Sen. Ron Johnson: Biden family’s corrupt ties to foreign oligarchs, officials met with mainstream media yawns
After Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and I published our committees’ findings of the sordid involvement of Joe Biden’s family with corrupt foreign oligarchs and officials, some big-name news outlets made a show of reacting with exaggerated yawns.
“Largely relies on previously known information,” drawled a headline in Politico. “A rehashing,” snorted the New York Times, and the Washington Post dutifully typed that “much” of the report “rehashes information” its reporters had already heard.
Our report in fact conveys a great deal of newly uncovered information, so if the legacy media claim there’s nothing new, it means either that they didn’t read our report or they’re not being honest.
Judge for yourself. You probably knew that, while Biden was vice president and the “public face” of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, his son Hunter was paid as much as $50,000 a month to sit on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian energy company. But our investigation uncovered new information, including:
- That a top official at the State Department, Amos Hochstein, was worried the Putin regime was using Hunter Biden’s association with Burisma to undermine U.S.-Ukraine policy. He spoke to Vice President Biden about his concerns because, according to Hochstein, Russians were using Hunter Biden’s role to advance disinformation. This means Joe Biden knew that his son’s business dealings cast a shadow over his own role in Ukraine policy — yet he did not resolve the conflict by changing his son’s behavior or stepping aside from his role.
- Records indicate that Hunter Biden as well as other members of the Biden family received numerous money transfers from individuals and organizations associated with potential criminal activity. Hunter Biden had business associations with Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and its People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in a massive cash flow — such as the $4,790,375.25 paid to his company in one 13-month stretch as “consulting fees.”
- Hunter Biden opened a bank account with one of those Chinese nationals, Gongwen Dong, that funded a $100,000 spending spree by himself, the vice president’s brother, James Biden, and his wife, Sara Biden. The Bidens used credit cards issued by the account to purchase $101,291.46 in airline tickets and merchandise from Apple stores, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants, among other things.
You can read the report yourself here. If you do, you’ll be more informed about the details than, say, the reporter for BuzzFeed who insisted that this was a “compilation of information already in the public sphere.”
But if that is true — if the details about the $3.5 million “consultancy agreement” between Hunter Biden’s company and a Russian billionaire, for example, were already in the public sphere and well known to America’s journalistic institutions, then where were their exposes of this information?
Where were the reporters repeatedly asking the Obama White House, day after day, how the vice president was reconciling his duties with the unseemly dealings of his family?
Where were the stories pointing out that former Secretary of State John Kerry had been briefed by his stepson and his chief of staff about Hunter Biden’s entanglement with a corrupt oligarch long before Kerry denied knowing about it?
Where were the questions and answers for Americans about how conflict of interest endangers public policy?
We know members of the mainstream media understand the danger: These same outlets have spent four years exhaustively examining the business dealings of President Trump and his family, in the process ensuring us that no great scandal lurks undiscovered.
This is as it should be in a free society. It is the media doing its job.
Unfortunately, they only aggressively investigate members of one party in our two-party system: Republicans.
After the election of President Trump in 2016, the press largely abandoned any pretense of unbiased reporting.
They collectively felt Trump was not qualified to be president and overtly engaged in an ongoing effort to end his presidency.
Their misreporting of false allegations has been widely successful. By relentlessly pushing these false narratives, Democrats and the press have had a far greater impact on our politics than any Russian disinformation possible could have without their support.
If our committees’ findings about the Bidens were old news, then why didn’t the New York Times, the Washington Post and others devote the same energy to covering that news while Biden was leading American policy toward Ukraine?
Why haven’t they looked again since Biden became the leading Democratic Party candidate for president?
Why did it fall to our committees to detail the payments from people running Chinese state-owned enterprises to the son of a potential future president? Why didn’t the legacy media bring this to light?
The answer is that either the information we uncovered is indeed news — or the news outlets dismissing it were derelict in their duty.