This Thanksgiving the biggest turkey in the whole country, given his approval rating (36%, which actually makes it a disapproval rating), is the one occupying the White House.
And, assuming Joe Biden invites the extended fam to join him and the missus at the wattle, it could be a whole rafter of turkeys — or, more likely (if Joe forgets to lock the liquor cabinet), turkeys swinging from the rafters …
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Joe likes to say (plagiarized from Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis).
In this spirit, we aim a ray of sunlight upon this holiday’s galiforms.
Our prosopography begins with Caroline, Joe’s niece, age 33, daughter of Joe’s brother, James.
Caroline committed grand larceny when she reaped $110,810.04 worth of cosmetics and meds for herself. Yep, that’s the size of the bill she ran up at C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries in Greenwich Village, New York City, during the course of a year (2015-16) through the unauthorized, unlawful use of another person’s credit card.
That was Caroline’s second arrest. The first, in 2014, was over a domestic dispute that led to her being charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and harassment — at which time she famously protested to the cops, “I shouldn’t be handcuffed! You don’t know who you’re doing this to!” (Yes, they knew — a drug-addled, very spoiled and self-entitled maniac.)
Surprise, surprise. A deal got hatched with the prosecutor in Manhattan, no jail time, not even probation.
Caroline has been in and out of rehab.
Oh, and in December 2020, Caroline entered a guilty plea for a DUI, having wrapped her car around a tree in Lower Merion Township, Pa., one year earlier. Police found controlled substances (carisoprodol and lorazepam) inside her vehicle. Tests subsequently confirmed that her bloodstream contained these and other illegal drugs.
In addition to driving while impaired, Caroline was charged with driving without a license and careless driving.
ASHLEY BIDEN KREIN
Ashley Biden Krein, 40, Joe’s daughter, was arrested for drug possession while at Tulane University in New Orleans, 1999. Three years later she was charged with obstructing a police officer. (Seems like a family theme.)
In March 2009, the New York Post was shown a videotape purporting to depict Ashley snorting cocaine at a party in Delaware. That newspaper reported at the time: “The video, which the shooter initially hoped to sell for $2 million before scaling back his price to $400,000, shows a 20-something woman with light skin and long brown hair taking a red straw from her mouth, bending over a desk, inserting the straw into her nostril and snorting lines of white powder.”
Ashley’s husband, Dr. Howard Krein, became embroiled in a conflict-of-interest imbroglio earlier this year when it was discovered that his recently-created entity, StartUp Health, was seeking to advise health companies on how to win lucrative contracts with the government — as in, access for sale (another Biden family theme — keep reading …)
While recent news focused on agents of the FBI raiding Project Veritas, which had earlier turned over Ashley’s stolen diary, no reporter (as far as we can tell) has bothered to point out the significance of this development: It validates that the diary is authentically Ashley’s, into which she scribbled about her drug and sex addictions and also of taking “probably not appropriate” showers as a teen with daddy. (Yes, you read that right.)
Brother James Biden, 72, is currently under investigation by the FBI in connection with the bureau’s criminal probe into the bankruptcy of Americore, a company — of which James was “principal” — that operated hospitals in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Arkansas. The IRS and prosecutors in Delaware are also reported to be on this trail.
The home and office of Americore’s founder, Grant White, was raided by G-men in January 2019, and Mr. White now stands accused, in court documents, of “gross mismanagement” along with siphoning cash for himself.
It is not known if James is being investigated for the same, but one former executive of the company claims they provided Jimmy a loan of $650,000 that has never been repaid.
According to Tom Pritchard, this loan was based on Schemin’ Jim’s promise to attract, through “political connections” (but of course, wonder who?) much-needed investment from the Middle East. Such funds never materialized, and two medical companies that lost money due to the resulting bankruptcy have alleged in a civil case that James used brother Joe’s name to solicit their business (a government ethics no-no) — and that Jimmy also committed financial fraud.
James picked up another half-million-dollar “loan” from Ukrainian-American automobile dealer John Hynansky.
“James Biden has an extensive history,” wrote Mark Hemingway in The Federalist, “of taking out sizable personal loans from lenders that have political ties to his brother.”
FRANCIS “FRANK” BIDEN
Jimmy Carter had little brother Billy with his snigger-able “Billy Beer” and get-rich-quick schemes connected to Ghaddafi-duck’s Libya, which had Billy on its payroll.
Bill Clinton’s younger step-brother Roger, appropriately code-named “Headache” by the U.S. Secret Service, was convicted for cocaine possession and then (but of course) pardoned by Bubba. One month later, he got booked for being drunk at the wheel.
Joe has little bro Frank, 67, who makes Billy and “Headache” look like Mother Teresa.
2003 was a red banner year for this dude. In August, he scored a DUI in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when police pulled him over and noted “red watery eyes, slurred speech, flushed face,” not knowing “where he had been or where he came from” and finding an empty of bottle of Popov vodka in his car. Frank’s driving license had already been suspended four times.
Anyone else would have done time. Not a Biden. Six months’ probation. In October of that year, Frank was arrested after he stuffed two DVDs (“Rabbit-Proof Fence”) down his pants (what kind of grown man does that?) to evade having to purchase them at a Blockbuster. The consequence? A petty theft charge, dropped.
One year later, caught driving on a suspended license (from his DUI), Frankie spent three months in rehab to avoid jail time.
And that’s not all. Oh, no — not by a long shot.
In August 1999, Frank rented a Jaguar in San Diego and instructed his driver, after an evening of drinking, to “punch it.”
Punch it, the driver did — and ran over single father Michael Albano at 80 mph in a 35mph zone, killing him. “Keep driving,” Frank had urged his driver, two witnesses testified.
Three years later, Frank was found partly responsible for Mr. Albano’s death and ordered by the court to pay the deceased’s two daughters $880,000 after he defaulted on the lawsuit filed against him. Frank never turned up for any court hearings and never paid a penny and thereafter left California, leaving a number of unpaid bills in his wake.
Now living in Florida, Frank saw his driving license suspended again on Dec. 23, 2019 after he failed to pay a fine.
ROBERT HUNTER BIDEN
Last, but definitely not least, the most entertaining (as in clown) Biden of all: Hunter the (con) Artiste, 51.
It all starts with a crack cocaine drug possession charge in Stone Harbor, N.J., as far back as 1988, the same year Daddy voted for the Anti-Drug Abuse Act with harsh penalties for violators. (Needless to say, no harsh penalty for sonny boy.)
Hunter’s drug use eventually led to him getting unceremoniously booted from the U.S. Navy in 2014 for failing a cocaine test — this, after Daddy had gone to the trouble of fixing for him a Naval Officers direct commission as an ensign and public affairs officer.
Throughout his career, Hunter has been perennially unqualified for all the lucrative jobs choreographed for him by Daddy, starting in 1996 with MBNA, the Delaware-based credit card company.
He was the senior VP, making $100,000 a year. Sweet. This, at a time when MBNA was Joe’s biggest donor while lobbying him for bankruptcy reform advantageous to credit card companies. (MBNA’s lobbying efforts succeeded. Even the appearance of conflict of interest is to be avoided by all government officials, according to U.S. ethics rules. Except for Joe, it seems.)
After lucrative stints as a lobbyist and at Amtrak, Hunter launched into his most ambitious schemes yet, starting with Rosemont Seneca, incorporated in secretive Delaware and financed by $24 million in loans from a federal program (the Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility) that was created to assist banks. Rosemont then managed to secure another $106 million from this program, which it banked in the Cayman Islands, where people park money to evade paying tax.
And then there’s Burisma and Hunter’s sketchy dealings in the Ukraine, shenanigans too involved to detail in this column. Suffice to say, a monthly salary of $83,000 for attending one board meeting annually even though Hunter did not possess even a smidgeon of experience in the energy sector and had nothing to offer except his dad, the vice president, who famously blackmailed Ukraine’s president into sacking a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin after Mr. Shokin’s team, who were investigating corruption, raided the home of Burisma’s owner and intended to interview Hunter about the fees he had received.
Oh, there’s more: The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs confirmed in its investigation that “Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.” And: “Hunter Biden opened an account with Gongwen Dong, a Chinese national linked to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army, to fund a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and his wife Sara Biden.”
Joe Biden has pledged repeatedly that his family would not have ties to any foreign business. Yet Hunter’s company, Skaneateles LLC, continues to own a 10% stake in Bohai Harvest RST (Shanghai), a Chinese equity fund.
One thing is for certain: Hunter is the perfect Thanksgiving guest because the one area where he does have some experience is gobbling up the trimmings (along with snorting up any drugs around). Hunter has been in and out of rehab six times.
In 2015, Hunter’s infidelity and drug use led to his divorce from wife Kathleen (3 kids) after he’d run through the couple’s bank account by spending it all on drugs, alcohol, strip clubs and prostitutes, at which point Hunter took up with his late brother Beau’s widow, Hallie. Then, after moving in with Hallie, Hunter face-timed Hallie’s married sister, Elizabeth, from the shower and sent her raunchy sexual texts.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)
Oh, and that’s not all.
In the midst of these hijinks, Hunter took up with a striptease performer named Lunden Alexis Roberts (21 years his junior) whom he met at a Washington D.C. “gentlemen’s club.” He put Ms. Roberts — from Batesville, Ark. — on the Rosemont Seneca payroll. Sweet.
But after learning she was pregnant, he kicked her off his company’s health insurance plan. Not so sweet.
She gave birth to a baby in August 2018 and nine months later filed a paternity suit (he took a test, bingo, him), which Hunter settled in October 2020 for $2.5 million, all the while pleading poverty.
Hunter lied on his federal gun application to conceal his history of illegal drug abuse — a felony. Federal prosecutors have a saying for this, “Lie and try.” But no trial — no arrest, no prosecution for reckless Hunter. He got the gun, was negligent in his handling of it — and lost it…
And then there’s Hunter’s laptop, left at a computer repair shop and forgotten, now proven beyond any doubt to belong to him, with all its indiscretions and incriminating emails and potential prosecutions to come — unless, of course, they get derailed, which seems the rule if your last name is Biden (especially with the politicized Merrick “Parent Threat Tag” Garland as U.S. attorney general).
As for Hunter’s art, our Santa Barbara community is full of talented artists who know better than anyone that it takes decades of dedication and practice to reach a point in life as an artist (if you are extremely talented with a bit of luck thrown in) make your mark, take your art to market and actually sell it. We should all be gratified to read that only “a handful of people” turned up to visit Hunter’s exhibit at a New York City gallery, which ended five days ago.
Hunter told Artnet News: “Painting is about trying to bring forth what is, I think, the universal truth.”
Truth is, universal or otherwise, Hunter is a dilettante novice with a last name that opens the door to enriching himself. Or, as the New York Post pegged him: Vincent van Dough.
This all, of course, explains the dysfunction nationwide, because if a man cannot restrain his own family from alcohol-and drug-induced mania, striking out at police officers and acting as though they can get away with anything, or reap dishonest fortunes off the unethical use of their last name, how can you expect him to run a whole country?
Had this been Donald Trump’s family, the hysteria among derangement-syndromers would have compounded into outright apoplexy.
Double standards and hypocrisy appear to be the norm in today’s America, along with George Orwell’s apt words, “Some animals are more equal than others.”
And that’s nothing, this Thanksgiving, to be thankful for in our divisive land, home of free, because of the brave.
Robert Eringer is a longtime Montecito author with vast experience in investigative journalism. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.