Republicans hailed the indictment handed down by Special Counsel David C. Weiss last Thursday against Hunter Biden on tax evasion to validate their impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

But Republicans have still failed to link Joe Biden to any impeachable offense — or any offenses at all. The 56-page indictment never mentions President Biden and provides zero evidence linking the misdeeds of the son to the father.

Nevertheless, House Republicans are pushing ahead this week with their plans for a vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry.

Isn’t it clear that the Republicans’ impeachment inquiry is retribution for the impeachments and indictments of former President Trump?

And that Trump is behind this?

After all, Weiss began investigating Hunter Biden five years ago as the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Delaware.

Around this time, Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, according to a White House memorandum of a July 25, 2018, phone call Trump made to Zelensky.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Trump said, according to the memo.

Zelensky noted that Ukraine was “almost ready to buy more [Javelin missiles] from the United States for defense purposes.”

Trump responded: “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.”

That conversation with Zelensky was central to the whistleblower complaint that spurred Democrats to support an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Trump and his Republican enablers would like nothing better than for the House to spend much of the spring conducting a drawn-out impeachment of Joe Biden. That way, Trump can deflect attention from his criminal trials.

And they’d like nothing better than for the Senate to consider whether to convict Biden in the months and weeks leading up to the 2024 election, for the same reason.

Although there’s not a scintilla of evidence linking President Biden to any high crime or misdemeanor, Trump and his allies know that the mere fact of an ongoing impeachment inquiry will generate enough media stories to confuse a portion of the public about whether Biden is guilty of something.

Trump will use that confusion to repeatedly accuse President Biden of being corrupt.

In other words, House Republicans will do for Trump in the 2024 election what Trump wanted Zelensky to do for him in the 2020 election — use dirt on Hunter as a way to throw dirt on Joe.

This time, Trump also wants to use the dirt to bury stories about Trump’s criminal trial for seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election, on which a verdict before the 2024 election seems likely.