For years, President Joe Biden has maintained a Sgt. Schultz defense to allegations that his family has profiteered on influence peddling with foreign countries and companies.
Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, Biden maintains that he “knows nothing, nothing” about Hunter Biden’s business deals. He recently doubled down on this defense by even denying that family members received money from foreign sources. He repeated his denial even after the release of financial transfer reports from his own administration showing millions transferred from China. Now, emails have emerged that show that Biden personally helped draft responses to the controversial deals in 2015 when he was Vice President. It also appears that Biden officials like former Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield knew of his role as the President continued to deny any involvement.
The National Archives has released emails that show that then-Vice President Joe Biden approved an official statement in December 2015 about Hunter Biden’s position on a Ukrainian energy company’s board.
Biden has denied any knowledge or involvement in these business dealings at least seven times as a presidential candidate and as president.
For years, the media has continued to report President Biden’s repeated claim that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” At the outset, the media only had to suspend any disbelief that the president could fly to China as Vice President with his son on Air Force 2 without discussing his planned business dealings on the trip.
Of course, the emails on the laptop quickly refuted this claim. However, the media buried the laptop story before the election or pushed the false claim that it was fake Russian disinformation.
Some in the media have repeated those denials, including most recently the Associated Press which, in 2022, falsely stated that there was no evidence Biden ever discussed the deals with his son despite an actual audiotape proving that claim to be false.
The audiotape showed President Biden leaving a message for Hunter specifically discussing coverage of those dealings:
“Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance give me a call, I love you.”
Some of us have written for two years that President Biden’s denial of knowledge is patently false. It was equally evident that the Biden family was selling influence and access. There are emails of Ukrainian and other foreign clients thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. There are photos from dinners and meetings that tie President Biden to these figures, including a 2015 dinner with a group of Hunter Biden’s Russian and Kazakh clients.
People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions: “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.”
Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes.
Bobulinski has given multiple interviews in which he stated that he met twice with Joe Biden to discuss a business deal in China with CEFC China Energy Co. That would seem obvious evidence. In addition, the New York Post reported on a key email that discussed “the proposed percentage distribution of equity in a company created for a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.” That was the email on March 13, 2017 that included references of “10 held by H for the big guy.”
The new emails show that, as early as 2015, Bedingfield told Hunter’s top financial lieutenant Eric Schwerin via email that Joe Biden approved a statement regarding Hunter’s board position. Yet, for years, Biden’s communications office repeated his denial of any involvement or knowledge. That stands in contradiction to Bedingfield’s 2015 email acknowledging that “VP signed off on this — will give this quote to reporters in my name shortly.” Bedingfield left the White House in 2023.
The White House has continued the categorical denials. When confronted by Fox News’ Peter Doocy on the transfer records showing millions sent from China, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded:
“Look, I’m just not going to respond to that from here. Look, we have heard from House Republicans for years and years and years how — the inaccuracies and lies when it comes to this issue. And, I don’t even where to begin to even answer that question because, again, it’s been lies and lies and inaccuracy for the past couple of years and I’m just not going to get into it from here.”
The only reason that Biden would even attempt to maintain this clearly false defense is that he could count on a supportive media to blunt any attacks and limit inquiries.
Of course, there is a difference with the Sgt. Schulz defense.
Schultz was harmless and comical. The Biden influence peddling allegation is neither. Despite the striking lack of interest of many in the media, this is about millions of dollars paid to the First Family by foreign sources, including some with foreign intelligence ties.
Influence peddling has long been the favored form of corruption in Washington. While many Democrats repeatedly stress that influence peddling is not criminal, it is corrupt and the Bidens appear to be a class in themselves. Yet, even with the clear contradiction of the President’s repeated statements to the public, Democrats still oppose any investigation into the alleged influence peddling.
What made Sgt. Schultz funny is precisely why the Biden defense is collapsing. The refusal of the media to see what is now in plain view will convince no one. At some point, Democratic leaders will have to recognize the obvious or join the Bidens (and many journalists) in the cast of this theater of the absurd.