Hunter Biden’s numerous lapses in judgment represent a disturbing pattern, to be charitable. His stunt on Wednesday reveals he harbors a Trump-like defiance and has learned little from his many mistakes.
The president’s son had refused to abide by a House committee subpoena to testify behind closed doors on his sundry foreign business dealings and the potential involvement of his father. But as the Oversight Committee met to consider whether to hold Hunter Biden in contempt, he showed up unannounced to the hearing with his attorneys.
To say this is highly unusual would be an understatement. The hearing quickly degenerated into disorder.
“The spectacle was the younger Biden’s latest attempt to undercut the Republicans’ case that he has failed to comply with their subpoena,” the New York Times reported, “by demonstrating that he was making himself available to testify publicly.”
But he has failed to comply. Those ordered to testify before Congress in a potential criminal case can’t arrogantly expect to dictate the terms. Notably, Hunter Biden and his lawyers stood up and left the building after less than half an hour when it became clear that Republicans on the panel wouldn’t play his game.
Later that day, two House committees issued contempt citations against him. The matter will now be referred to the Justice Department for possible charges. On Thursday, he was on the other side of the country in Los Angeles pleading not guilty to nine counts of tax-related charges alleging that he lived a lavish lifestyle over several years while neglecting to pay Uncle Sam his share.
Hunter Biden, the indictment says, “spent this money on drugs, escorts and girlfriends, luxury hotels and rental properties, exotic cars, clothing and other items of a personal nature, in short, everything but his taxes.”
President Joe Biden insists he loves his son. Is the feeling mutual?
“If you’re sitting in the White House right now, you’re like, ‘Please, Hunter Biden. … Please stop talking in public.’ This is not helpful for any of them to be there,” former White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month when Hunter first defied the House subpoena.
But it’s hard to believe that the president had no idea Hunter Biden was planning to publicly flout the system. Yet how any of this benefits Biden the elder or his son remains a mystery. And if Hunter Biden truly is acting extemporaneously, he exhibits a narcissism that would make Donald Trump proud.
When some members of the Trump administration ignored congressional subpoenas following the Jan. 6 riots, President Biden said they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We trust his opinion in this case will remain consistent.
This commentary initially appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.