Tag: james comer
Why Republican 'Investigations' Are So Lurid -- And So Empty

Why Republican 'Investigations' Are So Lurid -- And So Empty

No matter how often they are disappointed, Republicans perennially repose their political hope in baroque scandals and conspiracies. The further to the right they lean, the more fascinated they are by the most absurd and lurid narratives — a tendency that spawned the full-blown destructive cult known as QAnon, which blends authoritarian politics with gory fantasies of pedophilia and cannibalism among the elite, usually topped with a smudge of antisemitism.

Not every self-styled "conservative" shares the perverse imagination of QAnon cultists like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and more than a few may have noticed just how many child pornographers and sex offenders have turned up among QAnon's top influencers.

But as America approaches another presidential election, we must expect top Republicans to declare ever more noisily that the scandal of the century has engulfed President Joe Biden, who is a Democrat and therefore guilty before any charges are specified, let alone proved. The project of smearing Biden began during the last election, in a still murky operation involving a laptop computer owned by his surviving son Hunter. Honest news outlets have openly questioned whether anything on that machine can be taken at face value, after it has passed through the hands of almost-disbarred Rudy Giuliani, grifter Steve Bannon, fraudster Guo Wengui and other discredited figures.

So, while far-right outlets still market "salacious" images from the Hunter Biden laptop, Congressional Republicans are out there pushing other supposedly incriminating themes and memes.

The latest is a document in the possession of the FBI, which is said to reveal a "tip" from a foreign figure about alleged influence peddling by Joe Biden back when he was vice president. Both Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., who chairs the House Oversight Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, whose specific role is obscure, have threatened to find FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt for withholding this document, although both now admit that they have seen it already.

Asked by reporters what the FBI document shows, Comer and Grassley have refused to divulge its allegedly explosive contents. Then Grassley exposed the hollowness of their "investigation" during a Fox News interview on June 1, when he said, "We are not interested in whether the allegations against Vice President Biden (sic) are accurate or not." He and Comer were only concerned, the Iowan declared, to make sure the FBI "is doing its job."

Evidently the FBI finished that particular job some time ago, when former President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr still controlled the Justice Department. According to CNN, Barr distrusted the document's validity and its origins among Giuliani's sources in Ukraine (who are notorious for providing voluminous amounts of fabricated information). And neither the FBI nor prosecutors could find any corroboration of its claims about Biden.

In short, the new improved scandal is going down the same soiled chute as so many others that have targeted Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and nearly every Democrat who has run for president since 1980.

For instance, Americans recently learned that when Trump left the White House, the federal investigation of the Clinton Foundation finally ended, with no evidence whatsoever of wrongdoing. Not only did the nonprofit that former President Bill Clinton founded more than two decades ago save and improve millions of people's lives across the world, but it has also achieved those objectives with transparency and integrity. Yet Republicans spent millions of public dollars on endless investigations, aiming to degrade its reputation for partisan advantage.

The smear attacks on the foundation began with a 2015 book called "Clinton Cash," sponsored by Bannon, promoted by The New York Times, and cited by Trump to justify the FBI probe during his presidency. Its litany of false accusations damaged Hillary Clinton badly during her presidential campaign, just as they were concocted to do.

Proof has since emerged, ironically enough, that it was Bannon who profited from a fraudulent nonprofit, swindling rubes who wanted to "build the wall" on the Mexican border — and that it was Trump who operated a family foundation to evade taxes and glom large sums for his own benefit. Indicted for those financial crimes, Bannon accepted a pardon from Trump, who had already been forced by New York authorities to dissolve his own phony foundation. By then the political damage to the Clintons, and the nation, had been done.

When Grassley confessed that he doesn't care whether the accusations his party publicizes are true, he blundered into a profound truth. The Republican Party's leaders are no more interested in uncovering corruption than they are in reducing deficits or preventing child abuse. They care about power and its rewards, and nothing else.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

James Comer

FBI To Brief House Oversight Committee Leaders On Unsubstantiated Charges Against Biden

Under threat of a contempt of Congress referral against FBI Director Chris Wray, the bureau has agreed to allow a briefing for the top Republican and top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee concerning a years-old unsubstantiated allegation, which has been called a second-hand tip, accusing then-Vice President Joe Biden of a supposed wrongful act.

The existence of the lone, unclassified document, called an FD-1023 form, until recently was not even verified by the FBI.

Chairman Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) and ranking member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) “will receive a briefing from the FBI and review the FD-1023 form behind closed doors in a secure SCIF, a sensitive compartmented information facility at the Capitol rather than going to FBI headquarters, as the bureau had initially offered,” CNN reported.

“While the document contains the allegations made by an unnamed whistleblower, it doesn’t provide proof that they are true, people briefed on the matter said. The FBI and prosecutors who previously reviewed the information couldn’t corroborate the claims.”

Comer, who has been accused of using his position on the powerful Oversight Committee to aid Donald Trump’s efforts to regain the presidency, late last month appeared to validate that accusation.

The unverified FD-1023 form “has origins in a tranche of documents that Rudy Giuliani provided to the Justice Department in 2020, people briefed on the matter said,” CNN notes.

“According to Comer,” CNN adds, the FD-1023 form, “dated June 30, 2020, says [a] foreign national allegedly paid $5 million to receive a desired policy outcome, based on unclassified and legally protected whistleblower disclosures.”

On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has teamed up with Comer, came under fire for admitting he does not care whether or not the accusations against President Biden are true or not, he wants to pursue them regardless.

CNN earlier this week reported that even then-Attorney General Bill Barr questioned the validity of the alleged document.

“The allegations of wrongdoing by the then-vice president, many originating from sources in Ukraine, were dubious enough that Attorney General William Barr in early 2020 directed that they be reviewed by a US attorney in Pittsburgh, in part because Barr was concerned that Giuliani’s document tranche could taint the ongoing Hunter Biden investigation overseen by the Delaware US attorney.”

Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, in a statement this week characterized the FD-1023 as containing “unsubstantiated, second-hand claims,” and called it a “tip.”

Raskin has also accused Comer of being determined to send a contempt of Congress referral for Director Wray to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

“It is increasingly clear that Committee Republicans have always planned to hold Director Wray in contempt of Congress to distract from the obvious fact that they do not have evidence to support their unfounded accusations against President Biden. This latest political maneuver underscores Chairman Comer’s determination to use the Committee to help former President Trump’s reelection efforts and pander to extreme MAGA Republicans.”

Last month, The New Republic reported, the “House GOP accused Joe Biden and his family … of engaging in business with foreign entities—but were unable to provide any actual evidence linking the president to any wrongdoing.”

“House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer released a 65-page memo detailing a sprawling investigation into Biden and some of his relatives, particularly his son Hunter Biden. Nowhere in the massive document was there a specific allegation of a crime committed by Biden or any of his relatives.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

James Comer

Comer Admits Purpose Of Biden 'Investigation' Is To Elect Trump (VIDEO)

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Comer (R-KY) appears to have admitted to actually weaponizing the federal government for political gain.

Rep. Comer, Republican of Kentucky, appeared to tell Fox News early Monday morning that his investigations into Hunter Biden are actually designed to help Donald Trump win the 2024 presidential election.

“We have talked to you about this on the show, about how the media can just not ignore this any longer. In an op-ed in The Washington Post, it says, ‘Millions Flowed to Biden Family Members. Don’t Pretend It Doesn’t Matter,’” said Fox News host Ashley Strohmier, as HuffPostreported Monday. “So do you think that because of your investigation, that is what’s moved this needle with the media?”

“Absolutely. There’s no question,” Comer replied, sounding very similar to Kevin McCarthy in 2015 (below) when the GOP House leader admitted the Benghazi investigations were designed to hurt Hillary Clinton in the polls. “You look at the polling, and right now Donald Trump is seven points ahead of Joe Biden and trending upward, Joe Biden’s trending downward. And I believe that the media is looking around, scratching their head, and they’re realizing that the American people are keeping up with our investigation.”

Comer citied one recent poll, but many polls show President Joe Biden beating Donald Trump, and overall, while it is still very early, the polls are very close.

“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy had said. “But we put together a Benghazi Special Committee, a Select Committee ― what are her numbers today?” McCarthy told Fox News at the time. “Her numbers are dropping, why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened.”

HuffPost notes that “in reality, despite House Republicans’ efforts to portray Biden as hopelessly corrupt, the committee didn’t present any evidence in its hearings that directly implicated Biden.”

Watch Comer below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

James Comer

Rep. Comer Claims 'Informant' On Biden Family Has 'Disappeared' (VIDEO)

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair James Comer had a “dog ate my homework” excuse for not coming up with the goods following what was supposed to have been his “judgment day” for President Joe Biden’s international crime family. He lost his informant.

The Kentucky Republican showed up on Fox News over the weekend and told Maria Bartiromo his sad tale. “Well, unfortunately, we can’t track down the informant,” the Kentucky representative told Bartiromo. “We’re hopeful that the informant is still there. The whistleblower knows the informant. The whistleblower is very credible.”

And the informant is one of those tricky international spies who has used spycraft to go dark. “Well, we’re hopeful that we can find the informant,” Comer said. “Remember, these informants are kind of in the spy business, so they don’t make a habit of being seen a lot or being high-profile or anything like that.”

Bartiromo was having a hard time figuring this all out. “Did you just say that the whistleblower or the informant is now missing?” Bartiromo asked, then asked again, “Are there whistleblowers or informants missing right now?” Since they’re both likely imaginary, she can take her pick.

Last Wednesday, Comer promised that he was going to blow the lid off the Biden family’s notorious record of international crime. “For the first time,” he said, “the American people are gonna see actual bank records that show wire transfers from adversaries around the world into a web of LLCs that were owned or controlled by the Bidens and then those transfers were made back into the Biden family accounts.”

The actual press conference at which this was supposed to happen was a flop and The New York Times headline tells it all: “House Republican Report Finds No Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden.”

“After four months of investigation, House Republicans who promised to use their new majority to unearth evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden acknowledged on Wednesday that they had yet to uncover incriminating material about him,” the Times reported, “despite their frequent insinuations that he and his family have been involved in criminal conduct and corruption.”

The missing informant must have taken it all.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.