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President Joe Biden, center, and his son Hunter Biden, right, leave St. Edmond Catholic Church.
President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave St. Edmond Catholic Church in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Susan Walsh/AP

Republicans Strike a Suspiciously Similar Chord to Talk About Hunter Biden’s Conviction

Time and again, Republicans used the same talking points to discuss Hunter Biden’s conviction, but they insisted there were no official talking points.

After Hunter Biden was convicted on three gun-related charges on Tuesday, Republicans seemed to summon a common voice to hit all the same notes.

“Don’t let the Hunter Biden verdict distract you,” one tweet from GOP Rep. Warren Davidson’s office read, which was retweeted by the official House GOP account. The post then claimed “Joe Biden is still the ‘big guy,’” the “Biden family is involved in a corrupt influence-peddling scheme,” and “Hunter Biden’s laptop was confirmed to be real after years of being called a ‘conspiracy.’”

So consistent was the messaging, and so similar was the wording, that it seemed like staffers in GOP offices and in Donald Trump’s orbit must have received messaging documents. (Staffers insisted they didn’t get anything.)

But remarkably, time and again on Tuesday, Republicans spoke with singularity to hit the same points: President Biden is the “big guy,” the “Biden family” is “corrupt,” and this conviction stemmed from information gleaned from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop — a sign that voters ought to believe everything they’ve heard about “Hunter’s laptop.”

Trump hasn’t commented on it yet personally, but his campaign released a statement calling the verdict “nothing more than a distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family.”

“Crooked Joe Biden’s reign over the Biden Family Criminal Empire is all coming to an end on November 5th, and never again will a Biden sell government access for personal profit,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

Alex Pfeiffer, the communications director for the pro-Trump super PAC MAGA Inc., issued a statement on X that managed to hit many of the same themes. “The evidence that led to a guilty verdict came from the same laptop that’s driving Hunter’s tax fraud case on the money he made from foreign business deals,” Pfeiffer wrote. “This decision is only the first step of the unraveling of the Biden Crime Family, and all paths lead back to one man: Joe ‘10% for the Big Guy’ Biden.”

Again and again, Republicans issued statements — and told NOTUS — in remarkably similar words about Hunter Biden’s conviction.

“The overwhelming evidence of Hunter Biden’s guilt came from the same laptop the Biden campaign got 51 former U.S. intelligence officials to pretend was a Russian disinformation plot to help Trump and hurt Biden,” Mike Davis, a potential attorney general pick for Trump, told NOTUS. “They worked with Big Tech to censor the New York Post, America’s oldest newspaper, for the purpose of changing the outcome of the 2020 election.”

(Hunter Biden was convicted for making two false statements on gun-purchasing paperwork and unlawfully possessing a gun while using illegal drugs — charges that are rarely brought against people as stand-alone crimes.)

But Republicans mostly avoided talking about how the Department of Justice seemed to be treating Hunter Biden more harshly than most. Remarkably, Republicans avoided addressing the other implication of Hunter Biden’s conviction — that the justice system was not giving preferential treatment to a member of President Biden’s family.

And yet, some Republicans still managed to argue this was proof of a corrupt Justice Department.

“DOJ is running election interference for Joe Biden — that’s why DOJ did NOT charge Hunter with being an unregistered foreign agent (FARA) or any crime connected with foreign corruption. Why? Because all the evidence would lead back to JOE,” wrote former senior Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller, who now runs the pro-Trump legal group America First Legal.

“DOJ is Joe’s election protection racket,” Miller continued.

He then followed up that tweet with another, this time claiming the gun charges that Hunter Biden was convicted of were 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,” Miller wrote on X.

That argument was far from a common one. Most Republicans stuck to the script — a script they insisted to NOTUS didn’t exist — and kept reiterating how this was proof of the Biden family’s corruption, that Hunter Biden’s laptop contained credible information, and that some payments to Hunter Biden were earmarked for “the big guy.”

There was, notably, one Republican who didn’t seem to get the memo: Rep. Matt Gaetz. The Florida Republican broke with most of his party to complain about a conviction stemming from someone doing drugs while possessing a gun.

“The Hunter Biden gun conviction is kinda dumb tbh,” Gaetz wrote on X.

Reese Gorman is a reporter at NOTUS.