Hunter Biden is taking a step that no other prospective presidential adult child in recent memory has undertaken. Moreover — and here is the most grossly underreported story of the Trump years — the Trump clan, even those working in the administration, continue to make a mint trading on their father’s name.
Biden’s pledge to avoid foreign work if his father wins the White House sets him apart from Trump’s children, who have continued working with foreign business partners from Dubai to Indonesia and India while his father sits in the White House. After Trump won the presidency in 2016, he handed the running of the Trump Organization to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric, and said they wouldn’t do any new overseas deals.
They still make money overseas, as the New York Times recently reported: “Both sons have operated and promoted the Trump family business overseas during their father’s presidency, even as he retains ownership.”
Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner work in the White House without divesting themselves of business holdings or forgoing foreign transactions, thereby raising the possibility in the minds of foreign leaders that the two can be manipulated. The Post reported in February 2018: “Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.”
President Trump unconstitutionally receives the benefits of foreign deals and refuses to release his tax returns that would reveal sources of income. And we’re supposed to be concerned that Hunter Biden, whose father is no longer in office, is serving on a Chinese company’s board? Something is terribly wrong with this picture.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been among the most vocal defenders of the Bidens (Democratic candidates who prefer to lie low and reap the benefit of Trump’s attacks against their primary opponents behave shamefully), made the point with exceptional clarity on CNN’s State of the Union:
The media need to press Trump and his children — and Congress should be investigating and subpoenaing records — to reveal all foreign sources of income for Ivanka and Jared and all foreign business activity by Eric and Donald Trump Jr. Perhaps the House should pass legislation specifically barring adult children of the president from engaging in any foreign business dealings. Ivanka and Jared need to divest from their business holdings or leave the White House. Period.
Biden’s campaign has yet to call for the Trump children to take the same pledge as Hunter Biden, but it really should consider going on offense. Ivanka, Jared, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are the poster children for familial corruption. We do not know whether actions Trump takes (e.g., abandoning the Kurds at the behest of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) are taken to further the family finances. (They sure don’t benefit U.S. national security.) We don’t know how much money they all reap from foreign businesses and whether they engage in foreign business dealings as they travel on the taxpayer’s dime.
Tuesday’s debate is the perfect forum for Democrats to end the double standard that serves to shelter the Trump clan from scrutiny for continuing to perpetrate massive conflicts and self-dealing while targeting Joe Biden and his son, who have done the right thing in promising to raise the bar on ethics if Biden wins. It would be a good idea for all the Democratic candidates to promise that their own adult children will follow Hunter Biden’s example. Most important, it is time to shame the media and Congress into investigating the corruption going on as we speak. Ivanka, Jared, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. have been given the kid glove treatment by the media and Congress (the latter for fear of generating sympathy for the Trump offspring!). That needs to end.