The media frequently invokes Trump’s appointment of officials to dismiss the possibility of bias. The media have invoked this defense for FBI Director Christopher Wray, who is responsible for the FBI’s raid of Trump’s home to obtain classified documents, and for David Weiss, the Delaware U.S. Attorney, who gave kid-glove treatment to the first son, Hunter Biden.
Invoking the provenance of Trump’s persecutors is meant to deflect and confuse. Regardless of who appointed these people to their current positions, these are career government workers, i.e., the managerial class. They have shown themselves to be particularly hostile to Trump and other Republicans, who might dare to interfere with business as usual.
This problem was partly unavoidable. When Trump took office, there was not a deep bench of experienced people ready to serve him. Many Republicans who worked in the George W. Bush administration were part of the NeverTrump caucus. Résumés from thousands of outsider applicants, who applied to work for the administration during the transition, were apparently lost and buried. And, even in the best of times, most appointees are chosen from a list of qualified insiders. Some are more ideological than others, but very few are loyal, strictly speaking.
Christopher Wray was a former federal prosecutor in private practice when Trump appointed him. Perhaps he was a registered Republican, but his first loyalty was neither to the President, nor the Congress, but rather to the FBI. Since his nomination and appointment, he has lied, dissembled, and stonewalled the Republican Congress to protect the FBI from real consequences for its numerous criminal acts over the last six years.
Weiss has a similar pedigree. He has worked either for the government or BigLaw firm Duane Morris since the beginning of his career in the 1980s. Biden was either a U.S. Senator or Vice President during Weiss’s tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware; Biden undoubtedly had some influence over who could obtain important positions due to the Senate oversight role and the “blue slip” process.
Weiss rejoined the U.S. attorney’s office in 2007 and continued serving during the Obama administration. Based on his résumé and experience, he certainly appears to be more-than-minimally qualified to be the Delaware U.S. Attorney, but he is a cipher as far as his political views. Maybe the source of the problem is elsewhere; Attorney General Merrick Garland has reportedly interfered with Weiss’s work. But, whether neutral or a Biden superfan, the media invoke Weiss’s appointment by Trump as if he were recently seen flying a MAGA flag off his boat.
Weiss is at least partly responsible for the peculiar Hunter Biden proceedings, which blew up this week. Biden appeared to be getting a sweetheart deal. He would plead guilty to misdemeanor tax crimes and receive a diversion program for his gun and drug charges. The diversion would shield him from prosecution, but the scope of immunity for collateral offenses under the diversion agreement was not incorporated into formal admissions for the guilty plea, which the judge had authority to accept or reject.
The government—that is, Weiss and the DOJ—admitted a deal like this has never been done before. It’s never been done because it is prohibited.
The judge, to her credit, called the whole thing out. She instead asked questions forcing the government and the defendants’ counsel to disagree, which exposed the unorthodox nature of the proposal.
Hunter Biden’s lawyers took the position that nothing from the past could now be prosecuted—a pretty important requirement when your client lives a life of crime. The government, on the other hand, said investigations and prosecutions for Foreign Agent Registration Act violations could still happen, the uncertainty of which would allow the DOJ to keep a lot more hidden from persistent congressional investigators. When it was all over, the deal was off, each side went back to their corners, Hunter pled not guilty, and they’re supposed to provide a status report in 30 days.
The Hunter Biden saga has revealed a lot about the Deep State and how it protects its allies. First, 51 intelligence officials came together to suppress the N.Y. Post report on Hunter’s laptop on the eve of the 2020 election, suggesting it was some kind of Russian disinformation. This claim could not be easily reconciled with the hundreds of personal photos and text messages on the laptop. So, as Plan B, Biden’s defenders dismissed concerns over Hunter’s laptop as partisan and prurient, the second iteration of the Clinton sex scandals, with the GOP again cast as a bunch of censorious prudes.
In other words, the selective release of salacious material from the laptop was part of the coverup. While it did reveal Hunter’s low character, the shocking photos tended to eclipse the more important evidence that he acted as the bag man for illegal family business in Ukraine and China. Remember “10% for the Big Guy” and “My Chairman.”
While his dad was Vice-President, Hunter Biden lobbied for foreign companies affiliated with foreign governments, received a lot of money from them in spite of his lack of qualifications, did not pay taxes on this money, and, once he was on the IRS’s radar, the DOJ stopped agents from following up on investigative leads.
Fittingly, Trump’s first impeachment was not for corruption, but rather for asking for an investigation into the Biden family’s corruption, which now appears confirmed by slow-leaking evidence from Delaware, documents obtained by congressional investigators, and a second look at information we already knew, like Joe Biden bragging about getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired.
None of this has anything to do with relative culpability. It’s about power. For the Deep State’s permanent bureaucracy, Trump was never president. They showed no respect to him, and they were scared of him and what he represents. His impeachment and the current prosecutions have nothing to do with any crime or guilt. Biden, on the other hand, is a guy who plays ball and generally serves the interest of the permanent bureaucracy; no crime, whether by him or his son, is too big to forgive.
Fundamentally, Trump represents the American people’s “no confidence” vote, a rejection of a corrupt ruling class and their managerial enforcers. That’s why both state and federal actors are pursuing multiple prosecutions of him, all for trumped-up reasons involving behavior that has been done openly and without punishment by his predecessors.
It appears the government and Hunter Biden’s defense team, while technically opponents, acted in cahoots to force this sweetheart deal through, and the only thing that stopped them was a sharp judge. This is a strong testament to the value of separation of powers, as judicial power flows from life tenure, the inherent boundaries of written laws, and, in this instance, the provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which give the judge discretion to approve or reject a plea deal.
This deal was a fraud on the court and the American people. We know Hunter Biden has committed serious crimes for which he is not being punished, and we know what has been revealed to date is the tip of the iceberg. Hunter is a man with no apparent talents, who got everything in life for selling access to his father. Joe Biden, in turn, got everything he had in life for being a morally empty tool for others willing to reward him.
If our president went so far as to sell foreigners favors from his office through his son, he deserves nothing less than impeachment.
Christopher Roach is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and an attorney in private practice based in Florida. He is a double graduate of the University of Chicago and has previously been published by The Federalist, Takimag, Chronicles, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Marine Corps Gazette, and the Orlando Sentinel. The views presented are solely his own.