What Might Legitimate Investigations of the Executive Branch Look Like?
Everyone is standing by, waiting for the House of Representatives to devote all of its time from Jan. 3, 2023, to
Nov. 5, 2024, to investigating Hunter Biden's laptop. If that's all the Republicans in the House do, it will give
Democrats ammo to explain why they should be given control back in 2024.
The National Review regards itself as the last vestige of sanity on the right, and certainly its intellectual
leader, even if nobody else notices it anymore. Nevertheless, it has presented a
for what Republicans could investigate and not infuriate the most of the country in the process and generate a huge
backlash. It is very unlikely to happen, but shows some areas where the Democrats are potentially vulnerable.
Here are the main points they make:
- No overlap: Each topic under investigation should be handled by a single committee under
the firm leadership of its chair. Having seven committees looking into Hunter Biden's laptop is just going to make
everyone think the Republicans are all crazy and not at all serious.
- Hunter Biden's laptop: An investigation is legitimate but only if it is entirely focused
on foreign influence peddling. Did Hunter sell national secrets or get special treatment that harmed the country while
his father was president or veep? If he merely conned the Chinese and they gave him a lot of money and got nothing in
return, there is no story here. There is only a story here if there is actual corruption and Joe Biden was part of it.
If all that's there is that Hunter was dissolute or lazy or corrupt but his father wasn't involved, there is nothing really
here and flogging it endlessly is not a good idea.
- Impeachment: Impeaching Biden is a nonstarter. Look what happened to the Republicans when
they impeached Bill Clinton in 1998. It blew up in their faces, and technically, Clinton did actually commit a felony
(perjury). Maybe the House could try impeaching a cabinet secretary, but only if they can find one who either broke the
law or violated his oath by refusing to enforce some law. Candidates are Alejandro Mayorkas (DHS), Miguel Cardona
(Education), Marty Walsh (Labor) and Xavier Becerra (HHS). But this will backfire unless there is a clear misdeed that
can be laid at the feet of the secretary.
- COVID-19: An investigation of how it started is legitimate, but that has to be grounded
in reality. The many decisions that Anthony Fauci made can be investigated to see if they had a valid scientific basis.
But this would put the Republicans on record as defending science, which would be tricky. Also possible here is
investigating whether closing schools was justified everywhere.
- Wokeness: A lot of organizations are pressuring private companies into becoming woke
auxiliaries of the state. Often this by pushing for ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) rules that try to force
companies do things other than what they are supposed to do, namely offer desirable products and services and make a
good profit doing so. Are there government agencies (e.g., the SEC) that are pushing companies to do ESG things to
please the left that the companies might not be interested in doing absent government pressure?
- Waste abroad: The federal government has spent billions of dollars in Afghanistan and
Ukraine. Has any of it been wasted? Sucked up due to corruption over there? While attacking the goals (especially in
Ukraine) probably won't work, spotlighting corruption that siphoned off taxpayer dollars might be worthwhile. Of course,
this requires first finding the corruption and determining whose fault it was. A corrupt deal between the Trump
administration and crooked officials in Afghanistan probably won't help the GOP in 2024.
- Abuses of power: The federal government and U.S. attorneys have a lot of discretion on
which cases they focus on. Has been any abuse of power? Has the focus been corrupt somehow? Has the DoJ tried to block
every merger because it doesn't like big companies, even when no laws were broken? Have DoJ attorneys failed to
prosecute people who may have broken laws because the left sees them as heroes? There are many potential targets here.
- The FBI: Republicans used to love the FBI. Now they hate it. But has the FBI actually
done anything wrong? If some wrongdoing can be found, it can be investigated, but there has to be something actually
One thing the House Republicans ought not forget is that they probably won't have the investigative field to
themselves. If Raphael Warnock wins the Georgia runoff, the Democrats will have a clear majority of the Senate seats and
thus a clear majority on every committee. Just as Republican chairs in the House can investigate anyone and everyone
they want to, so can Democratic Senate chairs. If the Republicans go overboard on investigating Hunter Biden's laptop,
some Democratic senators might be interested in why the Saudis gave Jared Kushner $2 billion to invest, when he knows
nothing about investments. Is it possible that copies of some of the secret documents that Trump stole found their way
to Saudi Arabia and out of sheer gratitude MBS gave young Jared $2 billion? Inquiring minds want to know. Donald Trump
Jr. once said that the investments in Trump's projects were disproportionately from Russia. Some senators might want a bit
more detail on this and perhaps the names of some of the Russians and whether the Trumps did due diligence here to catch
money laundering. With the chambers split, two can play this game. (V)
This item appeared on www.electoral-vote.com. Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news,
Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.
All Senate candidates