Democrats are blowing up House GOP efforts to take down Biden

By now, anyone tuning into a House Oversight Committee or House Judiciary Committee hearing knows what to expect. With frequent slams of the gavel by their respective chairs, Republicans plod through repetitive attacks on President Joe Biden or waggle their fingers about some salacious claim including the phrase “Hunter Biden’s laptop.” Democrats try to object and occasionally insert a fact. But the next Republican is at the mic five minutes later, once again hammering the same lies.

At least that’s how it used to be. But anyone who has tuned in recently may have noticed a big change.

Democrats aren’t just tearing Republican arguments apart: They’re derailing hearings and getting their opponents genuinely flustered. The recent hearing in which Republicans intended to charge Hunter Biden with contempt for declining to testify behind closed doors is a good example. Not only did Hunter make a brief personal appearance and offer to testify right then and there in public, but Democrats were able to consistently throw Republicans off their game, blow away false evidence, expose their hypocrisy, and even hammer Donald Trump.

If all that seemed like it took a lot of behind-the-scenes planning, it did. But it won’t be the last time. Because as The Daily Beast reports, Democrats have a plan to make these hearings just as silly as the claims Republicans are making about Biden.

As soon as they gained control of the House in 2023, Republicans launched a series of supposed investigations into President Biden. And his children. And his brother. And anyone else they can lump in to the “Biden Family Investigation.”

For months, Rep. James Comer, who is heading up investigations in the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan, who has the same role for the House Judiciary Committee, have been releasing false claims and mischaracterizing innocuous issues like a father loaning his son money for a car payment. But Republicans didn’t let having zero evidence stop them from announcing an impeachment inquiry in December.

The investigations have a clear goal: to reduce Biden’s chances of reelection and to signal to Trump that they’re trying to get revenge for his two impeachments. Republicans likely feel like these endless investigations worked well for them before the 2016 elections, when they spent two full years hectoring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about Benghazi.

But this time around, the whole thing, whether it’s Republicans badgering an art dealer who sold some of Hunter’s paintings, a disappearing informant, or flashing revenge porn on the floor of the House, has been ridiculous from start to finish. The House GOP has been on a year-long fishing expedition featuring a level of obsession that would embarrass Captain Ahab, and they haven’t even found a minnow.

As Republicans ramped up the Biden attacks, Democrats responded. Rep. Jamie Raskin put together a “Truth Squad” that includes Reps. Greg Casar, Jasmine Crockett, Maxwell Frost, Daniel Goldman, and Jared Moskowitz. If some of those names sound familiar, it’s because they’ve been front and center in disrupting Republican plans.

It was Crockett who forcefully kicked off a confrontation with Rep. Nancy Mace who, on a committee where every Republican member is white, accused Hunter Biden and Democrats of engaging in “white privilege.” Crockett forced Mace to try and defend her indefensible remarks, and then Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the gate closed by pointing out how Mace voted to eliminate the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights.

As The Daily Beast article highlights, Moskowitz was on hand with a poster showing a chummy photo of Trump and sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein when it seemed that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was going to once again show nude pictures of Hunter Biden. “You come up here and talk about Hunter Biden’s behavior and you’re so disgusted,” said Moskowitz, “but the guy that you all kneel to associates himself with a pedophile.”

Those quick responses, along with Hunter Biden staring down Republicans from the visitor section, became the most viral moments from the hearing. Put together with sharp responses from other Democrats who refused to play Comer’s game, Republicans were left looking like this:

MAGAt House hearing. A picture is worth 1 MILLION words. EVERY hearing Comer has had, has been a disaster. Hunter Biden showed up at the hearing and spooked the MAGAts. Then they got a tongue lashing from @RepRaskin @RepJaredMoskowitz @RepJasmine Comer knew it was a disaster!

— Charm | DEMOCRATS deliver & NO CHAOS! 🇯🇲 💙🌊 (@CharmRobinson3) January 10, 2024

The best thing to come from all this is that Raskin and the Democrats have been joined by a new set of critics attacking Comer and his pointless investigation. As Kerry Eleveld reported earlier, Republicans are none too happy that this absurd “investigation” has gone on so long and come up so dry.

“James Comer continues to embarrass himself and House Republicans. He screws up over and over and over," said a source identified as "close" to House GOP leadership, who appeared to be playing CYA for the leadership team. The source's big fear was that Comer would ultimately fail to provide the foundation necessary (i.e. evidence) to follow through with impeaching Biden.

These anonymous Republicans don’t seem to be seriously considering that maybe Comer is failing not because he’s incompetent (or at least, not only because he’s incompetent) but because Joe Biden did nothing wrong. But then, they are Republicans. They’re used to having leaders whose closets are jam-packed with skeletons.

Republicans are trying to repeat their perceived success with Benghazi, but this time Democrats know the game and they have a plan to disrupt it. That plan isn’t necessarily convincing Republicans that Biden did nothing wrong, but it sure is making these hearings more fun to watch.

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Hunter Biden surprises Republicans by showing up at Capitol to do the one thing they didn’t want

Hunter Biden was scheduled to appear before a House committee on Wednesday and answer questions in a closed-door session. Instead, President Joe Biden’s son did the one thing that Republicans were desperately trying to avoid: He spoke in public.

Hunter has offered to appear before the House Oversight Committee in an open public session. He offered to testify on Wednesday or on any day that the committee’s chair, Rep. James Comer, might suggest. But Comer was horrified by the idea. He and the other Republicans on the committee want Hunter in a closed session so they can bury any exculpatory evidence, selectively leak fragmented quotes to feed their baseless "impeachment inquiry," and release carefully edited snippets of themselves haranguing the president’s son for their 2024 campaigns.

Expectations were that Hunter Biden would not show today, but he surprised everyone by appearing, though not in the star chamber that Republicans wanted. Instead, he stepped in front of the U.S. Capitol—and the cameras—to speak openly to the public. And Republicans will be upset about what he had to say.

“I’m here today to see that the House committees’ illegitimate investigations of my family do not proceed on distortions, manipulated evidence, and lies,” said Hunter Biden. “And I’m here today to acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes in my life and wasted opportunities and privileges I was afforded. For that, I am responsible. For that, I am accountable. And for that, I’m making amends.”

His appearance on Capitol Hill drew widespread press attention. Even Fox News ended up running a portion of what he had to say, though their YouTube clip of his remarks cut off his opening words.

“For six years, MAGA Republicans, including members of the House committees who are in a closed-door session right now, have impugned my character, invaded my privacy, attacked my wife, my children, my family, and my friends,” Hunter continued. “They’ve ridiculed my struggle with addiction, they’ve belittled my recovery, and they have tried to dehumanize me—all to embarrass and damage my father, who has devoted his entire public life to service.”

In describing the actions of Reps. Comer, Jim Jordan, and other Republicans on the committees, Hunter pulled no punches.

“They have lied, over and over, about every aspect of my personal and professional life—so much so that their lies have become the false facts believed by too many people,” he said. As he went on listing some of the actions Republicans have taken in their efforts to demean and degrade him, he reached a point where he became clearly emotional. “They have taken the light of my dad’s love, the light of my dad’s love for me, and presented it as darkness. They have no shame.”

Hunter’s statement is absolutely worth listening to in full. It effectively rebutted both the nature and the content of the House proceedings on a day when Republicans intend to turn their mock investigation into a formal impeachment inquiry.

To say that Republicans weren’t pleased about having their game laid out in public is putting it mildly. Jordan and Comer hustled out to give an erratic press conference and threaten Hunter Biden with contempt proceedings.

Jim Jordan big mad over Hunter.

— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 13, 2023

And if it weren’t clear enough that this was all about trying to grab back some camera time, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene decided to sleaze her way in. The result was an abrupt end to the hallway gathering as even Jordan and Comer tried to run from Greene’s Pizzagate-level conspiracy theories.

Marge Greene tries to butt into Comer and Jordan’s press conference and Jordan cuts her off and they walk away.

— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 13, 2023

Hunter Biden’s surprise appearance was a broadside into Republicans’ planned day of waving false evidence and preparing for a vote to relabel their fishing expedition as a formal impeachment inquiry. They should be ashamed, but as Hunter said, “They have no shame.”

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House Republicans issue a subpoena to federal prosecutor in Hunter Biden’s case

House Republicans issued a subpoena Tuesday to a federal prosecutor involved in the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, demanding answers for what they allege is Justice Department interference in the yearslong case into the president's son.

Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, called on Lesley Wolf, the assistant U.S. attorney for Delaware, to appear before the committee by Dec. 7, according to a copy of the congressional subpoena obtained by The Associated Press.

“Based on the Committee’s investigation to date, it is clear that you possess specialized and unique information that is unavailable to the Committee through other sources and without which the Committee’s inquiry would be incomplete,” Jordan wrote in an accompanying letter to Wolf.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The subpoena to Wolf is the latest in a series of demands Jordan and fellow Republican chairmen have made as part of their sprawling impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. His youngest son Hunter and brother James received subpoenas last week as Republicans look to gain ground in their nearly yearlong investigation, which has so failed to uncover evidence directly implicating the president in any wrongdoing.

The inquiry is focused both on the Biden family's international business affairs and the Justice Department's investigation into Hunter Biden, which Republicans claim has been slow-walked and stonewalled since the case was opened in 2018.

Wolf, who serves with David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for Delaware in charge of the case, has been accused by whistleblowers from the Internal Revenue Service of “deviating from standard investigative protocol” and showing preferential treatment because Hunter Biden is the president's son.

Republicans have claimed that it was clear that the prosecutors didn’t want to touch anything that would include Hunter Biden’s father. In one instance, Gary Shapley, an IRS employee assigned to the case, testified that in a meeting with Weiss and Wolf after the 2020 election, he and other agents wanted to discuss an email between Hunter Biden associates where one person made reference to the “big guy.” Shapley said Wolf refused to do so, saying she did not want to ask questions about “dad.”

Other claims relate to an August 2020 email in which Wolf ordered investigators to remove any mention of “Political Figure 1," who was known to be Biden, from a search warrant. In another incident, FBI officials notified Hunter Biden’s Secret Service detail in advance of an effort to interview him and several of his business associates in order to avoid a potential shoot-out between two law enforcement bodies.

Justice Department officials have countered these claims by pointing to the extraordinary set of circumstances surrounding a criminal case into a subject who at the time was the son of a leading presidential candidate. Department policy has long warned prosecutors to take care in charging cases with potential political overtones around the time of an election, to avoid any possible influence on the outcome.

Weiss himself appeared for a closed-door interview this month and denied accusations of political interference.

“Political considerations played no part in our decision-making,” he told the committee.

Nonetheless, Republicans are demanding Wolf appear before lawmakers as she has “first-hand knowledge of the Department’s criminal inquiry of Hunter Biden,” and refused a voluntary request to come in over the summer.

Jordan wrote in the letter to Wolf: “Given your critical role you played in the investigation of Hunter Biden, you are uniquely situated to shed light on whether President Biden played any role in the Department’s investigation and whether he attempted, in any way, to directly or indirectly obstruct either that investigation or our investigation.”

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Special counsel in the Hunter Biden case insists he was the ‘decision-maker’ in rare testimony

The prosecutor overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation testified Tuesday that he had the ultimate authority in the yearslong case as he made an unprecedented appearance before Congress to rebut Republicans' explosive claims that the probe has been plagued with interference.

Weiss' interview with the House Judiciary Committee marked the first time a special counsel has ever testified to lawmakers in the middle of a probe. He agreed to the unusual appearance under heavy pressure from House Republicans, who are looking to ramp up their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and his family.

In his opening statement, Weiss told lawmakers he would not answer questions that could jeopardize the investigation and would only talk about the scope of his authority. “I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,” he told lawmakers. “I do not, however, make these decisions in a vacuum.”

He acknowledged being required to follow Justice Department guidelines and processes as well as federal law as he carries out his investigation. But those requirements “did not interfere with my decision-making authority,” he said.

No one at the Justice Department, including U.S. attorneys or the tax division, blocked or prevented him from pursuing charges or taking other necessary steps in the investigation, Weiss said.

Lawmakers leaving the interview with Weiss described it as “tedious” and “a waste of time” as the federal prosecutor was bound by Justice Department rules that limit his ability to talk about an ongoing investigation.

“Mr. Weiss was here in incarnate, but not particularly in spirit,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said during a lunch break. He added that any questions Republicans had about the investigation, Weiss would “demure and say that it was just part of his deliberative process.”

Democrats accused Republicans of trying to interfere with the Hunter Biden investigation by bringing Weiss in to testify.

“This is unprecedented. You never interrupt a prosecution with congressional hearings. This is the first time it’s ever happened,” Rep. Glenn Ivey, D-Md., said after leaving the interview. “And the fact that he can answer your questions is an obvious byproduct of that because he doesn’t want to do anything or say anything that will disrupt a criminal prosecution.”

The rare move by the Justice Department to allow Weiss' testimony before the conclusion of an investigation indicates just how seriously the department is taking accusations of interference.

The interview came after months of back-and-forth negotiations between Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department after lawmakers subpoenaed several investigators and attorneys involved in the Hunter Biden case.

In July, Weiss, looking to correct the record of what he and the department see as a misrepresentation of the investigation, agreed to come to Capitol Hill but only if he was able to testify in a public hearing where he could directly respond to claims of wrongdoing by Republicans.

The Justice Department remained willing to have Weiss testify publicly even after the implosion of a plea agreement with Hunter Biden that could have effectively closed the case, but said he couldn't make more than one appearance in the near term. The two parties ultimately agreed on a closed-door interview with both Democratic and Republican members and their respective staff.

The interview on Tuesday focused on testimony from an Internal Revenue Service agent who claimed that under Weiss, the investigation into the president’s son was “slow-walked” and mishandled. Weiss, who was originally appointed by then-President Donald Trump, has denied one of the more explosive allegations by saying in writing that he had the final say over the case.

And he did so again behind closed doors on Tuesday when he denied bowing to political pressure in the five-year-long investigation, saying the decisions have been based on “the facts and the law.”

“Political considerations played no part in our decision-making,” he said.

Weiss added that he did not feel the need to request special counsel status until August and when he did it was quickly granted by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Like other special counsels, he will prepare a report at the end of his investigation that’s expected to be publicly released.

Two other U.S. attorneys from Washington and California testified in recent weeks that they didn’t block Weiss from filing charges in their districts, though they declined to partner with him on it.

But the IRS whistleblower, who testified publicly over the summer, insists his testimony reflects a pattern of interference and preferential treatment in the Hunter Biden case and not just disagreement with their superiors about what investigative steps to take.

Questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings overall have been central to a GOP-led impeachment inquiry into the president. That’s been led in part by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who had a prominent role in the questioning Tuesday.

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Special counsel in Hunter Biden case to testify before lawmakers in ‘unprecedented step’

The prosecutor overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation is expected to testify on Tuesday, marking the first time a special counsel will appear before Congress in the middle of a probe. It comes as House Republicans are aiming to ramp up their impeachment inquiry into the president and his family after weeks of stalemate.

David Weiss is set to appear for a transcribed interview before members of the House Judiciary Committee as the U.S. attorney battles Republican allegations that he did not have full authority in the yearslong case into the president's son.

“Mr. Weiss is prepared to take this unprecedented step of testifying before the conclusion of his investigation to make clear that he’s had and continues to have full authority over his investigation and to bring charges in any jurisdiction,” Wyn Hornbuckle, a spokesperson for Weiss, said in a statement Monday.

The rare move by the Justice Department to allow a special counsel or any federal prosecutor to face questioning before the conclusion of an investigation indicates just how seriously the department is taking accusations of interference.

Weiss' appearance comes after months of back-and-forth negotiations between Republicans on the Judiciary Committee and the Justice Department as lawmakers subpoenaed several investigators and attorneys involved in the Hunter Biden case.

In July, Weiss, looking to correct the record of what he and the department see as a misrepresentation of the investigation, agreed to come to Capitol Hill but only if he was able to testify in a public hearing where he could directly respond to claims of wrongdoing by Republicans.

The two parties ultimately agreed on a closed-door interview with both Democratic and Republican members and their respective staff.

The interview Tuesday is expected to focus on testimony from an Internal Revenue Service agent who claimed that under Weiss, the investigation into the president’s son was “slow-walked” and mishandled. Weiss has denied one of the more explosive allegations by saying in writing that he had the final say over the case.

Two other U.S. Attorneys from Washington and California testified in recent weeks that they didn’t block Weiss from filing charges in their districts, though they declined to partner with him on it.

But the IRS whistleblower, who testified publicly over the summer, insists his testimony reflects a pattern of interference and preferential treatment in the Hunter Biden case and not just disagreement with their superiors about what investigative steps to take.

Questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings overall have been central to a GOP-led impeachment inquiry into the president. That’s been led in part by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, who is expected to have a prominent role in the questioning Tuesday.

But what information, if any, Weiss will be able to provide to Congress is unclear as under Justice Department policy and the law, he will be unable to address the specifics of his investigation.

In general, open investigations are kept under wraps to protect evidence, keep witnesses from being exposed, and avoid giving defense attorneys fodder to ultimately challenge their findings.

In the Hunter Biden case, defense attorneys have already indicated they plan to challenge the gun charges he is currently facing on several other legal fronts and suggested that prosecutors bowed to political pressure in filing those charges.

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Merrick Garland appearing before Jim Jordan clown show

Tuesday was an absolute debacle for the Republican-led House. The ultra-extremist right of the Republican Party is engaged in open war with the merely radical right Republicans, resulting in the shoot-down of a defense funding bill, another round of everybody hates Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and fun things left in bathrooms. At the end of the day, McCarthy was left showcasing the kind of whining you never saw from Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

But just because Republicans can’t manage to accomplish anything on the normal agenda of the House doesn’t mean they’re not all in on the most important item for the Republican House: inventing reasons to be mad at President Joe Biden. After all, the pretense of their “impeachment inquiry” allows Republicans to send out fundraising letters with lots of teeth-gnashing, foot-stomping, tough-guy rhetoric all about how they are getting that rascal Biden. And really, how much fundraising potential is there in a smoothly running House that funds the military, passes legislation, and keeps the government functioning? Boring.

On the Wednesday schedule for this farcical inquiry is an appearance by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland is popping into the House Judiciary Committee so Rep. Jim Jordan can lead the chorus in making false claims about the Department of Justice protecting the president’s son Hunter Biden. It’s the opposite of the truth, but this is a day ending in “y,” so lying is definitely on Jordan’s schedule.

As The New York Times reports, the normally low-wattage attorney general is expected to find second gear and raise his voice in defense of the DOJ. Excerpts from his opening remarks show that Garland is prepared to face down false claims and wild complaints from Jordan and company.

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“We will not be intimidated,” Garland is expected to say. “We will do our jobs free from outside interference. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”

Additional excerpts released by The Hill and CNN indicate that Garland intends to forcefully push back at the idea that the DOJ is in the service of either Congress or the White House.

“Our job is not to do what is politically convenient. Our job is not to take orders from the President, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” says one portion of the remarks. “As the President himself has said, and I reaffirm here today: I am not the President’s lawyer. I will also add that I am not Congress’s prosecutor.”

None of this is likely to hold back Republicans eager to spend the day hammering Garland with lies about President Biden’s actions in Ukraine; false claims about the actions of U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has led the investigation into Hunter Biden; or threatening the public with more revenge porn.

According to the Times, it’s the five-year investigation into Hunter Biden that will be the primary focus of Republicans as they grill Garland. That investigation, conducted by a Donald Trump-appointed U.S. attorney who started looking into the president’s son two years before Biden’s election, failed to generate the kind of big, salacious charges that Republicans wanted. Overnight, Weiss went from a Republican hero who was surely going to uncover material Republicans could use to smear President Biden in 2024, to a wimp completely under the thumb of Garland.

Last week, Hunter Biden was charged with three felonies related to his purchase of a firearm in 2015. The charges are a travesty, greatly exceeding what would be applied to anyone else in a similar situation. In fact, Weiss chose not to prosecute three other cases from the same year Hunter Biden made his purchase, even though those cases involved the same offense. Hunter Biden is getting very special treatment—just not the kind that Republicans claim.

The festivities started at 10 AM ET and are expected to continue for hours. Don’t expect Garland’s opening remarks, or the facts, to slow Republicans down. After all, they have things to say.

And it’s not like the House has anything else to do.

C-SPAN is carrying the hearing live.

House Judiciary Republicans release lie-packed, inflated ‘report.’ Will the media bite?

With four days to go before Election Day, the Republicans of the House Judiciary Committee have released a very serious report that is in no way a stunt. Now we get to see how much the media bites.

The report is supposedly about “FBI & DOJ politicization.” In translation: “The FBI and Department of Justice dared investigate Republicans, which can never be a legitimate thing to do.” For instance, it characterizes the FBI’s seizure of Rep. Scott Perry’s cell phone, which was backed by a court-authorized warrant, as the FBI having “stalked a Republican Congressman while on a family vacation to seize his cell phone.” Basically, if the FBI does its job and that is inconvenient for a Republican, it becomes evidence of politicization, according to the report from the Jim Jordan-led Republican committee members.

RELATED STORY: As DOJ reveals Trump concealing national security documents, GOP response is ... pathetic

The document also dedicates space to complaints about the Justice Department investigating threats against school board members (portrayed by Republicans as the Justice Department investigating parents simply for speaking in nonthreatening ways at school board meetings), accuses the FBI and Justice Department of “Artificially inflating statistics about domestic violent extremism” (while Republicans desperately need statistics about domestic violent extremism artificially deflated since it’s their people mostly committing this form of terrorism), and “Clearing the Bureau of employees who dissent from its woke, leftist agenda.” Haha, yes, the FBI is well known for its woke leftist agenda. Bunch of wild-eyed dope-smoking antifa hippies over there. (Fewer than 5% of FBI agents are Black, by the way.)

Here’s a measure of how seriously this report should be taken: The House Judiciary Republicans are promoting it as a “1,000 Page Report.”

1,000 of the 1,050 pages are copies of letters Rs have sent to the Biden administration — including 94 copies of the same five page letter to all US attorneys.

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) November 4, 2022

That’s 470 pages of the same letter out of the 1,000 pages that Republicans are bragging about to make this sound like a detailed, meaty report.

They got their headline from Axios, which ran with “Scoop: House GOP to release 1,000-page road map for Biden FBI probe,” although they also got an Axios “reality check” noting that “Trump himself sought to exert pressure on his own Justice Department throughout his presidency, beginning with his demands for ‘loyalty’ from former FBI director James Comey and culminating in his attempts to use the agency to remain in power after the 2020 election” and quoting former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: “Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney, Trump’s Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining — in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired.”

But to House Republicans like Jordan, it’s justified and righteous if a Republican fires an FBI director for refusing to offer loyalty and politicized and corrupt if the FBI executes a search based on a court warrant on a Republican. Their position is really that simple.

Even given all the repetition, the document still contains a large number of falsehoods. Check this out:

The House Judiciary GOP's new report features a ... very charitable summary of Trump's level of cooperation in the MAL documents case

— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 4, 2022

In this account, the FBI and Justice Department’s efforts to get Donald Trump to give back the documents he stole become Trump graciously allowing them to try, and every so often coughing up a few more documents or adding security to the storage room where he was keeping the stolen documents.

This is the best part of that passage, though: “On September 13, a federal judge unsealed additional portions of the affidavit—although still largely redacted—that showed President Trump had returned even more documents to the Department than previously known.” So generous of him, right?

But! “Despite the publicly available level of cooperation, Attorney General Garland personally approved the decision to seek a warrant for excessive and unprecedented access to President Trump’s private residence. FBI agents spent approximately nine hours rummaging through President Trump’s personal belongings. They collected more than 11,000 documents, more than 1,600 press articles and printed materials, 19 items of clothing or gifts, and 33 books. They also collected about 100 documents with classification markings.”

I don’t know about you, but to me, following “Trump had returned even more documents to the Department than previously known” with a long list of the things he still had is not exculpatory. Sure, he had more than 11,000 government documents (because that’s a key word missing from their “more than 11,000 documents”—more than 11,000 government documents) in addition to the classified ones, but let’s give the man credit for having returned anything at all, eh? What this shows is that Trump took a damn lot of government documents. And about the “gifts” the FBI seized: Presidents and other government officials are not allowed to keep gifts they are given in their official capacity unless they buy them from the government. Otherwise, gifts are to go to the National Archives. It’s not like we’re talking about Valentine’s Day gifts from Melania and Ivanka.

This report is a political stunt intended to whip up the Republican base with days to go before the election. It’s more than that, though. If Republicans get control of the House and Jordan is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, “This report is a road map of where [Jordan] will go,” a Republican staffer told Axios. It’s a message about how Republicans will govern—through inflated claims about things as basic as how many pages a report has, baseless accusations, and insistence that any attempt to put limits on Republican wrongdoing is illegitimate.


Jordan is pushing for Mayorkas impeachment based on ridiculous lie that 'we no longer have a border'

House Republicans sought to scapegoat Pelosi for Trump's coup. It was always absurd—even more so now

How should we be reading the 2022 polls, in light of shifting margins and past misses? In this episode of The Downballot, Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen joins us to explain how his firm weights polls to reflect the likely electorate; why Democratic leads in most surveys this year should be treated as smaller than they appear because undecided voters lean heavily anti-Biden; and the surprisingly potent impact abortion has had on moving the needle with voters despite our deep polarization.

Nadler mulling impeaching Barr as he lets one more deadline for holding Barr accountable slide

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler is inching toward holding Attorney General William Barr accountable for his vast lawlessness, but it's a case of one inch forward, two inches back. Nader is now saying he "may very well" pursue impeachment of Barr after ruling it out in a weekend interview as a "waste of time." Now he says: "I think the weight of the evidence and of what's happened leads to that conclusion."

"What's happened" being the blatantly political removal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who was conducting investigations into Trump cronies in the Southern District of New York. This follows Nadler's threat to subpoena Barr issued earlier this week for a hearing on July 2. Yeah, about that July 2 date—Barr has now "accepted an invitation to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for a general oversight hearing on July 28th," the Justice Department said Wednesday. July 28. Not July 2. Sound vaguely familiar? It should, because Nadler has been playing this game with Barr since early February.

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Back on Feb. 12, Nadler announced Barr would testify on March 31, 2020 about all the things, from what Rudy Giuliani was doing working with Justice Department people to exactly what Barr was doing to interfere in the prosecutions of Roger Stone, Rick Gate, and Michael Flynn. The coronavirus stopped that testimony from happening, but later on in February Nadler wrote a sternly worded letter to Barr demanding information about what Barr has done to intervene in the Roger Stone case and the Michael Flynn case, with a March 13 deadline. And that was after another sternly worded letter on Feb. 10 demanding answers about what the hell Rudy was doing in Ukraine, and why there was an "intake process" in the DOJ for information from Giuliani.

What we haven't seen from Barr is any goddamned answers to any of these questions from Nadler. For all these months. What we have seen is Barr creating his very own armed force of cops to bash Black Lives Matter protesters heads in as he assumed control over a hodgepodge of security forces in Washington for days from a command center he set up. Barr "was effectively the general overseeing the operation that allowed the president his photo op" in front of St. John's Church. A general conducting war on Americans.

So, yeah. July 28. Barr is surely going to voluntarily show up this time. Nadler should start impeachment proceedings immediately, if only to force Barr to finally show up—if he would even bother in those circumstances. It's clear that Barr doesn't take Nadler or his threats seriously, and that Barr believes he himself is as much above the law as he thinks Trump is.

Judiciary Chair Nadler needs to do his job, he needs to impeach Barr

House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler said Sunday that while Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached, doing so would be a "waste of time." He told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union," that instead the House would punish Barr by withholding $50 million in Justice Department funding.

"I don't think calls for his impeachment are premature any more than calls for the President's impeachment were premature, but they are a waste of time at this point," Nadler said, following Barr's firing of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Berman has been investigating Rudy Giuliani and others in the Trump circle, as well as whether Deutsche Bank, with all its ties to both Trump and Jared Kushner and his family, has been laundering money. That's on top of everything else Barr has done, encapsulated in this Twitter thread to show he will do anything to cover up for and protect Trump. Yes, he deserves to be impeached. No, Senate Republicans should not be allowed off the hook, they should be forced to reckon with the walking mound of corruption that is Bill Barr.

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Nadler said as much Sunday. "We've seen a pattern of […] Barr corruptly impeding all these investigations, so this is just more of the same," he told Tapper, noting that Berman's office had numerous cases involving Trump associates. Nadler also said that the Republican Senate is "corrupt" and that was demonstrated when it blew off Trump's impeachment this winter. But, he said, that would just happen again with Barr, so it's not worth the effort. Which is totally not how to demonstrate to the American voting public that the Senate Republicans are corrupt. A functioning House Judiciary Committee would have the impeachment hearings against Barr, calling in Berman and all the other casualties of Barr's corruption, and force the Senate to deal with it. That's what protecting the rule of law is supposed to be all about, which is Nadler's ultimate job, since he's the one holding that Judiciary Committee gavel.

The weekend's events just punctuated how important it is right now to shine a very bright light on Barr's corruption on behalf of Trump. In case you missed the bizarre episode over the weekend, Barr fired Berman in favor of his personal friend Jay Clayton, a corporate lawyer who's been Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who has never once prosecuted a case, could get the job. The exchanges leading up to Berman's actual capitulation were bizarre, to say the least, with Barr initially stating on Friday evening that Berman was stepping down, which Berman emphatically denied. Then Barr said okay, he's not stepping down so Trump is firing him, to which Trump said nope, not him, this was all Barr's idea. In the end, Berman, a loyal Republican who had even donated $5,400 to Trump's 2016 campaign, capitulated.

Barr has proven again and again that he considers his job to be Trump's personal lawyer and protector, with a big dollop of racism authoritarianism on top. Barr was even responsible for that horrific Trump Bible photo op, "essentially assuming battlefield control over a hodgepodge of security forces in Washington for days from a command center he set up" to violently clear protesters from Lafayette Square for the publicity stunt. The man is dangerous. He must be held accountable, and the Senate Republicans have to be forced to decide whether they'll do it.