Column: Joe Biden had this impeachment thing that was bleepin’ golden, but Hunter Biden messes it up

Isn’t it odd that Joe Biden and the Democrats have somehow forgotten to use their ultimate weapon against President Donald Trump in this campaign?

How to describe this super weapon? A Chicago Democratic political crook pardoned by Trump might say Joe has thing and it’s bleepin’ golden:

Trump’s impeachment in December 2019, making him only the third president in the nation’s history to be impeached by House vote. Wouldn’t you think Biden and the Democrats would be raising that issue, relentlessly, in the battle for Trump’s reelection?

Yet you hardly hear of it anymore.

Democrats accused Trump of a quid pro quo — that he threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine unless it investigated various Biden family dealings there.

It was a terrible move by Trump to leverage aid for a political favor, on the verge of criminal. But I didn’t think it rose to the level of removal from office.

Cable news, all the news sites and social media were full of speculation 24/7. Though the Democrats didn’t have the votes to convict in the Republican-controlled Senate, they bragged that they’d use that impeachment stick and whomp Trump good in the campaign.

I had the feeling the impeachment was like an ax handle and they’d whomp him like some rabid critter you might find in your shed.

Yet now they don’t use it, one of the more curious features of this rather curious campaign.

So, what happened to the ultimate weapon?

He had met business officials in foreign countries while traveling with his father, then Vice President Joe Biden. In Ukraine, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings, a large natural gas company serving that country, and records showed he began raking in more than $50,000 a month though he had little-to-no experience in the field.

Joe Biden says he never discussed business with his son. He wasn’t involved with Burisma. Joe didn’t know anything.

Now Hunter’s made news again, with the The New York Post reporting about emails purporting to be evidence of a meeting between Joe Biden, Hunter and a Burisma adviser in 2015.

What makes it more controversial is that Facebook announced it would limit distribution of the Hunter Biden story on its platform until everything gets checked out with its reliable, and probably completely, absolutely, 100% politically-unbiased fact-checkers.

The Post reported that the meeting was revealed in an email from Vadym Pozharskyi, “an adviser to the board of Burisma” a year after Hunter began receiving Burisma cash.

According to the Post, the email reads:

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure.”

Is the story real? I don’t know. The emails were allegedly found on an old hard drive by a computer repairman in Delaware and delivered to the Post by Trump henchman Rudy Giuliani. Was the repairman’s name Vladimir Putin?

Whether the Post story stands up or not, the fact is that Biden is staying away from using Trump’s impeachment because of his son’s questionable business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere.

What we do know is that there were many news stories insisting that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton that turned out not to be true.

I suppose that in this strange 2020 campaign, some of you might still be searching for virtue in politicians. But since I was born in Chicago and spent my life covering politics, I stopped looking for virtue in them long ago.

That would be like searching for magic pixies that’ll happily scrub your bathroom, even the toilets, without complaint.

Either way, what we do know is that Hunter Biden, without experience in the oil and natural gas business, picked up loads of cash from that Burisma deal. Biden’s dealings got more scrutiny after a trip to China with his father in 2013 where Biden, we later learned, was looking to form a Chinese equity fund.

Call it a Chicago Way thing: the kid shows up with the dad with supreme government clout, and those who want the dad to play nice cut the kid in on deals.

Trump got into trouble when asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden. But it was Joe Biden bragging on video, to the Council on Foreign Relations, that he threatened withholding a billion dollars in U.S. loan guarantees unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor.

That prosecutor was investigating Burisma.

“I said … I’m leaving in six hours,” Biden bragged on that video. “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b—-. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Is that on the edge of criminality, or just politics?

If Joe Biden were running for mayor of Chicago — or for mayor of New York, San Francisco or Scranton — you can bet that good-government reformers and pundits would be investigating the deals his son got.

But Joe’s just running for president, and the impeachment inquiry, if raised, would make him have to address those deals.

So just shut up about the ultimate weapon, and hope he doesn’t become angry and threaten to kill us with pushups.

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