GOP Cranks Out Whole New Disinfo Shitstorm After Hunter Biden Conviction

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 11: (L-R) First lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 11, 2024 in Wilmin... WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - JUNE 11: (L-R) First lady Jill Biden, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by his wife Melissa Cohen Biden, leave the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on June 11, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware. A federal jury has convicted Hunter Biden on all three federal felony gun charges he faced. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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Ed. Note: Nicole Lafond will be back to helming Where Things Stand soon.

You might think tacking his son’s scalp above the door would calm for at least a moment the GOP’s venomous attacks, sinister insinuations, and relentless disinformation campaign against Joe Biden.

You would be so wrong.

The sad, poignant, and troubled life of Hunter Biden played out in his trial for all to see, a story of addiction, self destruction, and family dysfunction twisted into a criminal prosecution by Special Counsel David Weiss that won a quick conviction today on federal gun charges.

There was no doubt that Hunter Biden was guilty as charged, just as there was no doubt that he never would have been charged were he not Joe Biden’s son. Let that sit for a moment. The gun charges Hunter Biden faced are rarely brought as a standalone case absent a causally related crime, such as shooting someone with the illegally acquired gun. But it got worse from there.

The original resolution of the case and a companion tax case via a plea agreement was a reasonably just outcome to a case that arose during the dark days of the Trump Justice Department. But Republicans on the Hill howled in outrage over that outcome, and the special counsel quickly retreated, wrecking Hunter Biden’s plea agreement so he could pursue additional allegations against the Bidens by an FBI informant. It turned out the informant was spreading lies about the Bidens, which Weiss ended up charging criminally in a new case. That left Hunter Biden hung out to dry as Weiss pushed the gun and tax cases to trials on opposite coasts.

Donald Trump has long seen Hunter Biden as the key to getting to Joe Biden. While Joe Biden is above reproach, Hunter Biden is not. Trump’s first impeachment was rooted in his attempts to extract dirt on Hunter Biden from Ukraine, even if that meant feeding the U.S. ally to the Russian wolf. From that initial conceit – you take down Joe Biden by taking down Hunter Biden – grew the preposterous GOP disinformation campaign with the implausible title of “Biden Crime Family.”

The investigative capacity of the House GOP majority since January 2023 has nearly exclusively focused on Hunter Biden and various arcane allegations, half truths, misleading juxtapositions, and outright falsehoods. Like QAnon and other elaborate right-wing conspiracies, the “Biden Crime Family” has its own cast of characters, jargon, and intricate subplots that double back upon themselves in a labyrinth that facts cannot penetrate. Adherents recite its catechisms without regard to truth or evidence or anything that might contradict or undermine its premises.

For the House GOP in particular, it’s been a nonstop 18 months of the chronic abuse of power in pursuit of political advantage in the 2024 election. Hunter Biden is merely a means to an end, a pawn, collateral damage in the quest to take down his father. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that having achieved the undoing of Hunter Biden today, Republicans would not pause or flinch, let alone reflect.

While Democrats debated in the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s recent conviction whether to make a big deal about it, Republicans today doubled down, claiming — get this — that the conviction of the president’s son was a giant distraction aimed at protecting Joe Biden himself. The Trump campaign itself — not a surrogate, not a proxy, not at arm’s length — issued this ghastly statement from Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt:

This trial has been nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family, which has raked in tens of millions of dollars from China, Russia and Ukraine. Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit.

Since this morning, the ghoulish Trump White House aide Stephen Miller has tweeted or retweeted at least eight times some variation of “DOJ is Joe’s election protection racket.” The Hunter Biden conviction, in Miller’s words, is “a giant misdirection.” As a mark of his ferocity, Miller tweeted more about how convicting Hunter Biden was a Deep State “op” to take the heat off President Biden than he did about the migrant “INVASION.”

House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY), a more-demented-than-Ahab character pursuing his great white whale has become a pathetic figure in recent months even in right-wing media appearances for failing to come up with the goods on Biden that he keeps promising. But Comer found renewed vigor in the Hunter Biden conviction, releasing a statement that said:

Today’s verdict is a step toward accountability but until the Department of Justice investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ corrupt influence peddling schemes that generated over $18 million in foreign payments to the Biden family, it will be clear department officials continue to cover for the Big Guy, Joe Biden.

It’s madness, but these people aren’t crazy. It’s a tactical relentlessness in service of a clear and consistent strategy of flooding American public life with an unending stream of disinformation to achieve their own political ends, primarily the acquisition of official power to further entrench themselves.

Joe Biden is the proximate target at the moment, but whoever is perceived as an “enemy” may have the withering fire of disinformation trained on them next. And we are all at risk of being collateral damage, just like Hunter Biden.

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