As House Republicans prepared to launch a formal impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, his son showed up to Congress, defied a duly issued congressional subpoena and effectively gave Republicans the middle finger.
Blocks from where Hunter Biden held an obstinate press conference with his Secret Service detail in tow, the House Republicans hosted a media row to lay out the case for why they backed today’s impeachment inquiry vote, which received near unanimous support.
Representative Tom Emmer, the House’s number three Republican, told me that the younger Biden “made the case for us this morning. Hunter Biden is not above the law.” Emmer, the party’s vote counter, cited a November letter the White House wrote to Republican chairmen Jim Jordan and James Comer saying that “they are not going to honor the subpoenas without a full floor vote.” Ironically, Joe and Hunter Biden “have literally done it for us” in getting a fractious caucus almost universally on board with today’s vote.
Hunter’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said that his client would never have been charged with the litany of felonies he’s facing if he had a different last name — claims which few take seriously. “That is so utterly absurd on its face, that I’m sure he had to go behind a building and laugh hysterically after saying it,” Representative Harriet Hageman, a longtime lawyer, told The Spectator. “The idea that you could owe millions of dollars in taxes, the idea that you could be paid millions of dollars from foreign governments — never registering as a foreign agent, by the way — but receive literally paychecks of $80,000 into your account every single month, pay not a dime in taxes — and the IRS and the DoJ allowed the statute of limitations to expire on that…” seems far-fetched.
“If his last name weren’t Biden, he wouldn’t have been flying on Air Force Two to go meet with his business partners,” Representative Scott Franklin added.
To many, Hunter’s actions today vindicate the need for Republicans to escalate their impeachment efforts to a formal inquiry, which, among other powers, strengthens GOP subpoenas, making stunts like this morning’s harder to repeat in the future. Particularly, they offer fuel to the theory that the latest rounds of indictments from Special Counsel David Weiss will be a pretext for him to avoid answering questions under oath, whether in public or in private.
Following Hunter’s departure from the Hill, Republicans on the Oversight Committee initiated proceedings to hold him in contempt of Congress. Issa additionally wrote to the Ethics and Administration Committees, calling out Representative Eric Swalwell for reserving the steps outside Capitol Hill for Biden’s not-so-impromptu press conference.
“Swalwell must be eager to be on Team Hunter because Biden is the only Democrat more compromised by Chinese spies,” one senior GOP staffer quipped.
On our radar
SUNUNU SAYS New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu endorsed former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, declaring that she will win the presidency and also lead the GOP to majorities in the House and Senate. Haley is currently in second place in the New Hampshire primary polls and trails significantly behind Donald Trump.
CLIMATE COUNTDOWN Representatives from the nearly 200 countries at COP28 agreed to “transition away” from fossil fuels to “achieve net zero by 2050.” The COP28 attendees rejected a stronger proposal to “phase out” fossil fuels.
COMER QUITS House Oversight Chair James Comer said he stopped appearing on Fox News to discuss the Republican impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden because Fox & Friends cohost Steve Doocy questioned the evidence showing the president did anything illegal.
DC sports flee across the river
The announcement this morning by owner Ted Leonsis that Washington, DC is losing the Washington Capitals and Wizards franchises to Virginia is the ultimate indictment of incompetent Mayor Muriel Bowser and corrupt Democrats on the city council who let crime take over the nation’s capital.
To say DC has a rampant crime problem is an understatement. You may already have heard about the incredible rise in carjacking, which more than doubled year over year — with juvenile offenders accounting for the vast majority of arrests. All crime is up by almost a third, violent crime is up almost 40 percent and total homicides passed 200 in September, earlier in the year than it has since 1997.
It turns out that offering free tracking devices for when you’re carjacked isn’t enough to satisfy the demands of workers, citizens and visitors who want to be safe when having dinner a stone’s throw from the White House and Capitol Hill — or if they want to spend the high prices necessary to go out to a game at night with their family in the increasingly unsafe Chinatown area.
Another Kamala press secretary?
Clinton-world’s infiltration of the Biden administration continued apace this week, with Hillary Clinton’s former press secretary Brian Fallon joining Kamala Harris’s orbit as her newest press secretary.
The news follows reports that Hillary Clinton will be hitting the trail as a Biden surrogate. This could prove problematic for the president, as Clinton’s own husband reportedly said that her campaign couldn’t “sell pussy on a troop train.”
Fallon is coming into the role already loathed by many for his role with Clinton’s failed 2016 effort and for his support for radical policies like defunding the police. Fallon is also closely tied to Arabella Advisors, the left’s sprawling dark money infrastructure based on his time helming Demand Justice — a group that backs packing the Supreme Court. Might he end up just like the rest of Harris’s staff, who cycle in and out of the administration faster than Hunter Biden spends taxable income?
Biden’s new tall tale
President Joe Biden has added a new fabricated life story to his collection, which already consists of the “Corn Pop” saga, the small kitchen fire that nearly claimed his wife, and his son, Beau, coming home in a “flag-draped casket.” Earlier this week, Biden told a crowd of people that when he had a brain aneurysm in 1988 (true), President Ronald Reagan sent the “Air Force Helicopter One” to take him to the hospital (not true).
Aside from the obvious bungling of “Marine One,” the call sign for the presidential chopper, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson pointed out that neither Biden’s autobiography nor Reagan’s daily presidential diaries support the story. In fact, Reagan acknowledged on the same day of Biden’s aneurysm that he could not fly on Marine One because of bad weather.
Why does it matter? Biden’s penchant for telling tall tales seems to have spun out of control in the past two years of his presidency. As the White House tries to tamp down concerns over the president’s age, moments like this are only going to reaffirm voters’ beliefs that he can no longer handle the job.