“Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.” — Oliver Goldsmith
I have watched the investigation of Hunter Bider unfold as it has dragged its way through the federal system.
Granted, everyone has political biases that influence how one perceives events and I am no different. I would respectfully ask anyone who chooses to read this article -– if you identify as a Democrat or independent -– to substitute the name “Eric Trump” anytime you see the name “Hunter Biden.” I believe this will put what follows in a fair and proper context.
With minimum internet searching – confining myself to only recent federal cases within Connecticut – I was able to find numerous examples of local residents who were federally prosecuted for tax related crimes. I understand that no two criminal cases will be identical due to the multiple facts and nuances which prevent totally equal comparison. The best one can hope for is similarity. However, this comparison process is applied by sentencing judges, parole boards and sentence review boards regularly in an effort to produce parity (“the quality or state of being equal or equivalent” according to Merriam-Webster).
So then, what do Melissa Pezzolo of New Milford, George Lee of Glastonbury, Virginia Mazzaro of North Haven, Raymond George of Hamden, Mariusz Kalinowski of Woodstock, and Thomas Saint of Newtown all have in common with Hunter Biden (or Eric Trump if you are playing along)? They all ran afoul of the Internal Revenue Service and pleaded guilty to income tax fraud violations.
What do the above-named not have in common with Hunter Biden? They all went to federal prison (I will defer to the attorneys of “Kodak Black” and “Lil Wayne” to make their own arguments as to why the firearm charges of their clients resulted in federal prison sentences while Hunter Biden enjoys a “pass” on his federal felony charge).
There is another huge difference between Pezzolo, Lee, Mazzaro, George, Kalinowski, and Saint and with Hunter Biden. Those unknowns were involved in businesses that provided an actual service or product; in other words, they were all working stiffs. Their names didn’t carry political clout; no prosecutor was putting his or her thumb on the scale of justice on their behalf. These commoners hired attorneys, admitted their guilt, made restitution, paid fines…and still went to federal prison.
According to the internet articles, Melissa Pezzolo was an office manager and bookkeeper for a landscaping company; she was sentenced to 13 months in prison and three years of supervised release. George Lee owned and operated a paving company; he was sentenced to six months in prison and one year of supervised release. Virginia Mazzaro owned a restaurant; she was sentenced to five months in prison, five months of home confinement, and one year of supervised release. Raymond George co-owned a delicatessen; he was sentenced to nine months in prison and one year of supervised release. Mariusz Kalinowski owned a construction company; he was sentenced to seven months in prison and one year of supervised release. Thomas Saint owned a painting and remodeling company; he was sentenced to six months in prison and one year of supervised release.
What exactly did Hunter Biden own or operate? No one has ever really answered that question. Consulting? Hobnobbing? Influence peddling? It certainly wasn’t anything as plebeian or arduous as working in a restaurant or paving driveways or painting houses or running a deli or managing an office or doing construction work. Contrast that with flying around the world in Air Force Two setting up lucrative sweetheart deals by monetizing the name of your father? That type of honest labor?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Pezzolo, Lee, Mazzaro, George, Mariusz and Saint didn’t deserve some federal time. What I am saying is Hunter Biden (or “Eric Trump” if you read my first paragraph) should not be allowed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges in exchange for probation, while simultaneously getting a free pass on a felony gun beef.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss has bent so far over backwards to accommodate the current president’s wayward son that he risks permanent paralysis. One can only hope U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika recognizes the implications of allowing this miscarriage of justice to take place and puts an end to this prosecutorial charade on July 26.
Our country deserves a fair justice system, not one that so blatantly favors the politically connected and “grinds the poor.”
Greg Dillon was a 30 year career law enforcement officer and the author of The Thin Blue Lie: An Honest Cop vs. The FBI.