Commentary: Unraveling Allegations of Biden Family Influence Peddling Through Tony Bobulinski’s Testimony

Tony Bobulinski
by Roger Kimball


The entertainment committee never sleeps.  Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski came to Congress a few days ago to testify before the House Oversight Committee about Hunter, his uncle Jim Biden, and the “Big Guy,” Mr. 10 percent, Joseph R. Biden himself.  It was an extraordinary performance. Calm. Deliberate. Detailed. Deadly. Mr. Bobulinski’s written statement shows what care he took in marshaling facts and evidence.

But it was his in-person testimony that made popping the corn worthwhile.  Tony Bobulinski and Congressman Jay Raskin. Tony Bobulinski and Congressman Dan Goldman.  He called both liars to their faces. It was delicious. It was also true.  Representative Raskin spluttered, stalled, and looked like he might burst into tears. He later, out of the line of fire, pouted about Mr. Bobulinski’s “outlandish and baseless accusations,” but that was just a feckless face-saving gambit.

Maybe the most entertaining moment of the afternoon came when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did her best Minnie Mouse impersonation and demanded to know what crimes, if any, Mr. Bobulinski was accusing Joe Biden of having committed. “RICO is not a crime!” she squeaked.  It was priceless.  The “greatest deliberative body in the world” in action, ladies and gentlemen. The country’s in the very best of hands.

But, as the old song said, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” In any normal polity, Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony would have been devastating to its targets. But in our polity, it was just entertainment.  If Congressmen Raskin and Goldman were capable of embarrassment, they would be squirming with shame.  But they are not so endowed, which means that they will emerge unscathed by any pangs of conscience. After all, they are still in office. Perhaps they will even be reelected and continue suckling at the public teat for the rest of their adult lives.

There will be a lot of tongue-clucking. You’ll see many columns rehearsing the details of Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony. At the end of the day, though, it won’t matter what evidence Mr. Bobulinski adduced.  The Justice Department is run by the State Party, aka the Democrats, and the DOJ is going to do exactly nothing about what Rudy Giuliani colorfully baptized the Biden Crime Family.

Besides, we had heard it all before.  This was not Mr. Bobulinski’s first rodeo.  Back before the 2020 election, he was interviewed by Tucker Carlson, and he laid out essentially the same allegations then. Among other things, Mr. Bobulinski showed, with copious contemporary documentation, that various Chinese entities had invested heavily in the Bidens via various of Hunter’s business enterprises. We are talking about tens of millions of dollars.

Why would the Chinese do this? To capitalize on the Biden name.  That’s all that Hunter had to offer. It was, Mr. Bobulinski said, his “only qualification.” But it was quite a lot.  Juliet was wrong when she deprecated the power of names. “What’s in a name?” she asked. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  Hunter Biden could have schooled her.  In his case, the name meant access, back then, to the Vice President of the United States. Later, of course, Joe Biden became president.

So what he had here was influence-peddling of the most spectacular kind. When influence is peddled, obligations are incurred. When obligations are incurred, favors can be expected. When the favors are owed, directly or indirectly, to the Chinese Communist Party, you want to be sure that the people in debt are not, you know, presiding over the government of the United States of America.

You might have thought that Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony to Tucker Carlson would have been a sensation.  But it wasn’t. It barely registered. Most of the press either violently disparaged the revelations or willfully ignored them. The day after the interview aired, a search for “Bobulinski” on the CNN site produced a search-not-found result.

During the course of his long interview with Tucker Carlson, Bobulinski laid out the entire bizarre story of his association with the Bidens, including two face-to-face meetings with Joe Biden in the company of his brother and son. Every detail was carefully minuted. Bobulinski gave times and places, contemporaneous emails, texts, and other communications sent to him from the Bidens and their business partners.

Joe Biden has repeatedly denied ever talking to his son about his business dealings. He knew nothing about it, he said. That seemed highly improbable on its face. Bobulinski shows that it was an outright lie. Two communications stand out. In one, the equity stakes in a new company are broken out. The last item indicates that 10 percent will be held by “H”—that’s “H” for Hunter—for “the big guy,” which, along with “my Chairman,” is Hunterese for Joe Biden. The second communication of note is the direction that everyone involved had to maintain “plausible deniability” about Joe’s involvement. That, said Jim Biden, was all that would be necessary should Joe decide to run for president.

The Bidens thought they had insured such an alibi. Joe would just keep doing his Sergeant Schulz imitation—“I know nothing, nothing”—and a compliant press would leave it at that. Their conspiracy of silence about Hunter’s “laptop from hell” was impressive. Twitter shut down the Twitter feed of The New York Post, which broke the story. NPR wouldn’t cover it and explained that it would be a “waste” of its listeners’ time. Facebook sharply limited dissemination of the story.

That was in 2020, in the run-up to the election. How about now, in the run-up to the 2024 election?  Once again, I suspect, we’ll see a bit of hand-wringing in the conservative media, followed by… crickets.

At a time when Google can quietly change the online definition of “bloodbath” lest stories critical of the media’s efforts to smear Donald Trump over using the word get traction, anything is possible. Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony before Congress was devastating, but already it is being memory-holed.  The Department of Justice is supposed to be non-partisan.  The fate of Mr. Bobulinski’s testimony, like the corresponding fate of Donald Trump at the hands of the DOJ, shows that it is just a Democratic tool.

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Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books. He is the author and editor of many books, including The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s Press), The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art’s Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee). Most recently, he edited and contributed to Where Next? Western Civilization at the Crossroads (Encounter) and contributed to Against the Great Reset: Eighteen Theses Contra the New World Order (Bombardier).
Image “Tony Bobulinski” by GOP Oversight.


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