Mr. President, release the emails
More than a few times, President Biden has said that he never talked to his son Hunter about Hunter’s business. Even before he was president, in September 2019, he said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
He has often since repeated some version of that denial.
If that’s true, that would probably make Biden the only father in the entire United States who hasn’t at some point said to his grownup son, “How’s your job coming along? You like what you’re doing?” Or maybe even, “And while we’re on the subject, what exactly are you doing?”
And if that father were to read in the papers that his son was making millions of dollars amid accusations he was involved in shady business dealings, there’s a near 100 percent chance that the father would ask his son, “What the heck is going on?”
But if we are to believe him, then Biden never asked any of those questions. I don’t like calling a president of the United States a liar, so let’s just say that his story is very hard to believe.
And now the saga of what did Joe know about Hunter’s businesses and when did he know it has taken a new turn. The Southeastern Legal Foundation has sued the National Archives and Records Administration under the Freedom of Information Act, calling on the agency to release more than 5,000 emails sent by Biden when he was vice president under the pseudonymous email addresses of firstname.lastname@example.org, JRBWare@gmail.com, and Robert.L.Peters@pci.gov.
This raises a few questions. First, why would a sitting vice president use fake names attached to private email addresses, apparently designed to get around searches of government records? Second, what exactly is he hiding?
Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have been trying to get those emails as far back as mid-2021, after Hunter’s abandoned laptop showed that the vice president’s office had used private email accounts to send government information to his son.
House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) is trying to get access to all of the emails Biden sent using fake names, as well as unredacted versions of the few that have already been made public.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “One email alerted Hunter to a call the Vice President made to then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko—at the same time Hunter was on the board of Ukrainian gas giant Burisma. Another laptop entry shows Hunter using his business email in 2014 to write to his father’s ‘robinware’ account, asking the veep to call him before making a specific government staffing decision. Joe replied: ‘Re Johnny call me right away Dad.’”
The president has a lot of power. He can hire and fire people. He can sign executive orders. He has the bully pulpit that can command attention not only here in the U.S., but all over the world. So why won’t he call whoever he has to call and simply say, “Release the entire batch of those emails, now?”
Again, what’s the president trying to hide?
A poll by the Associated Press/NORC tells us that most Americans don’t want Joe Biden to run again. Only 26 percent of those polled want Biden to run for reelection, while 73 percent said he shouldn’t run. 52 percent of Democrats don’t want him to run.
As of now, Biden isn’t paying attention to those polls. But what if we learn that he knew a lot more than he’s saying about his son’s business dealings? At the absolute least, he had to know that his son was peddling the family name for big money. He’d have to be willfully ignorant of what was going on not to notice something as obvious as that. But what if those emails, sent under fake names, reveal that Joe Biden was actually helping his son cash in on the Biden name?
Yes, there are some “ifs” there, but there may come a time when Democratic Party leaders in Congress go to the White House and tell the president that it’s time to go; that it would be better if he dropped out of the race now when he can still declare himself the greatest president since Franklin Roosevelt than wait until bad news forces him out.
Something like that has happened before, when GOP congressional leaders went to the White House and told Richard Nixon that he no longer had support among Republicans in the House and that impeachment was inevitable. Nixon resigned the next day.
If there’s nothing incriminating in those emails, if there’s nothing that ties Joe Biden to Hunter’s slimy operation, wouldn’t he have released them by now? But he hasn’t. So it’s reasonable, I think, to ask: Why not?
Bernard Goldberg is an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning writer and journalist. He was a correspondent with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” for 22 years and previously worked as a reporter for CBS News and as an analyst for Fox News. He is the author of five books and publishes exclusive weekly columns, audio commentaries and Q&As on his Substack page. Follow him @BernardGoldberg.