡Por supuesto!
Is there any evidence the Trump family is benefiting from politics.
Guess which one of these Schumer decided to accuse of abusing their office to make money?
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