Here is the editorial board of The Washington Post:
The Justice Department has strong criminal cases against Hunter Biden for allegedly failing to pay federal taxes, claiming false deductions and lying about his drug use on paperwork to buy a gun. Congress, by contrast, lacks any reasonable basis for moving forward with impeachment against President Biden over his son’s dubious business dealings and personal conduct.
House Republicans are poised to vote Wednesday on authorizing an impeachment inquiry despite the lack of meaningful evidence that the president personally profited from his son’s overseas adventures. This major step is retaliation for the two impeachments of President Donald Trump, both of which had legitimate grounding, and a play to make Mr. Biden appear as tainted as Mr. Trump ahead of the 2024 election.
But House Republicans do not have the goods. Take last week’s dud from House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (Ky.). He highlighted three payments totaling about $4,000 in 2018 to Joe Biden from a Hunter Biden business account that held money from Chinese business interests. Mr. Comer called it “part of a pattern revealing Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes.” In fact, it was Hunter Biden reimbursing his dad for buying him a Ford F-150 because the son’s bad credit meant he couldn’t get financing.
Special counsel David Weiss’s indictments of Hunter Biden, on the other hand, speak to the independence of the Justice Department — and the seriousness of the younger Mr. Biden’s alleged misconduct. With the salacious details included in Thursday’s indictment by a California grand jury, the plea deal the president’s son was offered and accepted in June by Mr. Weiss seems overly generous in a way it didn’t six months ago. That does not, however, mean it was corrupt or that the investigation was compromised. Prosecutorial discretion is an important feature of the criminal justice system. There were mitigating factors, such as this being Hunter Biden’s first criminal offense and his struggles with addiction. An independent judge, doing her job, scrutinized the constitutionality of an unusual diversion agreement that would have let him plead guilty to two misdemeanors and avoid jail time. Under her questioning, it fell apart.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, says his client wouldn’t have been charged if he had a different last name because he already paid the back taxes that he owed. He argues Mr. Weiss caved to pressure from the right. That’s debatable. What’s not is that Hunter Biden would never have earned most of the money he allegedly dodged paying — $1.4 million in federal taxes over four years — if not for his last name. Lacking experience in the energy sector, he had no other qualifications for the board of directors of Burisma, the Ukrainian firm that hired him in 2014.
That should have been a scandal when Joe Biden was vice president. It was also a mistake, albeit an understandable one, for the older Mr. Biden to insist later that his son had done “nothing wrong” when he clearly has behaved so grossly — personally and professionally. Nor should the president have falsely claimed in October 2020 that his son “has not made money” in China.
But, while Hunter Biden used the illusion of access to make money, and coarsely invoked his father in text messages seeking payment from a Chinese business associate, that does not mean Joe Biden took official acts at the behest of his son. The legal process will now decide Hunter Biden’s fate, but, on the current evidence, the sins of the son should not be visited upon the father.
Read the rest here.