Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a 42-year-old comedian who improbably wound up president of Ukraine, spent months resisting Donald Trump's pressure to gin up a fake case against Joe Biden. Republican senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson didn't last five minutes.

Yesterday, as every Republican but Mitt Romney voted to acquit Trump, Grassley and Johnson sent a letter to the Secret Service demanding Hunter Biden's travel records. It's not enough that they let Trump walk on his corrupt campaign to smear a political opponent. Senator Ethanol and the rest of the GOP goon squad are going to frame Joe Biden for corruption if it's the last thing they do.

Three years after Joe Biden left office, the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Government Affairs committees have suddenly sprung into action. Now that Biden is running against Trump, they're "reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration, particularly with respect to his business activities in Ukraine and China." That train is never late!


To be clear, as a private citizen, Hunter Biden can have ZERO conflicts of interest; he simply represents his clients to the best of his ability. It may be sleazy for Hunter Biden to trade on his name and work his DC contacts to benefit a foreign company, but it's not illegal, or even out of the ordinary. No one says it's against the law for Donald Trump Jr. to take his Secret Service detail with him when he happens to fly a planeload of wealthy Indian condo buyers to New York the same week his father meets with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House. It's just gross.

But it's gross in a way that every single politician in DC understands. Because you don't survive in our nation's capital unless you can raise shit tons of money, and that money machine runs on lobbyist cash. It is breathtakingly craven for Grassley and Johnson to pretend that Hunter Biden must be investigated for engaging in the bog standard sleaze that fuels DC.

These guys have an election to rig, though, so they're going for it. Citing New York Post hitpieces by Peter "Clinton Cash" Schweizer, they're also demanding information from the Treasury Department about a joint purchase of an American automobile tech firm made by Hunter Biden's investment company BHR and a Chinese investment consortium in 2015. Grassley and Johnson couldn't telegraph the punch more clearly if they were trying. Just like they lied about Hillary Clinton selling America's Uranium to Russia, they're cooking up some bullshit about Joe Biden greenlighting the sale of American car companies to China to benefit his kid. They've got one playbook, and they run it every time.

Meanwhile, Ron Johnson is up to his cheese curds in Trump's Ukraine drug deal. He knew the aid was being illegally withheld this summer, and he was screaming for it to be released. Moreover, he knows goddamn well that Joe Biden didn't force Ukraine to get rid of corrupt prosecutor Viktor Shokin to help Hunter Biden's business interests -- Johnson was one of several Republican senators who wrote a letter to Ukraine's then-president Petro Poroshenko in 2016 urging him to hurry up and clean house at the Prosecutor General's Office. As did the EU, the IMF, and the entire US national security establishment. For Johnson to pretend now that Biden's position was somehow suspect is a lie that perfectly illustrates how little objective truth matters to the GOP.

Politics ain't beanbag, of course. But this is some rank bullshit, even by the debased standards of today's Republican Party.

[Grassley/Johnson Letter]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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