Opinion: Hunter’s Trial Reveals Trump’s Big Lie About Biden and Justice

Gun Rights

The kickoff of jury selection in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial might be hurtful and embarrassing for Joe Biden’s family, but it is also a timely refutation of Donald Trump’s central campaign premise: the notion that Biden has weaponized the justice system.

In the wake of Trump’s criminal conviction in the New York hush money case last week, Trump declared that, “This was done by the Biden administration in order to wound or hurt an opponent, a political opponent.”

Never mind that Biden doesn’t have any jurisdiction over the Manhattan District Attorney’s office—and never mind that 12 jurors unanimously voted to convict him on 34 felony counts—Trump constantly repeats this canard.

But let’s assume for a minute that Biden is the evil puppet master—not just in terms of telling his attorney general whom to target in federal cases, but also in terms of pulling the strings in states like New York and Georgia.

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If Biden had that kind of power, wouldn’t he have already made this pesky case against Hunter Biden disappear?

Surely a president powerful and corrupt enough to summon the full weight of the judicial system against a former president could find a way to avoid the messiness of seeing his son raked through the proverbial coals.

Biden obviously loves Hunter (probably a little too much). On Monday, for example, he put out the following statement: “I am the President, but I am also a Dad. As the President, I don’t and won’t comment on pending federal cases, but as a Dad, I have boundless love for my son, confidence in him, and respect for his strength.”

And yet, this trial is happening. What is more, the stakes are high. According to CBS News, “[Hunter] Biden faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.”

That’s pretty serious stuff, especially when you consider that the alleged crime in question was checking the wrong box on a gun purchasing form. (Note: Hunter checked “no” when asked if he was an “unlawful user or addict.” Where’s the National Rifle Association when you need them?)

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives at the federal court with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, on the opening day of his trial on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 3, 2024.

Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, arrives at the federal court with his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, on the opening day of his trial on criminal gun charges in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 3, 2024.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Now, before we go any further, I think Hunter Biden is a scummy person, that he is fair game to investigate, and that if he’s found guilty, he should be held accountable for his actions.

This last part is important. And as far as we know, Joe Biden agrees. At least, he hasn’t done anything to influence or impede this case.

Of course, Hunter isn’t the only Democrat in the Justice Department’s crosshairs. The feds have indicted Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who is reportedly seeking re-election as an independent, for allegedly accepting bribes from a foreign government, and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and his wife on allegations they accepted bribes from businesses in Mexico City and Azerbaijan.

But we’re supposed to believe that Biden’s DOJ only goes after Republican politicians, I suppose.

The point here is that Trump’s principal assertion—that he is being unfairly targeted by Joe Biden—doesn’t hold water. It never did.

But, of course, it’s merely the latest example of Trump accusing an innocent person of doing something that he, himself, is actually guilty of doing (or threatening to do). Trump is the master of projection.

Trump was the one who ran in 2016 on the slogan, “Lock her up!” Trump continued this in 2020, when he said, “Lock up the Bidens. Lock up Hillary.” More recently, Trump’s attorney argued that a president could be immune from prosecution if he targeted (for assassination!) his political rival.

Trump and his supporters have zero problem with using power for retribution—so long as they are the ones wielding the power.

Matt Lewis

Even if you believe Joe Biden is guilty of weaponizing the judicial system (again, I don’t), Biden would merely be guilty of doing the things that Trump believes are both legal and appropriate.

Of course, the problem here is that Trump follows the “retribution for me, not for thee” philosophy. This is to say that Trump and his supporters have zero problem with using power for retribution—so long as they are the ones wielding the power.

Indeed, their whole amoral value system seems entirely contingent on who is doing what.

The most recent example of this may be the proliferation of Trump supporters who tweeted pictures of upside-down American flags in protest of Trump’s conviction. These same people, mind you, were up in arms about the lack of patriotism when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem to protest police violence.

Along those lines, one could easily imagine Trump supporters defending the actions of Hunter Biden, were he named “Hunter Trump.”

Likewise, one could easily imagine a President Trump ordering the DOJ not to pursue what he would surely call “rigged and bogus charges” against his son, Hunter.

Instead, Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, is about to go on trial—and he may well be convicted. And that being a very real possibility proves that Donald Trump’s most audacious claim about Joe Biden is yet another Big Lie.

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