As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, there are plenty of questions that the media should be pressing him on. Instead, they’ve allowed him leeway.
Joe Biden’s son Hunter announced earlier in December that he is under federal investigation. Hunter’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski has claimed the incoming president was closer to his son’s business dealings than he’s admitted. There are also policy considerations, particularly with other countries and areas of the world, like China and the Middle East.
Instead of pushing Biden on some of the tough questions, much of the media is letting the president-elect off the hook. Here are six questions the press should have been asking Biden leading up to his presidency:
Have you had dinner with Bobulinski? What was discussed?
Bobulinski has accused Biden of lying about his involvement in Hunter’s business dealings. He told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson in December that he met with Biden more than once regarding his son’s business dealings. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Senate Committee Successfully Verifies All Bobulinski Materials Reviewed To Date)
Fox News also obtained text messages between Bobulinski and James Biden, Joe’s younger brother, in October. The messages suggested that a meeting may have taken place and one allegedly was sent to Hunter regarding the president-elect.
“Mrng plse let me knw if we will do early dinner w your Uncle & dad and where, also for document translation do you want it simple Chinese or traditional?” Bobulinski texted Hunter on May 2, 2017, according to Fox News.
Bobulinski’s claims suggest that Joe Biden may have had more involvement – or at least known more – regarding his son’s foreign business dealings.
Will you protect the special counsel?
The investigation into Hunter Biden gives the media a lot of potential questions for the incoming president. As Biden considers who he will appoint as attorney general, President Donald Trump is potentially considering appointing a special counsel to independently investigate Hunter. (RELATED: Fox News Reporter Gets Shooed Away After Asking Jill Biden About Hunter News)
The question over whether Biden would protect that possible special counsel has been largely sidestepped, though Fox News’ Chris Wallace did ask incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki about it.
“There has been a lot of concern among Republicans about whether or not President Biden is going to stop the investigation of his son,” Wallace said on Sunday. “A couple of specifics here, does he promise to let David Weiss, who is the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, does he promise to allow him to finish the job and what does he think of President Trump possibly appointing a special counsel to conduct an independent investigation of Hunter Biden?
“Let me be crystal clear and I appreciate you asking this question. He will not be discussing an investigation of his son with any attorney general candidates,” Psaki said. “He will not be discussing it with anyone he is considering for the role, and he will not be discussing it with the future attorney general.”
Psaki also said that the incoming attorney general would choose investigations without involvement from the Biden administration.
Other media publications and journalists have not pushed Biden or his incoming administration on questions regarding Hunter and the federal investigation.
Will Biden’s AG protect the special counsel or will he/she stop it?
Attorney General William Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to be special counsel earlier in 2020. Durham is investigating “the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation within the FBI” following the Trump-Russia probe, the Associated Press reported.
Durham may “investigate whether any federal official, employee or any person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence or law enforcement activities” regarding the 2016 presidential campaign, the Trump administration or anyone involved with the campaign, the AP added.
“The list of the names of people falling within that mandate is a who’s who of Washington from Hillary Clinton to James Comey to . . . yes . . . Joe Biden,” an op-ed from USA Today suggested before going on to note various Democrats who have denounced the investigations.
Biden himself referred to it as the “investigation of the investigators,” the USA Today article noted. If reports that Biden plans to choose former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates are true, these investigations could complicate those plans, as Yates was involved in the original Russia investigation.
Given Biden’s options as attorney general, will his choice protect the special counsel or work to stop it?
How will you protect the independence of any ongoing investigations into Hunter?
Now that the federal investigation into his son has been announced, it could be important for the public to know just how, exactly, the incoming president plans to ensure he is independent of any ongoing investigations into his son.
Knowing this information would promote transparency between the incoming administration, the media and the American people. Despite this, there has been no hard pushes from the media on this topic.
Much of the media first dismissed the New York Post’s Hunter-laptop story as Russian disinformation and not legitimate. The federal investigation into Hunter, however, indicates the laptop story could hold far more truth than the media first claimed. (RELATED: Both Of The Media’s Reasons For Suppressing The Hunter Biden Story Turned Out To Be ‘False’)
While Psaki told Wallace on Sunday that the Biden administration would not be involved in any investigations chosen by the attorney general, the media could have spent the past few weeks pressing Biden on it.
How do you intend to investigate and hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic?
As COVID-19 continues to affect America, we’ve learned more about it – including the fact that China downplayed and tried to hide the pandemic from the world. A report from the Associated Press, for example, found that Chinese officials warned the public seven days after learning of the likely pandemic.
China has continued to try to evade the blame, including baselessly claiming that the disease originated in Italy or that the U.S. is actually at fault for its inception and spread. The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to start up an international investigative team to look into the origin of COVID-19 in China beginning in January. There are concerns the probe by WHO will not be completely impartial after several reports indicate that some within the leadership of the global organization have connections to China, and have avoided holding the country accountable. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: White House, Senators Pan WHO Investigation Into Chinese Origins Of COVID-19)
Biden said in a presidential debate that he would “make China play by the international rules.” It remains unclear exactly what his plan is in investigating and holding the country accountable for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do you plan on reaching out to the Trump administration on how best to work with Arab countries, particularly on normalizing ties with Israel?
In September, the president mediated an agreement between Israel and Bahrain, calling it “a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East.”
In December, Trump announced that Morocco and Israel agreed to a deal that will normalize relations, too. This made Morocco the fourth Arab country to normalize relations under the Abraham Accords.
The media has given little attention to this area of work under the Trump administration. They’ve also avoided asking the president-elect if he will collaborate with the Trump administration and get their advice on furthering these ties.
And it’s likely that this trend will continue.