Trump Allies Mock (And Bully) Comer Over His Impeachment Flop
As he closes in on the Republican nomination, Donald Trump needs House Republicans to deliver an equalizer for him in the general election: an impeachment of President Joe Biden.
But after a yearlong investigation led by the House oversight committee chair, Rep. James Comer, Republicans seem no closer to digging up any actionable dirt on Biden. That leads to two conclusions:
- If the pro-Trump House GOP conference hasn't found anything on Biden, it's unlikely anything legally actionable exists.
- It becomes even more imperative for House Republicans to scrape together something Trump can work with.
After all, when pundits call him the twice-impeached, four-time indictee, Trump has to be able to point at Biden and say he's the one who's really corrupt. Just look at what Congress found on him. It's very reminiscent of Trump attempting to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy into opening a bogus investigation into Biden. Only now, Trump has so many legal liabilities, he needs more than just the specter of wrongdoing—he needs the goods. And according to some fascinating reporting from The Messenger's Stephen Neukam, Trump has taken note of the fact that he's currently got nothing on which to spin a corruption narrative.
“Comer has cast a wide net and caught very little fish. That is a big problem for him,” one ally of Trump told The Messenger.
The reporting is informed by more than a dozen anonymous interviews, including a House Republican colleague who calls Comer's inquiry a "parade of embarrassments."
“One would be hard pressed to find the best moment for James Comer in the Oversight Committee,” the GOP lawmaker said.
But in many ways, the leaks seem specifically designed to put Comer on notice that he not only needs to produce, but he'll be singularly on the hook if he doesn't.
“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.
“I don’t know how Republicans actually impeach the president based on [Comer's] clueless investigation and lack of leadership,” said the source.
The quotes had the feel of a failed campaign staff pointing fingers at each other as the ship goes down, only the campaign in this case is the Republican effort to impeach Biden.
Publicly, of course, House leaders are expressing full confidence in Comer.
"I am grateful for the superb efforts of Chairman Comer," Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement, while House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said Comer had "worked tirelessly" on the investigation.
But Comer's misfires have become legendary: providing nothing substantive, just a series of accusations and innuendo that don't amount to a hill of beans. In fact, Comer's investigation has become a punch line in the media. As Daily Kos' Mark Sumner wrote in November, Comer had uncovered another "smoking water pistol."
In fact, just last month, CNN's Jake Tapper mocked Comer during a live interview.
And when the oversight committee met earlier this month to debate holding Hunter Biden in contempt for refusing to give closed-door testimony, the younger Biden made a laughingstock of House Republicans by staging a surprise press conference in which he volunteered to provide public testimony.
“It seems like they got played by Hunter Biden,” a senior House GOP aide told The Messenger. “It was a disaster. They looked like buffoons.”
To sum up, the boss needs production, Comer has become a national joke, and the House leadership is happily hanging him out to dry.
In response, Comer issued a statement through a spokesperson saying that House Oversight, along with the Judiciary and Ways and Means committees, are coordinating to "determine whether President Biden's conduct warrants articles of impeachment."
Yeah, that's not gonna cut it.
"You have to start producing," one Trump ally said. "The base is starting to get more and more frustrated with him because they see all this smoke but they don’t see the movement.”
If that sounds like a mob-boss threat, that’s because it is.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.
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