Impeachment Hypocrisy? Again?

House Republicans are pursuing an impeachment “inquiry” against President Biden, largely on the grounds that his son, Hunter Biden, cashed in on his father’s name. While millions of dollars were paid by foreign entities to Hunter Biden and others while Joe Biden was vice-president, so far, the House Republican Oversight Committee has found no financial links to President Biden.

House Republican Oversight Committee Chair James Comer insists that payments to family members to corruptly influence others can constitute a bribe.

There are several problems with this. First, there’s no evidence Joe Biden benefitted. Second, there’s no evidence that he was influenced to do something. Third, Washington, D.C., is flooded with family members cashing in on elected officials’ positions, and that’s been the case for generations on all sides of the aisle.

But what’s even more hypocritical is that the House Republican Oversight Committee is ignoring even more obvious and blatant examples of corruption in Republican appointees to the Supreme Court.

Over the last twenty years, Clarence Thomas accepted from wealthy individuals at least 38 vacations, 26 private jet flights, eight flights by helicopter, a dozen VIP passes to sporting events, as well as stays at luxury resorts in Florida and Jamaica. In addition, Harlan Crow, a Texas billionaire, not only paid for many of Thomas’ vacations, but also his mother’s house and a nephew’s tuition payments. Wayne Huizenga, another billionaire, provided cost-free flights on his personal jet to Thomas.

Justice Samuel Alito went on a fishing trip to Alaska with hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, a Republican donor with cases before the Supreme Court. Alito traveled to the remote Alaska site on Singer’s private jet, along with Leonard Leo, a longtime leader of the conservative Federalist Society. And the salmon fishing lodge that they all stayed at was owned at the time by another big Republican donor, Robin Arkley II, who footed the bill for Alito’s lodging. Alito did not subsequently recuse himself from a case involving Singer’s legal interests before the court.

Neither justice disclosed any of this.

Justice Neil Gorsuch tried for years to unload a 40-acre property he co-owned in Colorado. Nine days after he was confirmed to the Supreme Court, the property was purchased by the CEO of a law firm that has had numerous cases before the court — and whose clients Gorsuch has sided with much more often than not.

Now, while it may be that Congress cannot “regulate” the ethics and conduct of Supreme Court Justices, Congress can impeach justices and remove them from the bench – but there’s not a word or a hint that the Republicans have any interest in looking to impeach justices who have documented evidence of receiving payments, services, and goods from wealthy donors, especially when all of those donors appear to have had cases or issues before the Court.

But the Republicans seem determined to take on Joe Biden, while, at the very least, indicating that Republican corruption is perfectly acceptable.

And they’ll probably get away with it, just as they have by refusing to deal with Trump’s crimes.

11 thoughts on “Impeachment Hypocrisy? Again?”

  1. KevinJ says:

    I console myself with the fact that the old white demographic keeps on shrinking, and so one day this version of the Republican Party will either have changed or no longer matter.

    I say that as an old white person…

  2. Sam says:

    I’m an outsider (Australian) with only a superficial understanding of the Hunter Biden case but from the little I know it bears some resemblance to a political situation that occurred in South Australia.

    A year or so ago the then Premier of South Australia – Gladys Berejiklian – lost her job because of the corrupt and possibly criminal conduct of her then boyfriend. It was mostly guilt by association although the most daming evidence against her seemed to suggest a high level of wilful ignorance on her part about his conduct.

    A corruption commission investigation recently handed down a finding that Gladys Berejiklian acted corruptly even though she received no financial benefit or other direct benefit from her actions. The commission also found that her conduct did not rise to the level of criminality even though it was corrupt.

    I agree with this blog’s assertion of hypocrisy and double standards on the part of the Republican party but I do wonder if Joe Biden was a South Australian Premier would he have been able to stay in office.

    1. vadan says:

      I think you might be messing this one up- Gladys was the premier of NSW, not South Australia, to start with!

  3. Hanneke says:

    Regardless of whether or not Hunter Biden did the kind of corrupt things that several of the Trump children(-in-law) did, trying to put his actions on the (ex)president raises some questions.

    If a grownup child, well into legal adulthood, living their own independent life in their own household (maybe even part of the time in a different country), does something corrupt, are their parents still accountable?

    If the adult child tries to make money off the family name, e.g. by promising access to a powerful parent, but the parent does not go along in those promises, does not meet with those promised access or do anything to facilitate them, is the parent still culpable for the adult child’s false promises?

    Is this something that all parents in powerful positions should be held accountable for, or only presidents?

    How are the parents to stop a perhaps rebellious adult child from doing something stupid or criminal, to what lengths are they supposed to (mis)use their powers to achieve what ordinary parents can’t?

    1. Vadan says:

      The proposition is that, in the first instance, Joe Biden was aware of the use to which his name and standing were being put, secondly that he benefited, materially, and thirdly that he provided assistance- at least insofar as providing a basis for Hunter to perpetuate the claims. Now whether that’s corrupt, or HOW corrupt- seems similar to dropping in to a fundraiser, for instance- is a point for debate. However, best to get the straw man right before setting it on fire.

  4. Tom says:

    Another person’s problem is never the same as mine! The difference can be regarded as ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ and the difference seems to depend on ‘context’.

    As noted by Sam and by Hanneke. South Australia would can President Biden and although all parents would be emotionally involved in whatever behavior out of cultural expectations their children do; only some would support them no matter what and others would kill them for bringing ‘dishonor’. This century in the US we have, potentially, both types of parents given our love of the debatable US Constitution Second Amendment. Joe Biden appears to be the former parent.

    An interesting article in the Economist does not directly answer the question but may explain the ‘hypocrisy’. Aug 3rd 2023

    1. Hanneke says:

      Sorry Tom, but I didn’t say that.
      I’m not familiar with the Australian example, but I find rather a large difference between a parent being held accountable for the actions of an adult child who isn’t part of the same household, where they are very likely to have no oversight and no idea what’s going on; and of two equal partners in the same household sharing at least some responsibility for actions that impact the household finances.
      The partner may have been bamboozled too, or willfully blind, or have known what was going on: which it was is much harder to prove, and for someone in a position of power it’s not unreasonable to hold them to pretty high standards in things that can impact their public functioning, like turning a blind eye to their partner stealing from people.

      1. Tom says:

        I apologize for my poor expression. You did not mention Australia. I went on about parents without acknowledging your thoughtful but specific examples.

        My impressions of parental responsibilities were generalizations as I see them expressed in the media. I have no disagreement with your further examples.

  5. Phineas says:

    The media has spent decades portraying Thomas as a rigid ideologue. The idea that he might not have sided with conservatives so often if only George Soros had paid for his nephew’s tuition rather than Harlan Crow just seems ridiculous. Is he an ideologue or a mercenary?

    1. Lourain says:

      Harlan Crow was just buying “insurance”.
      Thomas was smiling the whole time.

    2. Grey says:

      I think the idea here – assigning every conservative justice a billionaire donor to become their “friend “– is about making sure they stay in the fold and don’t go rogue. This happened with Justice Souter, appointed by Bush in 1990 as an arch-conservative but who ended up being relatively liberal to everyone’s surprise.

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