The Page One story at top left of the Sunday Washington Post was headlined "Hunter Biden allies set to battle accusers: Some urge counterattack defense as GOP prepares to launch investigations." Political reporters Matt Viser and Michael Scherer quote from a mostly anonymous pile of Democrats debating how to respond to the heightened visibility of Hunter Biden's global buckraking off his father's name. And whether his father got a "cut."
Democrat groups feel the urgent need for a "counter-narrative," which is mildly amusing since they've all been quiet as church mice for two years until the Republicans retook the House. Behind the scenes, Hunter Biden and his pal Kevin Morris -- who they noted gave Hunter $1 million to pay some of his unpaid taxes -- are meeting with partisans who are aiming to discredit any Republican fact-finding mission.
You may point and laugh that they're going to call it a "partisan exercise." And somehow, the last two years of the Pelosi-Picked Panel on January 6 was never partisan. But some anonymous worriers don't like making Hunter more prominent:
Some involved in these efforts argue that Hunter Biden and Morris should stay out of the limelight so Democrats can focus on painting the Republican investigations as a partisan political exercise. “No one thinks this strategy of putting Hunter Biden front and center is smart,” said one Democrat involved in the broader effort, who requested anonymity to describe private conversations. “No one, including the White House, thinks this is a smart strategy.”
This comes inside the paper on page A-11 with the bland headline "Aiming to tell his side of story." As if the Post has ever failed to narrate the Biden story pretty much the way it's been dictated by their Democrat friends.
Viser and Scherer barely mention that hey, there's an ongoing criminal investigation of Hunter Biden that they've been remarkably quiet about:
Before taking a more public posture, however, those around Hunter Biden acknowledge that he needs closure from the years-long federal investigation into his taxes and a 2018 gun purchase. They are hopeful for a resolution, but the case has remained open and The Post reported in October that federal agents believed they had gathered enough evidence to charge him with tax crimes and a false statement related to the gun purchase.
They don't even mention the name of U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is far less interesting to the Post than Trump's new special counsel Jack Smith.
Somehow this vast left-wing conspiracy is run by "Democratic-leaning groups." Leaning? They all tell themselves it will be find that swing voters see this as "political stunts." Democrats never pull those?
Much of the Democratic pushback against the GOP investigators, especially from the party establishment, is expected to focus on their motivation. One Democratic-leaning group, the Congressional Integrity Project, has circulated a memo based on six online focus groups, arguing that swing voters already see the planned Republican investigations as “political stunts” intended to damage the president.
CIP, according to the memo, is also prepared to criticize Republicans for turning a blind eye to the foreign business dealings of former president Donald Trump’s family, including his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Unlike Hunter Biden, Trump’s family members held formal government positions during his presidency.
A second document from CIP lists a set of phrases it says Democrats and their allies should use against the House investigations, including “power-hungry,” “Trump playbook,” “partisan warfare” and “MAGA Republicans.” Neither document mentions Hunter Biden by name.
CIP is working with another group called Courage for America that has set up an “accountability war room” to bring together Democratic allies to drive a consistent critique of House Republicans on a range of issues. “Our goal is to go on offense against the new House majority,” said Zac Petkanas, the Democratic strategist running that effort. “We are going to be pointing out the things that those investigations are distracting from.”
While the CIP is not formally tied to the White House, its leaders have spoken with President Biden’s aides and it recently brought on Jeff Peck, a former chief-of-staff to Biden from his time in the Senate.
Brock’s group, Facts First, is engaging with Hunter Biden and those in his immediate circle. In an October memo, Brock, founder of Media Matters and American Bridge, two influential liberal organizations, described Facts First USA as a “SWAT team” designed to “ensure that the media and public do not accept the false narrative that flows from congressional investigations.”
Brock has released a memo calling on Democrats to cast McCarthy’s embrace of the Hunter Biden investigations as a corrupt bid to court favor with far-right lawmakers whose support McCarthy needs to become House speaker. “He is so desperate to run the House he is willing to burn it down,” the memo says.