I haven’t followed closely the saga of Joe Biden’s alleged family conflicts in Ukraine and China when he was Vice President, but I’m aware that claims and counterclaims have been percolating through the mainstream and non-mainstream media and in the Democrat primary field.

Being in the position of just hearing about it and seeing reactions, I’m a typical news consumer. And what I’m sensing, and have sensed for some time, is that Ukraine may be to Biden’s campaign what emails were to Hillary’s campaign. And China could get there too.

On Ukraine, the NY Times wrote. Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies

It was a foreign policy role Joseph R. Biden Jr. enthusiastically embraced during his vice presidency: browbeating Ukraine’s notoriously corrupt government to clean up its act. And one of his most memorable performances came on a trip to Kiev in March 2016, when he threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders did not dismiss the country’s top prosecutor, who had been accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his own office and among the political elite.

The pressure campaign worked. The prosecutor general, long a target of criticism from other Western nations and international lenders, was soon voted out by the Ukrainian Parliament.

Among those who had a stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s younger son, who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.

Hunter Biden was a Yale-educated lawyer who had served on the boards of Amtrak and a number of nonprofit organizations and think tanks, but lacked any experience in Ukraine and just months earlier had been discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine. He would be paid as much as $50,000 per month in some months for his work for the company, Burisma Holdings.

Maybe it’s nothing, but it’s becoming something people are talking about, including Rand Paul: Americans Will Be Shocked To  Learn What Joe Biden’s Son Was Up To In Ukraine:

Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Rand Paul discussed reports that former Vice President Joe Biden faces questions of conflict of interest related to his son’s business interests in Ukraine. This week, the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani floated and eventually scrapped a plan to travel to Ukraine to ask for an investigation….

Sen. Paul told ABC that “most Americans will be dismayed that the vice president’s son was doing this while Joe Biden was actually lobbying to have this company, you know, go free of prosecution.”

The Rudy trip generated its own fumes, with Democrat candidates like Elizabeth Warren and Beto jumping to Biden’s defense, as Salon reports:

“I just think it is highly unethical for the President’s personal lawyer to go meet with officials from foreign government to see if they can influence somehow the upcoming presidential election. We’ve had enough of that and Rudy Giuliani should just back off,” Warren said in West Virginia, according to CNN….

Giuliani, however, argued that the meeting had been a “set up” by anti-Trump elements in the Ukrainian government and told Fox News on Friday that he cancelled because “it is all part of one large conspiracy that has a two or three parts to it. … So I’ve decided I’m not going to go because I’m walking into a group of people that are enemies of the president.”

He later sent Politico a text message saying, “I concluded that the President elect is being advised by people who were very vocal opponents of President Trump and peculiarly vocal supporters of Hillary Clinton.”

Warren wasn’t alone among Democrats running for president in 2020 to defend Biden. In New Hampshire O’Rourke said that Giuliani’s proposed trip to Ukraine was “so very troubling, very disappointing, and yet not a total surprise, given this President’s behavior and the pattern that he’d already set.”

Don’t take Warren’s defense of Biden at face value. It’s a calculated move to gain press coverage for her and to win over Biden voters and backers if he falters.

In a truly bizarre twist, Rudy seeking info in Ukraine about Biden’s doings in Ukraine was spun as “seeking foreign assistance” to interfere in the next election:

Will Ukraine have legs as a campaign issue? Well, lots of people and media and politicians are talking about it. Dan Bongino noticed the panicked response to the Biden accusations:

You can ALWAYS gauge the destructive impact to the Democrats of a news story based on the hack media’s reaction to it. The media panic over the Joe Biden Ukrainian collusion story is directly proportional to the damage it’s going to do to him when the truth comes out. Bank on it.

If it lasts, remember you heard it here first:

Biden’s conflicts in Ukraine are going to be the 2020 version of Hillary’s emails, and there’s nothing Democrats can do to stop it (other than denying Biden the nomination).

And then there’s the second shoe that may drop: China. Peter Schweizer writes at the NY Post, The troubling reason why Biden is so soft on China:

Why is Joe Biden so warm toward China?

Last week, Biden raised eyebrows when he shrugged off concerns over the China threat. “Come on, man,” Biden said. “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us.”

Perhaps Biden’s insouciant attitude toward the Chinese government has to do with the fact that his family does not consider them competitors but business partners.

In 2013, then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden flew aboard Air Force Two to China. Less than two weeks later, Hunter Biden’s firm inked a $1 billion private equity deal with a subsidiary of the Chinese government’s Bank of China. The deal was later expanded to $1.5 billion. In short, the Chinese government funded a business that it co-owned along with the son of a sitting vice president.

If it sounds shocking that a vice president would shape US-China policy as his son — who has scant experience in private equity — clinched a coveted billion-dollar deal with an arm of the Chinese government, that’s because it is.

The China conflict isn’t as well developed in the media as the Ukraine problem, but it’s being boosted by conservative social media:

Contrary to Hillary’s claim of a vast right-wing conspiracy, it’s unlikely anyone is coordinating this response. Conservatives and Republicans are “pouncing” and “seizing” on Biden’s potential Ukraine and China conflicts because … well … look at how Hillary’s email scandal sapped the strength from her and her campaign. As panicked as Democrats and the media are, conservatives and Republicans sense a problem that may not go away.

Maybe these are just wild conspiracy theories, connecting dots that shouldn’t be connected. But Democrats can hardly complain about that, having spent almost three years on a false Russia collusion conspiracy theory. As with the Trump collusion conspiracy theory, falsehoods can linger and cause damage to a politician even if untrue or overblown.

If we start hearing protests that people are picking on Biden’s family, that’s a tell. Remember, the people protesting coverage of Biden’s family conflicts are the same people who relentlessly attack Trump’s adult children.

In the case of Hillary Clinton, there was much truth to accusations of her malfeasance as to emails and her email server. In order for Biden-Ukraine and Biden-China to rise to the level of Hillary’s emails, there’s going to have to be a there there. And if there is a there there, there is where you can expect Trump and Republicans to go.



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