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Trump's trifecta

Trump
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

For the 3rd time in 4 years, President Trump has asked another country to interfere in U.S. elections.

The big picture: In July 2016, Trump said Russia should "find" and release Hillary Clinton's emails. In July 2019, he told Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. And today, even as he finds himself embroiled in an impeachment inquiry over this very issue, Trump said that China, too, should investigate the Bidens.

Why it matters: It's not normal for presidents to solicit foreign interference in our elections. It's also against the law, as Federal Elections Commission chair Ellen Weintraub tweeted today.

Between the lines: Trump and Rudy Giuliani have been promoting allegations that Hunter Biden made "millions" in China by leveraging his father's name.

  • In December 2013, Hunter Biden and one of his daughters accompanied Joe Biden to China on a diplomatic trip. During the trip, Hunter helped organize a handshake between his father and business partner Jonathan Li, who was the CEO of a Chinese investment firm.
  • 12 days later, Hunter Biden joined the board of a private-equity fund created by Li and another of Biden's business partners called BHR.
  • A lawyer for Biden told the Washington Post: "To date, Mr. Biden has not received any return or compensation on account of this investment or his position on the board of directors."

The bottom line: Trump is already facing an impeachment inquiry for the Ukraine call. Now he's saying it out loud with China — effectively challenging Congress.

Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine