Biden Under Fire After Breaking One of His Biggest Campaign Promises with Controversial Court Filing: 'A Dark Moment'


“No one is above the law.” — then-vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, Sept. 2, 2008.

“No one is above the law.” — former Vice President Joe Biden, June 22, 2018.

“The State Department recognizes and allows the immunity of Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman as a sitting head of government of a foreign state.” — Joe Biden’s State Department, Nov. 17, 2022.

Apparently, when Biden says “no one is above the law,” what he means by “one” is “Republican president.” When he spoke those words in 2008, he was referring to former President George W. Bush; in 2018, he mentioned no names, but the oblique reference to then-President Donald Trump was pretty clear.

Also pretty clear is the fact that Biden doesn’t mean for the phrase to apply to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was accused by Biden’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year of ordering the death and dismemberment of U.S. resident and Washington Post correspondent Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

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Despite a campaign promise to hold Khashoggi’s killers accountable, Biden’s administration has now all but guaranteed that bin Salman will never face consequences for his actions.

The State Department wrote to the Department of Justice Thursday, suggesting that the latter “submit a suggestion of immunity to the district court” that was hearing a lawsuit by Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, and DAWN, a pro-democracy group founded by Khashoggi.

According to experts who spoke to The Guardian about the case, the Biden administration’s position “will likely lead judge John Bates to dismiss [the] civil case.”

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Biden’s 2020 campaign promise to “reassess our relationship with the Kingdom, end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and make sure America does not check its values at the door to sell arms or buy oil,” like so many such promises, has not aged well.

Biden’s statement at the time remains up at, but we’ve taken a screen shot both for your convenience and on the off chance that this web page might somehow mysteriously disappear.

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“[W]e owe it to his memory to fight for a more just and free world,” Biden wrote then, and he wasn’t wrong.

What a difference a couple of years make — not to mention a presidential election.

Sarah Leah Whitson, the current executive director of DAWN, shared the State Department’s letter on Twitter.

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Cengiz said the federal government’s decision essentially made Biden an accomplice after the fact to Khashoggi’s murder, saying that “Jamal died again today.”

Stephanie Kirchgaessner, who wrote The Guardian’s piece, accused the administration of trying to “bury” the news by filing it with the court late at night, call the decision “No doubt a dark moment” for Cengiz.

It’s a dark moment, too, for international justice, freedom of the press, truth, promises — and anyone who actually believes that no one is above the law.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics