I don’t believe Hunter Biden would have been offered a job for a Ukranian gas company – much less one that paid as much as $50K/month – unless he was Joe Biden’s son. As outlined in Vox, a fairly Democrat-friendly media source, Hunter has a long and unimpressive work history comprised primarily of sitting on boards of directors.
This absolutely sets up the image of potential impropriety. It does not in any way demonstrate corruption. What it instead demonstrates is privilege – in this instance, the ability of some people to get jobs, memberships and associations purely by dint of their birth and existing associates.
A good political move is rarely unidirectional. It considers many possible ramifications and is directed in a way which allows for gain on different fronts. This is why politics is often compared to chess.
This is what made the attack on Hunter tempting to the Trump administration. It has the obvious benefit of painting Joe Biden, Trump’s key political rival, as corrupt, but it does more.
It provides cover for the many apparent improprieties by the various Trump children. Eric, Ivanka, Don Jr. and even Ivanka’s husband Jared have benefited far more from ethically dubious channels during their father’s time in office than Hunter Biden did at any point in his undistinguished career. Now, when political opponents bring up items like Ivanka’s Chinese trademarks or Don Jr. being set up as Ambassador to Brazil, the response can be that it’s merely a cheap reciprocal attack because of Biden.
It angers the Democrat activist base, many of which are currently focusing their ire on “privilege” of various sorts. Having Hunter exemplify that may encourage some of them to shift away from Biden to other primary candidates.
It plays to the conspiracy theorist QAnon followers by promoting the Russian line that it was Ukranians, not Russians, who interfered in the 2016 election. This provides them the illusion that their mysterious leader has been correct about an assertion, which is strongly desired. The QAnon followers are a fairly unshakable base for Trump support, and they’ve had many predictions which failed to materialize.
Promoting the theory also pleases Russia, which has been insisting, despite reams of evidence, that they were not behind the election interference. For whatever reason, whether simple admiration of the dictatorial shades of government in the country, actual affinity for Putin or compromising material held by Putin, President Trump has a history of promoting the leader of Russia and his views.
Simultaneously, it allowed President Trump to exert influence, something which (per his Twitter activity) is among his favorite activities. The mollification of a President who is, by reports of many of his closest associates, not particularly bright and prone to emotional outbursts, is a benefit which cannot be discounted.
This was almost certainly, like many of President Trump’s other political moves, a decision from his war room whose advice he followed. Trump’s political war room is competent, and gives him strategies which are designed to play to his perceived strengths. He tends to follow them, in the same way that politicians read the speeches written for them by professional speechwriters.
This is at the core of why other Republican politicians view him as malleable. What they have failed to accept is something that his war room advisers have long since learned: the President only accepts the general outline of anything, then modifies things on the fly to fit his (typically flawed) perceptions. This inattention to detail is what leads to decisions like pressuring Ukraine using aid money designed to keep them safe from Russian encroachment or abandoning the Kurds to slaughter from antagonistic forces.