On June 11, 2024, Hunter Biden was found guilty of False Statement in a firearms sale, False Statements on a transactional record, and Illegal Possession of a Firearm in the state of Delaware. In no other country in the world would the son of the leader of that country have to face a trial like this. Any other leader would pull strings to get his son off. Hunter Biden is paying the price for being the son of a president who believes in the rule of law.  Joe Biden had and still has the power to pardon his son at any point in time. He had the power to stop this prosecution from going forward. He didn’t do it. Biden let the rule of law play out. Democracies are based on the idea that no one is above the law and that the law, not the whims and grudges of a dictator must decide outcomes.

Meanwhile the MAGAs in Congress are claiming that Hunter Biden’s conviction was a coverup for other far worse crimes. They are back to asserting without evidence that the Biden Crime Family is a real thing and that the Justice Department is unfairly persecuting Trump. Trump, in a statement, obtained by CNN, called the verdict “a distraction from the real crimes” of the Biden family. Even more insane, MAGAs are claiming that Biden wanted his son to be found guilty to help him win re-election.

How did we get here?


When the Republicans gained the majority in the House, James Comer opened up an investigation believing it would be just a matter of time and some digging before he could find some dirt on Joe Biden through Hunter Biden’s laptop. Comer was trying to find evidence that Joe Biden was/is corrupt and could be impeached the way Trump is corrupt and was in fact impeached two times based on real evidence, the kind that exists in the real world where witnesses testify truthfully under oath and documents support the evidence presented to the trier of fact.

Comer’s mistake was that he ran an investigation that started with a conclusion in search of evidence to support that conclusion. His approach was flawed. When you run an investigation, you should always start with questions and let the evidence you gain guide the investigation.

The biggest problem for the MAGAs has turned out to be that Joe Biden, unlike Hunter Biden or Donald Trump, is clean.

IF Comer’s committee had unearthed even a shred of evidence against Biden you would have heard about it. There was and still is nothing but embarrassed silence from that investigation because after all their digging they found nothing on Joe Biden. The investigation has been a total a waste of taxpayer money.

Contrary to the cynical belief pushed by many Republicans to get the American electorate to give up on our democracy, that all politicians are corrupt, some, in fact, are not.  Joe Biden is not corrupt.


There is a Biden, however, who was not clean: Hunter Biden. The Republicans have gone after Hunter like a dog after a buried bone, digging in the dirt provided by Hunter to try to find something to pin on his dad.

The MAGAs have a lot of stuff to work with when it comes to Hunter Biden: **** pics on his laptop, his serious drug problems, his use of his father’s name to get jobs and influence, his failed marriages and poor choices in life.

MAGA Republicans are trying to level the playing field between the two incumbent presidents by sullying Joe Biden through his son, Hunter. See?! they seem to be saying, Joe Biden is no better than Donald Trump. Sure, Trump and his kids are corrupt- getting billions from Saudi Arabia and special deals from the Chinese- but so are Joe Biden and his son. Sure, Donald Trump paid off a porn star to keep her story secret before the 2016 election, but Hunter Biden lied about his drug use on a form to get a gun. They are trying to make the political case for amoral equivalency.

I don’t think most Americans will be fooled by this flawed argument.


When Hunter was 2 years old, he was in a life changing car accident along with his brother, Beau, his mother and sister. His mother and sister were killed in the accident. He and Beau survived, but Hunter was damaged, physically and mentally, by that experience. He was hospitalized with a fractured skull and severe traumatic brain injuries. These injuries, and the death of his older brother, Beau, later in life, led to Hunter’s use of pain killers and drugs. For a period of time in his life, Hunter Biden used crack cocaine. He made terrible choices. He had failed marriages and relationships. Like Trump’s own kids – Ivanka, Don Jr, and Eric, as well as Jared, Hunter at times has used his father’s name to get ahead in his professional life.

Over time, Hunter has cleaned up his act, gotten drug free, remarried, and now lives in a healthier way. Throughout his life he has had the abiding support of his father, Joe, and his step-mother, Jill, who loves him. Like many American families who have a black sheep, the hope is that this person can someday find his or her way out of the dark, ruinous place where they have been and build a better future life. The people who make it back from the dark side of addiction often rely on the support of loving family members.

But here comes the ugly part.

The MAGAs are out to get Hunter’s dad politically. Since they have nothing on Joe, they have been gunning for Hunter instead. Hunter is being criminally prosecuted for lying about his drug use when he filled out a form to buy a gun. Far from intending to use this gun to harm others, the fear was that Hunter might use the gun to commit suicide. It is shameful that Republicans are trying to get criminal consequences for Hunter at a time in his life when he has pulled his life together and a conviction could undermine his emotional stability. It is shameful that Republicans are pushing for criminal consequences for a violation of law that is never even prosecuted unless the gun was used by the addict in a crime. Hunter had this gun for 11 days. It was never loaded. There was no crime committed with this gun.

A holdover prosecutor from the Trump administration, David Weiss, (Republican) was kept in place when Merrick Garland took charge of the DOJ. Many of Trump’s loyalists at DOJ were replaced, but to replace Weiss looked too partisan.  Weiss and Hunter Biden’s lawyers reached a plea deal. But that deal fell apart when it was presented to the judge for two reasons. First, Republicans in the House were not willing to give up on continuing to investigate Hunter Biden because that is politically helpful to their narrative about the so-called Biden Crime Family (Trump’s way to try to get moral equivalency because he and his own family are so corrupt.) A continuing investigation meant that the guilty plea might not be a final agreement. Second, the judge was designated in the plea agreement as the person who would oversee Hunter’s compliance. The judge did not want to be in that role. The reason for designating the judge not the DOJ in that role was that if the Republicans were to win back control of the executive branch it was clear that Trump or some other Republican president would once again try to harass Hunter Biden or throw him in jail to get political points.

Because the plea deal fell through, Hunter will have not one but two trials (this one was in Delaware and a future trial for tax evasion will take place in California).

If Hunter weren’t the son of Joe Biden, he would not have been on trial for these charges.


Even though Republicans thought that Hunter Biden’s trial would help them win in 2024, Hunter’s conviction makes it clear to most Americans that Trump’s narrative about “Biden’s DOJ” being unfair and only going after Trump is malarky, as Joe Biden would say.

Joe Biden stands for the rule of law and the continuation of our democracy. He has said he will not pardon or commute his son’s sentence if the jury finds him guilty. He will stand by that. That is in stark contrast to Trump who wants to pardon the January 6th insurrectionists and has vowed to do that if he gets elected as well as pardon himself if he gets back the power of the presidency.

The fact that Hunter is being tried in a politically motivated case will be seen by many voters as a parallel to Trump being tried in the Manhattan election interference that they think was politically motivated even though they are not at all comparable. But it makes no sense that Trump and the MAGAs claim that Biden’s Department of Justice has it out for him when this administration’s DOJ is not only going after Biden’s own son, it is pursuing Senator Bob Menendez, who is a Democrat, and Rep Henry Cuellar (Texas- 28) who is also a Democrat.

When it comes to Donald Trump, we can see he has a recurrent pattern of behavior: he breaks the laws and rules to get something he wants for himself (power -the presidency, money, accolades), then he lies and covers up and obstructs justice to the extent he can to avoid consequences for breaking the law and during the trials and afterwards Trump attacks the rule of law, the judges, the jury and the witnesses, and he goes on rants vowing to dismantle the justice system.

Trump was twice impeached: once for his attempts to sully Biden’s reputation using Ukrainian president Zelensky to lie about opening an investigation into Biden, and next for trying to stay in power after losing the election to Joe Biden and inciting an insurrection while pretending he was just trying to make sure the election had been fair. In those impeachments as well as his many other legal problems- the Trump University scam, the Trump Org fraud, the E. Jean Carroll sexual assault, the January 6th pending criminal case, the Manhattan election interference case, the Mar-a-Lago stolen documents case- all of them expose the same pattern of behavior by Trump.

Because Trump has been president and is trying to regain the presidency, many of Trump’s illicit actions affect all of us as Americans, where Hunter Biden’s illicit actions only affect a few people, namely, him and his immediate family. With Trump, we are all victims of his criminal actions. With Hunter Biden, he and his loved ones are the victims.

Americans aren’t stupid. They can differentiate between these two people: Joe and his son, Hunter. Many Americans have at least one black sheep in their families. Hunter Biden’s story is one that many families in America understand and have experienced.

Roughly 16% of Americans (but likely more) struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. That’s about 48 million people.


Hunter’s conviction sets up a stark contrast between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In both cases a jury did its job. Twelve men and women chosen at random followed the facts and the law to its conclusion. Both men were found guilty. Our system worked.

Trump’s reaction to his verdict was to rant and rave about the unfairness of it, claim he did nothing wrong, attack the system holding him accountable and try to get his followers ginned up to fight for him.

Biden’s reaction was to affirm his faith in the rule of law and in our democratic values by affirming that no one is above the law which includes his own son and a former president.

I think Trump is damaging his chances to get votes from those reasonable Americans who make up the majority of the sliver of persuadable voters in battleground states who will decide the next election. They are not bomb throwing MAGAs. They understand behavior is on a continuum. What you see is what you will get.

In short, the contrast between the reactions of Hunter Biden and Trump to their convictions: specifically Trump’s extreme reactions to accountability after being found guilty of 34 felonies by a jury of ordinary Americans, should scare sensible, realistic Americans who want fairness, decency, and calm, steady government that functions as well as possible.