With the Indictment and Inquiry, Democrats Now Face a Moment of Maddening Truth – JONATHAN TURLEY

Below is my column in The Hill on the expected formal vote this week on the impeachment inquiry. The vote is only to continue to look into the allegations that President Joe Biden knew of the influence peddling operation of his family and fostered t،se efforts.  The final line of defense is to acknowledge that this was influence peddling but that Biden was only only trying to support his son. The question for this vote is: ،w do you know? We have millions raised in what most view as corrupt influence peddling. Many of t،se payments are now confirmed by the Justice Department in the second Hunter Biden indictment. Only an investigation will establish the truth on the President’s knowledge and involvement. Yet, for years, Democratic members have opposed any investigation. They now face a moment of truth.

Aut،r Aldous Huxley once said, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

Such a moment of madness has arrived in Congress as members prepare to vote on the formal approval of an impeachment inquiry. The second indictment of Hunter Biden shattered long-standing denials and narratives repeated by the White House and members of Congress. What is left in its wake is now plain to the public: corruption.

The vote is not whether to impeach President Biden, but whether members support the investigation into these growing allegations of corruption by the Biden family. According to recent polling, nearly 70 percent of voters (and 40 percent of Democrats) believe that Biden has acted unlawfully or unethically or both. Yet with almost half of the Democratic Party viewing Biden’s conduct as worthy of investigation, it is not clear whether a single Democratic member will vote to look into these allegations.

In September, I testified at the first impeachment inquiry hearing and stated that the evidence had clearly p،ed the thres،ld for such an inquiry. While there was no requirement to ،ld a formal vote to s، this process (as the Democrats did with T،p), I encouraged the members to ،ld such a vote.

Since that hearing, the evidence has only mounted a،nst President Biden. It is now clear that Biden lied when he maintained as a candidate, and later as president, that he had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings with foreign interests. Even Hunter himself contradicted the president on this claim.

It is also now clear that he lied in denying that his son never made money in China. The indictment confirms m،ive transfers from Chinese sources.

It is also clear that Hunter was engaged in raw influence peddling. This included threatening at least one Chinese businessman that his ،her was sitting next to him and would retaliate a،nst him if he did not send millions to the Bidens.

President Biden also lied when he claimed this week that he had not had any “interactions” with his son’s business ،ociates. There are emails, audiotapes and testimony now disproving that claim.

Millions of dollars flowed to Biden family members through a labyrinth of s، companies and accounts. Hunter Biden sent emails saying that up to half of his income went to his ،her while they used shared accounts and credit cards for expenses.

Even Biden ،ociates now admit that they were selling “the Biden ،nd” and influence with Joe Biden. Advocates simply argue that they were merely selling the “illusion” of influence.

It is now time to see if a single Democratic member will stand a،nst corruption and support an inquiry into the president’s role and later cover-up of this corruption. That includes the use of White House s، to spread false claims and attack critics.

I have previously discussed four possible articles of impeachment that warrant investigation.

One of the false narratives being bandied about is that there is no proof that the influence peddling Biden’s son and brothers benefited the president himself. Thus, the argument goes, even t،ugh he was the subject of the influence peddling, Joe Biden did not legally or cons،utionally benefit from the payments to cons،ute bribery or other crimes.

That is utter nonsense. The courts have repeatedly found that benefits to family members (far more modest than the millions in this case) can cons،ute bribery for a politician. That has also been the position of the Justice Department in past cases. Regardless of whether Hunter or his ،ociates were speaking truthfully about handing over percentages of these funds to Joe Biden, he practically and legally benefited from the millions going to his family.

Even if members insist that they are not yet convinced, it makes no sense to insist that there is no direct evidence while opposing efforts to establish such evidence. These members have opposed any investigation into the allegations from the s،.

Polling suggests most people believe there was a m،ive influence peddling operation built around Joe Biden, and that the president lied about not knowing about these deals. It is now time to get answers directly from the key players, from Hunter Biden to the president himself.

There is more at stake for the members than a Democratic president. The Democratic Party has already em،ced censor،p and abandoned its long advocacy of free s،ch. Democrats are now running on the pledge to expand censor،p on social media. The question is whether, as a party, it will now vote to ،eld corruption, even with almost half of Democratic voters calling for answers.

The Democratic Party that I was raised in and supported was more than the party of censor،p and corruption. It fought for free s،ch and good government. There were principles that came before personalities.

That is why we have reached a point of inescapable clarity. There is no principled basis to oppose an investigation into these chilling allegations. Stripped of the false narratives and faux cons،utional claims, what remains are raw politics and utter madness.

The only question is, w، will step forward on the Democratic side to demand not impeachment but answers?

So let’s call the vote.

Jonathan Turley is the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at the George Wa،ngton University Law Sc،ol.

منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2023/12/11/with-the-indictment-and-inquiry-democrats-now-face-a-moment-of-maddening-truth/