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‘Well, Son of a Bitch’

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Joe Biden told the Ukraine president and prime minister: “‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. [Laughter.] He got fired.”

Well, Son of a Bitch’ — Biden in Ukraine Part II

Well, son of a bitch. It turns out that there was plenty of concern within the Obama-Biden administration in respect of the dealings of the Vice President’s son, Hunter, in Ukraine. Not to mention the younger Biden’s dealings with Communist Chinese nationals. The tale is outlined in the new report released today by the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Finance Committee, chaired by Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles Grassley of Iowa.

Forgive our French, but we use the ripe language above to circle back to our editorial “‘Well, Son of a Bitch’: Ukraine Scandal Is About Biden.” We issued that editorial a year ago, as House Democrats were getting themselves worked up enough to impeach President Trump over the phone call in which he asked Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to look into the Hunter Biden doings.

The editorial focused on a Youtube video of the former vice president boasting of refusing to release foreign aid so as to strongarm Ukraine into firing a prosecutor. The veep made the boast at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he said he told the Ukraine president and prime minister: “‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. [Laughter.] He got fired.”

It will be argued, we noted a year ago, that the prosecutor Mr. Biden was concerned about — Victor Shokin — deserved to be fired. And that it wasn’t just Mr. Biden who wanted him canned. Nonetheless, Mr. Biden threatened to hold up aid to get a prosecutor fired while his family might have come under scrutiny. All other things being equal, we don’t mind saying, it wouldn’t bother us.

What makes it all so shocking is the contrast between the blitheness of the Democrats view of Mr. Biden’s threats to Ukraine and the hysterical reaction with which they greeted Mr. Trump’s — and impeached him for it. Particularly given Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma. The Senate report just released pegs at $4 million the amount of money that Burisma paid for the consulting services of the younger Mr. Biden and his partner.

All this while Vice President Biden was the public face of the Obama administration’s policy in respect of Ukraine. It clearly bothered the Obama administration. The Senate found two officials who expressed their concern — one to officials in the vice president’s office, another directly to Vice President Biden and to Hunter. Biden fils, insisting he did nothing wrong, has confessed to using “poor judgment.”

Another sign of the sensitivity of the matter is the behavior of President Obama’s state secretary at the time, John Kerry. The report found that Mr. Kerry knew of — had even been briefed on — the younger Mr. Biden’s work for Burisma but, when, in 2019, he was confronted with it at an event in New Hampshire, he “falsely,” to use the report’s word, insisted he had no knowledge of it — “none.”

The New York Sun isn’t particularly interested in the details of all of this. Our interest is in the gander. If it’s okay for the goose — Mr. Biden — to demand conditionality on aid to Ukraine, it ought to be okay if the gander — Mr. Trump — does something similar. The idea that one was motivated partly by politics and the other wasn’t strikes us as ridiculous, and all too typical of the posturing to which the Democrats are given. Good for Senators Johnson and Grassley in nailing that down.

 

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