2024 Has Become the Scandal Election

From a story on axios.com by Stef W. Kight and David Lindsey headlined “2024 has become the scandal election”:

America is headed full-steam into an election soaked with an unprecedented mix of scandal, high-stakes court cases and possible impeachment hearings.

Why it matters: The two most likely finalists for president in 2024, former President Trump and President Biden, both will be burdened by politically fraught legal cases that together involve a trio of special counsels.

Zoom in: The unprecedented dynamic offers the potential for a split screen of American politics, with partisan media going all-in on their trial(s) of choice.

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment Friday of Special Counsel David Weiss of Delaware to investigate Hunter Biden means a once nearly-resolved case about overdue taxes and gun charges could go to trial just as the campaign kicks into gear.

It also raises the possibility of more charges against Hunter at a time when House Republicans are aggressively exploring whether his business deals involved improper acts that provide a basis for impeaching President Biden.

The president’s attorneys reportedly are negotiating the terms of a possible interview between him and another special counsel, Robert Hur, who’s investigating Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents.

Trump already faces three criminal trials next year — on charges involving hush money to a porn star, his handling of classified documents and his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

If Special Counsel Jack Smith gets his way, Trump’s trial in D.C. — over charges he conspired to overturn the election — could start two weeks before the Iowa caucuses in January. Trump’s classified documents trial, also prosecuted by Smith, is scheduled for May in Florida.

A fourth Trump indictment seems likely soon in Georgia, where a grand jury has been investigating whether he tried to overturn that state’s election results in 2020.

Between the lines: Weiss’ appointment in Hunter Biden’s case means that investigation — which seemed to be ending until a proposed plea deal fell apart last month — will drag on, and result in a legally required public report at the end.

It also could throw a wrench into Republicans’ push for Weiss, who was prosecuting Hunter’s case in Delaware, to testify in front of a House committee after the August recess.

The Justice Department typically refrains from discussing ongoing investigations. Neither Robert Mueller nor John Durham testified before Congress until the close of their probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and the FBI’s handling of that inquiry, respectively.

“Whether in Delaware, Washington, D.C., or anywhere else, we expect a fair resolution not infected by politics and we’ll do what is necessary on behalf of Mr. Biden to achieve that,” Hunter’s attorney, Chris Clark, said in a statement.

What we’re watching: House Republicans are ratcheting up the pressure on what they see as bias at the Justice Department and unethical Biden family business dealings — while laying the groundwork to impeach the president.

A spokesperson for House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called Weiss’ appointment “just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption.”

House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) called it part of “efforts to attempt a Biden family cover-up.”

It’s been a rough few weeks for Hunter Biden, a central target of GOP investigators who are intent on finding wrongdoing to link to the Democratic president.

After Hunter’s plea deal fell apart, his former business associate Devon Archer testified to Congress that on several occasions when Joe Biden was vice president, Hunter had put his dad on speaker phone with Hunter’s business partners.

Archer described those conversations as small talk that didn’t specifically involve business deals — but said Hunter gave potential partners the illusion of access to Joe Biden.

Republicans continue to publish memos revealing millions of dollars flowing from foreign sources to Hunter and other Biden associates.

The bottom line: GOP lawmakers haven’t drawn a clear line from Hunter’s actions to wrongdoings by Joe Biden, and Democrats have been quick to distance the president from his son’s decisions.

Now, though, Hunter’s problems will continue to cast a shadow over his father’s bid to stay in the White House.

Speak Your Mind