Patterico's Pontifications

7/12/2023

About That Missing Witness In The Biden Probe…

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:31 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Oh, okay then:

A missing witness into the investigation of Hunter Biden’s business dealings who claims he has proof of the President’s son’s corrupt connections to the Chinese government has reappeared after he himself was accused of being a Chinese agent and fled custody.

Days after Gal Luft publicly dared the DOJ to unseal the indictment against him — alleging the charges he’s facing are a political attempt to cover up his claims of Hunter Biden’s corruption — officials did just that.

The US Attorney’s Office on Monday released the indictment against the US-Israeli dual citizen, who was arrested in Cyprus in February on charges of willfully failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”), arms trafficking, Iranian sanctions violations, and making false statements to federal agents.

Now facing federal charges, the US Attorney’s Office SDNY released this statement about Luft and his alleged criminal behavior:

As alleged, Gal Luft, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen and co-head of a Maryland think tank, engaged in multiple, serious criminal schemes. He subverted foreign agent registration laws in the United States to seek to promote Chinese policies by acting through a former high-ranking U.S. Government official; he acted as a broker in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil; and he told multiple lies about his crimes to law enforcement. As the charges unsealed today reflect, our Office will continue to work vigorously with our law enforcement partners to detect and hold accountable those who surreptitiously attempt to perpetrate malign foreign influence campaigns here in the United States.”

The charges include Conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, Violation of the Arms Export Control Act (relating to Libya), Violation of the Arms Export Control Act (relating to the United Arab Emirates), Violation of the Arms Export Control Act (relating to Kenya), Making false statements, Conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

A few interesting details:

First, LUFT conspired with others in an effort to act within the United States to advance the interests of the People’s Republic of China (“China”) as agents of China-based principals, without registering as foreign agents as required under U.S. law…

Second, LUFT conspired with others and attempted to broker illicit arms transactions with, among others, certain Chinese individuals and entities. In his role as a broker or middleman, LUFT worked to find both buyers and sellers of certain weapons and other materials, without a license to do so as required under U.S. law, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act…

Third, LUFT conspired with others and attempted to broker deals for Iranian oil – which he directed an associate to refer to as “Brazilian” oil in an effort to conceal the activity and evade sanctions – in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act…

Keep in mind that some Republicans have been pushing for Luft to be granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony. Also, Luft himself recorded a video in which he claims that efforts are being made to prevent him from testifying:

In the 14-minute recording, obtained exclusively by The Post, the fugitive former Israeli army officer claims he was arrested in Cyprus to stop him from testifying to the House Oversight Committee that the Biden family received payments from individuals with alleged ties to Chinese military intelligence and that they had an FBI mole who shared classified information with their benefactors from the China-controlled energy company CEFC.

The self-proclaimed fall guy says he provided the incriminating evidence to six officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice in a secret meeting in Brussels in March 2019 — but alleges that it was covered up.

“I, who volunteered to inform the US government about a potential security breach and about compromising information about a man vying to be the next president, am now being hunted by the very same people who I informed — and may have to live on the run for the rest of my life on the run …”

“I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I have no political motive or agenda … I did it out of deep concern that if the Bidens were to come to power, the country would be facing the same traumatic Russia collusion scandal — only this time with China. Sadly, because of the DOJ’s cover-up, this is exactly what happened …”

Meanwhile, Oversight Chairman James Comer said on Fox News that he still believes that the fugitive Luft may be a credible witness:

“We definitely want to hear more about his allegations and we want to see the notes from the [Brussels] meeting. They sent six FBI [and DOJ officials], according to Gal Luft, to Brussels to interview him. Obviously they were concerned about something he had to say. There’s some level of credibility here.”

Democrats responded to the news by demanding the GOP turn over all the information on the interactions they have had with Luft. Ranking member Jamie Raskin, along with Rep. Daniel Goldman, wrote:

We are concerned that an official committee of the House of Representatives has been manipulated by an apparent con man who, while a fugitive from justice, attempted to fortify his defense by laundering unfounded and potentially false allegations through Congress.

Although Mr. Luft has been on the run for months, you touted him as a ‘potential witness’ and even prepared to interview him as part of your investigation. As recently as Friday, you described Mr. Luft as ‘a very credible witness’ about matters relating to the President’s son’s financial dealings with Chinese companies.

This is a crazy story, and who knows where it will eventually lead. At this point, knowing what we know, I’m right about here:

As for whether or not you believe the government’s allegations against Luft, I’ll reserve final judgment for when evidence is produced in a court of law.

But when you’re asked to take the word of a fugitive making videos for the New York Post over career prosecutors making sworn statements with their entire careers and livelihoods on the line . . . I gotta be honest. I’m leaning toward trusting the government. At least as a provisional reading of the situation.

–Dana


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