Can someone explain the Hunter Biden Scandal to me?

I know who Biden is, who his son is, that his son worked in (for?) Ukraine when Biden was VP, that there’s a laptop involved somehow, but I don’t know much more (factually) than that. Is there an article somewhere that purports to explain what was scandalous, which accusations are true, which ones are false, which are as yet unknown, etc here? I missed the boat on this one.

That only the RWNJ press is discussing it says a lot. Anyway, there’s a new book out about it.

Watch this at your own risk.

thanks --actually wiki seems to cover this story pretty well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biden%E2%80%93Ukraine_conspiracy_theory

Some of the accusations lodged against the whole Biden family make the accusations made against the Clintons in the 1990s look like kindergarten stuff.

During an election time in America, Republicans needed a distraction from the unprecedented, absolute corruption of Donald Trump, so they made up some unfounded, unproven bullshit about Biden (using his son) that went away as soon as the election was over. Republicans were really, very, afraid of the election because they knew that Biden could beat Trump.
Is the wikipedia page any longer than the preceding paragraph? If so, it’s a disgusting waste of electrons.

I coulda swore that Rudy claimed he had Biden’s laptop, or hard drive, and when they came for his electronics, they refused to take it. Did I just imagine that story?

That’s correct.

Of course, as a former prosecutor, he knows that if the police have a search warrant to take A, B and C, and only A, B and C, they shouldn’t come back with Z.

Scene: Hunter Biden sits with his fingers steepled, gazing intently at an oversized map displaying Russian and Ukrainian military deployments. An aide stands respectfully at his side.

Aide: “Just as you predicted, sir.”

Biden: “Yes, Winthrop. But the game is yet in its opening stages. And sometimes the pawns have a penchant for resisting the moves laid out for them. Still, all is as we could have hoped. Apprise Mr. Soros of the latest developments and prepare the jet for immediate departure. We have an appointment in Geneva that may prove quite fruitful to our current endeavor.”

So how does all this summarize? I got the feeling that Hunter was a bit opportunistic and not very admirable, maybe trying to cash in on his dad’s power, but that he probably didn’t actually have any big impact other than wasting the money that others spent on him in the hope of gaining influence. But, also, the feeling that Joe didn’t do anything especially wrong, other than perhaps failing to call out his son (and how many of us could do that?).

Is that about it?

There’s also Trump’s personal involvement. Congress had passed bill to send military aid to Ukraine in 2019. Trump refused to send the money unless the Ukrainian government launched a public investigation of the Bidens to support his allegations against them.

That’s probably a reasonably accurate summary of the reality of it. Hunter undoubtedly traded on Joe’s name throughout his career and Joe wasn’t too bothered about it, but there’s nothing to suggest that Hunter did anything overtly illegal (apart from the drugtaking thing) nor that Joe used his position inappropriately. Pretty much everything else the RW media are whining about is bullshit.

The thing that gets me is this (if I can unpick the incoherent narrative of Rudy and friends: the laptop sat in a computer repair shop for over a year, and then the hard drive got copied and given to Rudy, who then made various claims about it but refused to actually release it. If there was anything actually incriminating on it from Hunter Biden, they’d have released it to the world by now. Instead, they’ve hung onto it so long that the provenance of everything on it must be ridiculously compromised by now. It’s just a nonsense used to distract from the crimes of Trump and his family.

To be sure, Hunter is a bit of a cad. I suspect Burisma put him on the board in hopes that he would have some influence in Washington due to his father. I doubt that he had much if any influence. So he got paid a shitload of money for doing quite little, which makes him more of a fit in the previous first family. He used his name to get a cushy well paying job. The right wing likes to say that Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainians to fire their former head prosecutor so that he wouldn’t investigate Hunter. There seems to be no basis for that- everyone in the western world wanted him fired for being corrupt. The investigation into Burisma had been dormant long before Joe Biden made demands for Shokin’s dismissal. This whole “scandal” is nothing more that wishful thinking and fabrication by the right wing.

Then of course Hunter had a laptop. And he had it repaired but failed to pick it up. So the repair shop gives it to Giuliani because- reasons. And Guiliani found so much incriminating stuff on the laptop that he- wait a minute he never told anyone what, if anything, he found. But he had a laptop and that’s enough for Republicans to hate him just as they hate Hillary because- derrrrrp, something something emails.

New York Times op-ed today.

I think there is a tenuous connection between Hunter Biden’s activities/leveraging his name, etc. to potential scandal. And that’s it. In this case, there may be some smoke, but no fire - should anyone look beyond the headline.

However, the rightwing-o-sphere needed something on Biden, and the MSM was so mean to Don Jr and his siblings - what better target than Biden’s son!?!? And the whole laptop thing was just perfect, since “Hilary’s emails” so captured the rubes’ attention - both of them ‘tech-y’ enough to be able to make stuff up out of whole cloth, that no one would bother to understand the facts.

I will say that this scandal doesn’t make Joe Biden’s adult son look very good, but the attempts to tie Joe Biden into the scandal are pretty much bullshit.

Some of Hunter Biden’s emails make reference to “The Big Guy”, which the RW media claims to be Joe Biden. When the NY Post published the story, they published excerpts from emails that referred to “The Big Guy”. The people pushing out this story made several attempts to get other news outlets, such as The WSJ ( which isn’t particularly liberal) to cover the story, but they declined because they were not given access to the material they would need to investigate, such as the full text of some of the emails as well as material that would help authenticate them. Michael Bender of the WSJ wrote extensively about this in his book.

I managed to find the full text of the emails around Ukraine, and the sections they buried infer that “The Big Guy” is a Ukrainian oligarch, specifically they referred to the 2014 Ukrainian election as being the most important event “the Big Guy” was facing. My opinion is that The Big Guy in those emails was Burisma oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky.

I have never seen the full text of the emails around the deal Hunter Biden was trying to execute in China, but one reporter that did said similarly that there were indications that “the Big Guy” was a Chinese national. Those emails were discussion around a business deal that included a percentage for someone Biden and his partners referred to as The Big Guy.
Even if those emails were referring to Joe Biden, the deal didn’t go through and there is no indication that Joe Biden was aware of the pending deal.

The idea that the Biden’s were involved in some sort of Ukrainian corruption is one steaming pile of bullshit. While it was unseemly for the son of a high level politician to join the board of a Ukrainian company, there was nothing inherently corrupt about an American taking such a position, in fact the US, as part of their anti-corruption initiative, actively encouraged Ukrainian companies to install Westerners on their boards. It was an appealing idea for a certain type of American investor that had a very high tolerance for risk.

The narrative that “Joe Biden pushed for the firing of the prosecutor that was investing Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma” is a prime example of a statement that is technically true and completely misleading. The owner of Burisma had stolen a bunch of money from the Ukrainian people, which had been frozen in a British bank account, with the intent of seizing it and returning it to its rightful owners. The Ukrainian prosecutor investigating the case was “in on it” with Zlochevsky and slow-walked the case, letting a crucial deadline pass, and the seized money was returned to Zlochevsky, much to the dismay of British and US law enforcement.

Here is a good article on the case.

Joe Biden, in his capacity as VP of the United States, pushed for the firing of the prosecutors that had tanked the case against Zlochevsky, DESPITE the fact that his son was on the board of Zlochevsky’s company.

The fact that this was widely promoted in the RW media as “Biden tried to get the guy that was investigating Burisma fired because his son worked for them” is so intentionally misleading and counterfactual that it makes all their efforts to smear Biden with corruption charges suspect.

Holy shit! The right wing news media lied?? Mark your calendars, people.

Oh, yeah! I’d forgotten all about this angle!

And I have a personal connection to this, however faint and inconsequential. I had done business with the same computer repair shop and the guy who ran it, whom I remember as kind of dodgy. That’s all I have. But, if there was a chain of custody that included that guy, I’d be inclined to doubt it, even if there wasn’t a political angle.

And that’s why the NYT opinion piece linked earlier in the thread is bullshit as well. Bret Stephens is still pushing the “Big Guy” lie even though it’s been public knowledge that the “Big Guy” is not Joe Biden for a year and a half.

If someone had discovered that, say, Ivanka Trump had left a laptop at a repair shop stuffed with emails about 10 percent being held “for the big guy”— to use a reference that appears to be to Joe Biden, which comes from one of the emails found on Hunter’s computer — would the story have been treated with kid gloves?

Actually, the reason this all bubbled up again is because the NYT finally acknowleged that the laptop and emails are legit.

At the time the story first broke, the MSM and Biden campaign claimed it was all Russian disinformation, and the NYP actually had one of their social media accounts suspended because they published the story. Now, long after the election, the NYT mentioned, deep in some story, that they have authenticated the laptop emails. Naturally, this provoked some bittersweet gloating in RW circles.

Re “The Big Guy”, I don’t know who it really referred to, but the notion that it referred to Joe Biden is not some out there notion, because Tony Bobulinski - one of the partners on the deal and copied on the relevant emails - said it referred to Joe Biden. I don’t know how reliable this Bobulinski is, but I don’t see how you can just ignore testimony from a guy who knew based on speculation that it’s really this or that other guy, and in any event the notion that it was JB is not based on just random speculation by RW media.

Note that even if “The Big Guy” was JB, it doesn’t necessarily follow that JB did anything wrong. I’ve not followed the nitty-gritty of this story closely enough for that assessment.

It seems to be 2022’s version of Benghazi.