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Congressional Republicans Embarrass Themselves, Part I: Whistleblower Is a(n Alleged) Hood

We weren't so sure about this story, because it's kind of scurrilous and because the new reporting that broke last week came from that bastion of quality journalism, The New York Post. However, it's all over the place now, so we have to go with it. Gal Luft, who is the "whistleblower" with alleged dirt on Hunter Biden, appears to be so crooked that, well, he should immediately run for Congress in NY-03.

It has been publicly known for several months that Luft was in legal trouble, and that he was a fugitive from justice. Yesterday, however, the Department of Justice unsealed the indictment that it filed back in November of last year. It would seem that when it comes to taking down the Bidens, Luft is no messiah for the Republicans. Nope, he's just a very naughty boy. The charges against him are quite substantial; he's accused of acting as an agent for China without registering, of illegally trafficking in arms (for the benefit of the governments of Libya, United Arab Emirates, and Kenya), of having illegal contact with the nation of Iran, and of perjuring himself. It's a total of eight counts that carry a potential sentence of 100 years.

At this point, we will point out two things that are not related to each other, but that are definitely related to the news about Luft. The first is that, as we've pointed out many times before, the feds don't move ahead with prosecuting people unless they think the case is a slam dunk. Inasmuch as Luft is a fugitive, it would seem that he thinks the case is a slam dunk, too. So, if and when he is arrested, he's not going to get bail, and he's not likely to see the outside of a prison cell again for many, many years.

The second thing to note is that one of the many people who volunteered for the various campaigns of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was a woman named Fang Fang, who turns out to have been a Chinese spy. Swalwell did not know at the time, there's no evidence that she got any useful information from him, and as soon as he knew there was something fishy, he went to the FBI and told them everything he knew. Despite his pretty clear lack of culpability for any wrongdoing (and he was formally cleared by the feds), Republicans have had a field day claiming that the Representative is basically Xi Jinping's right-hand man. Well, Luft really does have connections to China (the only question is whether they were illegal). And the Republicans who have held him up as a truth-teller and as the key to unlocking the corruption of the Biden administration knew full well that was the case and did everything they could to ignore or downplay the rather serious problems with him as a witness.

That politicians are sometimes hypocritical, and that the Trumpublicans take that tendency to extremes, is hardly news. Also not surprising is that, at the moment, folks like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) are whining and moaning about how there's a conspiracy and how the DoJ is actively trying to undermine the GOP's star witness. From where we sit, it would seem that the star witness has done that for himself, without any help at all from the feds.

And that is where we get to the one really newsworthy aspect to this story. The Republicans' narrative about Biden corruption was already on life support, and now it's dead. Luft is not only a shady character, but it's now clear he has multiple motivations to cook up phony stories that please Republicans' ears. First, because Luft himself is a far-right Trumper, and second because he knows he's probably going to get popped one of these days, and it sure would be swell if he could help elect a Republican president and be in a position to ask for a pardon. Nobody is going to take Luft seriously at this point except for the Fox crowd, and they are already safe anti-Biden votes.

Biden has been in politics for 50 years, has been one of the dozen or so most prominent politicians in the country for close to two decades, and has been a major presidential candidate or the sitting president for 4 years. Anyone and everyone who might want to find dirt on him has been looking under every stone for something, over and over and over, and the best they've come up with is completely not credible folks like Luft and Tara Reade. We are going to infer from this that Biden is going to make it to the end of his career without meaningful skeletons being discovered in his closet. And that means that if the Republicans want to reclaim the White House next year, they're going to have to win the election the old-fashioned way, and actually put forward a better option than the President. (Z)

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