“Trump, Biden, whatever,” says our first contributor. “I understand it takes a sociopath to even run for president in the first place… but really? Out of 350 million people, this is the best we can do?
“William Weld excepted, I wouldn’t want any of the current candidates as my neighbor, much less my president!”
Speaking of sociopaths, a reader says this of politicians, using a quote from one of my favorite Westerns 3:10 to Yuma:
“I have to be more rotten than the rest of them to manage my crew.”
By this logic, politics is a game of one-upmanship… in awfulness?
And a reader draws her own conclusions about the Bidens and Ukraine:
“I, too, wondered about this [Ukraine] story, not having heard any concrete details in the news. But I did a little research and think that, yes, there might have been a conflict of interest in Hunter Biden taking a position in the Ukraine when his father was VP.
“As far as the allegation the elder Biden was instrumental in getting a prosecutor fired to protect his son, that is false. There was widespread agreement in the West that Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor, had to go. Biden did tell Ukraine that loan money would be withheld if Shokin wasn’t fired; Biden succeeded in getting him ousted. End of story.”
Not the end of story for the Bidens. Yesterday a reader said he thinks the bigger story than Ukraine involves Joe and Hunter Biden and their dealings in China.
More on that below…
Your Rundown for Friday, Oct. 4, 2019:
Trump Doubles Down
Impeachment be damned, Trump doubled down yesterday, publicly calling on China to investigate the Bidens.
Here’s what Trump said on the matter:
When Biden’s son walks out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund, and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China, and he’s there for one quick meeting and he flies in on Air Force Two, I think that’s a horrible thing.
Let’s address last things first: In Dec. 2013, Hunter accompanied his minor daughter — Joe Biden’s granddaughter — on the vice president’s official trip to China aboard Air Force Two. Little is known about Hunter’s activities during the 10-day trip.
One thing is known, however; according to a Chinese employee of BHR — more on BHR in a moment — Joe and Hunter Biden paid a social call on BHR CEO Jonathan Li.
So BHR or Bohai Harvest RST is an investment fund created by Hunter’s firm Rosemont Seneca and the Bank of China, according to Peter Schweizer’s 2019 book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends. The fund — that filed paperwork in China in Nov. 2013 — includes a mix of private and state-owned enterprises.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer claims Hunter was an unpaid board member at BHR until 2017 when he invested $420,000 or a 10% interest in the fund.
According to the Wall Street Journal, BHR aspired to raise $1.5 billion in investment capital; the fund is only supposed to have raised $4.2 million. (By the way, Hunter Biden is still listed as a board member.)
Did Joe or Hunter Biden do anything illegal? Not necessarily. Seem like a conflict of interest? Probably.
Regarding Hunter Biden’s business deals in Ukraine and China: “It would have been more prudent to avoid the perception of a conflict of interest,” says Yoshiko Herrera, a University of Wisconsin professor who chaired the university’s Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia.
She continues, adding if Hunter Biden “is providing some specific value to these companies other than the possibility of access to his father, it would be helpful to know exactly what that was, or is.” (emphasis added)
Market Rundown for Fri. October 4, 2019
S&P 500 futures are up 18 points to 2,928.
Oil is up 71 cents to $53.16 for a barrel of WTI.
Gold’s down $6.80 to $1,507 per ounce.
Bitcoin is down $71.11 to $8,175.19.
Have a relaxing weekend. Don’t forget to check out Saturday’s issue.
For the Rundown,