One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn’t care about Hunter Biden’s position at Burisma for so many years.
In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn’t do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president’s son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven’t had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.
Downie cited Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who told CNN’s Dana Bash that he didn’t know about Biden until Trump decided to investigate, despite the information being publicly available and reported on.
“But Hunter Biden’s position wasn’t just squirreled away in regulatory filings or some other bureaucratic nook,” wrote Downie, citing The Post, Politico, the AP, the BBC, and so on, for reporting the story. When the elder Biden went to Ukraine the following month, there were even more stories. Regardless of the position Republican excuses, it doesn’t look good. Either Republicans are confessing that they were asleep at the wheel and incapable of doing their jobs, or it didn’t matter to them until Biden became a presidential candidate.
“And you know what you won’t find when you read that old coverage?” Downie asked. “Republican leaders calling for investigations. The same people who were ready to investigate President Barack Obama if he hiccuped at the wrong time didn’t deem Hunter Biden a concern. Those silent included the current president. Trump, never one to shy away from criticizing the Obama administration, said not one word about Hunter Biden while his father was vice president. Yet Republicans now want us to believe that Trump’s extortion attempts were really about concern over Burisma? Give us a break.”
He noted that the sudden outrage “especially pathetic” is that the GOP was investigating everything they could during the Obama administration. While nothing Hunter Biden did was illegal and there is no evidence Burisma got anything from the Obama administration, the GOP still couldn’t have launched an investigation. There were government watchdog groups and mainstream media outlets concerned about the ethics of the move. Conservatives, however, were more focused on Biden’s discharge from the Navy for cocaine use.
If the GOP was actually concerned about corruption in Ukraine, they had five-plus years to say something. In fact, the president has had three years to do something about corruption in Ukraine if it was such a big concern of his.
“That they’re only now speaking up proves perhaps as well as anything that the president’s pressure on Ukraine was about nothing but extorting a foreign country to interfere in U.S. politics for Trump’s political benefit,” Downie closed. “And Meadows’s pitiful answer shows just how badly Republicans struggle to rebut that line of questioning. More Republicans should face it.”