It’s Year 5 Of The Biden Crime Family Coverup

By Frank Miele for RealClearWire

A truism that came out of the Watergate scandal is that often the coverup is worse than the crime. But that is not the case in the unraveling Bidengate scandal. The alleged crime here is so bad that it is probably the worst ever committed by an American president.

Yet the coverup should be studied, too. It deserves superlatives for its longevity, inventiveness, and sheer audacity. The strategy has been simple: deny, deflect, destroy. Deny the facts. Deflect with distractions, and when all else fails, work tirelessly to destroy Trump, who was among the first to raise questions about the Biden family’s shady dealings. At Year 5, it may be the most successful coverup in modern history, especially since so many of the facts have been in plain sight for the entire time.

So what exactly is Bidengate? A decade-long influence-peddling scheme that saw Joe Biden, the former vice president, using his son Hunter as a conduit for millions of dollars in payoffs from foreign entities in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere in exchange for favorable treatment. The most famous instance of this scheme was the millions of dollars paid to Hunter Biden for his role as a board member of the corrupt Burisma energy company in Ukraine. Even Hunter acknowledged that his only qualification for being on the board was his last name.

Trading on one’s name to gain employment is not a crime in itself, but using your father’s public office to influence U.S. policy is definitely against the law – especially when the clout is used to protect your corrupt foreign employer.

That’s just what happened in March of 2016 when Vice President Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if prosecutor general Viktor Shokin were not immediately fired. Biden even bragged about this escapade a few years later when he told the story to the Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s hard to know whether Biden’s threat to withhold aid was approved by the State Department or whether it was “on the fly” diplomacy, but we do know that Shokin has publicly stated that he was fired because he was investigating Burisma’s alleged corruption, and that after he was fired there was no further substantial investigation of Burisma. Quid pro quo.

Another famous mantra from the Watergate era is “Follow the money.” It almost makes you think Biden was taunting his accusers, quipping to a reporter on June 8, “Where’s the money?” when asked about allegations of corruption.

“That’s what we want to know,” the reporter should have demanded, but of course there was no follow-up question. There never is.

Biden’s cheeky response suggests he had reason to think that he could count on the source of any ill-gotten wealth being kept private. And he may have had good reason for that belief.

On July 20, a little more than a month after Biden asked “Where’s the money?”, Sen. Chuck Grassley released an unclassified FD-1023 FBI informant form alleging that Biden and his son Hunter had split a $10 million payment from Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma. Among the many intriguing breadcrumbs in that document was the informant’s claim that the payment to the Bidens was so well disguised that it would take years to uncover:

Zlochevsky responded he did not send any funds directly to the “Big Guy” (which [the FBI source] understood was a reference to Joe Biden). [The source] asked Zlochevsky how many companies/bank accounts Zlochevsky controls; Zlochevsky responded it would take them (investigators) 10 years to find the records (i.e. illicit payments to Joe Biden).

So that’s one possible answer to Joe Biden’s taunt: “Where’s the money?” Perhaps it’s well-hidden.

Related: Jill Biden’s Ex-Husband Comes Back To Haunt Her – ‘I Can’t Let Them Do What They Did To Me To President Trump’

There are so many flashing red warning lights in the Biden scandal that a casual observer would be forgiven for assuming he was in Amsterdam. Case in point: The FBI informant reported in his June 2020 statement that Zlochevsky had called Joe Biden the “Big Guy” in 2019.

That’s the same gangster nickname that one of Hunter Biden’s business associates used to refer to Joe in an infamous email on the “Laptop from Hell” when discussing what percentage of capital equity was being held by Hunter for Joe in a Chinese investment scheme. The laptop was in FBI hands since December 2019, but the email in question wasn’t circulated in public until the New York Post published it on Oct. 15, 2020. The informant’s use of the phrase prior to that time is strong circumstantial evidence that the FBI’s trusted human source was indeed privy to confidential and damning information about Biden.

But what’s truly maddening about the Biden coverup is just how long it has lasted while more and more evidence has mounted. Recent congressional hearings unearthed a trove of detail about bank payments to Biden family members, and IRS whistleblowers have laid bare the protection racket that the FBI and DOJ have been running for the Bidens. Most of that is just confirmation of what we already knew.

Remember, the first time most Americans heard about the Bidens’ bribery schemes was in September 2019 when the transcript of a phone call between President Trump and then-new Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was released. In it, Trump raised the issue of former Vice President Biden’s alleged corruption and asked Zelensky to cooperate with U.S. authorities by “looking into” rumors of criminal activity by the Bidens.

Imagine if Congress had opened an inquiry then into the question of Hunter Biden’s huge salary for sitting on the board of Burisma Energy, the company controlled by oligarch Zlochevsky. Hunter Biden might be in prison now, and his father would have retired to Delaware to live out his final years in shame.

Instead, Democrats in Congress put Trump on trial for daring to notice that which must not be named – the influence-peddling scheme run by Joe Biden and his kin. The impeachment was America’s crash course on Ukrainian corruption, but somehow the mainstream media missed the story and tried to convince the public that Biden was the victim. They hid the evidence then, just as they did last week when Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal fell apart.

Related: Hunter Biden Pleads Not Guilty After Plea Deal Falls Apart

The Democrat-adjacent media seem to have a hard time understanding the case against Hunter Biden – and Joe Biden – even after five years. It’s not uncommon to hear cable news anchors lamenting that the Republicans are persecuting Joe and that they haven’t proven the president did anything wrong.

Either they don’t understand the meaning of the word proven, or they don’t understand our system of justice. It is not the job of Congress or reporters to prove anything, but rather to investigate and unearth evidence. For anyone who has eyes to see, there is a mountain of evidence against both Hunter and Joe Biden. But what we are still waiting for – what the nation is waiting for – is justice. To get that, we need a prosecutor who will present the evidence to a jury and ask for a verdict. Then and only then will the president’s guilt be proven or unproven.

How many more years do we have to wait?

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The post It’s Year 5 Of The Biden Crime Family Coverup appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump Plans To Bypass Congress And Starve ‘The Deep State’

By Philip Wegmann for RealClearWire

Sources close to former President Trump say he has a plan for keeping Congress from ever again forcing him into “disgraceful” and “ridiculous” spending situations. If he returns to the White House, Trump will seek to resurrect authority that Congress stripped from the presidency almost a half century ago.

What President Nixon squandered, his campaign promises, Trump will restore, namely the impoundment power. “A lot of you,” the former president told a New Hampshire crowd Thursday, “don’t know what that is.” Indeed, few now remember it.

Impoundment, if restored, would allow a president, in theory, to simply refuse to spend appropriations by Congress. More than just an avenue to cut spending, Trump sees that kind of authority as key to starving, and thus crushing, the so-called “deep state.”

But such a move would fundamentally alter the balance of power, and any effort to restore the long-forgotten authority virtually guarantees a protracted legal battle over who exactly controls the power of the purse. Trump welcomes that fight. Some budget experts believe he won’t get anywhere.

Regardless, advisors close to the former president tell RealClearPolitics they are drawing up plans to challenge the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act in court, and if that fails, to lean on the legislature to repeal it. The latter would require passing a law to surrender power, something lawmakers are loath to do.

Congress already went to war with another president who had expansive views of his own authority. And Congress won.

Inflation in the 1970s, the Nixon White House complained, was the result of a profligate “Credit Card Congress.” The California Republican warned Capitol Hill not to spend in excess of $250 billion. When his warning was ignored, Nixon simply refused to spend the appropriated money. A rebuke from the Supreme Court followed when the president impounded funding for environmental projects. But weakened by Watergate, Nixon eventually signed legislation effectively surrendering a power that had been exercised from the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Russ Vought, Trump’s last director of the Office of Management and Budget, calls the concession of impoundment power “the original sin” that ensured “the executive branch no longer plays a meaningful role” in the appropriations process. Vought told RCP in an interview that the power of the purse has become “caricature,” where rather than “setting ceilings,” Congress now sets “spending floors.”

Hence, Trump’s “unhappy” signature on multiple multi trillion-dollar spending bills.

Trump promised he would “never sign another bill like this again” before putting his signature on a “crazy” $1.3 trillion spending bill in 2018. Two years later, he signed another omnibus bill, this one worth $1.4 trillion, that he called “disgraceful.” Both times, Trump justified voting for the bloated bills conservatives loathed by pointing to increased military spending.

Restoring impoundment authority, thus giving presidents an option to curb spending beyond just the veto, current Trump campaign and former Trump administration officials tell RCP that was part of the plan for a second term that never came.

Related: Trump Responds To Those Hoping He’ll Drop Out Of Race: ‘I’ll Never Leave’

The former president said he believes the 1974 law that gutted impoundment is unconstitutional, and if returned to the White House, would govern accordingly.

“Yes, there’s the effort to have it overturned in courts. Yes, there is the legislative effort, but when you think that a law is unconstitutional,” Vought told RCP, the administration ought to look “to do the bare minimum of what the courts have required,” and “to push the envelope.”

Trump did something like this, exercising what Vought called “impoundment-like authorities,” when he froze nearly $400 million in foreign aid to Ukraine, even though the funds were congressionally appropriated. The Government Accountability Office later said that in doing so, Trump violated the law. He was impeached by the House over a phone call to Ukrainian President Zelensky concerning the money.

Trump’s OMB disputed the GAO ruling at the time, saying the administration was simply its apportionment authority to spend the money according to the most efficient timetable.

“The reason why there wasn’t an impoundment was because we did not have the authority just to pocket the money and not spend it,” Vought recalled, saying that if a new paradigm was in place, the administration “potentially would have had the ability to go further and pocket the money.”

Trump believes impoundment would be “a crucial tool” in his fight with the administrative state. “Bringing back impoundment will give us a crucial tool with which to obliterate the Deep State, Drain the Swamp, and starve the Warmongers,” he said in campaign video first obtained and reported by Semafor. “We can simply choke off the money.”

His campaign pointed RCP to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, an entity that House Republicans allege has been involved in censorship of Americans, as a prime example of where dollars could be impounded.

But even some conservatives have their doubts. Kevin Kosar, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said that when it comes to cutting spending appropriated money after the fact, there “is a limited amount of wiggle room.”

“The idea that a president is going to achieve any sort of significant savings or reduction in the size of the administrative state by exercising impoundment authorities is patently ludicrous,” Kosar told RCP.

Related: Spineless: Only One GOP Candidate Vowed To Pardon Trump – And It Wasn’t Ron DeSantis

The policy wonk agrees that the reform Nixon signed into law, mandating a complex and cumbersome budgeting process, seldom works. But without repealing and replacing that law, he said, “a president flat out refusing to spend money that was clearly appropriated for a particular purpose, saying he just doesn’t want to do it, pretty much would be grounds for impeachment.”

Linda Bilmes, an assistant secretary at the Department of Commerce during the Clinton administration, agrees that the current budget process “has become so dysfunctional that it is very ripe for reforms.”

Now a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, she points to the partisan gridlock and numerous government shutdowns that are a feature of the current process. “The number of shutdowns in the entirety of U.S. history before 1974,” Bilmes said in an interview with RCP, “was zero.”

Congress has been kicking around ideas for some time on how to reform the way they spend taxpayer money. Lawmakers consistently fail to pass individual appropriation bills, opting instead to approve spending all at once with a single bill, usually at the end of year and the last minute.

Even if the process is reformed, however, Bilmes said that “the basic premise of the law, which is that the Constitution provides Congress with the ultimate authority, is very unlikely to change.”

She added that although she disagrees with the idea that reducing the national debt requires gutting the Impoundment Act, there is a recent precedent for taming runaway spending. Bilmes pointed RCP to the agreements hammered out between Bill Clinton and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in the 1990s. That is possible again. In theory.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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The RussiaGate Scandal Is Far From Over

By J. Peder Zane for RealClearWire

Special Counsel John Durham may have issued his final report last month, but the Russiagate scandal is far from over. This is not because there is no more to learn about the years-long effort by the Democratic Party, the FBI, CIA, and major news outlets to advance the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump teamed with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election.

Rather it’s because Russiagate never ended. Unlike political scandals of the past – from the XYZ Affair to Watergate and Iran-Contra – it is not a discrete set of events with a beginning, middle, and end. Instead, it has become a form of governing in which the entrenched forces of the Washington bureaucracy punish their enemies, protect their friends and interfere in elections with impunity.

A continuous thread connects the schemes to deny the results of the 2016 election, to cover up the Biden family’s influence-peddling schemes during the 2020 election, and the ongoing effort to tar President Biden’s opponents as extremists or racists.

Ironically, all of this is especially dangerous because it is out in the open. The profound misdeeds are not hidden in the dark web; they are part of the public record. And yet, none of the major malefactors – including Joe Biden, former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James B. Comey, and former CIA Director John Brennan, among others – have been held to account. Rather, they are lionized, and in some cases employed, by leading media organizations.

The breadth of these machinations is so extensive that I would need a book, rather than a column, to detail it. But here is a brief recap that can serve as a reminder of key events of this dark period of our history.

On July 28, 2016, then CIA Director John Brennan informed President Obama about intelligence reports indicating Hillary Clinton’s campaign “plan” to tie Donald Trump to Russia in order to distract the public from the growing controversy over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. Notes in the margin – “JC,” “Susan,” and “Denis” – almost certainly refer to then FBI Director James Comey, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough.

On July 31, Comey’s FBI launched a counterintelligence probe into whether the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russia to damage Clinton through the release of her emails.

On Jan. 3, 2017, Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer warned the president-elect not to challenge the intelligence community’s claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

On Jan. 5, 2017, in his finals days in office, Obama held an Oval Office meeting with Brennan, Comey, Rice, Vice President Biden, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and others to strategize responses to alleged Russian election interference and Trump’s victory.

On Jan. 6, Comey briefed President-elect Trump about the Steele dossier – a series of absurd and salacious memos paid for and disseminated by the Clinton campaign that sought to tarnish Trump’s character while tying him and his campaign associates to the Kremlin.

On Jan. 10, CNN used a leak it received about Comey’s briefing to broadcast the dossier’s smears, fueling a partisan feeding frenzy that led to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate Trump/Russia ties. Buzzfeed News published the entire dossier the same day.

On Jan. 28, after assuring Trump privately that he wasn’t under investigation, Comey wrote a memo recounting that he’d boasted to the new president, “I don’t do sneaky things, I don’t leak, I don’t do weasel moves.” He then went to his car and typed up his version of the conversations. When Trump fired him on May 9, Comey immediately leaked the memos, in violation of FBI rules, to a sympathetic college professor in hopes, he conceded later, of prompting the appointment of a special prosecutor. On May 17, Robert S. Mueller III, a longtime Comey friend and ally, was appointed special counsel to investigate potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Related: Durham Report on the FBI is So Damning That Chuck Todd is Calling For a Church Committee to Investigate

On April 18, 2018, the New York Times and Washington Post shared the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for their “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign.” This work, much of which was based on leaks from anonymous government sources, was filled with “false and misleading claims” which, my RealClearInvestigations colleague Aaron Maté reported, the newspapers have still refused to correct.

On March 22, 2019, Mueller submitted a report on his investigation which “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller, however, claimed that the source of these falsehoods was beyond his mandate, so he did not look into the role Clinton, Comey, Brennan, Obama, and other high-ranking Democrats played in ginning up charges of treason against a duly elected U.S. president.

On May 13, it was reported that Attorney General William Barr had appointed John Durham to examine the origins of the Russia probe. Barr upgraded Durham to a Special Counsel role on Dec. 1, 2020. Durham’s final report, issued last month, detailed the Clinton campaign’s central role in the Russiagate conspiracy while concluding that “the FBI should never have launched a full investigation into connections between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia during the 2016 election” because it relied on “raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence.” Durham’s investigation also undermined the other pillar of the Russia hoax, endorsing earlier findings that there was no conclusive evidence that the Russians had hacked DNC servers. Like the Trump/Russia collusion theory, this claim also originated from associates of the Clinton campaign.

On Sept. 24, the Mueller report a bust, House Democrats began proceedings to make Trump just the third president in history to be impeached based on the claim that he sought foreign influence in America’s elections by holding up aid to Ukraine for a short period to pressure the country into looking into its potential connection to the Russiagate hoax and the Biden family’s work in Ukraine. The aid package was later delivered, and no investigation was undertaken. Nevertheless, the House approved two articles of impeachment on December 18, 2019, along party lines – all Republicans and three Democrats opposed the measure – and sent them to the GOP-controlled Senate, which acquitted Trump on Feb. 5, 2020, on another party-line vote (only Republican Mitt Romney crossed party lines to convict Trump on a single charge).

On Oct. 14, 2020, the New York Post reported “that Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company.” The article, based on email from a laptop Hunter Biden had abandoned at a Delaware repair shop, suggested an influence-peddling scheme while flatly contradicting Joe Biden’s claim that he never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings.

On Oct. 17, Biden campaign official and future Secretary of State Antony Blinken discusses the laptop with former acting CIA Director Mike Morell.

On Oct. 19, Politico reported that a letter signed by Morell and 51 other former intelligence officials – including Brennan and Clapper – claimed that allegations in the Post article had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.” Echoing the false Russiagate claims, the letter continued, “For the Russians at this point, with Trump down in the polls, there is incentive for Moscow to pull out the stops to do anything possible to help Trump win and/or to weaken Biden should he win.” Major news outlets and social media companies relied on this letter to downplay and suppress the revelations. The FBI, which had taken possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop in December 2019, refused to comment on its authenticity.

On Oct. 22, Joe Biden invoked the letter in his final debate with Trump to dismiss the laptop as “a Russian plant.” On November 3, Biden became president through razor-thin margins in key swing states.

On March 30, 2022, the Washington Post reported that it had authenticated thousands of emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop. CBS News subsequently verified almost all the contents of the laptop.

Related: Hawley Demands Prosecution of Democrats, Hillary Clinton After Durham Report Reveals FBI Used False Intelligence to Launch Trump-Russia Probe

On May 15, 2023, the New York Post reported that the Internal Revenue Service removed “the entire investigative team” in its years-long tax fraud investigation of Hunter Biden at the behest of President Biden’s Department of Justice. This purge came after several whistleblowers stepped forward claiming the probe was being slow-walked. The move also came after a series of revelations showed how the Biden family used a series of shell companies to funnel millions of dollars from foreign sources to at least nine family members – including Joe Biden’s young grandchildren. As Andrew C. McCarthy recently noted in the National Review, it is still not clear what the Bidens provided in exchange for this money, other than access to Joe.

On June 4, former FBI Director Comey, noting the long string of cases being brought against Trump by Democratic officials, told MSNBC that “it’s a crazy world that Donald Trump has dragged this country into, but he could be wearing an ankle brace while accepting the nomination at the Republican convention.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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What Will Joe Biden Do If Hunter Is Indicted?

By Charles Lipson for RealClearWire

What will President Biden do if his son is indicted by the federal prosecutor in Delaware? That’s one of three questions looming over U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ fateful choice.

The second is whether the indictment will go after a larger, coordinated family scheme of influence peddling or confine itself to smaller, tightly-confined issues like lying to get a gun permit and not registering as a foreign lobbyist.

The third is whether Attorney General Merrick Garland will approve Weiss’ proposed charges. Significant political calculations follow from those decisions.

It’s easy enough to answer what Garland will do. He has little choice but to approve any charges Weiss proposes after the government’s multi-year investigation. Anything else would look shady, a far cry from the neutral, apolitical justice Garland’s department is charged with dispensing. Burying the charges, after Garland’s refusal to appoint a special counsel, would embroil his department in its nastiest controversy since John Mitchell befouled it under President Nixon.

Assuming the federal attorney proposes felony charges and Garland approves them, Joe Biden faces the toughest choice of his political life.

The president’s dilemma is why it’s so interesting to follow recent speculation by Miranda Devine, a reporter and columnist for the New York Post. She’s the most informed journalist on the Hunter Biden story. Her paper broke the news about the emails on Hunter’s laptop, three weeks before the 2020 election, and Devine has done the best follow-up reporting.

To bury that story before the election took the combined, Herculean efforts of the legacy media, social media giants, and former CIA officials. Their success helped elect Biden. But the “little story that could” just keeps chugging along, mostly because the corruption is so extensive, so rich for investigation. Criminal charges now seem likely, not that the mainstream media has shown much interest.

Now, Devine is speculating that Biden is setting the stage to pardon Hunter, framing it as the actions of a loving father who backs his troubled child. “My son has done nothing wrong,” Biden told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle in a rare one-on-one interview. “I trust him. I have faith in him, and it impacts my presidency by making me feel proud of him.”

Whether such sentiments presage a pardon, as Devine thinks, is still a guess. We can say something more concrete, though, as Biden weighs such a move. Four consequences stand out:

  • A presidential pardon would set off a political firestorm.
  • The White House will try its best to prevent any public revelation of the family’s business dealings. That means the president and his advisors want to prevent a trial, get Hunter to take a plea, and convince the judge to seal the evidence. Another option is to go trial, knowing it won’t be held until after the election.
  • If Biden pardons his son this year, he’s signaling he won’t run for reelection. He wouldn’t put that albatross around his own neck if he intended to face the voters.
  • If Biden does run and pardons his son after November 2024, the political impact depends on who wins the White House and Capitol Hill. The calculations are more complicated than one might expect.

Let’s consider each in turn.

First, a pardon would set off the biggest political firestorm since Watergate. It would look worse than self-dealing, bad as that is. It would look like the president is covering up his family’s corruption, not only to get Hunter off the hook but to prevent the disclosure of damning evidence in court.

That evidence is likely to touch many more Biden family members than Hunter, and perhaps the president himself. The more Biden family members who are implicated, the more the whole operation looks like a concerted operation to monetize Joe’s political position. It also might threaten to shred Joe’s repeated claim that he knew nothing about any family business interests or influence peddling. The wider the sleaze, the harder it is to sell that story.

The chairman of the House committee investigating these issues has said Hunter’s corruption was merely one part of the family business. And that business was selling influence. Rep. James Comer has publicly said that his House Oversight Committee has already collected evidence that nine Biden family members are involved in sketchy business deals, including substantial payments from foreign firms.

Some of those firms are closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party. Comer added that his committee is investigating the possible involvement of at least three more family members, as well as Joe Biden’s own role. His conclusion: “The entire Biden family” is entrapped in the financial enrichment scheme. So far, however, Comer hasn’t named names or provided the evidence. He says he will provide much more at a major press conference Wednesday.

Comer’s principle suggestion is that the Biden family’s influence-peddling scheme is much broader, and their criminal actions more serious, than isolated schemes perpetrated by the president’s conniving second son. He adds that his evidence points to Joe Biden’s direct involvement, including possible payments for official actions.

That is what he told Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, although he hasn’t yet provided the evidence for that incendiary allegation. Comer is also attacking the FBI for desultory investigation – which ignored much of the malfeasance – and calling out the mainstream media for its concerted silence.

Related: Hunter Biden’s Stripper Baby Mama Drama Isn’t Making Joe Biden’s Life Any Easier

The Internal Revenue Service might be implicated, too, since a lot of payments – and a lot of Hunter’s income – went through what Comer calls the family’s “web of LLCs.” A senior supervisory agent at the IRS is seeking whistleblower protection to tell Congress about “preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed” in investigating Hunter’s taxes.

If political pressure really was applied to the IRS over Hunter’s taxes, or if senior agents acted improperly to curry favor, those would obviously be very serious matters, legally and politically. Comer and the House Republicans in the committee’s majority want that testimony under oath and are seeking responses from the IRS and DOJ.

Anticipating an indictment soon, Comer has urged the Justice Department to hold off until his committee presents more evidence to the public this week. “When you have the opportunity to see the evidence that the House Oversight Committee will produce with respect to the web of [Biden family] LLCs, with respect to the number of adversarial countries that this family influence peddled in, and this is not just about the president’s son. This is about the entire Biden family, including the President of the United States.”

However wide-ranging the indictment is, Hunter will do everything he can to strike a plea deal and seal all the evidence to prevent its disclosure at trial. That would clearly be the preference inside the White House. But it’s not in the public interest.

If the DOJ tries to seal the evidence, it would be joining in a cover-up. The Department must require that Hunter attest to all incriminating evidence and that it all be made public as part of any plea deal. The judge himself should demand it. That requirement might kill Hunter’s willingness to take the deal. Rather than reveal the evidence now, the White House would prefer kick it down the road, to a trial date after the November 2024 election.

Whether a trial happens or not, a pardon for Hunter would be politically fatal for the president, and he and his advisers must know it. That leads to a clear conclusion. If Joe pardons Hunter this year, running for reelection becomes unrealistic. Such a self-inflicted wound would be a far more powerful signal of his intentions than a speech declaring his candidacy. There’s no way Joe would eviscerate his political prospects like that if he intended to face the voters again.

Of course, Biden could delay any pardon until after November 2024. That would still invite a high-profile congressional investigation and perhaps impeachment, but the political maneuvering would depend on the election outcome. If Biden loses and the current Republican House moves quickly to impeach, Senate Democrats would be in a bind. It takes overwhelming evidence to convince senators to humiliate a president from their own party. The only thing that would do it is overwhelming fear of their constituents at the ballot box.

Related: Things Get Awkward When Karine Jean-Pierre Gets Asked About Hunter Biden’s Baby With a Stripper

The situation is entirely different if Biden wins and the Republicans take both the House and Senate. The problem, in three words, is President Kamala Harris. Although the new House would have no trouble collecting votes for impeachment, they might hesitate before passing the ultimate decision to their Republican colleagues in the Senate. Do they really want to elevate Harris into the Oval Office?

None of these prospects is a happy one. Each one adds to the misery of a country beset by lawlessness on the streets, chaos at the southern border, stagnant real income, and a looming debt crisis. We need to know whether the Biden family – not just Hunter – was engaged in a series of corrupt schemes to peddle the influence of a high-ranking government official.

We need to know all the family members involved and their business partners. We need to know what they were paid for doing and who paid them. What we don’t need is a weak, narrowly-drawn indictment, an official cover-up of the evidence, and, worst of all, a self-serving presidential pardon.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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$8 Billion in U.S. Funds May Have Gone to the Taliban

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearInvestigations

Since the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, the U.S. has continued sending money to the country in the form of humanitarian aid. Now, a watchdog claims that the U.S. can’t be confident that our $8 billion of aid to Afghanistan isn’t funding the Taliban.

John Sopko, the Special Inspector General to Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), recently testified before the House Oversight Committee, “Unfortunately, as I sit here today, I cannot assure this committee or the American taxpayer we are not currently funding the Taliban.”

RELATED: GOP Drafts Articles of Impeachment Against Defense Secretary Austin for Afghan Disaster

He continued “Nor can I assure you that the Taliban are not diverting the money we are sending from the intended recipients, which are the poor Afghan people.”

The U.S. has sent Afghanistan $8 billion in humanitarian aid since our military withdrawal in 2021, according to CNN. Biden Administration officials have repeatedly stressed this aid is strictly going toward humanitarian efforts via non-governmental organizations and other humanitarian aid organizations.

Sopko, however, admitted there is effectively no monitoring of these funds to ensure they are not going to the Taliban. The U.S. does not currently recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

No effective oversight means U.S. funds could end up in the wrong hands, “subjected to waste, fraud, and abuse,” SIGAR wrote.

The U.S. needs to seriously reevaluate its funding and monitoring processes to ensure taxpayer dollars are actually helping the Afghan people, and not ending up of in the hands of the brutal and barbaric Taliban government.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

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Where Did All the Biden Illegal Immigrants Go? Sanctuary Cities Like New York Are Only Part of the Answer

By James Varney for RealClearInvestigations

In New York City, if the newcomers aren’t put up at the luxury cruise terminal that served the QE2, they could get $700-a-night midtown hotel accommodations with iconic Manhattan viewsIn Chicago, they found themselves whisked to suburban lodgings. In Denver, officials refer to them discreetly as “guests” and you needn’t bother inquiring about their inns or addresses.  

The people enjoying these free digs aren’t privacy-conscious jet-setters, but the secrecy surrounding them might be comparable: They’re some of the millions of migrants who have illegally crossed into the U.S. since the Biden administration relaxed most border controls.

RELATED: Nearly 270,000 Apprehensions, Gotaways at Southern Border in March

No one knows exactly how many people have poured across the southwestern U.S. border since President Biden took office, or where they’ve gone since. The official number of encounters by Customs and Border Patrol stands at 5.2 million people, logged over the last two full federal fiscal years and fiscal 2023 through March. But that number is imprecise because it includes repeat encounters with the same people and omits the many who slipped into the country unnoticed by border agents.  

Under President Biden, the U.S. smashed past the 200,000 monthly encounters mark for the first time in July 2021 and it has repeatedly topped that record in the months since. By comparison, in fiscal 2020, which ended a month before Biden’s defeat of President Trump, the U.S. averaged 38,174 monthly encounters at the border, according to CBP figures.  

Earlier: Why Hasn’t the GOP Impeached Mayorkas Yet? 

Because of an official lack of transparency, all those people and the circumstances by which they have arrived and remained have made it hard to take stock of the historic influx. Through midnight flights and buses from the border to far-flung locales, the administration has made it difficult to identify where the migrants are now living and receiving services. Also unclear are the costs associated with the arrivals.  

But flares have been sent up – especially over immigrant sanctuary cities like New York, Denver and Chicago, which have long promised to house migrants. While those cities are providing housing and other services for a small fraction of the recent migrants, the costs are significant for these budget-strapped metropolises.

Denver plans to spend $20 million in the first six months of this year to provide housing to migrants. Officials say this works out to between $800 and $1,000 per week per person.   

In January the state of Illinois turned down Chicago’s request for more funds, saying it had already spent close to $120 million on its “asylum seeker emergency response” – or roughly $33,000 per migrant.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has asked for more than $500 million in federal aid, while pegging the city’s spending at between $2 billion and $3 billion.     

Other data points of the opaque costs of Biden-era illegal immigration include Massachusetts’ estimate that it will need $28 million to launch a program to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented residents. The state is seeking a share of the omnibus spending bill passed by Democrats in December 2022 when they controlled both houses of Congress, which included $800 million for cities grappling with the influx.  

RELATED: Biden to Open Up Medicaid, Obamacare to About 700,000 Illegal Immigrants

These numbers are incomplete in part because it is hard to separate the added cost of recent migrants from costs for the millions of undocumented immigrants who were in the country before the recent surge.  

A March study by the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform estimates that, after accounting for taxes paid by undocumented migrants, they cost taxpayers over $150 billion per year – a 30% increase since 2017.  

Yet FAIR acknowledges the problem of fixing costs has become more difficult, given the record-breaking numbers of illegal crossers in the past two and a half years and efforts by some government agencies to mask their spending.  

“We often had to grapple with a paucity of easily accessible official data,” the report notes. “Many state and federal entities do not publish detailed data that they collect, making it difficult to reliably separate illegal aliens from citizens of lawful immigrants. We have also encountered cases where the current administration has revoked or restricted documents published by previous administrations in order to reduce the visibility of data which shines a negative light on their immigration policy agenda.”

Those totals also involve far more than simple food and board. To arrive at its staggering sum, FAIR includes estimates of the costs in education, health care and law enforcement.  

“The irony is not only are these sanctuary jurisdictions turning to Washington with their hands out, but that they still refuse to join with governors like Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis in demanding that the federal government take decisive steps to stanch the influx of new migrants,” FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman told RealClearInvestigations, referring to the Republican chief executives of Texas and Florida, respectively. “The obvious hypocrisy of declaring yourself a sanctuary jurisdiction while complaining about the costs and burdens associated with it are undeniable.”

Groups that favor more relaxed border security measures, such as the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights and the American Immigration Council, did not respond to RCI’s request for comment; the liberal Brookings Institution declined to comment. 

RELATED: Illegal Immigration is Surging… Across the Northern Border, Now

Cities housing many migrants have a hard time estimating costs. New York Mayor Adams has asked for more than $500 million in federal aid, while pegging the city’s spending one time at $2 billion and another time at $3 billion. Those are the sorts of bills New York has racked up putting what they call “asylum seekers” or “migrants” in hotels.

And Adams, whose requests sometimes include the claim “we are all in this together,” wants to spend even more. This month, he floated the idea of paying college tuition for illegal immigrants if they attend New York state schools outside the city.

Using Adams’ own number of some 40,000 illegal immigrants that New York City has foot the bills for, it means taxpayers are spending roughly $150,000 per person to host new arrivals. In March, City Hall scaled back its count of the number of its immigrants to 12,700, which meant the taxpayers’ were spending nearly $5 million a day to take care of them, according to a New York Post analysis.  

The Office of the New York City Public Advocate, which helps immigrants navigate the benefits available to them, did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Adams declined to address questions about spending, pointing instead to various links the city maintains for immigrants and noting the city has expanded a New York County Supreme Court decision in 1981 regarding shelter for homeless people to cover immigrants.   

Whatever the current official number of illegal immigrants New York is dealing with it is but a fraction of those that have poured into various Texas communities along the border.   

Officials at El Paso’s City Hall, one of the ground zeroes in the illegal immigration crush, did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment on its spending. But Gov. Abbott said his Operation Lone Star, launched in March 2021, has “allocated more than $4 billion to do the federal government’s job and secure the border,” Abbott’s spokesman Andrew Mahaleris said.   

It was Abbott who began busing illegal immigrants to some of the sanctuary cities that declare themselves so welcoming, such as New York, Denver and Chicago.

RELATED: Cruz to Mayorkas: ‘If You Had Integrity, You Would Resign’

“Texas began busing migrants to sanctuary cities last April to provide relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities,” Mahaleris said. “Mayors Adams, [Muriel] Bowser and [Lori] Lightfoot were all too happy to tout their sanctuary city statuses until Texas bused over 16,900 migrants, collectively, to their self-declared sanctuary. Instead of complaining about dealing with a fraction of the border crisis Texas communities see every day, these hypocrites should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border – something the president continues failing to do.”  

Lightfoot, departing as mayor of Chicago after her defeat in February, first turned to Illinois for millions to help the Windy City cope with its several thousand illegal immigrants Texas provided. In January, however, the state turned her down, saying it had already spent close to $120 million on its “asylum seeker emergency response.”  

That response came last September when Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued an “emergency disaster proclamation.” His proclamation and the words of other state leaders presented a schizophrenic picture in which they portray Illinois as a “welcoming beacon of hope” and complain they weren’t given “official advance warning.”

Most of the money Illinois spent – more than $61.5 million, or roughly $31,000 per immigrant – went to contracts with organizations or staff “who provided on site case management and other services at multiple locations.”  

Illinois dropped another $8 million on “interim housing,” nearly $4 million on “health screenings for asylum seekers, and more than $29 million on “hotel, transportation and housing costs,” according to their breakdown.  

Nowhere did Pritzker or Lightfoot question the wisdom of the Biden administration ‘s border policies, and there was no indication they understood the burdens that had been put on border cities and states. Instead, the unmistakable message was that if illegal immigrants were going to be sent where the “welcoming beacon” shone, other people should pay for it.

RELATED: Rio Grande Border Patrol Agents Assaulted While Apprehending Illegal Aliens

“They can say all that is for free, but now they’re finding out they can’t have a welfare society and an open border,” said Lora Reis, the director of the Border Security and Immigration Center at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Denver held a budget “transparency and equity” meeting earlier this month at which Chief Financial Officer Margaret Danuser said the city will have spent between $17 and $20 million on housing and other services for between 5,000 and 6,000 illegal immigrants between Dec. 2022 and this June. The city hoped to get federal taxpayers to reimburse it for $2.8 million, and a Colorado state fund for another $3.5 million.

Those figures show Denver spent about the same as Chicago at roughly $33,000 per immigrant, costs that are still far below New York City’s. 

“None of these sanctuary mayors or governors have ever asked for a secure border, it was always just, ‘feds, give us money!’” said Reis. “They can say all that for free, but they are finding out you can’t have a welfare system and an open border.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The post Where Did All the Biden Illegal Immigrants Go? Sanctuary Cities Like New York Are Only Part of the Answer appeared first on The Political Insider.

With Assist From Manhattan DA, Trump Once Again Enjoys United GOP Support

By Philip Wegmann for RealClearPolitics

Donald Trump again made history Thursday evening, this time by becoming the first former president of the United States to be indicted, stemming from charges related to illegal hush money payments made to a porn star in 2016.

And yet even while in legal jeopardy, blindsided by an indictment he hoped to avoid, Trump has tightened his grip on the GOP. His wrongful persecution has become the defining cause of the right. At least that’s how many Republicans see it.

RELATED: Flashback: Presidential Candidate John Edwards Acquitted On Campaign Finance Charge, Hillary Clinton Only Paid Fine for Violation

“When our justice system is weaponized as a political tool, it endangers all of us,” said Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. “This is a blatant abuse of power from a DA focused on political vengeance instead of keeping people safe.”

Allies close to the former president previously cautioned him to avoid controversy and to move beyond personal politics to focus on the challenges facing the nation. If he could just do that, Sen. Lindsey Graham predicted in an interview last summer with RealClearPolitics, Trump had “a damn good chance of winning” not just the nomination but once again the White House.

“If it is a grievance campaign,” the South Carolina Republican almost sighed, “then he is gonna have a problem.” Less than a year later, Trump is a candidate again. And Trump is very much aggrieved. But this time, the grievance isn’t exactly by his own invitation. Graham now sees it central to his return to power.

“How does this end, Sean,” the senator told the host of Hannity on Fox News, “Trump wins in court. And he wins the election. That’s how this works.” A loyal surrogate for that presidential campaign, he urged viewers three different times to go donate to the former president because “he has spent more money on lawyers than most people spend on campaigns – they’re trying to bleed him dry.”

Graham isn’t wrong, not just about mounting legal expenses, but more broadly about Trump’s mounting lead in the polls since predicting nearly two weeks ago that he would soon be arrested. He was already the undisputed front runner in the polls before the indictment.

Now defense of the former president is the united cause of the Republican Party. It instantly shifted the 2024 landscape. The scope of the indictment is not known, though some early reporting suggests Trump could face more than 30 counts related to business fraud. Forthcoming legal details, however, were immediately eclipsed by political considerations Thursday evening.

RELATED: Mask Off Moment: Pelosi Shredded After Suggesting Trump Needs to ‘Prove Innocence’ at Trial

The indictment was just more of the same, Trump said in a statement, likening it to “Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.”

For Republicans, it was muscle memory to rally to Trump’s defense like they have done so many times before. “Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a statement echoed across all corners of the right from old Trump rivals, like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who said the indictment signaled “the death of the rule of law,” and new Trump allies, like Ohio Sen. JD Vance who called it “political persecution.”

Trump loyalists seem to have been caught off guard Thursday by leaked news that a grand jury voted to indict the former president. Given that federal prosecutors declined previously to take up the issue of hush payments made ahead of the 2016 election, they had hoped that Bragg wouldn’t ultimately follow through.

Alina Habba, Trump’s attorney, said in an interview with Bret Baier of Fox News that she was “shocked” by the news. She confirmed that a booking at the New York City courthouse, complete with fingerprinting and a mug shot, was soon expected.

If the coming legal wrangling is unprecedented, the political fallout was somewhat familiar. Although Trump’s 2024 rivals were quick to condemn the looming indictment, either by accident or design, the Manhattan district attorney has shifted the national political landscape just 10 months before the Iowa caucuses.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is expected to make his own bid for the White House, said the treatment of his old boss was an “outrage” that amounted to “political persecution.” A representative for the Nikki Haley campaign pointed RCP to previous comments the former ambassador made condemning the then still rumored indictment as motivated by “revenge.”

But perhaps the most significant development came from another Florida Republican, the only other potential candidate polling within striking distance of Trump.

RELATED: President Donald Trump’s Lead Grows After Indictment

That state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, earlier incurred the wrath of Trump and many in his orbit for not speaking out sooner when the former president prematurely predicted his indictment. When first addressing the controversy, DeSantis pledged to avoid “the circus” altogether. Worse in the eyes of MAGA? DeSantis made reference to the underlying facts of the case.

“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “I just, I can’t speak to that.”

But the governor did not take any shots, veiled or otherwise, at Trump Thursday evening. Instead, DeSantis condemned the indictment as “un-American.” DeSantis vowed that Florida, if it came to that, would not cooperate with forcing the former president from his estate in Mar-a-Lago to face charges in New York.

“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” he said in a statement.

And just like that, with an assist from a local Democratic district attorney in a state no Republican has carried since 1984, it seems that rather than revisiting old grievances, a newly aggrieved Trump has moved one step closer to the Republican nomination. Lindsey Graham seemingly spoke for the GOP, while making little distinction between opposing an allegedly politicized prosecution, supporting Trump, and defending America itself.

“This is the most irresponsible and dangerous decision by a prosecutor in the history of the country,” the South Carolina Republican said. “He’s opened up a Pandora’s box against the presidency itself.”

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The post With Assist From Manhattan DA, Trump Once Again Enjoys United GOP Support appeared first on The Political Insider.

Why Hasn’t the GOP Yet Walked the Walk on Its Mayorkas Impeachment Talk?

By James Varney for RealClearInvestigations

It’s almost an understatement to say that Republican candidates campaigned hawkishly on border control in the runup to the 2022 midterms: As they decried the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico, many vowed to impeach the man they largely blamed for the mess, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

Republicans have continued hammering Mayorkas since taking control of the House. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who called the flooding of more than 5 million illegal immigrants across the southern border since President Biden took office an “intentional” policy, has made several visits to the U.S.-Mexico border with other Republicans, and the House has held multiple hearings on immigration. 

RELATED: Mayorkas Supports ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban But Can’t Define ‘Assault Weapons’

But as winter has turned to spring, the GOP has taken little action to remove Mayorkas. Republicans Andy Biggs of Arizona and Pat Fallon of Texas  have each filed bills, but the House Judiciary Committee, from which any impeachment move must come, has not taken up either resolution. 

Conservative groups focused on the southern border told RealClearInvestigations that impeachment did not come up during recent meetings in Washington. 

“I just came from the Hill and a bunch of meetings with staffers and they’re reporting the same thing; one said the conference is split, with a lot of GOP ‘George W. Bush types’ who love the cheap labor for American industry and agriculture,” said Todd Bensman of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies and author of “Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in U.S. History.”  

Bensman calls it an “old story,” but cheap labor is only part of it. Republicans aren’t united on this issue because some fear that following through on impeachment talk will alienate the moderate swing voters that the GOP needs to remain in control of the House.

Even Republicans who have publicly attacked Mayorkas are now reticent about discussing impeachment. RCI reached out to 16 GOP House members for comment. Neither Biggs nor Fallon responded. Virginia Rep. Bob Good, a member of the Freedom Caucus who is co-sponsor of both resolutions, declined to comment on the record. Other outspoken administration critics such as Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Tom McClintock of California, and Matt Gaetz of Florida did not respond. 

Only two of the 16 Republican House members agreed to speak on the record.

“I have repeatedly called for his impeachment and am confident that Chairman Jordan will hold true to his word of impeaching Mayorkas for overseeing an unprecedented surge of illegal activity at our southern border,” Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona said.  

RELATED: Cruz to Mayorkas: ‘If You Had Integrity, You Would Resign’

Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said Biden administration officials have lied about what they have done at the border but was more circumspect on impeachment, suggesting a wait-and-see attitude may be behind the aggressive rhetoric. 

“I’m not on the Judiciary Committee and it would have to come from there,” he said. “My hope is that at least some information will come from hearings because some members legitimately have some questions.” 

Perry and others said they would like to see the Judiciary Committee make the case for impeachment, a process Jordan appears to be favoring. For the moment, however, the only concrete step Republicans have taken is a symbolic gesture by Rep. Chip Roy of Texas to try to cut Mayorkas’ salary from the DHS budget. 

The bills filed by Reps. Biggs and Fallon contend that Mayorkas’s conduct meets the constitutional threshold for impeachment, “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Fallon’s bill, H. Res. 8, alleges that the secretary has violated the oath all cabinet members take to “faithfully uphold” the laws of the United States by failing to enforce: 

  • The Secure the Fence Act of 2006 that requires the DHS secretary to “maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States.”
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act that requires the DHS secretary to “detain inadmissible aliens arriving in the United States or aliens who are present in the United States without inspection until processed.” Instead, it claims, Mayorkas’ “catch and release” approach has allowed more than “1,000,000 illegal aliens” into the country. 

While referencing those two laws, the Biggs resolution, H. Res. 582, also accuses Mayorkas of violating the Public Health Services Act by failing to protect U.S. citizens from “risk and exposure to and contracting Covid-19 by refusing to take necessary steps to prevent contagious illegal aliens from entering the United States.”  

In sum, the Biggs resolution concludes Mayorkas should be impeached because “his actions have subverted the will of Congress and the core tenets of the Constitution.” 
RCI reached out repeatedly to a dozen Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee seeking comment on a possible impeachment of Mayorkas and their reaction. None of them responded.

RELATED: Mayorkas Falsely Claimed Border is ‘Closed’ Ahead of Biden Trip to El Paso

Mayorkas has stated repeatedly he has no intention of resigning, a suggestion Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made again Tuesday when Mayorkas appeared at a Senate committee hearing. “If you had any integrity you would resign,” Cruz said.

The volley came after the two got into a verbal spat over how truthful the administration has been about the border. Cruz cited comments by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that people are “not walking across the border” along with photographs of people doing just that. “You claim you care, Mr. Secretary –– that is a lie,” Cruz said. 

Cruz again accused Mayorkas of dissembling after the DHS chief would not answer a question about whether Jean-Pierre lied. Mayorkas called Cruz’s accusation “revolting.”

Nevertheless, the department is bracing for a possible impeachment and taking steps for Mayorkas’ defense. A government contract was signed with the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton to provide legal assistance to the secretary; that contract would kick in only if the Judiciary Committee moved an impeachment motion to the House floor.

Debevoise & Plimpton did not respond to a request for comment about the arrangement. Biden administration officials familiar with it said it was necessary because the impeachment of a cabinet secretary is so rare none of its legal staff has any relevant experience. 

The terms of the contract were not disclosed, although officials pointed to examples in the past where House Republicans hired outside legal counsel to assist it on legislation that proved legally fraught.

A DHS spokesperson said the contract was necessary to “ensure the Department’s vital mission is not interrupted by the unprecedented, unjustified and partisan impeachment efforts of some members of Congress, who have already taken steps to initiate proceedings.”

History shows the House can move swiftly on impeachment if members choose to. The Democratic majority, along with a handful of Republicans, voted to impeach departing President Trump just one week after the post-election riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.  

RELATED: New U.S. Border Data: 284 Suspected Terrorists Apprehended So Far in Fiscal 2023

Defenders of the government’s current border policies say that the conservatives’ argument is flawed. The Biden administration’s approach is basically a relaxation of the Trump administration’s more stringent strategy. As such, they amount to policy differences between the two major political parties and fall far short of any “crimes and misdemeanors” that would justify impeachment.  

But, as RCI has previously reported, President Biden’s policies have marked a sharp break from his predecessor’s, since Biden’s first day in office, when he signed seven executive orders on immigration that, among other things, suspended deportations. 

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation who co-authored the February report, “The Case for Impeachment of Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas Secretary of Homeland Security,” defended the impeachment argument from liberals who deride it as purely political. 

“It inaccurately and incorrectly asserts that we are confusing the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Act with the Trump administration policies,” he said. “Our analysis is based not on disagreeing with the policies implemented by Mayorkas, but with his violation of federal immigration law.” 

“I think we have laid out in our paper what we think the basis is for impeachment,” von Spakovsky told RCI. They include the claims that Mayorkas:  

  • “deliberately defied and contravened the laws he is charged with faithfully executing.” 
  • “repeatedly abused the authority of his office, including by, among other conduct, enticing a flood of aliens to cross the U.S. southern border with his policies and Statements.” 
  • “betrayed the trust of the people by lying to Congress and withholding information and misleading the public in an effort to hide and suppress the nature and consequence of his abominable policies.” 

Von Spakovsky added that “the misguided priorities of Mayorkas have resulted in a huge backlog in the adjudication system that unfairly hurts the many thousands of U.S. citizens and lawful applicants whose immigration matters are delayed many months.” 

RELATED: There Have Already Been 1.6 Million Known Illegal Border Crossings This Fiscal Year

Although von Spakovsky and others argue impeachment is warranted “consistent with U.S. history and constitutional traditions,” it would also be a highly unusual move. Only one cabinet member has ever been impeached, President Ulysses S. Grant’s War Secretary William Belknap in 1876, but he resigned the same day the House voted unanimously against him.  

Attorney General Harry Daugherty in 1922 and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon in 1932 also faced possible impeachment proceedings by the House, but the former resigned in 1924 and the latter left the cabinet and became U.S. ambassador to England. 

Impeachment supporters also point to the dangers the Biden administration’s porous border have created. In addition to the humanitarian issues of hundreds of thousands of people migrating through Mexico to the U.S., and the money they have paid to Mexican cartels to facilitate their passage, the southern border has become the main conduit for deadly illicit fentanyl.

Scott Perry said his constituents would like to see the Republicans do more than simply talk about the border crisis, though he noted that Mayorkas is the agent who carries out policies set by President Biden. 

“It’s chaos down there with the fentanyl and the cartels making millions of dollars,” he said. 

“Most of our constituents are distraught about that and want it fixed, and many would like accountability for how it occurred. Ultimately, the president is responsible so why not impeach him?” 

But as to what might actually happen with Mayorkas, Perry acknowledged he wasn’t sure. 

“My sense is that with the Judicial Committee holding hearings we are working toward those kind of things,” he said. “That will go to the fact-finding we need to have to convince some of our skeptical members.” 

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

The post Why Hasn’t the GOP Yet Walked the Walk on Its Mayorkas Impeachment Talk? appeared first on The Political Insider.

McCarthy Can Put the GOP in Position To Win in ’24

By Terry Holt & R.C. Hammond for RealClearWire

Now that the GOP has gained a House majority, Kevin McCarthy has a real opportunity to rise to the occasion. Although it wasn’t the midterm election result McCarthy wanted, by winning the House of Representatives the Republican Party has a seat at the governing table. The 55th speaker of the House is in a position to set policies and priorities in contrast to Joe Biden, and in the process make the case that a Republican belongs back in the White House in 2024.

Doing so means that McCarthy and his lieutenants will have to demonstrate they understand the value of playing the long game. Even in a complicated political environment, the incoming GOP House leader can reset the party’s internal politics – provided he can orchestrate his caucus to communicate with purpose. It’s a tall task, but this is the moment.

Republicans would be well-served to focus first on what majorities of the American people want – bringing inflation under control, lowering the cost of gasoline and groceries, leading the country out of recession, and checking President Biden’s tax-and-spend Big Government master plan.

House Republicans could be off to a quick start, focusing on issues that unify the American people. HR 1 should be an American Energy Power Plan, where we put the left on defense and finally put our nation’s energy future on solid footing. A cold winter is a bracing reminder that U.S. energy production must happen on our soil, on our terms, while bolstering American jobs and helping European allies.

Related: Democrat Adam Schiff Suggests Complying With Subpoenas is Optional, Now

Voters would also rest easier knowing that our borders are under control and that U.S. military and economic strength is a deterrent to North Korean missiles and Iranian-backed terrorism, not to mention Russian cybercrime and Vladimir Putin’s territorial ambitions. Focus on the priorities, unify the American people, and you can go a long way toward unifying the GOP House conference.

Headline-chasing investigations should be distinct from regular oversight. There is a dire need to audit, trace, and confirm taxpayer dollars. We must know that the countless billions are being appropriately spent. And while we are being blunt, the GOP should drop the word impeachment from their vocabulary. We need to show that we can learn from the mistakes of the opposition.

We don’t need an investigation to confirm China’s responsibility for spreading COVID. Still, hearings can identify why public health systems failed and identify approaches that don’t trample civil liberties or shut down the American economy the next time we confront a pandemic. When it comes to inquiries into Biden’s business dealings, direct questions about payments to Joe Biden are far more relevant than even the most scandalous, and at this point personally tragic, revelations about Hunter Biden.

Clicks are not votes, and social media engagement is not persuasion. Elon Musk will do his best to rebuild Twitter into a public square, but compelling communication fundamentals should be the priority. Look at Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis leveraged disputes over stadium funding. Mike DeWine in Ohio led on the economy and created the political climate which helped the GOP to hold a vital Senate seat.

Related: Weak McCarthy Might Lead to First ‘Floor Fight’ for House Speaker in 100 Years

All of this will occur against the backdrop of the 2024 GOP presidential primary. Donald Trump is running, and he is the front-runner unless served notice by primary voters. He is a formidable campaigner, and nobody is better at delivering a one-line knock-out punch.

Like the successful 1994 “Contract with America” before it, McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” is the checklist the GOP should use to keep their focus. Nancy Pelosi will no longer be an option for punditry punchlines, and intra-party squabbles will draw the interest of a hostile establishment media. We agree with Newt Gingrich, probably the most notorious back-bench rabble-rouser of them all: Picking fights with leadership doesn’t advance the ball.

If the GOP nominee wins in ’24, it will be because they won the independent voter’s support. To get there, McCarthy first has to realign the GOP’s message.

Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.

Terry Holt is a former Capitol Hill and presidential campaign spokesperson.

R.C. Hammond is former Capitol Hill and presidential campaign spokesperson.

The post McCarthy Can Put the GOP in Position To Win in ’24 appeared first on The Political Insider.

The FBI Is Now The Federal Bureau Of Intimidation

By Frank Miele for RealClearPolitics

Nothing symbolizes the decline of the American republic better than the weaponization of justice that we saw last week when the FBI raided the home of former President Trump.

And nothing better represents the divide that now exists between Democrats and Republicans than the fact that some people still have faith in the FBI.

Aren’t they paying attention? Heck, that’s like a citizen of the old Soviet Union saying they had faith in the KGB – yeah, to crush dissent and lock up opponents of the regime in a Siberian gulag.

RELATED: FBI Now Warning About ‘Dirty Bomb’ Threats, Calls for ‘Civil War’ Following Mar-a-Lago Raid

The evidence is overwhelming. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now the Federal Bureau of Intimidation. Or more appropriately, the Federal Intimidation Bureau, whose acronym would spell out FIB, as in the Big Lie. Face it, nothing the FBI has said for the last six years since they joined with the Democratic Party to invent the Russia collusion hoax can be taken seriously.

Is there any need to go through the whole laundry list of lies and fabrications that the FBI, with the aid and comfort of the Justice Department, has foisted on the American public?

You can start with the extraordinary 2016 press conference when FBI Director James Comey detailed crimes committed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton related to her improper use of a private email account to store classified material. Moments after saying she had broken the law, Comey announced with a straight face that “no reasonable prosecutor” would ever bring a case against her. Yeah, because she was a Democrat!

A couple months later, Comey set up President Trump’s National Security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, by sending agents to interview him about his supposed contacts with Russians.

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” wrote Bill Priestap in a memo before the interview. Priestap was counterintelligence director at the FBI, and it became evident later that the agency’s goal was indeed to get him fired – and more importantly to get Trump impeached, fired, humiliated, you name it.

Comey himself admitted that the FBI targeted Flynn and chose not to approach him through the White House legal counsel, but informally with a direct phone call to arrange an interview. As Comey later told a reporter, it was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more … organized administration.”

What about the FBI’s abuse of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos? The agency made up evidence in support of subpoenas, FISA warrants, whatever it took to get the desired result. What about the FBI and Department of Justice targeting parents at school boards as “domestic terrorists” because they demanded that their elected representatives actually represent them? What about the unilateral rescission of executive privilege and attorney-client privilege wherever it would have protected President Trump and his advisers?

RELATED: Republicans Demand Garland Brief Homeland Security On Trump FBI Raid, Slam ‘Politically Motivated Witch Hunt’

The purpose of all of this activity, along with the raid at Mar-a-Lago, was to intimidate not just Trump, but also his supporters. Anyone other than Donald Trump would have given up long ago. Who could possibly withstand the power of the state marshaled against you for six long years – through multiple FBI investigations, through two impeachments, through relentless persecution of your children and your friends and family?

Finally, what about the double standard that allows Democrats and their government allies to go unpunished for a multitude of sins? Notwithstanding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s feigned indignation on behalf of the bureau, what about the FBI agents who lied repeatedly during the Trump-Russia investigation, sometimes under oath.

Even more stunning has been the FBI’s monumental failure to investigate presidential son Hunter Biden, even though it received his laptop with extensive incriminating evidence of criminal activity in 2019.

Even when the laptop was made public during the 2020 presidential election, the FBI stood silent and thus gave tacit approval to the cynical Democratic Party talking point that the laptop was somehow a GOP dirty trick.

It would be interesting to know if the FBI had anything to do with the letter signed by 51 national security experts, falsely claiming that the laptop was “Russian disinformation”! Maybe, like Comey before him, FBI Director Chris Wray thought he could “get away with it.”

That is certainly the only explanation for the raid on the president’s personal residence. It was not appropriate. It was not reasonable. It had no precedent. The FBI claims that the pre-dawn raid by more than 30 armed agents was for the purpose of collecting presidential papers that the National Archive wanted.

The Washington Post says that Trump reportedly had documents with nuclear secrets on them, and the legacy media went ballistic with the story. But wait a minute, isn’t that the same Washington Post that won a Pulitzer Prize for collaborating with the FBI to invent the Russia collusion hoax?

RELATED: Judge Who Signed Mar-a-Lago Warrant Defended Jeffrey Epstein Employees, Donated To Obama

Don’t believe a word from either the Washington Post or the FBI. Trump had been cooperating with the National Archive and had already turned over 15 boxes of documents, all of which he could have made a claim to legally possess. If they wanted papers turned over, they could have gone through Trump’s lawyers. No, they wanted the spectacle. They wanted the sizzle. They wanted the headlines.

This wasn’t about the rule of law; it was about the rule of the schoolyard. Bullies get what they want through force and intimidation, and there is no reason for any of us to believe that the raid had any purpose other than to intimidate Donald Trump into backing down from his plans to run for president in 2024.

Essentially what the FBI was saying is “We know where you live, and we aren’t afraid to come for you.” They even rifled through Melania Trump’s closet, as if she might have been hiding top-secret documents in her hat box. When do we find out they also spent an hour sorting through her lingerie?

This is sickening, no matter how much MSNBC and the Washington Post want you to think you can still trust the FBI. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over and over again, and I must be a Democrat.

Frank Miele, the retired editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell Mont., is a columnist for RealClearPolitics. His new book, “What Matters Most: God, Country, Family and Friends,” is available from his Amazon author page. Visit him at or follow him on Facebook @HeartlandDiaryUSA or on Twitter or Gettr @HeartlandDiary.

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