Joe Biden raised a new and peculiar argument in defense of his son Hunter on Thursday, suggesting that he should be off-limits to criticism amid a criminal investigation into his finances.
The former vice president told comedian Stephen Colbert that speculation of wrongdoing by his son amounts to “foul play,” the Daily Wire reported.
Joe: “It’s kind of foul play”
Joe Biden and his allies have long dismissed scrutiny of Hunter’s international business dealings as a partisan attack — or Russian propaganda, as they referred to reporting before the election from the New York Post that raised new questions.
However, that talking point lost some of its edge when Hunter Biden revealed in December that he is under criminal investigation for alleged tax fraud. The probe reportedly began in 2018.
Despite the apparent seriousness of the development, Joe Biden sounded unfazed in a CBS interview with anti-Trump comedian Colbert that critics including the New York Post called a sycophantic “joke.”
When Colbert asked the Electoral College winner how he would work with Republicans in Congress who have used Hunter as a “cudgel,” Joe Biden gave the odd reply that it is “foul play” to criticize Hunter.
“Well, look, we have great confidence in our son,” the former VP said, according to the Daily Wire. “I am not concerned about any accusations made against him. It’s used to get to me. I think it’s kind of foul play, but look, it is what it is, and he’s a grown man. He is the smartest man I know, I mean, from a pure intellectual capacity.”
Barr dismisses special counsel speculation
Joe Biden’s transition team later sought to correct the impression that the former vice president thinks his son should be above the law, saying that he was referring to Republicans who have criticized Hunter and not the Justice Department, as Fox News reported.
Hunter Biden’s business dealings attracted attention before the election after the New York Post publicized damning emails showing that Joe Biden met with one of Hunter’s business partners at Burisma Holdings, an infamous Ukrainian energy company where Hunter held a lucrative job despite no relevant experience and that has been at the center of controversy since Hunter’s business entered the spotlight during the Trump impeachment saga late last year.
The Justice Department’s investigation into Hunter reportedly covers $400,000 in unpaid taxes on Hunter’s Burisma money, as well as allegations of money laundering, according to National Review.
Amid speculation that Donald Trump wants to appoint a special counsel to keep the investigation into Hunter Biden alive, outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr — who Trump has slammed for not making the Biden probe public sooner — said Monday that there was no reason to do so.
“I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” Barr said, according to the Associated Press.