After Hunter Biden Verdict, MAGA Clowns Juggle Conspiracy Theories

After Hunter Biden Verdict, MAGA Clowns Juggle Conspiracy Theories
Stephen Miller

A Delaware jury found President Joe Biden’s son Hunter guilty of federal gun crimes on Tuesday. The verdict comes amid a years-long right-wing media effort to delegitimize the federal justice system as a weaponized arm of the Democratic Party.

But MAGA propagandists, rather than abandoning their conspiracy theories, are coalescing around a new twist: The conviction is an “op” in which Hunter Biden is being deliberately sacrificed to protect the rigged system.

“The true crimes of the Biden Crime Family remain untouched,” Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk posted on X after the verdict. “This is a fake trial trying to make the Justice system appear balanced. Don't fall for it.”

“DOJ is Joe’s election protection racket,” said America First Legal’s Stephen Miller. “The gun charges are a giant misdirection. An easy op for DOJ to sell to a pliant media that is all too willing to be duped. Don’t be gaslit. This is all about protecting Joe Biden and only Joe Biden.”

Others added that the prosecution had protected the president’s son by charging him with the wrong crimes. “Hunter Biden should be on trial for money laundering, tax evasion for his Burisma bribes, illegal influence peddling, and operating as an unregistered foreign agent of corrupt foreign governments. But he’s not, because a corrupt prosecutor refused to charge him for anything related to the Biden crime family syndicate,” complained The Federalist’s Sean Davis. “They went after Hunter on his gun stuff to make you overlook all his Ukraine stuff,” concluded Real America’s Voice host Jack Posobiec.

The new right-wing line that Joe Biden rigged the trial to put his son in prison replaces the old right-wing line that Joe Biden was rigging the trial to keep his son out of prison. MAGA propagandists claimed that first lady Jill Biden had attended the trial as part of a “mob tactic” to influence the jury, that Joe Biden visiting Beau Biden’s widow was part of a tyrannical plot to tamper with a witness, and that the president was trying to sway the jury by taking bike rides with his son.

Apparently, these efforts all failed — or did they?

Here’s what’s really happening.

Donald Trump, his former campaign chair, his former campaign manager, his former legal fixer, his longtime political adviser, his company’s chief financial officer, and several of his other associates have been convicted of -- or pleaded guilty to -- crimes since he became president in 2017.

Trump’s allies could have acknowledged that the man they made the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is, in the words of critic-turned-potential-vice-presidential-nominee Marco Rubio, “a con artist” who surrounds himself with shady people.

Instead, right-wing propagandists responded to these events by concocting a baroque conspiracy theory positing that the federal law enforcement apparatus under both the Trump and Biden administrations was seeking to take down Trump through “witch hunt” investigations, while protecting Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden. And they’re whipping themselves into a fury on that basis, claiming that if Trump is elected, he will have no choice but to, in their preferred but inaccurate framing, retaliate against his political foes.

These claims were always nonsensical: It was largely Republicans and Trump appointees who were conducting the investigations and making the decisions about whether to bring charges for the Trump allies and Democrats alike. And while Trump clearly views the FBI and Justice Department as extensions of presidential will — and has repeatedly suggested he would drive politicized prosecutions of his enemies — Biden has kept his distance, maintaining some degree of confidence in the system.

But the Hunter Biden verdict shows just how bankrupt the right’s conspiracy theory is.

Hunter Biden is at the center of a years-long campaign by right-wing media, Trump, and congressional Republicans to use his actions to damage his father’s political standing. In 2018 — during the Trump presidency — he became the target of a federal probe. The investigation was launched under a Trump-appointed FBI director and a Trump-appointed attorney general and helmed by David Weiss, a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney.

Rather than complaining of a “witch hunt,” Biden avoided impropriety by retaining Weiss as U.S. attorney when he entered the White House. Attorney General Merrick Garland later named Weiss a special counsel, granting him even more insulation from political forces.

The result was that a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney has convicted the president’s son on federal gun charges that experts say are virtually never brought.

To a normal person, a federal criminal conviction of Joe Biden’s son demonstrates that there is not a massive conspiracy to use the law enforcement system to protect Joe Biden’s allies and attack his enemies.

But the one thing MAGA propagandists refuse to be under any circumstances is normal. They want their excuse to throw their enemies in jail, and they’ll do whatever it takes to retain it.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

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