After Hunter Biden Conviction Comes the Political Fallout

Biden preps for attacks that he's not a good father, while a Trump talking point is weakened
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2024 11:35 AM CDT
After Hunter Biden Conviction Comes the Political Fallout
President Biden greets son Hunter Biden at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Tuesday saw the conviction of Hunter Biden on federal gun charges. With Wednesday comes a whole slew of assessments about what just happened and how it might play out going forward. Some highlights:

  • Biden strategy: Politico Playbook reports that President Biden's team is prepping for him to be labeled a lousy father by Donald Trump at their upcoming debate. "And privately, there is a faction of advisers who feel the president would be wise to let out his famous temper in response—the logic being that an authentic, forceful rejoinder to an attack on a son who suffered from addiction would resonate with voters." Similarly, Biden isn't expected to refrain from bringing up Trump's own conviction.

  • Talking point hurt? One frequent point being made is that the conviction upends a key Trump talking point—that Biden has "weaponized" the justice system to go after political enemies. "Hunter Biden's conviction definitely weakens the argument," GOP donor and Trump backer Dan Eberhart tells NBC News. "To me, the justice system is working." At New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait makes the case that the conviction "blows to smithereens" this argument. Noah Berlatsky makes a similar point at Public Notice.
  • On the right: Vox notes that in the view of Trump supporters, the charges of lying on a gun application were weak compared to what they see as the "real crimes" of the Biden family. (Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt used the phrase Tuesday, per NBC.) That has led them to assert that prosecutors chose this case to cover up more serious ones. The "key to understanding what really happened here, and the role politics played" is to hear a full explanation from US Attorney David Weiss on why the case ended up at trial after a plea deal blew up, writes Andrew Prokop.
  • System worked: In a New York Times analysis, Charlie Savage writes that an argument can be made that politics played a role both in Hunter Biden's case and in Trump's hush-money case, given that both involved "relatively marginal" charges. "But under tremendous political pressure, 12 jurors in both cases appear to have taken their jobs seriously, weighing the evidence and delivering convictions," he writes. "The system seemed to work more or less as it is supposed to."
(More Hunter Biden trial stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.