Published On: August 13th, 2023

A business partner of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, testified in a non-public hearing before a House Congressional Committee, that during some business meetings Hunter would put his phone on the table, put the phone on speaker, and call his father, the Vice-President to say “hello.”  This occurred at least 20 times, according to the witness.  What could a reasonable person, also a fair-minded person, conclude from this small piece of testimony?

One could logically conclude that Hunter knew his father would pick up the phone so the call must have been prearranged.  No problem.  Hunter would naturally be proud of his father’s position.

Hunter’s father, the Vice-President, since he knew that the call was coming, would have known that this was a business meeting of Hunter’s, not a family call with relatives and/or family friends.  No problem.  As long as nothing was discussed about the business(s) on the phone, this amounts to a courtesy call that is sure to impress the business associates.  That it occurred more than 20 times could mean that Hunter had 20 or more businesses in play.

One could conclude that if Hunter did not have 20+ different businesses in play then sometimes the same people would be on the speaker phone saying “hello.”  One could also conclude that the President recognized some of the same people he had said “hello” to in the past and might have called them by name.  “Hi Devon, the weather is great here.  Hope it is good where you are.  Have a nice meeting.”

In essence, this is what Congressman Dan Goldman told the press after the hearing.  He said only niceties were discussed on the phone – no business was discussed.  Therefore, concluded Congressman Goldman, Hunter’s business partners being given access to power affecting their business decisions was the illusion of access.  No problem.  Who knows if the testimony is accurate?  The person testifying has been convicted of fraud and is soon going to prison for a year and a day.  Why would the public believe a convicted felon?  Hunter’s father might just be trying to help his son with some courtesies as his son has had a difficult life.

Miss Constitution thinks that a reasonable, fair-minded person could come to the above conclusions.  No problem.  The witness’s testimony needs to be corroborated and even if his testimony is corroborated the conclusion that nothing improper occurred may be logical.  Miss Constitution would have a few questions, however, before we move on:

Did the Vice-President ever meet Hunter’s business partners in person or in writing?  Did the Vice-President ever meet with any of Hunter’s business partners at the White House or the Vice-President’s residence?  If yes, how many visits at each place occurred? How long were the visits? Who attended these meetings? Were only niceties like the weather discussed?

Finally, what were the actual businesses that Hunter and his partners were in? Did the businesses involve other countries? If yes, were Hunter and his partners paid for whatever businesses they were in by sovereign states, by individuals, or by companies in those sovereign states?  Were any decisions regarding these countries, made by the federal administration, linked to payments to Hunter and his business partners? If Hunter was doing business with foreign countries, foreign individuals, or foreign companies, did any of this money reach the Vice-President, personally, or any of his family members?  If yes, by what route?

Once we have these answers, corroborated, we will know if there was the illusion of access or actual access.  If actual access, there might be a problem – a big problem under Article II, section 4 of the United States Constitution.

“The President, Vice-President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Until full disclosure and corroboration are available to the public, the benefit of the doubt should always go to the elected public servant, out of respect to those who voted for him or her.  This deference is part of our Unwritten Law, and essential to the stability of the nation.

Miss Constitution thinks this respect and benefit of the doubt should also be extended to the unelected judiciary.  Federal judges, in particular, selected by a President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate of the United States, should be assumed to be impartial once sitting on the bench.  So should military judges. This is Miss Constitution’s Doctrine of the Black Robe.  The Doctrine states that once a judge puts on the black robe of office, in the robing room, he or she in a mysterious way transforms from an ordinary political person into the arbiter of blind justice.  This occurrence, like the holy oil placed on the British monarch during coronation, elevates the person and the person’s sense of high duty relative to rulings from the bench. (A military uniform would have the same effect.)

This concept was unceremoniously ditched when a United States District Court Judge in Washington, DC ruled that the military judge in the Beau Bergdahl court martial was possibly compromised because he had applied to the Department of Justice to be an immigration judge when he retired from the military.  In other words, the assumption was that Judge Nance could not be impartial in the case as he wanted a job with those prosecuting Bergdahl. This assumption is a problem. The Doctrine of the Black Robe is an important affirmation of the honor necessary for our system to work. We the People must assume that those we elect or appoint possess that honor.

In recent memory, there is no one so despicable as Beau Bergdahl.  He deserted his military post; he cost the lives and limbs of those trying to find him; and he was unaccountably traded for some of the most ruthless killers in the world. That he was not executed is puzzling. And yet, he stands to have his entire conviction vacated because Judge Walton does not subscribe to the idea that once in a ruling position, judges are about blind justice and the Rule of Law.  There was no evidence presented to suggest lack of impartiality by Judge Nance, only a warped conclusion that he MUST have been unfair.

Miss Constitution, we all know that some judges do rule based on who appointed them. To think otherwise is naive.

Of course, some judges are corrupt; some monarchs are not transformed by the holy oil; some Presidents do not preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and faithfully execute Congressional law.  But We the People must believe in our system and our system requires that we not cynically assume the worst without clear corroborated evidence. It is our duty to encourage the best, assume the best, expect the best, and be the best in our own lives. For commentators to routinely mention who appointed a judge as if to imply corruption subtly erodes the social order and the People’s faith in it.

Hunter and Joe Biden have some questions to answer.  Beau has exposed a misunderstanding of the transformation from the ordinary to the sublime.  Miss Constitution hopes and expects the benefit of the doubt to extend to the current occupant of the White House and to former occupants, as well.

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    About the Author: Miss C

    M.E. Boyd, "Miss Constitution" is an attorney, author, and instructor in Business, Educational, and Constitutional Law. She has appeared on television and radio and speaks publicly on American history, the founding documents, and current political issues. Her mission is to help citizens understand the Founding philosophies behind the system so that we can-together-help preserve the blessings of liberty and prosperity. Read more about Miss C