Joe Biden’s looming presence over Hunter’s trial serves as a warning to their political enemies

The president flew into Wilmington, Del., on Sunday night, where his 54-year-old son’s felony gun trial begins Monday, and will spend the whole day there with no official duties.

Joe Biden’s looming presence in the strange small city leaves nobody in any doubt of the message he is sending to Delaware special counsel David Weiss, to the prosecutors, the judge, and the jury pool being chosen Monday. You mess with my son; you mess with me. 

It’s all very subtle, in a flagrant way, much like Joe’s impromptu visit to Hallie Biden, the widow of Beau and former lover of Hunter, just nine days before his son’s trial, at which she is the star witness for the prosecution. 

It was Hallie who threw Hunter’s new handgun in a trash can in October 2018 out of concern for his drug-addled mental state, creating a ticking legal time bomb that would propel him into court six years later.

It was Hallie who found drugs and drug paraphernalia in his truck. Hallie, 50, even shared his crack addiction for a time, amid multiple drug rehab efforts.

‘Word as a Biden’?

In a trial based on the allegation that Hunter lied on the gun shop’s federal background form on Oct. 12, 2018, when he checked “no” to the question, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to” various narcotic drugs, Hallie’s understanding of his drug use will be key. Hunter’s defense is that the day he bought the gun was a rare day of sobriety in a period during which he admitted in his memoir, “Beautiful Things”: “I was smoking crack every 15 minutes.” 

The potential for witness tampering in Joe’s late night visit to Hallie was obvious, and must have caused conniptions for the prosecutors, Weiss’ towering deputies Leo Wise and Derek Hines.

Yet, again, we are commanded to take Joe’s “word as a Biden” that nothing untoward went on.

Joe’s ever present suite of family tragedies was offered to explain the visit, in this case the upcoming anniversary of Beau Biden’s death, not that previous anniversaries had occasioned a high-profile presidential late-night visit. 

Nor did Joe and Hallie need to discuss the trial in their 15-minute private meeting. 

The president’s mere unscheduled presence said it all.

As part of this wise-guy messaging, conspicuous Hunter sightings alongside his father have accelerated the last two weeks.

There was Hunter at the White House, wagging his finger at staff, or attending an event in the Rose Garden.

Here he was, getting on and off Marine One and Air Force One with his father, flying for long weekends from Washington to Wilmington to Rehoboth Beach, Del., and back again, hopping in and out of the presidential motorcade, his own Secret Service detail in tow.

On Saturday morning came a new iteration: Hunter riding a bike with dad in Rehoboth, sticking close behind as they passed the waiting media. 

Perhaps the most flagrant of all was the May 23 State Dinner for the president of Kenya where, yet again, the indicted first son rubbed shoulders with Attorney General Merrick Garland.

A dozen Biden family members and hangers on also attended, including Hunter’s three daughters and niece plus boyfriends and a husband. 

It’s the second state dinner Merrick Garland has attended with Hunter at a crucial moment in the first son’s legal odyssey. 

Before IRS whistleblowers revealed the corrupt Justice Department and CIA obstruction of the five-year criminal tax fraud investigation of Hunter last year, he sealed a sweetheart plea deal with then-plain old Delaware US Attorney Weiss, and a few days later was swanning around triumphantly at the state dinner for the Indian prime minister. Garland was there in his penguin suit, warily trying to keep a discreet distance between them.

The optics were terrible, and you’d think that Garland, who claims to be such a stickler for propriety, would have recused himself from all future state dinners or White House shindigs where Hunter was present.

And yet here he was again, days before Hunter’s gun trial. 

The AG should have recused himself from the dinner as an assertion of his own integrity, such as it is, and a statement of disapproval for the president’s subterranean manipulations because, whatever anyone says, they are not proper or normal. 

Nothing about Joe Biden’s presidency is proper or normal, despite his insistence that he has restored norms and dignity to the White House.

It is simply an extension of the grifting entitlement he and his family have enjoyed in the small incestuous state where he has ruled the roost for 50 years.

Two trials

In fact, if he showed up at the Caleb J. Boggs courthouse in Wilmington on Monday to eyeball District Judge Maryellen Noreika and watch the jurors being sworn in, his defenders in the media would fall over themselves to excuse him, saying he is just there to support his surviving son.

Ethics take a back seat in the plausible deniability of Joe’s everlasting ­tragedies.

In the shadow of the Trump conviction, Hunter’s trial takes on an outsized status, politically, even though the charges are the only ones from the compromised five-year criminal investigation that don’t touch on Joe. 

By contrast, Hunter’s California tax trial in September is high risk for Joe, as it will encompass 2014 and 2015, during which Hunter was earning $1 million from Burisma and his VP father had the Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the corrupt energy company fired.

But if Hunter is acquitted in the gun trial in Delaware, Joe will have a neat talking point to throw at Trump at their first debate: “My son was tried in the very system you claim is weaponized against you. Unlike you, a jury found him not guilty.” 

Hunter’s pricy lawyer, Abbe Lowell, is a master at jury whispering so it’s possible that Hunter gets off, even given the poor odds for defendants in federal trials.

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