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Republicans deflated by Hunter Biden likely avoiding jail time

Republicans were hoping for charges related to foreign government work or ones that involved Joe Biden himself. They didn't get them.


In its defense, dancing isn't the GOP's strong suit

That said, Republicans still haven’t mastered the seemingly impossible two-step required for them to credibly complain about the so-called weaponization of the government while they actively seek to weaponize it against their own political enemies. 

Tuesday was a prime example. 

Republicans threw a collective fit over what they claimed, without evidence, was federal prosecutors going unusually easy on Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden. After a yearslong investigation, it was reported Tuesday that Hunter Biden is expected to plead guilty to two tax-related misdemeanor counts. He also faces a separate felony gun possession charge that could be dismissed if he meets certain conditions.

Hunter Biden will likely avoid jail time with prosecutors expected to recommend probation instead, NBC News reported Tuesday, citing two sources familiar with the matter. Republicans were obsessed with Hunter Biden being investigated as a potential agent or lobbyist for a foreign government, but prosecutors reportedly found no basis to pursue such charges. 

Watching Republicans squirm and squeal in the aftermath, you get the sense they feel a political opportunity has been squandered. After all, they’ve spent months floating their own conspiracy theories alleging, without evidence, that Hunter Biden engaged in criminal self-dealing with the president’s help.

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the most unhinged responses. 

Comer's karma

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., arguably has the most skin in the game here. He’s been appearing on right-wing outlets a lot to hype up the House Oversight Committee's investigative work into purported Biden family criminality. (In one interview, Comer seemed to suggest the committee's probe has a political motive: to affect Biden's poll numbers.)

Comer has repeatedly promised explosive findings, but his committee has had little to show for its investigative work. After Tuesday's Hunter Biden news, Comer claimed "growing evidence" shows the Biden family as a whole engaged in "a pattern of corruption." And unsurprisingly, he still hasn't shown proof.

I imagine the Republican pressure he feels to come up with something — anything — to support his claims only increases.

Jordan keeps it short and sour

As chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is essentially in the same boat as Comer. Both Republicans have so far overpromised and underdelivered on evidence of purported misconduct by President Biden.

Jordan opted for a short response to the Hunter Biden news Tuesday, although I don’t know what double standard he’s speaking of here. None of former President Donald Trump’s kids have been charged with a crime. The Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in charge of the Hunter Biden probe sent a letter to Jordan earlier this month affirming he was granted “ultimate authority” over the matter. And you’ll note that Joe Biden, unlike his predecessor, is yet to rail against any of the investigators holding his son to account.

Trump Jr. chimes in

Donald Trump Jr. inherited his father’s strange intonation and complete lack of self-awareness. Here he is sharing his opinion on lawless grifting and nepotism. 

Greene's weird rap cosign

Here’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., seemingly using a Black, Trump-supporting rapper to score political points. She’s parroting a false equivalency between Hunter Biden and Kodak Black, who served prison time after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges in 2019.

There are plenty of aggravating factors in Kodak Black’s gun case that don’t seem to apply in the Hunter Biden scenario. But this is Greene we’re talking about. She has no fidelity to the truth. (And by the way, Trump commuted the rapper's sentence before leaving office in 2021.)

Greene, who has baselessly accused Democrats of sexualizing children, failed to mention in her tweet that Kodak Black entered a plea deal in 2021 in a case in which a teenage girl accused him of raping her in a hotel room. The rapper pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault and batter to avoid jail time in the case.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., dubiously suggested the Justice Department is trying to throw Trump in jail while giving Hunter Biden a favorable deal. Of course, the idea that the DOJ has been out to get Trump has been undermined by the fact that Trump was repeatedly given chances to comply with the agency’s request to hand over classified documents he had in his possession.

Classic Boebert

“If your last name is Biden, the justice system apparently doesn’t apply to you,” Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted Tuesday.

Remember that she's speaking about a man who is expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanors and faces a separate felony charge.

The Justice Department is literally applying to him.

I get that Republicans really longed for some sort of major revelation here, but the idea that the justice system isn’t weighing in is an obvious lie. But in today's GOP, in which members openly ponder locking up their political opponents, it's easy to see why many of them are disappointed.