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Joe Biden: Guilty

Yesterday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on the show of Fox entertainer Sean Hannity to discuss the misdeeds of Joe Biden. The Senator thinks there is an excellent chance the President will be impeached, observing that:

It doesn't have to be a high crime or misdemeanor because the Constitution specifies that impeachment lies for treason, bribery, other high crimes or misdemeanors. Bribery is explicitly noted in the Constitution. And I gotta say, the evidence, not only against Hunter Biden, but the evidence against Joe Biden being complicit and profiting from this corruption is growing and growing and growing.

Hannity nodded, agreeing that the odds are excellent that Biden will face a trial in the Senate.

Now, at this point, you might be wondering if we buried the lede, inasmuch as we did not explain exactly what the evidence against Biden is, or who it is that he might have taken a bribe from. It's actually not so much that we buried this information as it is that we don't know it. In that way, we're not terribly different from Cruz, who hasn't actually seen the evidence either, and who is not entirely certain that the evidence, you know, actually exists.

What's prompting this "discussion," such as it is, is a letter that Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray and AG Merrick Garland yesterday. Here's the key passage:

We have received legally protected and highly credible unclassified whistleblower disclosures. Based on those disclosures, it has come to our attention that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) possess an unclassified FD-1023 form that describes an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. It has been alleged that the document includes a precise description of how the alleged criminal scheme was employed as well as its purpose.

Comer and Grassley want a copy of the form they describe, and Comer sent a separate letter, with a formal subpoena, demanding that Wray provide it.

Since the details here are thin, it's hard to know what to make of this. We pass the news along because there was a time in, say, July 1972, that claims being made about the Nixon administration seemed highly implausible, and yet proved to be true. So, maybe there's something here. That said, we are strongly inclined to doubt it for three, or perhaps four, reasons:

  1. Republicans have been aching to impeach Biden since well before he became president. Cruz wants to impeach Biden with little or no knowledge of the new "evidence" against the President. This does not speak of a political faction that has carefully assessed the situation and soberly made the decision that something must be done.

  2. By the time of the Watergate scandal, Nixon had a decades-long résumé of sleazy and unethical behavior. The break-in and cover-up were not a departure, they were a predictable result of a politician who felt the rules did not apply to him. Biden does not have such a résumé.

  3. Even if Biden is a secret sleazy operator, it is hard to believe that he suddenly forgot how to cover his tracks, and that he suddenly began to leave a paper trail, after half a century in politics.

  4. This is the reason that we aren't especially confident about, but we include it, just in case. As you can see above, the assertion is that the "criminal scheme" took place while Biden was VP. However, the subpoena actually asks for a document "created or modified in June 2020." That is, of course, well after Biden was VP. There could be an explanation for that discrepancy, like the FBI didn't look into the matter until Biden was a presidential candidate, and so did not create paperwork until that time. On the other hand, this could also be evidence of slapdash, rush-to-judgment work by Comer and Grassley.

Presumably, we will soon learn more details, and we'll see if there's any "there" there. On the other hand, the House GOP breathlessly handed over some amount of 1/6 footage to Tucker Carlson, with promises that the Fox entertainer would blow up the dominant narrative of that day, and would expose the truth of what really happened. And since then, the only thing that has blown up is Carlson's career. Maybe this "bribery" story will quietly fade away, too. (Z)

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