by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ethical concerns are casting a shadow over President Joe Biden as he seeks reelection amid investigations into his son Hunter and an impeachment inquiry, with a poll showing that 35% of U.S. adults believe the president himself has done something illegal.
An additional 33% say they think the Democratic president behaved unethically, but not illegally. And 30% say Joe Biden did nothing wrong, according to the poll. The results of the survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research reflect both a vast political divide and skepticism about the morality of government leaders.
House Republicans have launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden, seeking to tie the president to the foreign business dealings of his 53-year-old son. Hunter Biden is facing a separate criminal indictment by a special counsel after a plea deal in a tax and gun case fell apart.
Republicans have been investigating Hunter Biden for years, since his father was vice president. While questions have arisen about the ethics surrounding the Biden family’s international business, no evidence has emerged so far to prove that Joe Biden, in his current or previous office, abused his role or accepted bribes.
The survey’s findings point toward a U.S. political system riven with cynicism and suspicion. Having fractured along partisan lines, the public largely appears to judge Joe Biden as much based on his party affiliation as the known facts.
Roughly two-thirds of Republicans say they think Joe Biden is guilty of crimes pertaining to his son, but only 8% of Democrats and 38% of independents agree. About an additional third in each party say they think Joe Biden at least did something unethical. A solid majority of Democrats (58%) maintain that the president did nothing wrong.