House Republican wants to have attorney general arrested just because

GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, best known for fabricating her entire life story, told Fox News that she has a plan to get the sergeant-at-arms to arrest Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

“Several months ago, I introduced a resolution for something called inherent contempt of Congress. This is something that Congress has the authority to do, and it hasn’t been done since the early 1900’s,” she told host Maria Bartiromo on Monday. 

Luna was responding to questions about the Justice Department’s announcement that it would not prosecute Garland for not turning over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

“And what that allows Congress to do is really be the punitive arm and really hold Garland accountable by using the sergeant-at-arms to essentially go and get him,” Luna went on, “as well as the tapes, bring him to the well of the house and really be a check-and-balance on the Department of Justice.”

Like most of what Luna says, there are all kinds of facts being misrepresented here. For one, her assertion that she introduced her inherent contempt of Congress resolution “several months ago” is belied by the fact that she actually announced it on May 7. And while that is technically more than one month, it is far less than several months. Though, to be fair, her announcement could have been missed, since it came the same day that Stormy Daniels was testifying … in Trump’s criminal trial.

The sergeant-at-arms is "the chamber’s primary law enforcement official and protocol officer, responsible for maintaining security on the House floor and the House side of the U.S. Capitol complex.” 

The case from the “early 1900’s” that Luna is referring to is something some legal scholars felt was more apropos to the unwillingness to comply with requests from Congress by the Trump administration.

The Teapot Dome scandal, which involved President Warren G. Harding’s Secretary of the Interior Albert Bacon Fall’s no-bid contract to lease federal oil fields in Teapot Dome, Wyoming, happened in 1922. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty was heavily criticized at the time for not more thoroughly investigating Fall, who was later convicted of taking a $100,000 bribe.

The scandal escalated to the Senate committee subpoenaing Mally S. Daugherty, the attorney general’s brother. 

When Mally Daugherty refused to show up to testify before Congress, the Senate Sergeant at Arms David S. Barry deputized John J. McGrain to arrest him and bring him to Washington to testify.

The Republicans’ fixation on getting audio, despite having already received the entire transcript of Hur’s interview with Biden, has been a transparently political endeavor. Hur, a Republican, released a 375-page report in February saying that no charges were warranted and that Biden had likely kept the documents as a private citizen by “mistake.”

Since then, House Republicans voted to hold Garland in contempt. Speaker Mike Johnson vowed to take the Garland contempt case to court after the DOJ announced it planned no further action. But whether Johnson will bring Luna’s resolution to a vote remains to be seen.

There has been very little tangible action that has come out of the GOP’s neverending political theater. This past year it spent an inordinate amount of time attacking Biden’s border security while trying to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas—a stunt that failed miserably. 

Luna’s newest resolution is the GOP’s latest political stunt to create a cloud of doubt over Biden’s reelection campaign against convicted felon Trump.

Hopium Chronicles' Simon Rosenberg joins Markos to discuss the “red wave-ification” of the economy and how prepared Democrats are for November. There is still work to do but we have a better candidate—and we have the edge.

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House GOP amps up its revenge against Attorney General Merrick Garland

The House is going to spend half of this week on their revenge agenda for convicted felon Donald Trump, this time voting to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. This is part of the mounting campaign among Republicans to enact retribution on President Joe Biden, his administration officials, congressional Democrats and anyone else Trump puts on his enemies list. It’s a precursor to what they’ll do if they maintain the House, win the Senate, and Trump wins.

The House will send the resolution against Garland to the Justice Department for criminal referral if it passes later this week. Which essentially means it’s going nowhere. The referral would go to the U.S. attorney who would be tasked with determining whether a crime was committed by Garland in refusing to turn over audio recordings of the interviews special counsel Robert Hur conducted with Biden in a classified documents inquiry, and if charges should be brought.

The U.S. attorney for D.C. is highly unlikely to find criminal action on Garland’s part, which would likely send the case to federal courts, and there wouldn’t be an outcome before the election. But if the election favors Republicans, Garland is going to be high on their list for locking up.

House Democrats have done a bang-up job of humiliating Republicans on this goose chase and are continuing to do so, but a little humiliation isn’t enough to deter them from doing Trump’s bidding.

“Desperate to blame someone—anyone—for the utter failure of this impeachment inquiry, Republicans have contrived an allegation that Attorney General Merrick Garland has impeded their impeachment inquiry by preventing them from hearing President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Hur by withholding the audio recording,” Democrats on the Oversight Committee said in a statement.

“In fact, Republicans, and the American public, can already read the full content of that interview.”

That’s absolutely true—Garland released the transcripts when Hur testified before Congress, a hearing that turned out to be a flop for Republicans. They want that audio, though, to use to show Biden unfavorably in their televised hearings. This is why the Justice Department is refusing to cede to the demand. It’s also why Biden claimed executive privilege to block release of the tapes.

White House Counsel Ed Siskel blasted GOP lawmakers' attempts to get the tapes, insisting that they have no legitimate purpose for acquiring them, only a political one "to chop them up, distort them, and use them for partisan political purposes.”


House GOP targets attorney general after failing to dig up dirt on Biden

Watch: Attorney general pushes back on GOP's absurd Trump defense

‘Political huckster’: GOP congressman exposed in contentious hearing

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House GOP wants to prosecute Biden’s family days after Trump conviction

Republican Reps. James Comer, Jim Jordan, and Jason Smith announced on Wednesday that they are referring President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and brother James for "criminal prosecution" to the Department of Justice. The referral accuses Hunter and James of “making false statements to Congress.”

The announcement wasn’t exactly a surprise, as GOP hard-liners had already laid out a “payback plan” to help Donald Trump following his conviction last week on 34 felony counts. As Politico reported on Tuesday, the criminal referrals were something that Comer, Jordan, and Smith could push through without support from other House members, since even some of their fellow Republicans are skeptical of their stunt “investigations.”

Ever since gaining control of the House, Republicans have conducted multiple simultaneous inquiries into every member of Biden's extended family. The original plan was to gift Trump with a Joe Biden impeachment so that Trump could feel better about having been impeached (twice). But that plan fizzled out badly after the kangaroo court that went after Biden displayed hilarious levels of incompetence

Now the House GOP’s Turgid Trio has produced a sorry document riddled with debunked claims, half-truths, and outright lies.

The announcement blares that Comer & Co. have tracked millions of ill-begotten dollars to members of Biden's family, "related companies," and "business associates"—which actually means this was a game of Six Degrees of Separation in which Republicans claimed that every transaction, no matter how remote, was tied to "Chinese money.”

It seems unlikely that the public will be very interested in how unspecified entities did business with something called Rosemont Seneca Bohai, LLC, which also had business with Hunter Biden, and how Hunter may have mistakenly sent texts to the wrong person, which could be read as implying his father was present. Only he wasn’t.

Or how James Biden made money at his business and later repaid his brother for a small personal loan. The trio insists this was Chinese money because someone paid someone who paid someone who paid James Biden who paid back Joe Biden.

By that standard, isn’t it all Chinese money, or Russian money, or whatever anyone wants to claim?

Another charge against James Biden claims that someone named Tony Bobulinski remembered James being at a meeting that he said he didn’t attend. Not that his presence or absence at the meeting made a whit of difference—this was just all that Comer, Jordan, and Smith could find by combing through hours of testimony and looking for contradictions.

Maybe in some deep-cut version of “Fox & Friends,” Bobulinski is a star and Rosemont Seneca is on everyone’s tongue. But outside that pocket universe, all of this is simply malarkey, to borrow one of Joe Biden’s favorite terms.

This latest stunt is mostly an excuse for Comer and Jordan to grab air time and distract Fox News viewers with talk about the "Biden crime family" in hopes of making a false equivalence to Trump's very real felony conviction.

It’s a very, very, very good bet that Attorney General Merrick Garland won’t jump on these referrals, because the evidence is unimaginably weak and the document attached to the charges contains far more lies than any alleged wrongdoing by Hunter or James Biden. But for the Republican trio, that’s also a part of the plan.

Because when the DOJ rightly ignores these nonsense charges, they'll get to make fresh complaints about Biden, Merrick Garland, and the "weaponized" justice system.

It’s all hogwash. But doing all they can to ingratiate themselves with Trump is the House GOP’s No. 1 job, after all.

Donald Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records on May 30. What are potential voters saying about this historic news? And what is the Biden-Harris campaign doing now that the “teflon Don" is no more?

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House GOP targets attorney general after failing to dig up dirt on Biden

The House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Accountability Committee are holding hearings Thursday to consider holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The Department of Justice has refused to provide recordings of special counsel Robert Hur’s interviews with President Joe Biden and his ghostwriter in the classified documents probe, having already provided the transcripts of those interviews. 

The outcome of these meetings isn’t in question; committee chairs Jim Jordan and James Comer will push the contempt vote to the House floor. They remain intent on finding anything that they can use to impeach Biden and/or members of his administration, and they won’t let the fact that their efforts so far have been ridiculous stop them. 

It took them two tries to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, only for the Senate to swat it away. The star witness in their Biden impeachment case turned out to be a Russian mole. And they’ve already been down the road of trying to use Hur’s report to prove Biden unfit for office—a game that Hur refused to play in Jordan’s disastrous hearing. But no embarrassing defeat is going to stop them.

“These audio recordings are important to our investigation of President Biden’s willful retention of classified documents and his fitness to be President of the United States,” Comer said in a press release. 

The DOJ has in fact been providing information to Comer and Jordan. In February, it even gave them access to two of the classified documents Biden had from his time as vice president, which Comer insisted were critical to his investigations. 

But Comer “has not yet taken us up on our offer,” DOJ Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte wrote in refusing the team’s subpoena for more information. 

Uriarte detailed all of the information they had provided in response to their demands and subpoenas in his initial letter to Jordan and Comer in April and concluded “we are therefore concerned that the Committees are disappointed not because you didn’t receive information, but because you did.”

In his second letter to the chairs, Uriarte reiterated that point.

“It seems that the more information you receive, the less satisfied you are, and the less justification you have for contempt, the more you rush towards it,” he wrote. “[T]he Committees’ inability to identify a need for these audio files grounded in legislative or impeachment purposes raises concerns about what other purposes they might serve.”

The purpose, of course, is having audio and video that they can chop up to show Biden unfavorably in their televised hearings. They got the transcripts for their hearing with Hur, but they didn’t find anything, so of course they’re doubling down. It’s Jordan and Comer—what else are they going to do?

But this latest sham does at least give Democrats on the committees yet another opportunity to own Republicans in the hearings.


Democrats are blowing up House GOP efforts to take down Biden

The Biden impeachment is a huge failure. The GOP is looking for a way out

House GOP manufactures new fight after Biden impeachment fails

Ian Bassin is the former associate White House counsel and co-founder and executive director of Protect Democracy. Protect Democracy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group focused on anti-authoritarianism, how to protect our democracy, and safeguarding our free and fair elections.

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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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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.

Prosecutors seeking new indictment for Hunter Biden before end of September

Federal prosecutors plan to seek a grand jury indictment of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter before the end of the month, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

The filing came in a gun possession case in which Hunter Biden was accused of having a firearm while being a drug user, though prosecutors did not name exactly which charges they will seek. He has also been under investigation by federal prosecutors for his business dealings.

Prosecutors under U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, newly named a special counsel in the case, said they expect an indictment before Sept. 29.

Hunter Biden's lawyers, though, argued that prosecutors are barred from filing additional charges under an agreement the two sides previously reached in the gun case. It contains an immunity clause against federal prosecutions for some other potential crimes. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell said Hunter Biden has kept to the terms of the deal, including regular visits by the probation office.

“We expect a fair resolution of the sprawling, 5-year investigation into Mr. Biden that was based on the evidence and the law, not outside political pressure, and we’ll do what is necessary on behalf of Mr. Biden to achieve that,” he said in a statement.

Prosecutors have said that the gun agreement is dead along with the rest of the plea agreement that called for Hunter Biden to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax offenses. It fell apart after U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika raised questions about it during a court appearance in July.

The Justice Department did not have immediate comment.

News of a possible new indictment comes as House Republicans are preparing for a likely impeachment inquiry of President Biden over unsubstantiated claims that he played a role in his son’s foreign business affairs during his time as vice president.

“If you look at all the information we have been able to gather so far, it is a natural step forward that you would have to go to an impeachment inquiry,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News recently.

The younger Biden has been the target of congressional investigations since Republicans gained control of the House in January, with lawmakers obtaining thousands of pages of financial records from various members of the Biden family through subpoenas to the Treasury Department and various financial institutions. Three powerful House committees are now pursuing several lines of inquiry related to the president and his son.

And while Republicans have sought to connect Hunter Biden’s financial affairs directly to his father, they have failed to produce evidence that the president directly participated in his son’s work, though he sometimes had dinner with Hunter Biden’s clients or said hello to them on calls.

In recent months, Republicans have also shifted their focus to delving into the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden after whistleblower testimony claimed he has received special treatment throughout the yearslong case.

Hunter Biden was charged in June with two misdemeanor crimes of failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes from over $1.5 million in income in both 2017 and 2018. He had been expected to plead guilty in July, after he made an agreement with prosecutors, who were planning to recommend two years of probation. The case fell apart during the hearing after Noreika, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, raised multiple concerns about the specifics of the deal and her role in the proceedings.

If prosecutors file a new gun possession charge, it could run into court challenges. A federal appeals court in Louisiana ruled against the ban on gun possession by drug users last month, citing a 2022 gun ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

News of another indictment comes after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland named Weiss a special counsel, giving him broad authority to investigate and report out his findings and intensifying the investigation into the president’s son ahead of the 2024 election.

The White House Counsel’s office referred questions to Hunter Biden’s personal attorneys.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is making Kevin McCarthy look really, really pathetic

Confronted by the abundant evidence of former President Donald Trump’s widespread criminality, Republicans have demonstrated consistent outrage … at law enforcement. When they’re not trying to defund the FBI or get rid of the Department of Justice, they’re going after more specific targets.

That has included (but is far from limited to): Rep. Jim Jordan subpoenaing a former member of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for a browbeating, repeated efforts to defund special counsel Jack Smith, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggesting a no-evidence-required impeachment of Attorney General Merrick Garland, a Trump supporter threatening to kill federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, and Georgia Republicans trying to defund Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Rep. Andy Biggs even tried to defund the Manhattan DA’s office, which is made only slightly more ridiculous by the fact that Congress provides only a fraction of funds for local prosecutors in the first place.

Really, Republicans have vividly demonstrated that no law, no judge, and no agency means anything to them when it comes to protecting Trump. But when Republicans in both Washington, D.C., and Georgia began planning a means to impeach Willis, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp did something completely unexpected—he defended the Fulton County prosecutor and denounced his fellow Republicans.

As PBS reports, Kemp pulled no punches in saying that efforts to oust Willis for having the gall to indict Trump are just “political theater that only inflames the emotions of the moment.”

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Kemp is no liberal. When he ran for governor in 2018, he had Trump’s ”full and total endorsement,” and Trump praised Kemp for his anti-immigrant, pro-gun positions. But Kemp earned Trump’s ire after the 2020 election when Kemp refused to intervene to prevent certification of Georgia’s election results, despite a call from Trump. Trump went on to attack Kemp on social media, which didn’t stop the governor from easily winning the 2022 Republican primary and being reelected. In the latest elections in the state, candidates endorsed by Kemp easily outperformed those endorsed by Trump.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that much of the Georgia GOP isn’t in Trump’s pocket. Because it is.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, the state party has broken into factions, but Trump still enjoys great support among party officials and state legislators, even as a new poll shows high levels of concern among the state’s Republican voters about Trump’s actions following the 2020 election. In short, Georgia may be the one state where Republican leadership is seriously struggling with the question of whether to free themselves from Trump … though even Kemp has inexplicably suggested he would still vote for Trump in 2024.

Kemp’s willingness to stand up to the members of his party who want to rip up the legal system to defend Trump stands in stark contrast to America’s most spineless man, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Kemp appears to recognize that going after district attorneys just because they are prosecuting someone you support is more than a little problematic. On the other hand, McCarthy is not just failing to stand up to nonsensical demands in the House, but also he’s adding his own.

When Republicans started to worry that a no-investigation impeachment of President Joe Biden might not come off as planned, McCarthy offered up an impeachment of Garland for … whatever.

“I don’t know of a chargeable crime,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told The Hill.

Neither does anyone else. Including McCarthy. The suggestion is just another in a long line of examples of how the barely-speaker is willing to toady to his party’s extremists to keep his fingernail-thin grip on his big office. As Vanity Fair notes, caving to threats from the same extremists who tried to keep him from being elected to begin with is what McCarthy is all about.

As MSNBC puts it, McCarthy might be expected to ignore “oddball bills” and calls to impeach members of the Biden administration. Instead, he has “expressed tacit support” for all these actions, no matter how off the rails. In MSNBC’s words, McCarthy is “taking orders from Mar-a-Lago” and “going along with absurd talking points about … ‘weaponization’ of agencies that haven’t actually been weaponized.”

Kemp is no hero. On many points, his positions are reprehensible. But at least he has enough self-respect to refuse to be the lapdog of extremists willing to sacrifice everything to save Trump. He shows the path that McCarthy might have taken if he actually wanted to lead the House, rather than just follow the worst actions of its worst members.

The far-right justices on Wisconsin's Supreme Court just can't handle the fact that liberals now have the majority for the first time in 15 years, so they're in the throes of an ongoing meltdown—and their tears are delicious. On this week's episode of "The Downballot," co-hosts David Nir and David Beard drink up all the schadenfreude they can handle as they puncture conservative claims that their progressive colleagues are "partisan hacks" (try looking in the mirror) or are breaking the law (try reading the state constitution). Elections do indeed have consequences!

Go ahead and impeach Biden, House Republicans. See you in 2024

Earlier this week, Fox News congressional correspondent Chad Pergram sent out a short thread of illuminating tweets framed as a "User’s Manual To Where We Stand With Possible 'Impeachments' in the House."

It was indeed helpful, since House Republicans are currently plotting several of them. Pergram’s thread noted that the push to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over something nebulous was “furthest along,” according to a senior House Republican source. "Although that doesn’t mean that it’s THAT far along," Pergram added. In other words, it's not like the GOP caucus has nailed down real evidence in support of actionable wrongdoing yet.

But House Republicans are also weighing impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland or maybe even President Joe Biden, after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy signaled an openness to it in a Fox News interview on Monday night. McCarthy's public flirtation with the topic was framed to Pergram by a Republican source as "high-level 'trial balloons.'"

"The reason is that McCarthy wants to get a sense of what GOPers want to do," Pergram explained. "And most importantly, where the votes may lie for impeaching anyone."

Anyone? Biden, Garland, Mayorkas—who knows? Maybe they should flip a coin; play rock, paper, scissors; or get out the Magic 8 Ball.

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Back in the day, lawmakers used to investigate these things first, but that's so last Congress. Today’s House Republicans just move on to the vote-counting and figure they'll hash out a rationale later.

Anyhow, the caucus must have been hot on targeting the president because by Tuesday, McCarthy was reportedly "moving closer" to opening an impeachment inquiry.

On the one hand, Republicans say they're "sitting on" loads of evidence. On the other hand, they are justifying an inquiry as a way to obtain information they've been blocked from getting. Which is it, geniuses?  Pick a lane.

At least some Republicans are trying to pump the brakes on playing a completely absurd impeachment card as the country gears up for the 2024 presidential cycle.

“It’s a good idea to go to the inquiry stage,” former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Washington Post. But he cautioned that “impeachment itself is a terrible idea.”

Gingrich, who helped lead the impeachment crusade against President Bill Clinton in 1998, stepped down immediately after the Republican House suffered huge losses in the midterm elections.

Still, Gingrich was essentially clearing the way for McCarthy to appease the Republican extremists who own his speaker’s gavel while cautioning him against an actual impeachment proceeding. Gingrich knows a thing or two about impeachment fallout.

Meanwhile, several House Republicans beelined to reporters to downplay McCarthy's escalation. The Biden White House happily highlighted the discord within the GOP caucus in a statement to The Hill.

  • Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado called McCarthy's tactics "impeachment theater."

  • Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina told reporters, "no one is seriously talking about impeachment."

  • Rep. Tony Gonzalez of Texas offered that voters in his district are concerned about "real issues," like inflation (which is actually dropping) and the border (where crossings have actually plummeted).

“The American people want their leaders in Congress to spend their time working with the President on important issues like continuing to lower costs, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen health care,” said the White House statement, calling Republican machinations "baseless stunts."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also weighed in Wednesday, calling impeachment "not good for the country" while also drawing a false equivalency between House Republicans and the two Democratic impeachments of Donald Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's not surprised some House Republicans are proposing an impeachment inquiry of Biden, “having been treated the way they were.” “I think this is not good for the country to have repeated impeachment problems,” McConnell adds.

— The Recount (@therecount) July 26, 2023

Those impeachment proceedings involved tangible evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors. Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually put off impeachment for as long as humanly possible because she knew it would be a divisive proceeding that could blow up in Democrats' faces. Her hand was finally forced in September 2019 by the whistleblower account of Trump's attempt to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And then Trump actually plotted a blood-thirsty coup attempt on Jan. 6, 2021, to disrupt certification of the 2020 election and end the peaceful transfer of power. So that was that.

But keep this in mind: Both of Trump's impeachments were rooted in hard evidence—like the transcript of Trump's 'perfect phone call' with Zelenskyy, while the Jan. 6 insurrection played out live on TV screens across the country. The horror of that day and Trump's role in it was then vividly recreated by the Jan. 6 committee, arguably the most theatrically effective congressional investigation in decades. In fact, without the Jan. 6 hearings, special counsel Jack Smith likely wouldn't be preparing to drop a criminal indictment on the matter any day now.

In stark contrast to Pelosi’s reticence, House Republicans are still chasing their tails on a mystery scandal with supposed mounds of evidence—if only they had the subpoena power to access it.

As White House spokesperson Ian Sams noted on Tuesday of the House GOP's mystifying predicament, "This is literally nonsensical."

This is literally nonsensical On Hannity last night and in a gaggle today, he said he needs an "impeachment inquiry" to have the power to obtain info Now, McCarthy claims his investigations already "are revealing" info Which is it? Will Capitol reporters press him on this?

— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) July 25, 2023

Go on with that impeachment, Republicans. The already deluded GOP base will eat it up, but the rest of the country will weigh in at the ballot box next year. See you there.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s plan to impeach everyone reaches Merrick Garland

A House Republican is now introducing articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland, but before anyone gets too worked up about that, just know that the House Republican is walking medical-grade conspiracy theory dispensary Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, that she's got a loooong history here, that it's just the warmup to her again vowing to write up similar articles against President Joe Biden, and that her "new" articles of impeachment are all plucked directly from of the Fox News Extended Universe of lore and characters and subplots.

You cannot understand any of Greene's documents unless you are nigh on addicted to Fox shows from the likes of Maria Bartiromo or The Artist Formerly Known As Tucker. Greene is that addicted, and she's going to make sure we're all going to hear about it.

Our story today comes to us from Fox News (link grumblingly provided).

"In a press release exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, Greene accused Garland of"—all right, stop. Hold up right there.

How do you "exclusively obtain" a press release? Somebody want to explain that one? The "reporter" here is someone by the name of Houston Keene. Is Houston trying to breaking-news-story us about getting a press release?

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All right, fine, let's put that out of our heads. Never mind. Greene's office tried to make some cheap political hay out of filing her second attempt at "articles of impeachment" against Garland because reasons, called up Fox News to get it done, and is now waving around a document that looks like a AI bot's attempt at drafting a House resolution based solely around transcripts of Fox News primetime shows.

Greene's would-be resolution is premised on Garland "facilitating the weaponization and politicization of the United States justice system against the American people," a phrase that Jim Jordan spent two bucks to win out of a Dave & Buster's Arcade claw machine.

From there, all we get is Fox News crankery.

Garland "issued an October 2021 memorandum directing the targeting of parents by the Federal Bureau of Investigation," screams the document. She's referring there, yet again, to FBI investigations into a string of death threats against school board members from anti-maskers, "critical race theory" opponents, and other conservative sources.

That immediately ballooned into Fox News and House Republican outrage that the FBI was daring to investigate death threats, turning it into an attack on conservative parents. Because, of course, Greene and every other Republican is quite sure that if the FBI targets such death threats, they're going to find Republican supporters behind most of them, and how dare they target Republicans who threaten political violence.

The rest is all the same language. Greene wants to impeach Garland for not prosecuting "leftist extremists" who peacefully protested outside Supreme Court justice's homes. She's very mad that Garland is not "prosecuting Antifa and Black Lives Matters rioters that have desecrated American cities and caused billions of dollars worth" of damage, a confusing line that can only be interpreted when you remember that according to Fox News, numerous American cities have been razed to the ground and the reason none of the rest of us know about that is, uh, because Democrats are keeping it a secret from you.

"Attorney General Garland has refused to prosecute the Biden family and its associates for the crimes they have committed at the expense of the American people," she scrawls, with nobody to this day being able to come up with a damn bit of evidence for these supposed "crimes" or even explain what the actual "crimes" are supposed to be. Sure, impeach Garland for not taking Rudy Giuliani seriously. God help us all if we strip the government of anyone who doesn't take Rudy Giuliani's bug-eyed rants seriously; there wouldn't be anyone left to empty the House cafeteria trash cans.

There's also a bunch of generic rants that don't accuse Garland of anything at all, just some word salad thrown in so we can get to the only part of it that matters: The Fox News Extended Universe belief that the government is "persecuting" Donald J. Seditionboy Trump in allowing the government to go find and return classified government documents Trump stole from the White House after the failure of his coup attempt.

Or, as Greene would have it, "documents he legally declassified," which is yet another Fox News and Trump lawyer wackadoodle claim, based on Trump’s assertion that can and did automatically pre-declassify whatever classified documents the FBI might have discovered in his Mar-a-Lago resort. Oh, and that he did it without telling anyone, using only the powers of his mind.

It is May of 2023 and Trump's allies are still pushing this secret-mind-powers explanation, and the federal government is still having to explain to these puddingheads that no, actually, there's a very specific procedure for declassifying government documents, one Donald Trump himself knew about this whole time, and "I did it secretly when you weren't looking" is not an actual defense.

I do not know how many decades it will take to explain this to Greene and the other Republicans who believe a reality television host obtained fully autocratic powers upon sliding into the White House on his own slick film of lies, but it will still not be a thing even if Greene spends the next 40 years of her life not understanding it.

Again, this is all part of the same pattern from House Republicans, and the important part is that none of us living normal lives are supposed to understand it; if Greene's rantings look like a string of unconnected buzzwords plucked out of right-wing conspiracy circles it's because that is exactly what they are. She doesn't care if everyone in Washington, D.C., who is not Jim Jordan, James Comer, or an OAN host looks at her like she's grown two heads when she presents this stuff.

Everything Greene and her associated Republicans do is meant to appeal to the small set of Americans who live and breathe Fox News conspiracy claims. It's not the Biden administration, in her scribbled-up document, it's the Biden "regime." It's not an American writing a pro-choice message in chalk on a sidewalk near a Supreme Court justice's house, it's a "leftist extremist" who "harassed" the justice with her chalk-based opinions.

Garland "has declared war on American parents"! Garland has "weaponized" the justice system! How dare he prosecute those who violently attacked police officers in the U.S. Capitol, while not similarly prosecuting Black Lives Matter protesters who "desecrated" our cities!

And, above all, it is not that Donald Trump took boxes of classified and other government-owned documents from the White House and put them in a Mar-a-Lago storage room, or that he lied about it to investigators, or that he took steps to hide them from investigators, it is that Merrick Garland wants to "persecute" His Royal Highness as a means of "silencing" the Fox News base!

All of it is premised on the notion that the government should be focused on prosecuting conservatism's enemies more, and should be focused on prosecuting conservatives themselves not at all, not for death threats, or making off with classified documents, or an attempted coup, or anything else. Greene may simply not be bright enough to realize her beliefs align one-to-one with fascism's own, but it doesn't matter. She and Republicanism's other loudest voices have cribbed its major themes and techniques with precision.


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