Yes, Hunter Biden is corrupt. It's one of the perks of having a daddy who helps run a global empire. Deal with it.

What’s truly scandalous about this whole Hunter thing is that it shows how normalized elite corruption is in our imperial society and how little anyone at the top cares.

Last week I stepped away from the Internet for 24 hours and came back to find the most ridiculous thing took place: Twitter decided to just straight up censor a New York Post story that weaponized Hunter Biden’s boring rich kid degenerate life and his corrupt dealings in Ukraine. This crude attempt at censorship only inflamed interest in this obvious hit job and the shadily-obtained computer data on which it was based. So it was followed up by a coordinated media barrage by Democratic Party commentators and operatives — backed up left-Dem suckups — telling people that not only is there no story here, but that the whole thing is most almost certainly Russian op. This hunch was then supposedly “confirmed” by a whole gang of former intelligence officials — a whole 50 of them! — attesting to the fact that this was indeed a Russian op, although they admitted they have no evidence whatsoever. They were just going by their gut, you see! 

All the while, the Post story was making liberals across America lose their minds. They were out in force, speculating on Facebook, Twitter, and in their personal chats that the emails were forged and that the pics of Hunter smoking crack and looking cool were “deep fakes” generated by the Kremlin. Russia was attacking American democracy all over again! 

Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign wasn’t even denying the thrust of the Post story: that Joe Biden met with a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch who was paying his son Hunter $50,000 a month for political cover and access. “Technically conceivable” — that’s how the Biden people were spinning this. 

What made this whole spectacle truly ridiculous was how mundane the facts behind it were. All this back and forth about who Joe Biden met or didn’t meet and whether it was all a Russian op obscured the fact that Hunter Biden was indeed corrupt and that his corruption was totally, absolutely normal: Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, had paid Hunter $3 million and he didn’t have to do anything other than party in Kiev and offer his name and his connections to daddy, all while daddy — as the Vice President of America — had huge sway over Ukrainian politics. 

What’s the big deal, right? Right. This is the kind of perk you expect to get when you’re part of the ruling elite. You get to plunder the provinces. It’s only natural. The Bidens did it. Clinton’s people did it. Hell, even Rudy Giuliani did it. 

As I wrote a year ago — when Ukraine was front and center in the impeachment scandal: 

American meddling in Ukraine goes a lot deeper than Trump’s crude attempt to squeeze kompromat from the country’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky. It goes deeper than even Joe Biden or the DNC or the 2016 election. The truth is that America has been meddling and messing with Ukraine so persistently for so many years that no one thinks there’s anything wrong with it. It’s been the normal way of doing things. That’s why Joe Biden sat around yuk-yuking it up at the Council of Foreign Relations, bragging about bossing Ukraine’s former oligarch-president around — as if this elected billionaire leader of a foreign nation was nothing but a busboy working in Joe’s Delaware country club for tips. And why not? That’s how America’s political class thinks and acts. 

The fact is Ukraine’s been meddled with more persistently and destructively than any other post-communist territory in Europe — well, maybe except the former Yugoslavia. 

Over the past few decades, America, its allies, and its institutions have meddled in Ukraine in ways big and small: They helped craft Ukraine’s privatization laws. They funneled endless amounts of cash into two Color-type Revolutions — first the Orange Revolution in 2004 and then Maidan’s Revolution of Dignity in 2014. They’ve handpicked leaders of the government and secretly threatened to jail oligarchs if America’s orders weren’t followed. They’ve forced Ukraine to cut its budget, increase domestic gas prices, and push through highly unpopular taxes on alcohol and tobacco— these weren’t just general suggestions, but a hands-on micromanaging of the economy in return for aid and investment. They bankrolled NGOs and media channels, provided weapons and military training to fascist-adjacent military units. They helped inflame tension among Ukraine’s multiethnic and multicultural population — a cynical foreign policy strategy that has led to an ongoing bloody civil war in which America and Russia are backing different sides. And this is just a short list…

…For years, America and its allies have leveraged and magnified this instability. They’ve worked with oligarchs and backed one clan against another in an attempt to destabilize the country and to peel it away from Russia’s sphere of influence — all while turning Ukraine into fertile source of plunder: contracting opportunities, lobbying gigs, foundation support, non-profit donations, cushy corporate board seats, and all the other perks that America’s political elite get for managing the empire. You can run down the line: the Clinton FoundationJoe Biden’s son, Paul Manafort, Tony Podesta, and all sorts of other top-flight flunkies like Rudy Giuliani. They’ve been skimming money from this impoverished and plundered country with no remorse or regret.

Meanwhile, America’s corrupt interventions have been nothing but a disaster for Ukraine. Today this highly-educated, resource-rich country — once home to the most advanced Soviet industries — is the poorest country in Europe. It’s a place where many can barely afford to buy food. And there’s no improvement in sight. The people of Ukraine (not unlike the people of America) have yet to figure out and organize around a politics that can actually challenge their oligarchy’s power. Even the new president, who rode his way to victory on people’s rejection of America’s foreign policy goals in Ukraine, does not offer much hope. His answer to oligarchy and corruption: more neoliberalism and more free-market reforms.

Meanwhile, America’s corrupt interventions have been nothing but a disaster for Ukraine. Today this highly-educated, resource-rich country — once home to the most advanced Soviet industries — is the poorest country in Europe. It’s a place where many can barely afford to buy food. And there’s no improvement in sight. 

Back to Hunter Biden and his gig at Burisma. Yes, it’s corruption. Why else do you think a Ukrainian oligarch would hire the loser son of an American Vice President to be on the board of his corrupt energy company?

It’s important to remember that these allegations and this talk of corruption and impropriety aren’t new…

…This is a preview of a full letter that is only available to subscribers. To get the rest, sign up and read it here.

—Yasha Levine