Patterico's Pontifications

7/26/2023

Hunter Biden Plea Deal Falls Apart

Filed under: General — JVW @ 12:46 pm



[guest post by JVW]

Fox News has a pretty good write-up here; CNN covers it rather thoroughly here. As usual, I’ll stick to the reporting from National Review Online:

Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor tax charges in a federal courtroom in Delaware Wednesday after U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika put a plea deal his lawyers had reached with prosecutors on hold.

In June, Biden was charged with felony gun possession and two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay taxes in 2017 and 2018. The original deal included a recommendation of probation for the tax violations, while the gun charge for illegally owning a Colt Cobra .38 Special handgun would be dropped and potentially wiped from Biden’s record if he met certain conditions laid out in court.

Noreika described the deal struck with U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware as “unusual” and questioned why the deal contained some “non-standard terms,” such as “broad immunity” from other potential charges.

When she asked prosecutor Leo Wise if there was precedent for the kind of deal proposed, he replied, “No, your honor,” according to the New York Times.

Noreika asked prosecutors if Biden would be immune from prosecution for possible crimes such as violations related to representing foreign governments without registering. When they responded “no,” Hunter Biden’s legal team said the agreement was “null and void.”

This seemingly puts the lie to the talking points that Team Biden was disseminating after the plea deal was first announced: that this sort of thing was entirely standard and would be given to just about any first-time offender, even if they weren’t connected to the President of the United States. The “broad immunity” from other charges seems to be what rightly piqued Judge Noreika’s interest, and it’s not hard to envision that sanctifying this plea deal could have down the road potentially handcuffed investigators and prosecutors from pursuing charges in the myriad of other controversies surrounding the First Son. After a brief recess, the prosecution and defense came back with a revised agreement which would have immunized the crackhead Caravaggio from any tax, gun, or drug related charges from 2014-19, but the judge would not be rushed into accepting that compromise, and the defendant was thus forced to enter his “not guilty” plea.

So it looks like Hunter Biden will be back in court again in a few weeks, after the Judge has had time to mull over the proposed updated plea deal. The week is off to a pretty horrid start for the Bidens, and it is starting to appear that even the family’s staunchest defenders in the media are having second thoughts, as witnessed by the heavy coverage today at CNN. In a small coda which typifies the sort of week that Hunter Biden has been experiencing thus far, Fox News has this tidbit:

Meanwhile, on the eve of the court appearance, the judge threatened to sanction Hunter Biden’s legal team after one of his attorneys allegedly lied about who she was while asking to remove IRS whistleblower testimony from the court docket.

The defense, though, denied the allegations and called the incident “an unfortunate and unintentional miscommunication.”

Oh yes, I am sure this is all just one giant misunderstanding and certainly not the entitled Biden Brigades believing they could pull rank and steamroll a district court.

Are the walls closing in? We heard this predicted so often about Donald Trump that one can be forgiven for assuming that the Bidens will find a way to escape this trap. On the other hand, they are far less clever than the Clintons (or even the Trumps, if that can be believed), and this might just be the moment when Democrats determine that they need a clean slate going into next year’s elections. Expect lots of twist and turns to this story over the next couple of months, but as I said yesterday, I do think the Democrats need to decide whether to keep Biden or dump him by the time Labor Day rolls around.

– JVW

177 Responses to “Hunter Biden Plea Deal Falls Apart”

  1. Judge Maryellen Noreika is a Trump appointee whose background is in patent law. Both Democrat Senators from Delaware supported her nomination. She donated to the Hillary Clinton primary campaign in 2008, then to John McCain in the general election and Mitt Romney in 2012. [Oh dear: she must hate Barack Obama if she donates to all of his opponents.] She’s donated to Tom Cotton and Rick Santorum, but also to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  2. The Spectator has more on the issue of Biden’s defense team misrepresenting themselves in an attempt to quash whistleblower testimony:

    Wednesday’s court date was confused further the night before after a lawyer representing Republican congressman Jason Smith of the House Ways and Means Committee attempted to submit an amicus curiae letter with Judge Noreika. According to NBC, Smith’s lawyer Theodore Kittila “accused a staff member in [Hunter Biden’s lawyer Christopher] Clark’s office of impersonating someone from Kittila’s staff in a call to the clerk of the Delaware court and asking to have the letter removed from court filings.” Biden lawyer Christopher Clark attempted to explain away this call as a “mishap.”

    Not a good look for Team Biden.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  3. https://twitter.com/PaulaReidCNN/status/1684236100301209602

    And the deal is back on because he knows it’s a sweetheart deal.

    NJRob (cf8eec)

  4. That tweet is three hours old, NJRob, and I think it was issued when the prosecution and defense came back with a revision. But that is the revised deal that Judge Noreika is refusing to sign off on without first giving it consideration. It may turn out to be the final agreement, but they aren’t going to be consummating it today.

    JVW (1ad43e)

  5. Labor Day 2023, to be clear.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  6. According to NBC, Smith’s lawyer Theodore Kittila “accused a staff member in [Hunter Biden’s lawyer Christopher] Clark’s office of impersonating someone from Kittila’s staff in a call to the clerk of the Delaware court and asking to have the letter removed from court filings.” Biden lawyer Christopher Clark attempted to explain away this call as a “mishap.”

    Her name is known, although its not clear that she gave her name (or her real name, or if she gave it only late in the call) when she called, and she definitely lied about her employment situation. She claimed to be speaking for, or in agreement with, the House Ways and Means Committee’s lawyers.

    Her name is Jessica Bengels, and she is the director of litigation at Hunter Biden attorney Chris Clark’s former law firm, Latham & Watkins, which s based in New York.. (He must have separated at the time he took the Hunter Biden case, probably to protect the law firm’s reputation.)

    She has since denied even mentioning the law firm working for the House Ways and Means Committee except in response to a question about whether the filing she wanted withdrawn had been submitted by Theodore Kittila’s law firm (which is the firm representing the Ways and Means and I don’t understand how this can be an outside law firm or whatever the situation it is)

    Sammy Finkelman (d007a3)

  7. Joe has assured us that Hunter did nothing wrong, so of course Hunter should plead not guilty. Duh.

    norcal (145e0e)

  8. What Hunter Bden’s lawyers wanted was aplea deal that gave him immunity from all federal criminal charges, which is what I understood them to be attempting to do all the time. Not just tax charges.

    Somehow the investigation became limited mostly to tax charges and not did not include possible ancillary money laundering, bribery, extortion, fraud, conspiracy with others to commit various crimes under U.ZS. law, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    David Weiss said no – Hunter was not getting blanket immunity from prosecution like his lawyers thought.

    So maybe here he was acting independently, or perhaps somebody wanted to avoid testifying abut this case (the way to do that is say there is a continuing investigation). In any case, even if David Weiss cannot file charges on his own outside Delaware, he can investigate anything on his own.

    Now this is the best deal Hunter is likely to get, so his lawyers decided, after thinking it over a while, to take the limited plea deal without the universal immunity.(but just immunity to any further tax charges committed up to now)

    But the judge would not accept that plea agreement because she didn’t like linking the gun charge to the tax charges, and they remained linked in one proceeding. She may not have liked the diversion also.

    But she gave them a chance to fix that.

    The way for them to fix that probably is for Hunter to first plead guilty to the gun charge (and hope the judge does not sentence him to jail anyway) and then, separately, the tax charges, and hope Hunter does not get caught up in money laundering or serious things

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  9. But that is the revised deal that Judge Noreika is refusing to sign off on without first giving it consideration.

    The DoJ is also going to get to give it more consideration, and the House Oversight Committee may help.

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  10. norcal (145e0e) — 7/26/2023 @ 2:25 pm

    Joe has assured us that Hunter did nothing wrong

    This is a lie for public consumption that doesn’t have a shred of credibility.

    The not guilty plea is what a defendant does any time he does not please guilty. It’s considered a holding plea. It is often not meant to be taken seriously. But the possible pleas are mainly limited pretty much to GUILTY or NOT GUILTY

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  11. What happened with the gun charge?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  12. The judge rejected the revised deal (in which Hunter’s lawyers decided they had better take the tax deal even without further immunity) because the gun charge was included.

    https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/hunter-biden-tax-charges-hearing/index.html

    …Noreika said she had “concerns” about the parties seemingly linking the tax plea agreement to resolving a felony gun charge…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. If the plea was accepted to pray my guess is that the “sorry, I can’t comment about a current investigation” excuse goes out the window. At which point exposing the details of the plea negotiations may have seen the light of day.

    Instead both the Defense and the Prosecution get their buzz-off excuse back by pretending they didn’t really understand the nitty gritty of their own plea agreement in one of the highest profile cases in recent history.

    #scam.

    BuDuh (304493)

  14. ….”to pray”… should be “today”

    BuDuh (304493)

  15. Joe has assured us that Hunter did nothing wrong

    This is a lie for public consumption that doesn’t have a shred of credibility.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 7/26/2023 @ 2:37 pm

    What? Joe is too honorable and decent to lie like that.

    norcal (145e0e)

  16. Would appreciate it if anyone here with experience in criminal plea deals could explain the substantive differences between the DOJ’s actions with respect to the Hunter Biden plea deal and the Trump DOJ withdrawing the charges against Michael Flynn even after he had pleaded guilty pursuant to a deal. The deal offered Hunter Biden doesn’t look good to an outsider but, if it is possible to look at it dispassionately, is it really that bad or out of line given the discretion prosecutors have in these matters, or how they are usually handled? I for one find it really easy to fall victim to tribal biases — here, my bias makes me want to lambaste the prosecutors for going too easy on Hunter while before it made me want to give Flynn a pass that probably he didn’t deserve. Maybe the DOJ acted within the range of what is appropriate in both cases, maybe in neither, or maybe in one but not the other — anyway, looking forward to some guidance.

    RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64)

  17. @16 RL formerly in Glendale (7a2d64) — 7/26/2023 @ 3:33 pm

    I think the main differences between Flynn and Hunter cases, was that Flynn accepted the plea under duress (they threatened to charge his son), and Hunter trying to push through the original plea deal was designed to protect Hunter and close out any other connections to his father.

    There are numerous differences here, and I think it’d be a wee bit foolhardy to presume they’re similar.

    whembly (5f7596)

  18. Given Patterico’s day job, I’d like to hear his take on what happened today.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  19. For example, is it “usual” for a federal judge to order the defendant to get a job?

    As part of his release conditions,
    Judge Noreika ordered Hunter Biden to get a job, drink NO alcohol, not use or possess any drugs, and — if asked by pretrial services or officers —submit to testing and participate in substance abuse therapy.

    Paul Montagu (e7d63b)

  20. Paul, I apologize for the Redstate link but the Scribd link would not work independently.

    The section where Hunter is asked to continue or to actively seek employment is part of what looks like a standard template.

    I wonder if elements of this order originated in the now defunct plea agreement.

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  21. Here is .gov form the Judge used:
    https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/ao199b.pdf

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  22. The judge also used ao199a and ao199c. So I would guess that this is standard fare.

    https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/ao199a.pdf

    https://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/ao199c.pdf

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  23. I’m seeing, on twitter and facebook, many (seemingly) attorneys are opining that what actually happened is that the DOJ tried to manipulate two different documents, by sleight of hand, to sneak in that “global plea agreement” from the public, that would’ve given Hunter immunity to other alleged crimes.

    They did it for political reasons to get Hunter the deal he wanted while, at the same time, to protect the DOJ and Joe Biden from any political blowback for treating Hunter in a way that no other citizen would ever get.

    Many are calling that this is grounds for impeaching Garland and his deputy (?), Lisa Monaco.

    If the DOJ/WH were willing to go this far, Joe Biden might’ve been better off simply pardoning Hunter.

    whembly (5f7596)

  24. Here’s one such tweet:
    https://twitter.com/willscharf/status/1684331594864025602

    @willscharf
    Based on conversations with people who were in the courtroom today, and my experience as a former federal prosecutor, I think I know the full story of what happened with the Hunter Biden plea agreement blow-up this morning.

    Bear with me, because this is a little complicated:

    Typically, if the Government is offering to a defendant that it will either drop charges or decline to bring new charges in return for the defendant’s guilty plea, the plea is structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(A). An agreement not to prosecute Hunter for FARA violations or other crimes in return for his pleading guilty to the tax misdemeanors, for example, would usually be a (c)(1)(A) plea. This is open, transparent, subject to judicial approval, etc.

    In Hunter’s case, according to what folks in the courtroom have told me, Hunter’s plea was structured under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(B), which is usually just a plea in return for a joint sentencing recommendation only, and contained no information on its face about other potential charges, and contained no clear agreement by DOJ to forego prosecution of other charges.

    Instead, DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers effectively hid that part of the agreement in what was publicly described as a pretrial diversion agreement relating to a § 922(g)(3) gun charge against Hunter for being a drug user in possession of a firearm.

    That pretrial diversion agreement as written was actually MUCH broader than just the gun charge. If Hunter were to complete probation, the pretrial diversion agreement prevented DOJ from ever bringing charges against Hunter for any crimes relating to the offense conduct discussed in the plea agreement, which was purposely written to include his foreign influence peddling operations in China and elsewhere.

    So they put the facts in the plea agreement, but put their non-prosecution agreement in the pretrial diversion agreement, effectively hiding the full scope of what DOJ was offering and Hunter was obtaining through these proceedings. Hunter’s upside from this deal was vast immunity from further prosecution if he finished a couple years of probation, and the public wouldn’t be any the wiser because none of this was clearly stated on the face of the plea agreement, as would normally be the case.

    Judge Noreika smelled a rat. She understood that the lawyers were trying to paint her into a corner and hide the ball. Instead, she backed DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers into a corner by pulling all the details out into the open and then indicating that she wasn’t going to approve a deal as broad as what she had discovered.

    DOJ, attempting to save face and save its case, then stated on the record that the investigation into Hunter was ongoing and that Hunter remained susceptible to prosecution under FARA. Hunter’s lawyers exploded. They clearly believed that FARA was covered under the deal, because as written, the pretrial diversion agreement language was broad enough to cover it. They blew up the deal, Hunter pled not guilty, and that’s the current state of play.

    And so here we are. Hunter’s lawyers and DOJ are going to go off and try to pull together a new set of agreements, likely narrower, to satisfy Judge Noreika. Fortunately, I doubt if FARA or any charges related to Hunter’s foreign influence peddling will be included, which leaves open the possibility of further investigations leading to further prosecutions.

    whembly (5f7596)

  25. RL,

    “When [the judge] asked prosecutor Leo Wise if there was precedent for the kind of deal proposed, he replied, “No, your honor,” according to the New York Times.”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  26. which leaves open the possibility of further investigations

    Yep. Next hearing will be full of “I’m sorry Congressman, it is long-standing policy to not comment on ongoing investigations.”

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  27. The conditions that include sobriety, testing and non-possession of firearms are pretty much what the deal was regarding the gun felony.

    Considering that Hunter has been through half a dozen rehabs (all of the swank variety) and never stayed sober afterwards, he’s not all that likely to get the message now. Could happen, of course — I’ve seen less likely recoveries — but Daddy is still softening the blow.

    What he needs is a credible “Work the Steps or Die, Moth—–ker!” kind of message they tell folks at South Central LA meetings and he’s not likely to get such, or have it be very credible. He’ll get a presidential pardon before he goes to jail.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  28. So, the question almost asks itself: Why is DoJ colluding with Hunter Biden’s lawyers to submarine the judge? Pretty sure that isn’t common procedure, and there needs to be a bunch of people answering questions before House Committees. Starting with Wise, who appeared to be embarrassed with the deal’s exposure.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  29. Doesn’t a prosecutor have to act in the interest of his client (the government)? I thought there were rules about that.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  30. Only a parent knows what he’ll do for his child. And he only knows it about himself and his child. Not about another parent and child. His child might know it, too, when he’s a parent. Or he might not.

    Socrates allotted part of a dialogue to how the children of famous men, Pericles among them, did not live up to their fathers’ accomplishments. He did not have children of his own. He couldn’t even begin to know.

    nk (1f68ba)

  31. Doesn’t a prosecutor have to act in the interest of his client (the government)?

    No. He has to act in the interests of justice.

    nk (1f68ba)

  32. Only a parent knows what he’ll do for his child.

    Biden has been killing his for the last 20 years.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  33. Only a parent knows what he’ll do for his child.

    The problem is that addicts do not behave rationally when it comes to their drug(s). There is no connection between using and known adverse results. Non-addicts think that they can approach the problem with logic and common sense and this is almost always entirely wrong.

    So, Dad might think “well, now that he’s got a wife, child and a good job, he’ll leave that stuff alone.” And of course he didn’t. The best thing that Joe Biden can do for his son is to butt the F out and let Hunter hit bottom.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  34. The story isn’t really about Hunter Biden.

    Yes, it looks like Biden is getting preferential treatment because of who his dad is.

    But the real story, is how it relates to the Biden corruption of influence peddling.

    whembly (5f7596)

  35. Jonah Goldberg’s column, while not directly about Hunter Biden, touches on both parenting AND judges:

    Another way of saying this is that being a good parent often requires restraining your empathy. “Good parenting,” Paul Bloom writes in his wonderful book, Against Empathy, “involves coping with the short-term suffering of your child.” That can apply to everything from making them eat their vegetables to taking their cancer drugs.

    We’ve all heard or read stories about horrible parents that want so desperately to be cool and for their kids to be cool that they enable or participate in horrendous behavior. That’s often because they let empathy take over.

    But it’s also true for the highfalutin stuff too.

    For instance, Barack Obama famously argued that “empathy” was the key quality he was looking for in judges. “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook,” he said. “It’s also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives—whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.” When he appointed Sonia Sotomayor, he said that the “quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles” was the essential qualification he was looking for.

    Now, depending on the situation, I think those considerations are entirely appropriate for legislators and, to some extent, presidents. They’re also important for police, prosecutors, priests, policy wonks, poets, journalists, screenwriters, novelists, and the broader category of people we call “human beings.” But judges and justices are bound by oath to keep their empathy in check and follow the law. They swear to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon” them. It’s not hard to see how bad law stems from too much empathy for a specific plaintiff—never mind a category of people—on the wrong side of the law.

    https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/gfile/the-problem-with-einfuhlung/

    norcal (06570a)

  36. The only way I can tell that the Goldberg word salad isn’t something AJ Liberty composted is the lack of ellipsis.

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  37. Should be “composed.”

    BuDuh (dfb4c6)

  38. No. He has to act in the interests of justice.

    Is colluding with the defense to slide an obfuscated deal past a federal judge in the interests of justice?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  39. But the real story, is how it relates to the Biden corruption of influence peddling.

    We don’t know if Biden was influenced by Hunter, but Hunter sure wanted people to think so.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  40. Goldberg word salad

    I had no problem parsing it and it made perfect sense to me. Where did you decide it was “word salad”?

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  41. This is a perspective from Weissman (who nobody would mistake as a conservative) about the Trump-appointed judge…

    Judge Noreika who presided over the Hunter Biden hearing today was exceptional; she is not a biased “Trump” judge. She asked cogent questions, flagging real issues in the agreements and an important separation of powers issue, which the U.S. conceded they had no precedent for.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  42. Judge Noreika who presided over the Hunter Biden hearing today was exceptional. . .

    Just imagine the scenario where Judge Noreika doesn’t ask both sides if they are in agreement as to what this plea deal means to any future discoveries about Hunter Biden’s financial dealings. Let’s say she had allowed the guilty plea to go through and had sentenced him in roughly the way that the two sides were envisioning. Then let’s say that three months from now evidence emerges of some shady dealings of Hunter’s which took place in 2018. Team Biden and their Democrat allies in the media would almost certain respond by claiming “old news!” and insisting that this had all been accounted for in Hunter’s plea bargain. Judge Noreika did us all a real service making that scenario far less likely

    JVW (1ad43e)

  43. I had no problem parsing it and it made perfect sense to me. Where did you decide it was “word salad”?

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/26/2023 @ 9:43 pm

    Thank you, Kevin.

    norcal (1c8631)

  44. I’d be flattered if my writing was compared to AJ Liberty’s. Or to Jonah Goldberg’s for that matter. They should both feel flattered.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  45. Empathy is an essential human trait which made it possible for us to survive and become the dominant species.

    Only sociopaths do not have empathy, and it’s a pity when one of them gets on the bench with the lives, liberty, and property of other people in their hands.

    Barack Obama was a superb elocutionist with excellent writers and knew how to sell a second-rater. Himself first of all.

    It’s hard to say who said less, Obama or Goldberg, but I’ll take Obama’s triteness over Goldberg’s superficiality.

    nk (6db6dc)

  46. Can we now have agreements that the fundamental charge of the IRS whistleblowers is that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment by the DOJ?

    Yesterday’s ruling all but confirms that is the case…right?

    If that premise is agreed…then what?

    Are we wrong to pursue Congress investigation (impeachment hearings) to determine if Hunter’s corruptive acts also includes the President?

    whembly (5f7596)

  47. I still want to hear Weises testimony before I agree that impeachment hearings are appropriate. And I say that as someone that doesn’t care one way or another if Biden is impeached. I’d sort of like a norm where we try like hell to destroy the careers of politicians whose relatives trade on proximity to power.

    Time123 (cdc285)

  48. Can we now have agreements that the fundamental charge allegations of the IRS whistleblowers is that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment by the DOJ?

    FIFY

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  49. Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/27/2023 @ 10:41 am

    Absent documentary evidence, the answer is no.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  50. One man’s opinion.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  51. Whembly,

    you’ll continue to be disappointed.

    NJRob (fee5f3)

  52. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/26/2023 @ 6:37 pm

    The conditions that include sobriety, testing and non-possession of firearms are pretty much what the deal was regarding the gun felony.

    What killed that deal for now was who was supposed to decide if Hunter had violated the terms.

    Hunter’s lawe=yers did not want that to be DOJ (letting the press, or maybe also the judge, hear that they were afraid it could be a Trump, or other Republican appointed U.S. attorney with political motivation) and wanted the judge to decide whether or not he had violated the terms..

    She was afraid that might be unconstitutional because it might amount to giving a judge prosecutorial authority.

    Considering that Hunter has been through half a dozen rehabs (all of the swank variety) and never stayed sober afterwards, he’s not all that likely to get the message now. Could happen, of course — I’ve seen less likely recoveries — but Daddy is still softening the blow.

    Hunter told the court he had been sober since at least June 1, 2019 — which is about the time he left Delaware and abandoned his files.

    Reportedly, it was use of ketamine that cured him.

    Sammy Finkelman (98e01e)

  53. @51

    Whembly,

    you’ll continue to be disappointed.

    NJRob (fee5f3) — 7/27/2023 @ 10:45 am

    But I’m stubborn.

    Rip can’t pull back the impeachment standards pre-Trump, try as he might.

    whembly (5f7596)

  54. @52

    Reportedly, it was use of ketamine that cured him.

    Sammy Finkelman (98e01e) — 7/27/2023 @ 10:50 am

    That’s certainly possible, as there’s growing evidence of ketamine infusion therapy can work to break drug/chemical dependencies.

    Yes, ketamine is a control substance, but the appeal of this drug is that while actively on it, your brain and body goes “on a ride” and the moment the infusion stops, its effect stops with no residuals.

    Usually, intense psy therapy is required after such ketamine infusion therapy.

    whembly (5f7596)

  55. How salient is Hunter Biden to the 2024 Republican campaign? Not very.

    ………
    McCarthy himself tempered comments the day before that suggested an imminent impeachment inquiry, clarifying that Republicans merely “could” move forward with one. And Republicans seeking the presidential nomination are mostly shying away from the younger Biden’s legal and personal issues, commenting on them in passing, but opting instead to hit Biden on the economy and foreign policy.

    “I think when we get home, the focus is the economy, the border, crime,” said Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “These are the issues that matter and these are the issues we’re talking about.”

    Hunter Biden, he said, is a “focus in D.C.,” not everywhere else.
    ………..
    “If anybody deserves to be impeached, I believe it’s Biden for what he has done. At the same time, we’ve got to look to 2024,” said Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas). “We’ve got to get this White House back. We’ve got to get the Senate back.”

    He added, “If I was running for president I would focus on what I can do for 2024 and get this economy going again.”

    ……….During a briefing with reporters on Monday night, David McIntosh, president of the conservative Club for Growth, reviewed polling the group had conducted this month that included a question about whether Biden should acknowledge having a seventh grandchild. Hunter Biden initially denied paternity of his 4-year-old daughter, who lives with her mother in Arkansas, before recently settling a child support case. The president has refused to acknowledge the child publicly.
    ……….
    Asked whether the GOP should lean harder into Hunter Biden, McIntosh, a former Republican congressman, hesitated. “I don’t know,” he said.
    ……….
    Virtually no one else in the conservative thought sphere is bothering to put money there, either. A review of television and digital advertisements that have run this year shows that the only national conservative group paying for Hunter Biden messaging is Judicial Watch, which has spent less than $3,000 on a digital ad.

    ………. Collectively, the GOP field has spent $57 million to date on television advertisements, none of which so far have invoked allegations of corruption against the Biden family.
    ……….
    The current Hunter Biden focus “just smells like Benghazi,” said Republican strategist Mike Madrid. “Republicans trying desperately to make a story. It’s always, ‘We’ve got a witness coming, we’ve got more coming.’ It’s always next week. It’s like a soap opera, ‘Tune in next week.’”
    ……….
    “Do they look at Donald Trump, with nuclear codes, as worse than Joe Biden having a conversation with Burisma?” Madrid said of independent voters. “Neither of them matter as much to independents as, ‘Does a woman have a right to abortion services?’”
    ……….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. Rip can’t pull back the impeachment standards pre-Trump, try as he might.

    You mean abuse of power and evidence of the commission of a crime? Like with Time and Rip, I’m waiting for that to come up, too.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  57. Absent documentary evidence, the answer is no.

    You’d be a terrible juror.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  58. @56

    You mean abuse of power and evidence of the commission of a crime? Like with Time and Rip, I’m waiting for that to come up, too.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:05 am

    Ignoring ‘abuse of power and evidence’ because it doesn’t “fit” your definition is hackery at the worst.

    There’s more than enough for the House to start impeachment inquiry, which is the INVESTIGATIVE step in acquiring evidence and statements under oaths.

    I’m not naive that when it goes to the Senate, that enough Democrats would vote to remove Biden, but the impeachment hearings will still be valuable for public consumption, as an adversarial House with subpoena power will do more to ferret out evidence than this current politically highjacked DOJ.

    whembly (5f7596)

  59. GOP rep: McCarthy impeachment talk a ‘shiny object’ to distract from spending

    Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) criticized House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) recent comments on impeaching President Biden, saying the remarks were a political move meant to distract from budget negotiations.

    “What he’s doing is saying there’s a shiny object over there and we’re going to focus on that, we just need to get all these things done so we can focus on the shiny object,” Buck, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, said in a CNN interview Wednesday.
    ………..
    “We right now are starting the appropriations process and there is no consensus on what the [budget] number should be. Kevin McCarthy promised when he was running for speaker one set of numbers, and then he made an agreement with President Biden for the debt ceiling increase on another set of numbers,” Buck said.
    ………..
    Congress and the White House have until Sept. 30 to hash out a budget and avoid a government shutdown.
    #########

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  60. Hunter told the court he had been sober since at least June 1, 2019 — which is about the time he left Delaware and abandoned his files.

    Reportedly, it was use of ketamine that cured him.

    1) Wanna bet?

    2) Ketamine is a mind-altering drug. Might as well be dropping acid and saying he’s “sober.” “Sobriety” is about not using drugs to cope with reality.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  61. You’d be a terrible juror.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:12 am

    So a juror wanting to see evidence of a crime before convicting someone would be terrible?

    Okay……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  62. whembly (5f7596) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:13 am
    Abuse of power has been the standard since Nixon, whembly, and there’s been evidence of such before each of the impeachment inquiries. Why is it different now?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  63. @62 What standard exactly. Please be specific, because you’ve done nothing but respond with word salad amounting to “I need more before going there”.

    whembly (5f7596)

  64. @60

    2) Ketamine is a mind-altering drug. Might as well be dropping acid and saying he’s “sober.” “Sobriety” is about not using drugs to cope with reality.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:16 am

    Sobriety is different than therapies that breaks chemical dependencies, which is what the Ketamine therapy is introducing.

    whembly (5f7596)

  65. There’s more than enough for the House to start impeachment inquiry…….

    It will depend on how it plays in Peoria. If history is any guide, it will have the same impact as Clinton’s impeachment had, which is to say it was an electoral disaster for Republicans, when they lost several seats instead of picking up a predicted 20. Conducting an impeachment “inquiry” during an election campaign will only energize Democratic voters who are on the fence with Biden’s reelection to vote for him (especially if McCarthy doesn’t really intend to pull the trigger).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  66. @65

    It will depend on how it plays in Peoria.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:29 am

    If you’re talking about Peoria, IL… a heavy union presence in mid-America, I assure you that GOP won’t lose any voters over an impeachment hearings on the Biden corruptions.

    whembly (5f7596)

  67. “Word salad”? I don’t think you understand the term.

    What has been the common thread through every impeachment since Nixon? I’ll answer that for you: Abuse of power.
    What is the evidence of Joe’s abuse of power? Or that he took a bribe while VP?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  68. Alex, what is “Influence Peddling”?

    whembly (5f7596)

  69. I’ll ask again, whembly, evidence please.
    You’re wanting to impeach Joe, not Hunter, right?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  70. Whembly, I’m happy for this to continue being investigated. If Biden tried to influence the investigation to help his son he should be impeached. But I don’t see evidence of that yet and thing Weiss’s testimony will be in formative. There have been credible allegations made that need to be answered / explained by him. That said there are plenty of logical answers he could provide that would explain the allegations. Also, Some of the actions the IRS agents have objected to were made while Trump was still in office and Barr was the AG which makes it less likely that Biden was abusing his power to help his son.

    I’m just not as convinced as you are yet. Now if Biden were to fire Wiess and announce on TV that he did so to stop this investigation I’d fully agree that a special prosecutor should be appointed. 😉

    Time123 (cdc285)

  71. @69

    I’ll ask again, whembly, evidence please.
    You’re wanting to impeach Joe, not Hunter, right?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 7/27/2023 @ 12:06 pm

    Trump’s 1st impeachment was information that came from a Whistleblower.

    Why isn’t the two IRS Whistleblower, under oath, enough to begin Impeachment hearings on Joe Biden? Such investigation is needed to determine whether the President’s son and brother were simply using his name to enrich themselves, or if the President himself was involved.

    whembly (5f7596)

  72. I want to add that Rips dismissal of the IRS agent’s allegations as lacking credibility seems pretty forced and I doesn’t make sense to me.

    Time123 (cdc285)

  73. Whembly, the whistleblower in Trumps first impeachment alleged that they had first hand knowledge of wrongdoing by Trump.

    In this case the whistleblowers have identified a pattern of actions and statements they assert are potentially explained by favoritism/abuse of power. They are not alleging direct evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.

    A closer analogy would be if a whistleblower asserted that they had direct knowledge of Biden asking for a generous deal for Hunter and threatening Wiess’s career if that didn’t happen and had a transcript of a conversation showing exactly that.

    Time123 (cdc285)

  74. whembly (5f7596) — 7/27/2023 @ 12:29 pm

    Why isn’t the two IRS Whistleblower, under oath, enough to begin Impeachment hearings on Joe Biden?

    The case has not yet been made — but you are right in talking about hearings

    What Kevin McCarthy was referring to is that courts have held that Congress’ subpoena power is at its height when it’s conducting an impeachment inquiry, so he’s talking about maybe establishing an impeachment inquiry — and he was talking first about impeaching Merrick Garland, the Attorney General — that threat may have helped get some co-operation in gaining David Weiss’s testimony about who had the power to file charges.

    There’s something wrong with Merrick Garland anyway. He prosecuted the Oklahoma bombing and apparently took direction from somewhere above.

    Because there was something very wrong with the conspiracy as outlined by the prosecution. Merrick Garland made Timothy McVeigh the center of the conspiracy and not Terry Nichols.

    But it was Terry Nichols who went off to the Philippines (probably to learn bomb making techniques from ” World Trade Center bomber “Ramzi Youssef”, and not just to find a wife – he went to the same city was, Cebu City), and left a message to be opened only if he died (which his ex-wife opened right away) that said if he didn’t come back, McVeigh should carry on.

    And besides when you have an older person an a younger person, who is likely to be the leader. A person doesn’t have to be of a certain age to start a conspiracy, but he almost invariably recruits people younger than himself. If he’s 25, he’ll recruit people aged 23 and so on. A 40-year old will recruit someone aged 25 and not the other way around.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  75. +

    Such investigation is needed to determine whether the President’s son and brother were simply using his name to enrich themselves, or if the President himself was involved.

    Joe Biden was personally involved in helping his son use his name. swindle corrupt people from Ukraine, Russia, China Mexico, Kazakhstan and other places.

    It’s like selling flour as heroin. That’s not dealing drugs.

    Joe Biden didn’t need to take any money from any of Hunter’s or his
    brother Jim’s schemes. It was Hunter who needed money. For his drugs, for his women and for whatever else.

    Joe Biden had many better opportunities.

    Like a professorship at the University of Pennsylvania which he did practically nothing (although maybe his name helped in fundraising).

    Like a book deal for himself and his wife with a too large advance.

    Like buying a house, circa 1995, from one of his biggest donors, the vice chairman of MBNA (the Delaware credit-card giant) at the same price for which the seller had paid five years before.

    You might call this more or less honest graft.

    And there’s something else where he helped his sons close to 30 years ago, [circa 1995] according to Miranda Devine:

    https://nypost.com/2023/07/26/the-real-scoop-on-bidenomics-corruption-tax-evasion-and-hunter

    Bidenomics is when you secure your son a series of high-paying jobs from your campaign donors straight out of college and he uses his outsize earnings to pay off his own student loans as well as his brother’s.

    She doesn’t say which son – but I think this would have been after law school, not just college.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  76. 2) Ketamine is a mind-altering drug. Might as well be dropping acid and saying he’s “sober.” “Sobriety” is about not using drugs to cope with reality.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:16 am

    I´m not so sure he told the judge anything about the ketamine. But it was in the news a year ago.

    It may not have been what worked in the end because the last treatment was several months before what he now says is his sobriety date

    https://nypost.com/2022/07/24/ketamine-is-so-effective-at-helping-addicts-it-even-got-hunter-biden-clean

    …But now Hunter’s former psychiatrist, Dr. Keith Ablow, has broken his silence to defend the intravenous ketamine therapy Hunter received in late 2018 and early 2019 as he tried to beat his crack cocaine addiction.

    Ablow claims ketamine, a common, inexpensive anesthetic used in surgery, is a miracle drug that has played poor cousin to much less efficacious pharmaceuticals in treating ailments such as addiction and depression — and recent scientific studies back him up.

    Despite appearances, Ablow could point to the drug’s success with Hunter, who has managed an apparent three years of sobriety, a lucrative newfound career as an artist and a relatively tranquil second marriage to South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen, in May 2019, six days after they met — and less than four months after his ketamine therapy ended.

    Hunter laces his sobriety date in late ZMay,2019.

    Did he try something else, maybe illegal and certainly off label??

    Anyway:

    While Ablow, a former Fox News contributor, refuses to confirm his treatment of Hunter, the laptop offers details of their close relationship for at least four months from November 2018, during which time they discussed writing a book together.

    Hunter stayed in a cottage near Ablow’s office in tranquil Newburyport, Mass., at least twice for several days of intravenous ketamine treatment in December 2018 and January 2019, with frequent visits to the sensory deprivation float tank at the nearby Blue Water Wellness Center.

    The laptop shows that after the relaxing treatments each day, Hunter would smoke crack and entertain prostitutes at night. But, despite his continued drug use during the treatment, Ablow is convinced of ketamine’s effectiveness.

    “Having treated many hundreds of clients with ketamine I’ve never seen a bad result. Moreover, being in touch with at least 50 psychiatrists who use ketamine for their clients they, too, cannot share a single bad event wherein it triggered depression or caused psychosis. No cases of death and, shockingly, almost no one reports anyone drug-seeking ketamine [for recreational use] when it is used therapeutically,” Ablow says.

    “People do not game the system trying to get more. They become increasingly reflective, responsible and fixed on their real goals.”

    Ablow did not personally administer the ketamine drips but would conduct talking therapy with patients in the days afterward. He was “repeatedly startled by the fact they would sometimes relate absolutely gripping insights that seemed very true to them and genuine to me and served as a map for them to change their lives in very productive ways.”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  77. Trump now trying to say he’s not going to get indicted after his lawyers were told that he would be.

    This happened before. Trump predicts indictment, finds out it is real, then claims it m=y not happen.

    https://www.newser.com/story/338236/trump-lawyers-reportedly-get-bad-news-in-meeting.html

    Lawyers for Donald Trump met with prosecutors from the office of special counsel Jack Smith on Thursday, but NBC News reports they will not have good news to deliver to the former president. His attorneys were told to expect an indictment over Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to the outlet. That wouldn’t be a huge surprise: Trump himself announced last week that he had received a letter from the Justice Department informing him that he could face related federal charges. However, the former president disputed the NBC report, writing on Truth Social that his lawyers had a “productive meeting” at which they explained “in detail that I did nothing wrong, was advised by many lawyers, and that an Indictment of me would only further destroy our Country.”

    He only wants to say he will get indicted if nobody else is saying it.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  78. Why isn’t the two IRS Whistleblower, under oath, enough to begin Impeachment hearings on Joe Biden?

    Because those IRS officials were talking about their conversations with Weiss, not the president.
    The 2019 whistleblower complaint involving Trump actually involved Trump. His words and behavior were easily confirmed afterward by officials who sat in on the call.
    I really don’t care if McCarthy agrees to an impeachment inquiry, but let’s not throw around phrases like “impeachment standard” when it’s not applicable in this case.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  79. The New York Times had the (temporary at least) collapse of the Biden lea deal as its lead story on the front page today. Previously I think they had covered none of this.

    The New York Post had it as its front page headline and also (with related stories and columns) filling page 4, 5, 6, and 7.

    The Wall Street Journal had a below the fold front page story (not so easy to understand but also filling in a few details not made clear elsewhere) and also as its lead editorial

    The New York Daily News had absolutely nothing until the far right column on page 9, where it was presented in a technical way. Its last sentence was: “The dual agreements would have put to rest the five-year investigation heavily promoted by Republicans.”

    It’s headlines were about crane fall. heat in NYC and cop killer being paroled.

    They have more space to the claimed Giuliani confession of lying and seemed to contradict the New York Times, with the NYT saying he said in a two page declaration that his statements (about the two election workers he said had added ballots) carried meaning that was defamatory per se and the Daily News saying he said his statements did not carry meaning that is defamatory per se. (Giuliani argued that in any case they were constitutionally protected)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  80. I think it is somewhat common to give immunity to further prosecution to crimes which the prosecutors know about.

    And certainly included here was any drug possession crimes, but that nay have been liked to the gun plea.

    Here’s how the New York Times described the key proceedings yesterday in court

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/26/us/politics/hunter-biden-plea-deal.html

    Judge Noreika quickly zeroed in on a central component of the deal, a paragraph offering Hunter Biden broad immunity from prosecution, in perpetuity, for a range of matters scrutinized by the Justice Department during its five-year investigation. The judge, appointed by former President Donald J. Trump in 2017, questioned why prosecutors had written it in a way that gave her no legal authority to reject it.

    I think that means reject that clause. The NYT did not elaborate.

    Then, in 10 minutes of incisive questioning, she exposed serious differences between the two sides on what, exactly, that paragraph meant.

    Chris Clark, Mr. Biden’s lead lawyer, said it indemnified his client not merely for the tax and gun offenses uncovered during the inquiry, which was led by David C. Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware, but for other possible offenses stemming from his lucrative consulting deals with companies in Ukraine, China and Romania.

    Prosecutors had a far narrower definition. They saw Mr. Biden’s immunity as limited to offenses uncovered during their probe of his tax returns dating back to 2014, and his illegal purchase of a firearm in 2018, when he was a heavy drug user, they said.

    When the judge asked Leo Weiss, a lead prosecutor in the case, if the investigation was still going on, he answered: “yes.”

    When she asked him, hypothetically, if the deal would preclude an investigation into possible violation of laws regulating foreign lobbying by Mr. Biden connected with his consulting and legal work, he replied: “no.”

    Mr. Biden [meaning his lawyer, or did the judge ask him specifically?] then told the judge he could not agree to any deal that did not offer him broad immunity, and Mr. Clark popped up angrily to declare the deal was now “null and void.”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  81. Hunter Biden’s lawyers agreed to accept the more limited immunity:

    The 30 journalists in the gallery then witnessed a remarkable tableau of real-time, public deal-cutting, as the defense and prosecution first separated into two packs, then merged into a circle to hash out a new compromise, as Mr. Weiss, the architect of the imperiled deal, paced back and forth, jaw set and hands jammed into the pockets of his suit.

    After an official recess was declared, Mr. Clark agreed to the narrower terms, and declared his previous statements “inartful.”

    But then the judge found another problem:

    … She turned her attention to the fine print of the deal that had been struck on the gun offense, requiring Mr. Biden participate in a two-year diversion program that prohibited him from using drugs or owning a firearm.

    She objected strenuously to how a violation of its terms would be handled.

    Typically, the Justice Department could independently verify such a breach and bring charges. But Mr. Biden’s team, concerned that the department might abuse that authority if former President Donald J. Trump was re-elected, [only about that?] successfully lobbied to give that power to Judge Noreika herself, arguing that she would be a more neutral arbiter.

    But Judge Noreika suggested that such an arrangement could be unconstitutional because it might give her prosecutorial powers, which were vested in the executive branch by the Constitution.

    “I’m not doing something that gets me outside my lane of my branch of government,” said the judge, who repeatedly complained that both sets of lawyers viewed her as a “rubber stamp” rather than someone working to make the agreement more equitable and durable.

    “Go back and work on that,” she added.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  82. Here are some views on prosecutors “the people” and their “justice”

    https://dsc.duq.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3865&context=dlr

    I skimmed the article, but it looks to me like the ideal prosecutor here would let Hunter Biden go in the interests of the greater good that his lineage represents. Consider if Joe Biden, Democrat, President, is distracted from all that is pure and true in his agenda by Hunter’s problems. The best thing for the people and justice would be to take this burden off of Joe Biden’s mind so he can concentrate on the people.

    I’ll give it a deeper read when I can sit down read the whole thing on a big screen

    steveg (ae80dd)

  83. FARA has a5-year statute of limitations which means as of today Hunter is not liable for any violation before July 27, 2018 – and he stopped his activities around the time Joe Biden started running for president. he resigned from Burisma in April 2019,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  84. @78 Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 7/27/2023 @ 1:49 pm

    Yeah, I’m going to disregard your complaints of “but let’s not throw around phrases like “impeachment standard” when it’s not applicable”, with prejudiced.

    In politics, the driving theme if you study history is: What goes around, comes around.

    It’s the only way to reign in the excesses of the majority power, which sadly, seems to have taken a back seat since Trump’s election.

    So lets distill this a bit.

    Was Hunter Biden’s plea bargain deal actually designed to protect Joe Biden-
    by ending detailed, thorough investigations that stem from Hunter gaining income with his father’s coordination of influence peddling to acquire business deals with foreign nationals?

    Sure seems like it.

    You keep asking for evidence, like you need a smoking gun.

    Fine.

    But the only way you’d get that is honest to god, good faith investigation. We’re not going to get it with the current DOJ and AG Garland refuses to convene a Special Counsel. So, all we’re left is the House convening impeachment hearings as the only way to get evidence on record, is via subpoena powers and statement under oaths.

    What baffles me, is that you don’t think there’s enough to initiate one based on the following:
    -The IRS whistleblowers
    -The FBI trying to hide CHS alleging that Burisma bribed VP Biden
    -The Comer/Grassely report of obvious structuring of the Biden finances
    -The validity of the damned Hunter Biden laptop
    -The WhatsApp text string of Hunter literally extorting the Chinese
    -The initial handling of Hunter’s plea deal?

    All of these are more than enough to initiate Impeachment proceedings, especially in the face that the Biden DOJ is seemingly doing everything they can do to cover for President Biden.

    This is more than simply any crimes Hunter may have committed.

    REALLY, it’s MORE than even VP Joe Biden may have done to.

    It’s about the DOJ bowing to either/both political pressure and corrupt influences to protect their preferred political candidate, while willing to pull any and all levers of powers against someone like Trump (and if we’re really honest, the J6 prosecution).

    The longer it goes that the DOJ even looks like they’re protecting the Biden, the stronger the impulse it would be for voters to demand political prosecution when their guy is in power.

    Let’s try to prevent from even getting there, and restore some integrity here.

    whembly (5f7596)

  85. steveg (ae80dd) — 7/27/2023 @ 2:25 pm

    The best thing for the people and justice would be to take this burden off of Joe Biden’s mind so he can concentrate on the people.

    No, that’s not it. That would not be the calculation.

    If this is pursued, we could get a president Kamala Harris, followed in year or so, by the second coming of president Donald J. Trump. Would that be good for the country?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  86. @83

    FARA has a5-year statute of limitations which means as of today Hunter is not liable for any violation before July 27, 2018 – and he stopped his activities around the time Joe Biden started running for president. he resigned from Burisma in April 2019,

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a) — 7/27/2023 @ 2:29 pm

    The statute of limitations “clock” stops once your indicted.

    Hence, why the gun felony was not included in any charging document. Hunter’s attorney may be willing to ask the courts for delays to run that clock out. (in Oct).

    whembly (5f7596)

  87. Was Hunter Biden’s plea bargain deal actually designed to protect Joe Biden-by ending detailed, thorough investigations that stem from Hunter gaining income with his father’s coordination of influence peddling to acquire business deals with foreign nationals?

    I think it was fake influence, which, however, his father helped sell to people unfamiliar with U.S. politics.

    We don’t need that. It’s enough for Joe Biden simply wanting to protect his son.

    But he could have done it in a much more forthright manner simply by issuing his son a pardon (although that wouldn’t play well in Pennsylvania)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  88. It’s been said that Joe Biden doesn’t know how to raise (or handle) a dog – any more than he can raise a son.

    He’s had two German shepherds now in the White House (one he got rid of) that both have repeatedly bitten people.

    https://nypost.com/2023/07/25/biden-dog-commander-bit-or-threatened-10-people-sent-one-to-hospital

    I don’t know – who is it that really wants a dog in the White House, and that kind of dog?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  89. -The WhatsApp text string of Hunter literally extorting the Chinese

    And the informant on the FD-1023 has Zlocchevsky saying that he was extorted – besides saying Hunter was hired to use his influence.

    He had a conversation with Zlochevsky on four different occasions.

    What we know of the FD-1023 is too vague.

    But again Zlochevsky may have been wanting to create the appearance that the fix was in, so people in Ukraine (where the danger to Zlochevsky originated) would think it was hopeless to investigate it,

    We have to stop with one point: Joe Biden had no independent power to help or hurt Burisma, in spite of what he later claimed about having been put in charge of Ukraine policy..

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  90. What baffles me, is that you don’t think there’s enough to initiate one based on the following

    The only item on your punchlist that actually involves the president is the document that stacks hearsay on hearsay. I agree, you seem baffled, because Hunter and his uncle would not be the subjects of an impeachment inquiry.
    As for “what goes around comes around”, that sounds like a Trumpian “I am your retribution” response, but it’s all academic. If Trump wants an impeachment inquiry, the docile and compliant Speaker will start one.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  91. Okay Paul. I give up.

    We’re just diametrically on different positions here.

    Good day.

    whembly (5f7596)

  92. Whembly, it seems like you, Paul and I are actually somewhat close. You’re more convinced then we are but l three of us agree that more investigation is warranted. That doesn’t seem like being diametrically opposed. It seems like being in general agreement to different levels.

    The main thing I’m not seeing that would be needed to support an impeachment inquiry is evidence tying Joe Biden to wrong doing, or clear evidence of improper influence/ corruption of the Hunter investigation. That’s why I want to hear from wiess. Some of the things the IRS agents objected to (the failure to search the storage locker) happened before Joe was sworn in, so it’s not clear to me that their concerns are the results of Joe abusing presidential powers. Not to say he couldn’t have used the threat doing so in the future. Hence while I want to hear from Wiess.

    Time123 (ab26f0)

  93. BuDuh: “The only way I can tell that the Goldberg word salad isn’t something AJ Liberty composted is the lack of ellipsis….Should be “composed.””

    Either word captures your sentiment adequately, I suppose.

    Still, I appreciate being referenced even after taking a 10-day hiatus to once again explore the magnificence of Yosemite, the beauty of Tahoe, and the tastiness of Napa. I believe the only TV I saw was a couple of games of women’s world cup. Ahhh, bliss.

    What a joy to run across wide-eyed Belgians, Germans, Bangladeshi, and Indians exploring the best of this country. Mesmerized by roaring waterfalls, massive granodiorite natural monuments, and centuries-old imposing sequoia and redwood. It really makes one say “Hunter who?” How much are we missing by keeping our eyes oddly fixated on the ridiculousness of Hunter and Trump? I don’t know about you, but I greatly prefer a paddle-board or biking adventure…followed by a smore or three. Laugh, love, and live…repeat.

    AJ_Liberty (f3dcbf)

  94. https://www.nationalreview.com/news/third-defendant-charged-in-trump-classified-documents-case/

    Former president Donald Trump and two aides attempted to delete surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago in an effort to obstruct the Department of Justice’s investigation into his handling of classified documents, prosecutors alleged in a superseding indictment on Thursday.

    You mean like a cloth?

    Trump should’ve used Bleachbit…

    Or, simply take a hammer and bust up the blackberr…erm…the video server…

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    whembly (5f7596)

  95. “We could very well have a sitting president under felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial. It would grind government to a halt.”
    –Donald J. Trump, 11/5/2016

    “In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.
    –James Comey, 7/5/2016

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  96. I want to add that Rips dismissal of the IRS agent’s allegations as lacking credibility seems pretty forced and I doesn’t make sense to me.

    Time123 (cdc285) — 7/27/2023 @ 12:31 pm

    Actually it came pretty easy since, as others have mentioned, their allegations involved US Attorney Weiss, not wrongdoing by President Biden.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  97. I assure you that GOP won’t lose any voters over an impeachment hearings on the Biden corruptions.

    whembly (5f7596) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:36 am

    Just like the 2022 red wave election, right?

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  98. Empathy is an essential human trait which made it possible for us to survive and become the dominant species.

    Only sociopaths do not have empathy, and it’s a pity when one of them gets on the bench with the lives, liberty, and property of other people in their hands.

    Or the Oval Office.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  99. Yosemite, Yoshmemite. If zuiderburen and marmeladinger want to see what makes America great, show them the back nine at Bedminster.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  100. I suspect that even if the Republican party tries to impeach Biden for helping his kid get a lighter sentence, they will run into the Bill Clinton problem again- ie maybe he technically broke the law, but in a way that most people would find understandable and that doesn’t make things worse for him politically.

    Which do you vote for? A man who suborned the justice department in order to get his addict kid a lighter sentence or a man who stole classified documents from the US government and refused to returned them, attempted voter fraud in the State of Georgia, and incited an attempted insurrection (even one that failed and if it had succeeded probably wouldn’t have gone anyware in the long run), and maybe committed bank fraud.

    Maybe they dirty Biden, or maybe they don’t, but I don’t know how much it would change the calculation.

    Nic (896fdf)

  101. maybe he technically broke the law, but in a way that most people would find understandable and that doesn’t make things worse for him politically.

    His son raked in cash from China and pre-Zelensky Ukraine, with the only logical reason is to peddle influence with Dad, then he hid these millions from the IRS and blew it all on hoors and crack.

    You put quite an innocent face on this, not to mention Joe’s motives.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  102. maybe he technically broke the law, but in a way that most people would find understandable and that doesn’t make things worse for him politically.

    His son raked in cash from China and pre-Zelensky Ukraine, with the only logical reason is to peddle influence with Dad, then he hid these millions from the IRS and blew it all on hoors and crack.

    You put quite an innocent face on this, not to mention Joe’s motives.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/27/2023 @ 11:17 pm

    So you impeach President Biden for the crimes of his son?

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  103. @Kevin@101 I’m speculating on how things might go over with regular Americans and the R party has spent a lot of time telling (and showing) Americans that Hunter is a drug addicted disaster and that Joe is senile and bumbling. With a long and ongoing impression of Hunter as a drug addicted mess and Joe as bumbling old man, how likely is it that the American public is going to look at them and go “ah, yes, machiavellian master criminals” vs “poor Joe, his kid’s a f-up.”

    Nic (896fdf)

  104. Actually it came pretty easy since, as others have mentioned, their allegations involved US Attorney Weiss, not wrongdoing by President Biden.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19) — 7/27/2023 @ 9:56 pm

    This is a reason not to feel impeachment is currently justified. It is not a reason to believe they lack credibility.

    Time123 (a4974c)

  105. You can find cops who complain that their hands are tied by their superiors, prosecutors, and courts, in a thousand Hollywood scripts. Gratuitous sex and nudity included.

    nk (7abb06)

  106. Lunden Roberts testifying at the Oversight Committee:
    Comer: There’s no smoking in this building, Ms. Roberts.
    Roberts: What’re you going to do? Charge me with smoking?

    nk (7abb06)

  107. I’m speculating on how things might go over with regular Americans and the R party has spent a lot of time telling (and showing) Americans that Hunter is a drug addicted disaster and that Joe is senile and bumbling. With a long and ongoing impression of Hunter as a drug addicted mess and Joe as bumbling old man, how likely is it that the American public is going to look at them and go “ah, yes, machiavellian master criminals” vs “poor Joe, his kid’s a f-up.”

    Nic (896fdf) — 7/28/2023 @ 3:32 am

    Regular Americans are irate about the 2-tiered justice system where the powerful are comforted and the weak are afflicted.

    The majority of Americans belief that Joe was involved in his son’s bribery campaign.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/poll-most-voters-believe-joe-biden-engaged-in-illegal-influence-peddling-scheme-with-hunter/ar-AA1bAz1h

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  108. believe*

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  109. The only people who are “sympathetic” to the Biden’s are the leftists who swallow any lie from their side and the media that is in cahoots with them.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  110. @109, I don’t believe that’s true. I think most of those ppl who express sympathy are expressing partisan loyalty and don’t actually care about the Biden’s in any way.

    This is an odd case where I think Robs assessment of the left is overly generous.

    Time123 (095e8e)

  111. Fwiw I think Joe Biden likely allowed Hunters influence peddling and at best turned a blind eye to it. I see no evidence he took any measures to so much as discourage it.

    I haven’t seen compelling evidence that he participated, or abused his power to help Hunter. But I’m happy (I mean that, it makes me happy) for congressional investigations to continue.

    Time123 (095e8e)

  112. This is a reason not to feel impeachment is currently justified. It is not a reason to believe they lack credibility.

    Time123 (a4974c) — 7/28/2023 @ 4:51 am

    What direct evidence did the IRS whistleblowers provide to substantiate their allegations? About as much as the UFO whistleblowers.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  113. The way I see it, the best gift a father can give his child is his name.

    Now, it would be great if along with his name he could also give him a billion dollars’ worth of real estate in Manhattan, but how many fathers can do that?

    So if the kid takes his father’s name and goes out and makes a few million dollars of his own with it, I think it’s a perfectly natural and ordinary thing and no less than should be expected.

    nk (9aa7ee)

  114. So you impeach President Biden for the crimes of his son?

    No, for the coverup, which as we know, is always worse.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  115. Nixon wasn’t party to the Watergate break-in, after all.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  116. With a long and ongoing impression of Hunter as a drug addicted mess and Joe as bumbling old man, how likely is it that the American public is going to look at them and go “ah, yes, machiavellian master criminals” vs “poor Joe, his kid’s a f-up.”

    SNL on Iran-Contra: https://youtu.be/b5wfPlgKFh8

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  117. So you impeach President Biden for the crimes of his son?

    No, for the coverup, which as we know, is always worse.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/28/2023 @ 7:51 am

    What coverup?

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  118. What direct evidence did the IRS whistleblowers provide to substantiate their allegations?

    These were SENIOR IRS personnel. Their testimony IS evidence, and the courts almost always take it as such.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  119. Unlike the SNL skit referenced by Kevin M above, Biden is either a Machiavellian mastermind or a doddering old fool. He can’t be both.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  120. What coverup?

    Please go back and find where you mislaid the plot.

    You might start here: https://patterico.com/2023/07/27/more-on-the-curious-plea-agreement-for-hunter-biden/

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  121. Biden is either a Machiavellian mastermind or a doddering old fool. He can’t be both.

    No, he can be a doddering old fool with Machiavellian henchmen.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  122. If you ask me what I think happened in the Hunter Biden case – it’s one of two things: (i) Justice and IRS decided to go easy because the alternative to Biden is Trump, and that would be worse, so we must suppress any scandal. (ii) Joe made the calls to make everyone go easy because he couldn’t lose another son. Neither are good. Both require examination.

    Rip is right that there is no evidence that Biden or an official told the irs or Weiss to be lenient. That’s why their testimony is needed.

    Appalled (ea21de)

  123. These were SENIOR IRS personnel. Their testimony IS evidence, and the courts almost always take it as such.

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/28/2023 @ 8:03 am

    In other words SENIOR IRS personnel offered their view of events, which may or may not be true, and has been denied by US Attorney David Weiss.

    Who are gonna believe-two SENIOR IRS agents or the Republican-appointed US Attorney they are talking about?

    Saying it in caps doesn’t make it any more true or credible.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  124. Please go back and find where you mislaid the plot.

    You might start here: https://patterico.com/2023/07/27/more-on-the-curious-plea-agreement-for-hunter-biden/

    Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/28/2023 @ 8:06 am

    And the EVIDENCE of Biden’s participation in and directing DOJ is where-memos ordering prosecutors to go easy, witnesses who had conversations with Biden, etc?

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  125. Rip Murdock (44fc19) — 7/28/2023 @ 8:01 am

    What coverup?

    Well, the way the investigation was handled. It’s actually mostly leads not run down, the way his taxes were finally paid..and then the suspicious plea bargain

    Don’t forget impersonating an agent of the House Ways and Means Committee in nan attempt to get a filing by the Committee sealed or withdrawn.

    The big question is: Who is responsible for all that? Biden himself? A political handler? His lawyer/donor friends? People afraid that their own independent crimes or corruption would be exposed if everything Hunter did became known?

    The New York Post has a blow by blow account of some of the proceedings yesterday (I think it was not all that clear to the reporters present in court)

    https://nypost.com/2023/07/27/how-doj-hunter-lawyers-tried-to-sweet-talk-judge-into-accepting-sweeping-plea-deal

    Hunter, 53, was poised to admit to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay federal income taxes and enter a diversionary program on a felony weapons charge.

    However, near the end of the diversionary agreement was a paragraph reading, in part, “The United States agrees not to criminally prosecute Biden, outside of the terms of this Agreement, for any federal crimes” committed by the first son for which the statute of limitations had not already expired.

    One problem: Diversions are granted at prosecutors’ sole discretion. They’re a pledge not to prosecute a specific crime — in this case, Hunter Biden’s gun charge — if the defendant meets certain conditions.

    While judges have authority to accept or reject plea deals, they often do not have a say in diversion agreements. US District Judge Maryellen Noreika smelled a rat, complaining that she was not given a copy of the crucial paragraph until just before the hearing began.

    [!!!]

    Sammy Finkelman (49d357)

  126. I’m not a UFO guy…at all…but these two navy pilots (linked) don’t exactly seem like tin-foil-hatted loons. The fact that four people in two planes directly observed something so fantastical makes one wonder. It appears backed up by remarkable radar data as well.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/17/ufo-report-include-unexplainable-sightings-former-official-says/5127064001/

    Optical illusion? Experimental human craft? Visitors from the future? Aliens? There are a bunch of weirdos out there. These two navy pilots don’t impress me as being two more of them.

    AJ_Liberty (f3dcbf)

  127. In other words SENIOR IRS personnel offered their view of events, which may or may not be true, and has been denied by US Attorney David Weiss.

    Rule of thumb: Politicians making denials are always guilty.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  128. And the EVIDENCE of Biden’s participation in and directing DOJ is where-memos ordering prosecutors to go easy, witnesses who had conversations with Biden, etc?

    All he had to say was “Who will make this go away for me?”

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  129. Scenario:

    1. Guy testifies against street gang leader.

    2. Two days later 3 gang members try to kill him, shooting up his house with Mac10s.

    3. Gang leader denies involvement, suggesting git was just a random attack. His lawyer, Rip, denounces speculation saying “Where is the evidence!?”

    4. After being sentences to 30 years in prison, one of the shooters breaks.

    We are at stage 3.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  130. And the EVIDENCE of Biden’s participation in and directing DOJ is where-memos ordering prosecutors to go easy, witnesses who had conversations with Biden, etc?

    We were talking about evidence of DoJ corruption in making a sweetheart deal with Hunter’s lawyers. The IRS agents provided some of that. Now you move to goalposts to Biden himself. We may get there, but the IRS agents cannot (and do not) speak to that.

    Right now, all we have is a corrupt investigation, with USA Weiss compromised and reports of “underlings” with close ties to Biden and his handlers. It is indeed speculation that Biden himself gave some or all of the orders, but it is not unexpected speculation and the DoJ is CLEARLY unable to investigate that matter.

    L Patrick Gray all over again.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  131. #127

    Let’s get Mr. Weiss under oath.

    #128

    There are all sorts of folks willing to make it go away without him saying a word. It would take Biden actually renouncing his son and demanding that he take responsibility for his crimes for those folks not to try to reflexively cover it up.

    Appalled (b0dba8)

  132. We were talking about evidence of DoJ corruption in making a sweetheart deal with Hunter’s lawyers.

    Allegations against the DOJ are a stalking horse for Biden. Don’t be so naive.

    Rip Murdock (44fc19)

  133. @NJRob@109 AFAICT this website is the furthest you get out of your political bubble. I don’t think you have any idea what the middle 10% of voters are thinking, I don’t even think you can identify them.

    @Kevin@118 From reading Shapley’s testimony, it looks like the investigation was hinky from the get-go, it’s in the wrong division, it’s in the wrong jurisdiction, Barr’s DOJ didn’t want to move it forward, they missed the statute of limitations on several counts, one of the texts they thought indicated influence peddling was from 2017 when Biden didn’t have any influence to peddle. Communication was bad. A lot of the investigatory problems that Shapley saw were under the Trump administration and it doesn’t look like Barr was interested in much of anything getting done on it on his watch and by the time they got to 2021, they were starting to miss statute of limitations deadlines and had a messy investigation. Federal attorneys don’t like messy. They don’t like to prosecute anything that has any risk in it at all, they want a close to 100% probability of winning before they are willing to even start. They’d much rather make a plea deal.

    Nic (896fdf)

  134. I am a retired attorney. I know federal, state and local prosecutors in Texas and a few in other jurusdictions. I don’t think that is an accurate statement of what they do or how they feel, Nic. Every case is different and many are “messy” (if you mean they aren’t easy), but dealing with that is part of the job that prosecutors do every day.

    DRJ (ba8685)

  135. It is so tempting to find rules that make our lives and decisions easy. I do it. I think we all do. I know your view of the oil industry has boiled it down to a corrupt and/or greedy industry. But the oil industry is incredibly complex, and it us filled with all sorts of companies and people pursuing many goals. It isn’t simple or monolithic, and I don’t think it is helpful to see things that way.

    I apologize if I have done that will educators in your profession. I know many that care deeply about their students, including most who taught my kids.

    DRJ (ba8685)

  136. In spite of, or perhaps because of Joe’s propensity for swimming in the nude with SS present, the SS seem to have taken their role- as interpreted quite broadly- of protection very seriously, so seriously that they extended protection from criminal consequences so far that they even included off the books gun retrieval services. (someone retrieved the gun and the only name dropped by the gun owner was SS which is good enough for me) I think we have evidence that extraordinary altruism, volunteerism have been extended to the Biden’s so it isn’t a huge leap to think that people like Hunter’s “sugar brother” Kevin Morris, who is said to have paid off $2.8M of Hunters tax bills would pull off Machiavellian moves to protect the last scion and the now doddering old fool the bud wood was cut from
    I have to admit bits of skepticism, cynicism toward these extraordinary efforts. Very few people in the world will give a friend a $2.8M gift, no strings attached, very few people will go retrieve an illegally held firearm, but the Biden’s? Surrounded by a phalanx of them dating way back, even before MBNA Corporation, owner of Wilmington, Delaware MBNA America Bank America. I don’t see the Biden’s as irresistibly charismatic with a story like Obama. The Biden’s aren’t smooth and charming- what could it be? Money and/or strings pulled seem the most likely and Biden’s don’t use their own money

    steveg (574d7a)

  137. @DRJ My opinion on federal attorneys is based on the assessment of several prosecutors I’m friends with. They are… not impressed… with the feds abilities as trial attorneys or willingness to prosecute cases. Looking at the IRS criminal and civil divisions, they report trial success rates of 97% or 98%. That isn’t indicative of a willingness to take risks either.

    My opinion on the oil industry (I’m not sure how to put it to make it understandable), it isn’t personal, like, I’m not mad at it, it is what it is. A corporation’s job is to make money and they will often push the boundaries as far as they can, it’s their job. Their job isn’t to make our lives easier at their expense or to be a charity. I don’t think the executive are sitting in their chairs with a white cat on their laps chuckling evilly or something. (most of the time anyway 😛 )

    Nic (896fdf)

  138. this website is the furthest you get out of your political bubble. I don’t think you have any idea what the middle 10% of voters are thinking, I don’t even think you can identify them.

    I’ll ignore your ignorant remarks and just state that I live in NJ. I’m innundated with leftist ignorance on a daily basis. It’s easy to dismantle and I’ve had years of practice.

    NJRob (679b59)

  139. Chris Christie is calling for AG Garland to appoint a Special Counsel for the Hunter Biden investigation. I’m agreeable.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  140. Allegations against the DOJ are a stalking horse for Biden. Don’t be so naive.

    Wonderful! You postulate that A is a secret code for B, then when someone shows that A is likely true, you tell them that they haven’t proved B.

    Double secret argument!

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  141. @NJRob@138 “leftist ignorance” this does not convince me that you can identify the middle 10%.

    Nic (896fdf)

  142. Oil, gas, remind me somewhat of small pharma to big pharma. Billions are poured into R&D by investors and most have huge negative ROI. Big Pharma can diversify from internal R&D by acquisition. Big Pharma pays big $$ for acquisitions, big $$ for R&D failure, big $$ for acquisition failures and is called greedy for high drug prices on the drugs that do succeed. The companies have to grow profits, build R&D acquisition budgets, build institutional resilience up because the next few in a row might be, probably will be, huge losers that fail in efficacy and or safety but no one wants to hear that.

    steveg (574d7a)

  143. steveg (574d7a) — 7/28/2023 @ 1:27 pm

    the SS seem to have taken their role- as interpreted quite broadly- of protection very seriously, so seriously that they extended protection from criminal consequences so far that they even included off the books gun retrieval services. (someone retrieved the gun and the only name dropped by the gun owner was SS which is good enough for me)

    This happened in October, 2018 when Hunter Biden, and even Joe Biden, was no longer a protectee! He had stopped being vice president on January 20. 2017 – and I think it might continue for six months more – and he was not yet getting protection as a presidential candidate.,

    This would point to a personal relationship or moonlighting (or possibly a return favor by some people in the Secret Service – like Joe Biden not reporting heavy drinking on duty)

    It’s a mystery.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/25/sources-secret-service-inserted-itself-into-case-of-hunter-bidens-gun-477879

    On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone.

    Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO.

    But we really only know about this because of the files recovered from the laptop.

    But a curious thing happened at the time: Secret Service agents approached the owner of the store where Hunter bought the gun and asked to take the paperwork involving the sale, according to two people, one of whom has firsthand knowledge of the episode and the other was briefed by a Secret Service agent after the fact.

    The gun store owner refused to supply the paperwork, suspecting that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime, the two people said. The owner, Ron Palmieri, later turned over the papers to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, which oversees federal gun laws.

    The Secret Service says it has no record of its agents investigating the incident, and Joe Biden, who was not under protection at the time, said through a spokesperson he has no knowledge of any Secret Service involvement.

    Who called the Secret Service – or some contact in the Secret Service?

    Meanwhile Joe Biden’s loyal contingent of Secret Service agents has been repeatedly bitten by German shepherd I and its replacement, German shepherd II. But they may be just foot soldiers.

    Sammy Finkelman (d007a3)

  144. I think we have evidence that extraordinary altruism, volunteerism have been extended to the Biden’s so it isn’t a huge leap to think that people like Hunter’s “sugar brother” Kevin Morris,

    And possibly baby sitter on occasion. He showed up in court yesterday with Hunter Biden.

    Very few people in the world will give a friend a $2.8M gift, no strings attached,

    It was a loan! Otherwise he would have to pay gift tax, and then, who knows, maybe Hunter will come into some money and be able to pay it back.

    very few people will go retrieve an illegally held firearm, but the Biden’s?

    Friends in law enforcement. I think some people in NYC had that too. I think to get them they have to get money or favors themselves.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  145. AFAICT this website is the furthest you get out of your political bubble. I don’t think you have any idea what the middle 10% of voters are thinking, I don’t even think you can identify them

    This is a common conceit (and thereby an exposure) of someone left-of-center. It is absolutely impossible for anyone who leaves their house, or turns on a TV to something (anything) besides OAN, to stay in this postulated right-wing bubble.

    90% of all media is left-of-center. That may be conservative. You just cannot go out in the world, listen to music, watch any entertainment, and not bu subjected to a wide spectrum of “information.”

    It IS possible, however, for someone on the Left to have a very full life and never hear a peep out of those benighted conservatives. Because 90% of what they hear, even inadvertently, conforms to their worldview.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  146. So, I remember a friend of a friend, a lady who goes to Cuba to “help” every other year, describe herself as a “centrist” and wonder how such a right-wing Christian(!) zealot like Mitt Romney ever got close to winning.

    Kevin M (2d6744)

  147. @Kevin@145 Nah, of the people currently on this website, it seems to be a NJRob specific difficulty.

    Nic (896fdf)

  148. Kevin M (2d6744) — 7/28/2023 @ 10:47 am

    L Patrick Gray all over again.

    L Patrick Gray didn’t cover up anything..

    He accidently managed to speak to Nixon in early July, 1972 and Nixon told him to fully investigate it (Nixon had first gone along with the idea of attempting to hide the connection between the Watergate burglary and his campaign – at the suggestion of John Dean, telling him it was Ehrlichman’s idea to have the CIA tell the FBI something could be jeopardized by tracing the money, But the CIA never did that, so it all came to nothing.

    But John Mitchell had resigned as campaign chairman at the end of June)

    Sammy Finkelman (49d357)

  149. 144. I mean Wednesday. The day before yesterday.

    Sammy Finkelman (49d357)

  150. @145 left of center only in this country any where else they would be considered center right. Ask bernie sanders how left the media is when they ran interference for hillary clinton the wall street backed candidate and then joe biden. The view attacked AOC for supporting sanders in 2019. The right calling corporate establishment tools like clinton and biden marists/communists/socialists only fools those living in the conservative bubble. Intelligence test do you know why the media is what you call left of center? Do you know what would happen in this country if became right of center?

    asset (0c380b)

  151. this website is the furthest you get out of your political bubble. I don’t think you have any idea what the middle 10% of voters are thinking, I don’t even think you can identify them.

    I’ll ignore your ignorant remarks and just state that I live in NJ. I’m innundated with leftist ignorance on a daily basis. It’s easy to dismantle and I’ve had years of practice.

    You disputed nic’s assertion that you’re oblivious to the middle 10% by claiming a command of leftist ignorance. Do you really not see how that makes her point?

    And no, living in New Jersey doesn’t mean you comprehend centrist thinking. “Inundated by” isn’t the same as “listening to.” I’ll remind you that asset is from a deep red part of the country. How impressed are you with his understanding of the beliefs and values of… what does he call them?… “RethugliKKKans?” To the extent your practice of calling right-of-center NeverTrump commenters RINOs, leftists, and commies is any indication, you’re asset’s mirror image. Except at least he’s superficially polite about it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  152. lurker (cd7cd4) — 7/28/2023 @ 4:41 pm

    From what I’ve seen, neither of those mirror images do nuance very well. Their worlds tend to consist of guys in white hats, and guys in black hats.

    norcal (0bd666)

  153. Anyone who wants a glimpse of the ups and downs of the oil industry and the role of independent peoducers vs big oil, read this.

    DRJ (ba8685)

  154. Nah, of the people currently on this website, it seems to be a NJRob specific difficulty.

    Nic (896fdf) — 7/28/2023 @ 3:46 pm

    Leftists always think themselves moderate. After all, they just think Biden is a conservative Democrat because he isn’t publicly espousing Mao, he’s just putting his policies into place instead.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  155. Lurker,

    carry on.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  156. My remarks were to her nonsensical remarks that this website is the furthest I get out of my political bubble. If lurker could have properly interpreted my remarks he would’ve seen that. But since he couldn’t…

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  157. Hunter and Joe Biden; poll shows that Americans think they are guilty. (MEGA)

    The poll was conducted between May 17 and 18 and asked individuals: “From what you know, do you think Hunter Biden was involved in illegal influence peddling and tax evasion, or do you think he was not involved in such crimes?”

    Survey results showed that 63 percent of all registered citizens thought that Hunter Biden was associated with illegal influence peddling and tax evasion. This included 83 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents while 41 percent of Democrats concurred.

    On the question of whether President Biden engaged “in an illegal influence peddling scheme,” with his son, a majority of 53 percent of all respondents said yes. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 58 percent of voters outside the two significant parties concurred while a plurality of 75 percent of Democrats believed otherwise.

    Just a reminder that it was a majority of the nation that believed Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s influence peddling scheme. This is what set Nic off to try and insult me and caused her white knight Lurker to double down.

    Good attempt at making the subject me instead of the public’s understanding that the Biden’s are corrupt.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  158. On the question of whether President Biden engaged “in an illegal influence peddling scheme,” with his son, a majority of 53 percent of all respondents said yes. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 58 percent of voters outside the two significant parties concurred while a plurality of 75 percent of Democrats believed otherwise.

    Same link as NJRob’s, same story from Knewz whoever they are. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/poll-most-voters-believe-joe-biden-engaged-in-illegal-influence-peddling-scheme-with-hunter/ar-AA1bAz1h

    A “plurality of 75 percent of Democrats”. Is that what “plurality” means?

    nk (95c1a6)

  159. A “plurality of 75 percent of Democrats”. Is that what “plurality” means?

    nk (95c1a6) — 7/28/2023 @ 5:51 pm

    No.

    norcal (0bd666)

  160. @NJrob@157 If you read the link you posted, you will notice there’s been very little variation in Biden’s approval percentages regarding how people feel about the Biden administration over the last 6 months. I wasn’t arguing what people might think, I was arguing how they might vote, and the approval ratings don’t show movement based on the latest set of revelations. They might once we get the June or July ratings, but the ratings you posted don’t show it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  161. I fully expect the Democrats will Torricelli Biden once they realize he has zero chance to win. The only question is do they get stuck with Kamala or do they risk being called racists by having a white guy jump ahead of her turn with Newsom?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  162. norcal (0bd666) — 7/28/2023 @ 5:27 pm

    If you’re not my friend you’re my enemy seems to be Rob’s attitude. Credit where due, that tribalism at least has the benefit of simplicity. I couldn’t begin to describe asset’s worldview so succinctly. When I attempt to follow it I feel like I’m being sucked into a hall of mirrors in a Stanley Kubrick dream sequence. I long ago gave up trying to make sense of it. All I know is it ends in winking at violence and re-education camps and, like Rob, when you do the math he seems to relegate most of the population to his cohort of perceived enemies. Given that, I’m comfortable tentatively believing their attitudes are equally sad and detached from reality.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  163. My remarks were to her nonsensical remarks that this website is the furthest I get out of my political bubble. If lurker could have properly interpreted my remarks he would’ve seen that. But since he couldn’t…

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/28/2023 @ 5:32 pm

    I quoted her remarks and your response verbatim. Your rant about leftist ignorance in response to her comment about the center speaks for itself.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  164. NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/28/2023 @ 6:50 pm

    I don’t agree with “zero chance to win”, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to replace Biden so they have a better chance to win.

    As for the Kamala-Gavin conundrum, pass the popcorn!

    norcal (0bd666)

  165. I’ll take Kamala. At fifty-eight years of age, she looks better than Newsom.

    nk (fa989a)

  166. At fifty-eight years of age, she looks better than Newsom.

    nk (fa989a) — 7/28/2023 @ 7:16 pm

    She does, but she appears (and acts) like somebody who got many advantages because of her looks. Willie Brown, anyone? Does anybody think she would have been as successful without access to his network? I don’t.

    norcal (0bd666)

  167. norcal (0bd666) — 7/28/2023 @ 7:02 pm

    As a near single issue (anti-Trump) voter, I’d love to see practically any ticket with a better chance of beating the likely Trump GOP candidacy. But as I’ve argued here before, I don’t see one even on the distant horizon that could both win the nomination and then successfully pander to all the identitarian factions the Dems need to turn out to win a presidential election. I’ll be delighted to be proven wrong.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  168. lurker (cd7cd4) — 7/28/2023 @ 7:29 pm

    Yes. Chance the Gardener cum Weekend at Bernie’s is the best they can hope for.

    norcal (0bd666)

  169. norcal (0bd666) — 7/28/2023 @ 7:28 pm

    I have no idea whether it was Willie Brown’s help or not, but her political popularity is a mystery to me. I voted against her twice, which in a sane world should be enough to kill anyone’s career. 🙂 Sadly and inexplicably, in the world we live in, it wasn’t. All I know is, like Hillary, she strikes me as extraordinarily insincere and unlikable. If there’s a reason anyone can stand her, I haven’t heard it.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  170. Leftists always think themselves moderate. After all, they just think Biden is a conservative Democrat because he isn’t publicly espousing Mao, he’s just putting his policies into place instead.

    NJRob (eb56c3) — 7/28/2023 @ 5:29 pm

    For once I agree with you. Leftists, asset for example, do think Biden is a conservative Democrat (asset would say “establishment Democrat”). Problem with your argument is there are lots of moderates, some of them Democrat, some Republican, some independent, virtually all of whom you’ve called or implied are leftists, and virtually none of whom think Biden is conservative.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  171. @170 lurker (cd7cd4) — 7/28/2023 @ 8:02 pm
    While that may be true, the Democrat party is led by much of the progress members of their party.

    At one point, yes, Joe Biden was one of those “moderate” Democrat, but he hasn’t since being POTUS as his administration is stacked with many progressive leaning staff.

    whembly (c88dc4)

  172. whembly (c88dc4) — 7/28/2023 @ 8:16 pm

    I disagree. The Democrat Party is led by the same Clinton-Obama-Pelosi-Biden faction that’s run the party for 30 years. Yes, Biden panders to the Bernie-AOC wing more than his predecessors did. In that regard he’s managed to underperform even my woefully low expectations. But that doesn’t make him leftist or woke. If pandering to extremists were the same as being an extremist, Kevin McCarthy would be QAnon. Kevin certainly svcks up to Marge, but there are 24 hours in the day, and for most of those hours he’s svcking up to people who aren’t Marge. Likewise for Biden and the Squad. What you’re doing is nutpicking.

    Consider for example that much to the consternation of the leftists you associate with him, Biden’s foreign policies, especially on Ukraine, align more with Ronald Reagan’s than Trump’s did or DeSantis’s would. You can call that any number of things, but leftist isn’t one of them. The bottom line is that most self-identified leftists detest Biden. Ask one. Ask asset.

    Look, there are plenty of good reasons to oppose Biden. Personally, despite my general support for his foreign policies, I think he’s a lousy president. But this is a dude who should be making Metamucil ads. Trying to paint him as some kind of flaming radical just isn’t convincing.

    lurker (cd7cd4)

  173. The right thinks their party is lead by squishy rinos and that the left is full of fire breathing communists bent on destroy all they hold dear.

    The left thinks their party is lead by corporate sell outs and that the right is fully committed to establishing the US as a white-Christian ethnostate.

    Large media Organizations have figured out how to monetize these narratives and many elected officials on both sides have learned to harness them for fundraising and political advantage.

    But the truth is that both narratives are exaggerations and oversimplifications that ignore a lot of available evidence.

    From my POV the corporate wing of the dem establishment is still in power on the left making the dem agenda slightly closer to the center in then GOP which is currently dominated by the MAGA movement. I expect this to change when they find a left populist that claim the White House (Bernie failed, hopefully AOC will fail as well) But, YMMV

    Time123 (413640)

  174. Sorry for the spelling and grammar errors. Doing this on my phone.

    Time123 (413640)

  175. Here’s my Ukraine mini-thread…
    Weiss-Rushton on the Ukrainian counteroffensive. They really need the victory of breaking the “land bridge” connecting the Crimean and Donbas regions, hopefully before Halloween or Thanksgiving, because that would mean Putin has lost Crimea and is left defending the eastern remnant.

    Bret Stephens recounts what he learned in his visit to the country.

    I learned how strange it is to visit a country to which no plane flies and, as of last Monday, no ship sails — thanks to Vladimir Putin’s cruel and cynical withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative through which Ukrainian farm products reached hungry countries like Kenya, Lebanon and Somalia. The only feasible way for a visitor to get from the Polish border to Kyiv is a nine-hour train ride, where the sign inside the carriage door urges, “Be Brave Like Ukraine.”

    I learned that you need to download the Air Alert! app to your smartphone as soon as you enter the country. It sounds an alarm every time the system detects drones, missiles or other incoming aerial threats in your vicinity, something that happened time and again during my short stay. Following the alarm, a recording — in English by the “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill — intones: “Proceed to the nearest shelter. Don’t be careless. Your overconfidence is your weakness.”

    I learned that Kyiv is hopping. Despite what the U.S. Embassy says have been 1,620 missile and drone attacks on the city — and despite an economy that contracted 29 percent in the first year of the war — cars jam the roads, people dine in outdoor cafes on well-swept sidewalks and activists, civil servants and elected officials freely share divergent views with visiting columnists. To adapt a phrase attributed to Yitzhak Rabin, Ukrainians are going about their everyday lives as if there is no war, while waging war as if there is no everyday life.

    I learned that every member of the American Embassy staff in Kyiv, led by our courageous and cleareyed ambassador, Bridget Brink, volunteered for the duty. They have been separated from their families and living for months on end in hotel rooms. They have the job of overseeing one of the largest U.S. assistance efforts since the Marshall Plan, ensuring that tens of thousands of individual pieces of American military hardware in Ukrainian hands are properly accounted for, reconstituting an embassy that was gutted on the eve of Russia’s invasion and keeping tabs on Russian war crimes — some 95,000 of which have been documented so far by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office.

    I learned what it was like to sit in conference rooms and walk along corridors that would soon be shattered by Russian ordnance. On Tuesday, I joined a diplomatic group led by Administrator Samantha Power of the United States Agency for International Development on a visit to the port of Odesa. Power met first with Ukrainian officials to discuss logistical options for their exports after Putin’s withdrawal from the grain agreement, then with farmers to discuss issues like de-mining their fields and de-risking their finances. The stately Port Authority building in which the meetings took place, a purely civilian target, was struck barely a day after our departure.

    I learned that Ukrainians have no interest in turning their victimization into an identity. Years ago, in Belgrade, I saw how the Serbian government had preserved the wreck of its old defense ministry, hit by NATO bombs in the 1999 Kosovo war, in keeping with its self-pitying perceptions of that war. By contrast, in Bucha, the Kyiv suburb that suffered some of the worst atrocities during Russia’s brief occupation in the early days of the war, I witnessed the transformation of apartment buildings dotted with patched-up bullet holes into trendy co-working spaces. As Anatoliy Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, told Power, “Memory will stay in memoirs but residents want to rebuild without reminders.”

    I learned that Ukrainians aren’t likely to trade sovereign territory for Western security assurances, much less for some kind of armistice deal with Moscow. They tried the former in the 1990s with the Budapest Memorandum, in which they surrendered the nuclear arsenal on their soil to Russia for the sake of toothless guarantees of territorial integrity. They tried the latter with the equally toothless Minsk agreements after Russia’s first invasion in 2014. The goal of Western policy should be to provide Ukraine with the military means they need to win, rather than to pressure Ukraine into again bargaining away its rights to sovereignty and security for the sake of assuaging our anxieties about Russian escalation.

    I learned that, for all the aid we’ve given Ukraine, we are the true beneficiaries in the relationship, and they the true benefactors. Ben Wallace, Britain’s usually thoughtful defense minister, suggested after this month’s NATO summit that Ukrainians should show more gratitude to their arms suppliers. That gets the relationship backward. NATO countries are paying for their long-term security in money, which is cheap, and munitions, which are replaceable. Ukrainians are counting their costs in lives and limbs lost.

    Ukrainians somehow got ahold of North Korean rockets to fire at Russians.

    The Ukrainian soldiers said the rockets had been “seized” from a ship by a “friendly” country before being delivered to Ukraine. They declined to provide further details.

    The good news is that Ms. Smirnova may have been disqualified from her victory for refusing to “shake hands” afterward with her Russian opponent, but it officials decided that her win still counts toward qualifying for the Olympics.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  176. Dang it, that was meant for the open thread. Can a moderator help?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  177. She later said that communications should be with her and not with the clerk

    Sammy Finkelman (01e22b)


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