‘Publicly Engaging in Criminal Behavior Now’: Trump Openly Urges China to Investigate the Bidens

Donald Trump ICE

President Donald Trump from the White House lawn on Thursday openly discussed the possibility of asking China’s president, Xi Jinping, to investigate Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. Trump said he hadn’t yet asked China to do this, as he was suggesting China should launch an investigation.

“I haven’t, but clearly it’s something we should start thinking about,” the president said, once again sending the Twittersphere into overdrive. Trump’s remarks on China, which were apparently unprompted, presumably has to do with the allegation that Hunter Biden “walk[ed] out of China with $1.5 billion in a fund and the biggest funds in the world can’t get money out of China and he’s there with one quick meeting and he flies in on Air Force Two.” Hunter Biden’s lawyer has denied this:

However, George Mesires, lawyer for Hunter Biden, said in an interview earlier this year that his client’s role has been misconstrued. He said Hunter Biden was on the board of the advisory firm that did not directly invest, but instead advised those who did.

Moreover, Mesires said, it was not until October 2017 that Hunter Biden acquired a financial stake in BHR. Hunter Biden bought a 10 percent equity interest that was worth $430,000 in July, Mesires said. At least half of the firm’s stake is owned by Chinese entities, according to business records.

Here’s a video of Trump’s comments:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently backed an impeachment inquiry against the president, which happened after a whistleblower complaint characterized the president’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as an attempt to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. Joe Biden is one of a slew of Democrats who announced they were running for president.

Reporters, lawyers, law professors and others were quick to point out problems with Trump’s latest remarks.

Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney and a partner at Mark S. Zaid, P.C. (a law firm that bears the name of Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys representing the Ukraine whistleblower), told Law&Crime that you can bet these latest Trump remarks will be cited “as yet another exhibit in likely articles of impeachment for abuse of power.”

“The president is openly and expressly seeking a foreign government to provide him with assistance in the form of a law enforcement investigation into the president’s primary political opponent for re-election,” Moss said. “Regardless of whether it falls explicitly under campaign finance or bribery provisions, this kind of behavior almost certainly is violative of the president’s oath of office and will be cited as yet another exhibit in likely articles of impeachment for abuse of power.”

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.

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