Already a member? Log In

Hunter Splatter Analysis

By last week’s end, the Hunter news cycle had reached a new crescendo.
By last week’s end, the Hunter news cycle had reached a new crescendo. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Peter Hamby
June 26, 2023

Last week should have been a solid one for Joe Biden. Inflation, still the top concern for voters, started to show signs of slowing down. The conservative Supreme Court blocked a Republican-led challenge to Biden’s immigration policies. And the White House hosted a vegetarian state dinner, this one with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, boosting economic ties with the world’s most populous country and giving Biden a chance to bend Modi’s ear about the dangers of Moscow and Beijing. But in Washington, stories about diplomacy or the falling price of eggs are simply no match for a juicy personal scandal. So, instead, the headlines were dominated by the latest chapter in a sordid drama that Biden has been unable to outrun as he heads into re-election: the story of his son, Hunter

The week began with Hunter agreeing to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and accepting terms to avoid prosecution on a gun possession charge, averting the spectacle of a trial for the president’s son. The New York Times lent the news an air of finality, saying that Hunter’s plea agreement marked “a big step toward ending a long-running and politically explosive investigation into the finances, drug use and international business dealings of President Biden’s troubled son.” But even a few days later, nothing about the Hunter Biden story seemed like it was anywhere close to ending.