Florida Democrat gives GOP a sarcastic taste of their own medicine

If Rep. Jared Moskowitz hadn’t won election to the House for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, he might have been a roast master. Moskowitz has a special knack for mocking MAGA House Republicans, particularly Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

On Wednesday, Moskowitz wanted to make a point about just whose bidding Comer was doing before heading into a hearing on “Influence Peddling: Examining Joe Biden’s Abuse of Public Office.” The hearing was yet another chapter in House Republicans’ failing and increasingly embarrassing attempt to use allegations about Hunter Biden’s business dealings to impeach the president.

Moskowitz showed up for the hearing wearing a mask of Russian President Vladimir Putin as he walked down the hallway. House Democrats have accused Comer and other Republican committee members of spreading Russian disinformation about the Bidens.

RELATED STORY: House GOP can’t wait to have hearings on how old Biden really is

.@RepMoskowitz wears Putin mask to hearing on Biden Family Business Dealing pic.twitter.com/jZdGcaImxO

— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) March 20, 2024

A reporter asked Moskowitz: “Congressman, can you explain what you are wearing?”

And acting in character, Moskowitz replied: “I just came to thank James Comer for taking all of our intelligence and using it in the committee. Maybe he can come see the technology in our grocery stores. Thank you.”

That reference to grocery stores was a dig at former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who, during his visit to Moscow to interview Putin, posted a widely mocked video in which he praised a Russian grocery store for its low prices.

Another reporter then asked Moskowitz: “Congressman, don’t you think this behavior is kind of immature?”

Moskowitz did not reply and could be seen removing the mask as he entered the chamber.

Moskowitz’s masking was intended to draw attention to recent developments in the Biden impeachment inquiry when Republicans’ key witness, Alexander Smirnov, was arrested and accused of lying to authorities about a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme involving the Biden family’s business dealings in Ukraine. Then prosecutors revealed that Smirnov claimed extensive foreign contacts, including to officials linked to Russian intelligence, portraying him as part of an ongoing foreign plot to spread disinformation and interfere with U.S. democracy.

So far, the exhaustive and lengthy investigation by House Republicans has not turned up any substantial evidence showing that President Biden engaged in any wrongdoing.

All joking aside, Moskowitz can be serious too. This is what he said about the impeachment inquiry in February during a CNN Interview:

Moskowitz: When did James comer know this was false? And how long did he conceal that from the American people? Those are he'll questions we need to get to the bottom of. When did he find out that this was a lie.. and they were still using this information pic.twitter.com/uFA2AJlYEu

— Acyn (@Acyn) February 16, 2024

But Moskowitz, a member of the committee, often uses humor to make his point. After Smirnov’s arrest was revealed, Moskowitz mocked Comer with a gif of the “you sit on a throne of lies” line from the movie film “Elf.”

“The witness of the FD-1023 form was just indicted for making it all up,” wrote Moskowitz, who quoted a post by Comer where he cited an FBI form that documented Smirnov’s claims.

The witness of the FD-1023 form was just indicted for making it all up https://t.co/gEkZmTkTOG pic.twitter.com/wx0HA4y1Fl

— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) February 15, 2024

And back in November, when Moskowitz brought up allegations about Comer’s own business dealings with his brother, Comer said the Florida Democrat looked like a “Smurf.” To which Moskowitz responded on X: “Gargamel was very angry today.”

Gargamel was very angry today. https://t.co/aLMzok63g9

— Jared Moskowitz (@JaredEMoskowitz) November 14, 2023

During another hearing, Moskowitz expected that one of the Republicans on the committee might attack Hunter Biden for naked photographs reportedly found on his laptop, The Daily Beast reported. So he was prepared when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia whipped out the nude photos of Hunter Biden at the January hearing. Moskowitz then held up an enlarged photo of Trump with his arm around convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

He told Greene: "You come up here and talk about Hunter Biden’s behavior, and you’re so disgusted, but the guy that you all kneel to associates himself with a pedophile.” Moskowitz told The Daily Beast at the time that it’s the Democrats’ job to give the committee’s Republicans a “taste of their own medicine.”

“They’ve decided to turn it into Cirque du Soleil Oversight where literally, it’s just a total show,” Moskowitz said. “If that is the game that they are going to play, then game on.”

RELATED STORY: GOP seeks new way to attack Biden since impeachment scheme is a bust

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Ex-FBI source accused of lying about Bidens and having Russian contacts arrested again

A former FBI informant accused of lying about multimillion-dollar bribery allegations against President Joe Biden and his son Hunter and purportedly having links to Russian intelligence was again taken into custody Thursday, two days after a judge said he could be freed ahead of trial, his attorneys said in court documents.

The arrest during a meeting Thursday morning with his lawyers comes after prosecutors appealed a ruling allowing 43-year-old Alexander Smirnov, who holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship, to be released with a GPS monitor ahead of trial on charges alleging he lied to the FBI.

He was taken into custody on a warrant for the same charges issued in California, where the case was originally filed, his lawyers said. Several sealed entries were listed in the court docket, but no additional details about his return to custody were immediately available.

A spokesman for Justice Department special counsel David Weiss confirmed Smirnov had been arrested again.

Smirnov is charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record.

According to attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, Smirnov was arrested Thursday morning at their law offices in downtown Las Vegas on the same charges. The lawyers did not immediately respond to phone and text message requests for further comment.

Prosecutors say Smirnov falsely told his handler that executives from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid President Biden and Hunter Biden $5 million each around 2015. The claim became central to the Republican impeachment inquiry in Congress.

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GOP continues bogus ‘investigation’ after star witness turns out to be Russian mole

On Wednesday, the Republican-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry will question James Biden behind closed doors on the very critical matter of how he repaid a loan to his brother. Banking records have already revealed that there is absolutely nothing to find in this investigation. Joe Biden loaned his brother James $200,000. Two months later, James paid him back. Neither did one thing wrong.

This hearing is a perfect example of why everyone called before this inquiry should demand to testify publicly. Not only has House Oversight Committee Rep. James Comer accused both the president and Democrats in Congress of lying about the loan, even though Comer already had all the evidence in hand to show everything was accurate and above board, but Democrats are being denied their rightful opportunity to rub Republican noses in the ugly collapse of every piece of “evidence” behind this so-called investigation.

In the last few days, the FBI form that Republicans demanded to see, then released themselves after threatening to hold the FBI director in contempt, turns out to be the product of a Russian mole who was fed false information by Russian agents. Meanwhile, a picture of “cocaine” that was included in a court filing in charges against Hunter Biden turns out to be an image of sawdust. 

The only real questions that remain in this investigation are: How much did James Comer, Jim Jordan, and Chuck Grassley know, and when did they know it?

As Spiderman might say, let’s do this one last time

In 2019, Rudy Giuliani went to Ukraine on orders from Donald Trump and came back with a story. That story was so ludicrous that everyone passed on it, including Fox News. But there was one place where Giuliani could still get this mess published: The New York Times

According to that story, Joe Biden went to Ukraine and demanded the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin because Shokin was investigating Burisma, the energy company where Hunter Biden served on the board. Biden allegedly threatened to withhold U.S. aid from Ukraine until Shokin was canned so Hunter could continue to collect his paycheck, and this oh-so-good prosecutor was unjustly fired.

The Times ran the story verbatim, without seeming to do anything like check Giuliani’s sources or look at public records. However, within a few days, Bloomberg dispatched a reporter to Ukraine to check on what Giuliani was selling, and sure enough, it was all bullshit.

Not only had Shokin not been investigating Burisma, he was so notoriously corrupt that officials in both the U.S. and the U.K. called for his removal for years. Biden didn’t start the push to remove Shokin, and he didn’t act alone. Everything that happened in Ukraine was very public, and European officials celebrated when Shokin was finally sacked. 

There was no story. There never had been a story. But that didn’t stop Republicans from continuing to repeat Giuliani’s fairytale.

Then a miracle happened. Republicans learned that the FBI had been given a tip about this subject, one that resulted in an FD-1023 form that seemed to back up everything Giuliani had said in 2019. Over objections from the FBI, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Jim Jordan demanded the form. Then Grassley and Comer released the form to the public, and it became the beating heart of the Republican “impeachment investigation.”

And the form was perfect. Referring to Joe Biden as the “big guy” was in there. A claim that Hunter Biden was hired to "protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems” was right on the front page. The “17 recordings” of phone calls that supposedly included Joe Biden getting directly involved with his son’s business came from this form. Best of all, it included the claim that a Burisma executive complained about how "it cost 5 (million) to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden.” 

The form was everything. The absolute proof that Republicans wanted.

Except, of course, everything in it completely contradicted years of public records and statements from those involved. Republicans didn’t let that bother them. Comer defended this form repeatedly, calling Democrats who challenged its contents liars. Grassley declared the importance of those recordings mentioned in the form, even while admitting they might not exist. Jim Jordan practically quoted the form in his questioning of Devon Archer, and then lied about Archer’s testimony when it failed to match up.

Then last Thursday, Alexander Smirnov, the man behind that FD-1023, was charged with lying to the FBI and creating false records. According to CNN, Smirnov has informed investigators that he has “‘extensive and extremely recent’ contacts” with Russian spies. And in an interview after his arrest, Smirnov admitted that “officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about Businessperson 1.”

“Businessperson 1” is Hunter Biden.

So, Republicans have not only spent the last year pressing an investigation of the president’s son largely instigated by a document that turns out to have been tailor-made for them by Russian intelligence, they opened an impeachment inquiry with a Russian agent as the “heart” of their investigation

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) on the indictment of ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov for lying about the Biden family: “It doesn’t change the fundamental facts.” Reporter: “Doesn’t change the facts? It does change the facts, because they’re no longer facts.” pic.twitter.com/M8Y2GtSci9

— The Recount (@therecount) February 21, 2024

The answer to why the FBI was so reluctant to release the document is simple: They don’t release unfounded accusations (unless they come from James Comey or Robert Hur, of course). And that ongoing investigation that had Republicans so excited was the investigation of Smirnov, not Hunter Biden. 

All of this was a lie, and Republicans knew it. Just ask one of the men who toured Giuliani around Ukraine in the first place. 

The FBI had my communications with the CEO of Burisma since my arrest in 2019. The GOP received my communications with the CEO of Burisma during the first Trump impeachment in 2020. They all knew that the 1023 from Alexander Smirnov was a lie. Why did they continue this farce…

— Lev Parnas (@levparnas) February 21, 2024

Republicans are plowing on, keeping up the pretense that this source they made such a big deal about for so long was just “ancillary” to their investigation into what they love to call “the Biden crime family.” They have other evidence, dammit. Like how Joe Biden once loaned his son some money for a truck

But in the last day, another part of the investigation into Hunter Biden has crumbled into dust. As in sawdust. 

Federal prosecutors mistakenly claimed in a court filing that a photo of sawdust they found while searching Hunter Biden's electronics was cocaine, attorneys for the president's son said Tuesday.

How anyone could have ever thought that this material, which was tan in color and sitting on a table saw, was anything other than sawdust is astounding. But a picture of any kind of dust seemed to be convincing to Sean Hannity, so Fox News audiences aren’t likely to be threatened by the truth. (This also raises questions about just what Hannity has been putting up his nose.)

A Russian agent. A fake document. A pile of sawdust. That’s what Republicans have to show for their big investigation.

It would be really great to hear what’s happening behind those closed doors today. Democrats should be having fun.

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