CNN Makes the Case for Impeachment Inquiry
CNN just reactivated its fact-checking team
By Jonathan Turley
I recently wrote a column about five facts that justified the start of an impeachment inquiry. While I have stressed that I do not believe that there is currently sufficient evidence for an actual impeachment, I am mystified by the claim that there is not ample evidence to warrant an inquiry into possible impeachable offenses. Notably, CNN just reactivated its fact-checking team for a review of the basis for the inquiry. In so doing, the network made an iron-clad argument in support of the decision by Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
CNN presented this claim:
Claim: Biden family and associates got $20 million through shell companies
“Bank records show that nearly $20 million in payments were directed to the Biden family members and associates through various shell companies,” McCarthy said.
Facts First: This is true about Joe Biden’s family and associates, but there is no public evidence to date that the president personally received any money.
That is a fair fact check but it is also the very reason that Speaker McCarthy initiated the inquiry. We do not know where this money went, why it was sent through this labyrinth of accounts, or what it was intended to buy. That is why this is an impeachment inquiry.
The media and a number of Democrats recently admitted, belatedly, that Hunter Biden was involved in a corrupt influence peddling operation. This was made clear by Hunter associate Devon Archer who said that they were selling the “Biden brand” and that brand was Joe Biden. Clearly, these corrupt foreign figures in China, Ukraine, and Russia (including some who were charged with corruption in their own countries) thought that they were getting something other than Hunter for their money. After all, one of these figures reportedly referred to Hunter as dumber than his dog. However, pundits and politicians now insist that it was merely the “illusion” of access. In other words, these notoriously corrupt figures were chumps fleeced by Hunter and Biden associates.
However, how do we know it was an “illusion”? You have a trusted FBI informant relaying the claim of a Ukrainian that he gave Biden a “bribe,” but was told not to pay him directly. As I previously discussed, only a moron would pay Joe Biden directly for such influence or access.
CNN repeatedly returns to this fact in each of the checked claims. Again, that is precisely why we have an inquiry. Bribery is a stated basis for impeachment in the Constitution. Even CNN accepts that, if Biden received such benefits, it would be a serious offense.
It is also worth noting, as I have raised previously, that the requirement of an envelope filled with money or a deposit slip into the checking account of Joe and Jill Biden is a bit ridiculous as a condition. If millions went to Biden children and grandchildren, it is still a benefit for the President.
Joe Biden is currently worth more than $8 million. At his age, he will never spend the wealth that he has. Most people in his position are focused on ways to leave financial legacies for their family and minimize estate and death taxes. It is absurd to suggest that millions going to Joe Biden’s family would not constitute a benefit to him.
Finally, the inquiry is looking into whether some of these funds did make their way into Joe Biden’s accounts. There are indications that both Hunter and Joe received money out of some of these accounts and used shared credit cards. For example, there are indications that Hunter used his Dad’s credit card to pay for prostitutes.
That again is precisely the point of the impeachment inquiry. The House will now have to demand the personal bank and financial records of both Hunter Biden and Joe Biden. Thus far, the House Committees have been focused on following the money through bank transfers.
That is why the CNN fact check is a full-throated call for an impeachment inquiry. The nexus between this massive amount of money and President Biden is precisely what the House will now try to establish.
(TLB) published this article from Jonathan Turley with our appreciation for this perspective
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.
Header featured image (edited) credit: White House/CNN screen shot
Emphasis added by (TLB) editors
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