James Comer Subpoenas Dick Picks While Rome Burns

As long expected, yesterday Jamie Comer subpoenaed Hunter Biden, his uncle James, and his former business partner Rob Walker; the Kentucky Congressman also sent voluntary interview requests to four more family members and Tony Bobulinksi.

By sending a voluntary interview request rather than a subpoena to Bobulinski, the Hunter accusar will be able to dodge questions about why, as Cassidy Hutchinson described, he wore a ski mask to a covert meeting with Mark Meadows in November 2020 and what the President’s Chief of Staff handed him at that meeting.

Comer even sent a request to Hunter’s current spouse, Melissa Cohen, rationalizing doing so — after having shut down an investigation into why the Saudis gave Jared Kushner $2 billion to invest — this way:

Evidence also shows that President Biden was at least aware of some of his family’s business ventures and sought to influence potential business deals that financially benefited his family. Indeed, a Biden business associate, Devon Archer, testified how the Biden “brand” was used in retaining business, and that Joe Biden met with some of the foreign nationals who paid his family. 5 The Committees have identified you as possessing information relevant to their investigation and seek your testimony regarding these and other related topics. This request is made pursuant to that inquiry.

In particular, the Committees have identified over $20 million in payments to Biden family members and their associates, the majority of which is attributable to Biden family members. 6 The Committees believe you have received proceeds derived from a foreign source in which the Biden family has held a substantial financial interest. This source is concerning to the Committees because of its significant ties to a foreign government. The Committees seek to understand the extent of the Biden family’s involvement in transferring money to each other, and therefore seek clarity regarding your role in the movement of money originating from certain foreign sources.

As part of their investigation, the Committees also seek to craft legislative solutions aimed at deficiencies they have identified in the current legal framework regarding ethics laws and the disclosure of financial interests related to the immediate family members of Vice Presidents and Presidents—deficiencies that may place American national security and interests at risk. Specifically, the Committees are concerned that foreign nationals appear to have sought access and influence by engaging in lucrative business relationships with high-profile political figures’ immediate family members.

The Committees are investigating the national security implications of a Vice President’s or President’s (and candidates for such offices) immediate family members receiving millions of dollars from foreign nationals, foreign companies, or foreign governments without any oversight. Current financial disclosure laws and regulations do not require non-dependent family members of senior elected officials to provide any information to the public. The Committees are seeking meaningful reforms to government ethics and disclosure laws that will provide necessary transparency into a Vice President’s or President’s immediate family members’ income, assets, and financial relationships.

Cohen didn’t even meet Hunter until May 2019, over two years after Biden left the Obama White House. Meanwhile, the degree to which Trump and his family have committed fraud using their family brand is literally on trial in New York as we speak.

To say nothing of Comer himself. The Daily Beast describes that not only has Comer serially swapped land with his brother, but has done so while directly overseeing the industry.

According to Kentucky property records, Comer and his own brother have engaged in land swaps related to their family farming business. In one deal—also involving $200,000, as well as a shell company—the more powerful and influential Comer channeled extra money to his brother, seemingly from nothing. Other recent land swaps were quickly followed with new applications for special tax breaks, state records show. All of this, perplexingly, related to the dealings of a family company that appears to have never existed on paper.

In other words, not only has Comer not found anything against the Bidens. He is using his charade against the Bidens to hide his own corruption and that of the Trump’s.

And meanwhile, as Comer continues to waste taxpayer dollars subpoenaing dick pics, Republicans still can’t fund government.

Republicans continue to fail to do their most basic job. And they continue to fail even as they harass Joe Biden’s family for supporting other family members.

Jim Jordan Sniffs Dick Pics While Rome Burns

Yesterday, David Weiss, the US Attorney turned Special Counsel leading an investigation into Hunter Biden that has entered a sixth year, testified to the House Judiciary Committee.

His written statement debunked Gary Shapley’s claims about what he said in an October 7, 2022 meeting, as has the testimony of every other witness who attended the meeting, as well as US Attorneys Matthew Graves and Martin Estrada and (on other matters) Shapley’s supervisors and DOJ’s Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Tax Division, Stuart Goldberg.

Today, I am prepared to address the misunderstandings about the scope of my authority to decide where, when, and whether to bring charges in this matter. I do not intend to answer questions that could jeopardize the ongoing litigation, our investigations, or the rights of defendants or other individuals involved in these matters.

I am, and have been, the decision maker on this case. I do not, however, make these decisions in a vacuum. I am bound by federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and DOJ guidelines. As a result, there are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions. These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority. At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice.

NYT reported that Weiss is fed up with Republican interference in his case.

That Mr. Weiss spoke to the committee before issuing a final report on the investigation reflected his mounting frustration with House Republicans, according to people close to him, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Given Weiss’ insistence that “the career prosecutors on my team and I have made decisions based on the facts and the law” — a common incantation from Abbe Lowell — Weiss may also worry that Republican efforts have surfaced so much evidence that provides Lowell means to cast doubt on that.

Even though Weiss added to all the testimony debunking his conspiracy theories, Jim Jordan nevertheless ran to the frothy media with his attempt to spin some new scandal out of the testimony — this time that DOJ required Weiss to consult with the US Attorneys in DC and LA before asking for Special Attorney status.

Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters that Weiss said he initially requested special attorney status in spring 2022 from the Justice Department’s principal assistant deputy attorney general, but was not granted it.

“When he was specifically asked, ‘Did you ever request special attorney authority under Section 515?’ Mr. Weiss’ response was, ‘Yes, in the spring of 2022,’” Jordan said.

Merrick Garland has already explained that, publicly, to Jordan’s committee, with Jordan sitting in the room.

It is the normal process of the department is that a US Attorney in one district wants to bring a case in another, they go and consult. It’s perfectly appropriate. They do that in order to determine what the policies are in that district, what the practices are, what the judges are like in that district.

Given what we know from the abundant testimony in this pursuit, neither DC nor Los Angeles’ US Attorney’s offices decided to partner with Weiss on a case against Hunter Biden (the decision was made in both districts by senior career prosecutors, not the Biden appointees). There is reason to believe that all entities, including DOJ Tax attorneys, let Weiss proceed, but did not enthusiastically endorse the proposed charges against Hunter Biden. Estrada, for example, pointed to resource concerns. but also the Justice Manual that DOJ,

only prosecute cases where we believe a Federal offense has been committed and where we believe there will be sufficient admissible evidence to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt to an unbiased trier of fact.

These are the same principles of prosecution that Weiss mentioned in his statement, principles that say if you can’t prove a case, you don’t charge it.

But in spite of CDCA’s decision not to partner with Delaware, Weiss’ prosecutors had been granted Special AUSA status in Los Angeles even before Estrada was confirmed in September 2022 (and so a month before Gary Shapley had his meltdown), and Weiss and Estrada spoke as recently as September 19 of this year, suggesting ongoing matters in Los Angeles.

Mostly, though, members who attended Weiss’ interview complained that it was “tedious” and a “waste of time.”

Which is why it matters that even as Jim Jordan was blowing six hours on his already debunked conspiracy theories, Republicans were continuing to fail at their most basic job: funding government.

The clock is ticking. Mike Johnson’s House now has less than ten days to fund government, and he still hasn’t decided how he’ll do that.

All these Republicans know how to do — all they care to do — is keep sniffing Hunter Biden’s dick pics. That’s all they’ve done since they got a majority.

And meanwhile, they refuse to do their most basic job.

After Hounding Hunter Biden about Taxes for Months, Mike Johnson Coddles Rich Tax Cheats

Since January, it has been the unrelenting focus of the GOP House — including Mike Johnson — to demand higher penalties on Hunter Biden for not paying all his taxes. Just last month, for example, Johnson claimed that people were seeing “the DOJ, of course, aggressively prosecuting President Biden’s chief political rival, Mr. Trump, while at the same time, they see slow-walking and special treatment given to the President’s son. That’s just a fact that everybody can see with their own two eyes.”

But as one of the first acts under Speaker Johnson, he will respond to a terrorist attack by trying to help rich tax cheats. His plan pays for funding for Israel by cutting funding to the IRS by $14.3 billion, funding that more than pays for itself.

Johnson’s move to cut IRS funding comes weeks after the IRS made headlines for the amounts it is collecting from tax cheats who are far richer than Hunter Biden.

A month after announcing it would crack down on 1,600 millionaires who were far behind on their taxes, the Internal Revenue Service said Friday it has collected $122 million in 100 of these cases.

That’s on top of $38 million in back taxes the IRS has already collected from 175 other millionaires. It brings the recent rake-in of back taxes from wealthy households to $160 million, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said.

“The funds that we’ve collected should give you a fairly good idea of how much money is on the table for us,” Werfel told reporters, highlighting how the IRS is using money from the Inflation Reduction Act.

The IRS is using Inflation Reduction Act to ensure that the super rich no longer get treated better than Hunter Biden.

And in one of his first moves as Speaker, Mike Johnson is moving to make sure that only Hunter Biden must pay his taxes.

Update: Fixed billion/million.

Update: The IRS Commissioner claims that the IRS “offset” would cost $90 billion.

Update: CBO says Johnson’s bill would add $12.5B to the deficit by cutting $26.8B in revenues.

“Leave the Rest to” Mike Johnson: Republicans Prepare to Elect Key Jan6 Figure as Speaker

Update: Sure enough, Johnson was elected unanimously, 220-209. All the Republicans who had raised issues about election denialism (like Ken Buck) capitulated, as did all the so-called moderates. 

On December 27, 2020, Donald Trump told Richard Donoghue to announce that the election was corrupt.

“Leave the rest to me and the R Congressmen,” Trump said.

One of those Congressmen — one who had for weeks been inventing reasons for other Republican Congressmen to defy their oaths — was Mike Johnson.

NYT described Johnson’s role this way:

[I]n early December 2020, the Texas attorney general filed a long-shot appeal citing an array of unproven claims of fraud and other irregularities and asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the Pennsylvania results on similar constitutional grounds.

Mr. Johnson drafted a supporting brief that focused on the constitutional argument. As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, he pushed its members to sign the brief, and he also wrote an email to all Republican lawmakers warning in bold red letters that Mr. Trump would be tracking their response. “He said he will be anxiously awaiting the final list to review,” he wrote.


The lawyer for the House Republican leadership told Mr. Johnson that his arguments were unconstitutional, according to three people involved in the conversations, and Ms. Cheney, also a lawyer, called the brief “embarrassing.” Mr. McCarthy, the Republican leader, told members that he refused to sign, the three people said.

Nonetheless, Mr. Johnson pushed ahead and filed the brief on Dec. 10 with 105 lawmakers as co-signers, and within a day he had added 20 more — including Mr. McCarthy. Later, at the caucus meeting on Jan. 5, 2021, Mr. Johnson suggested the signers, in effect, had signaled their support for declaring “constitutional infirmity” as grounds for objecting. Most of the signers did exactly that.

In the days leading up to January 6, he invented a reason beyond voter fraud not to do what the Constitution requires.

In formal statements justifying their votes, about three-quarters relied on the arguments of a low-profile Louisiana congressman, Representative Mike Johnson, the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.

On the eve of the Jan. 6 votes, he presented colleagues with what he called a “third option.” He faulted the way some states had changed voting procedures during the pandemic, saying it was unconstitutional, without supporting the outlandish claims of Mr. Trump’s most vocal supporters. His Republican critics called it a Trojan horse that allowed lawmakers to vote with the president while hiding behind a more defensible case.

On Monday night, Trump said something similar as what he said to Richard Donoghue, but he said it publicly. He told supporters in New Hampshire that they don’t have to vote, they only have to watch what sounds like vote counters.

You got to get out there and you got to watch those voters. You don’t have to vote. Don’t worry about voting. The voting, we got plenty of votes. You got to watch election night.

The next day, Matt Gaetz first shepherded Tom Emmer’s nomination to be Speaker, then let Trump destroy his candidacy by Tweet (Trump’s return to his fraud trial was delayed slightly, and this post came out while he was in the courtroom).

By the end of the evening, Johnson had been picked as the next man to try to get 217 votes.

When a reporter asked Johnson, at the gleeful presser afterwards, about his role in leading efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, everyone booed, he simply shook his head, and called for the next question.

It remains the case that no vote in these caucus meetings have generated the total votes necessary to win. Politico reported that 44 of those present didn’t vote for either candidates, and the total votes case were only 201: still less than Hakeem Jeffries will get.

Republicans went back to the drawing board, and made Johnson the latest aspirant to a position the fractured and exhausted conference can’t seem to fill. He beat out a field of four other candidates, including Byron Donalds, in the final ballot by a 128 to 29 vote. Some 44 other Republicans didn’t vote for either of the two men.

But it increasingly looks like this process of picking a Speaker is a process designed to oust those who did support their oaths on January 6 and replace them with people who could find excuses to pick Donald Trump in 2025.

Update: The first round, via secret ballot, is where Johnson only got 128 votes. He would have gotten around 198 in a later public vote.

He won only 128 votes, defeating Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who won 29 votes. But 44 Republicans voted for other candidates — including 43 who voted for McCarthy, according to notes taken by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Tex.).

But Johnson did far better in a roll-call vote late Tuesday night in which House Republicans voted by name instead of by secret ballot. Just three lawmakers voted “present” and about 20 were absent, according to two lawmakers. The rest backed Johnson.

A Diverse America Votes to Uphold the Constitution; A Largely Male White America Votes to Abrogate It

The House Judiciary Committee just voted to send two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the full House.

The entire vote took just minutes. But it said so much about the state of America today.

It will forever be portrayed as a party line vote, with 23 Democrats in favor, and 17 Republicans against. But it was also a tribute to the degree to which polarization in America today pivots on issues of diversity.

The Democrats who voted in favor included 11 women, and 13 Latinx and people of color (Ted Lieu missed the vote recovering from a heart procedure). Three (plus Lieu) are immigrants. One is gay. These Democrats voted to uphold the Constitution a bunch of white men, several of them owners of African-American slaves, wrote hundreds of years ago.

The Republicans who voted against were all white. Just two were women.  These Republicans voted to permit a racist white male President to cheat to get reelected in violation of the rule of law.

This is about a clash between the rising America and the past. And it’s unclear who will win this battle for America. But the stakes are clear.