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The Hunter Biden Transcript: A Masterclass in Plausible Deniability

Biden business transactions appear conveniently structured to allow room for innocent explanation.

Hunter Biden – along with his attorney, Abbe Lowell – put on a masterclass in plausible deniability at his congressional deposition. The first son’s testimony again and again highlighted how cloudy and complex the movement of money between various foreign business entities and what is now the first family. After reading the transcript of his interview with the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Judiciary Committee, made public on February 29, one cannot help but suspect it was all by design.

Perhaps the most significant takeaway is how the key to all the big paydays was conducting Biden family business in a way that allowed just enough wiggle room to deny influence peddling. After all, legitimate business transactions do not require the bouncing around of payments through and between multiple companies with obscure names.

Conflicting Interpretations

This transcript from the Hunter Biden deposition can easily be interpreted in two ways. Those who don’t like the Bidens or their politics can read into it an obvious attempt to mislead GOP investigators. There were too many questions to which Biden’s response was that he had no recollection of sending or receiving certain communications. There were too many implausible explanations, such as when he invited his father, Joe Biden, and his uncle, James, to an August 2017 business lunch in New York. In this case, Hunter Biden’s defense was, who wouldn’t do that? Who wouldn’t invite one’s father to a business lunch if he happened to be in town? Yet it’s unlikely that most businessmen or women would think it appropriate to invite one’s family members to such a meeting.

Then, there’s the matter of a $142,300 payment to Biden for the purchase of a car. This money came from Kenes Rakishev, a “Kazakhstani oligarch,” and was paid into the account of Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a business entity jointly controlled by Devon Archer, Hunter Biden, and a Chinese investor. Biden said of this, “I received a car because I was helping, what I – my understanding was is that I was engaged with Devon – a way for Devon to engage me to help with his Rosemont Realty. It was payment.” It seems like a very odd way for one businessman to pay another. Even Hunter Biden conceded that it was “a cockamamie way to do it.”

Interestingly, Biden himself did not purchase the car – Archer bought it for him. Even back then, it seems, Biden did everything in a way that kept his own fingerprints, so to speak, off every transaction.

A Biden supporter could study the transcript and say, well, this clarifies everything. There are perfectly simple explanations here, and Republicans are merely stringing together unrelated facts to create the illusion of a grand corruption conspiracy. However, there are still too many red flags: The sheer complexity of Hunter Biden’s business activities – with payments flowing through two or more shell companies; cars being purchased in lieu of monetary compensation; loans made against equity stakes; and Hunter’s business partners paying for things, receiving payments intended for him, or distributing payments to others on his behalf. And, of course, throughout the entire deposition, Joe Biden’s name kept popping up. He appeared at lunches and other meetings with Hunter and Hunter’s business associates, he writes a letter of recommendation for the son of one of those associates, Jonathan Li – whom Hunter Biden describes as a longtime personal friend while also claiming his father did not know Li or anything about him.

Hunter Biden Transcript Reveals Stark Contradictions

In addition, there are the statements from Hunter Biden that are contradicted by the documented evidence. He repeated the false narrative that everyone wanted to be rid of Ukraine’s former prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, because he wasn’t fighting corruption. Recently released Obama-era communications between the US State Department and Shokin reveal quite the opposite. The Obama administration was very satisfied with Shokin’s progress in fighting corruption and was planning to give him further assistance. Yet Joe Biden personally traveled to Ukraine and threatened to withhold US loan guarantees worth $1 billion unless Shokin was fired. Why?

At the time, the prosecutor was investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company at which Hunter Biden held a seat on the board of directors. During his deposition, the younger Biden insisted that Shokin was not looking into Burisma – which contradicts Devon Archer’s testimony that Shokin had seized the assets of Mykola Zlochevsky, Burisma’s founder and owner.

Is there a perfectly innocent explanation for everything that appears suspicious, as the Hunter Biden transcript suggests? Or did the Bidens take care to operate an international influence peddling scheme in a way that would allow them to explain everything and deny involvement, should they ever be questioned about it?

The release of this transcript isn’t likely to change too many minds in either direction. Hunter Biden likely didn’t lose any support for what he told the House committees considering whether to impeach his father – nor did he gain any. The evidence still points toward the selling of the Biden brand for millions, both during and after Joe Biden’s eight years as vice president.

Now that the closed-door deposition is out of the way, Hunter Biden will almost certainly testify publicly, sometime within the next month or two. Still, Republicans have not yet sealed the deal on a Biden impeachment, and the road to doing so doesn’t go through the commander-in-chief’s son unless he is confronted with evidence against which his plausible deniability game comes up short.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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