“If they put this in a movie, you’d turn it off immediately, saying, ‘There is no way this is possible. … This is comedy, not drama.’”
That was Mike Pompeo, speaking to Jesse Watters on Monday evening about the revelation that Charles McGonigal, the FBI agent alleged to be a Russian asset, was also the one put in charge of the investigation into the DNC “hack.” (We’ll have more on that connection soon.) McGonigal had also been tasked with investigating Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska but had secretly gone to work for him to help get sanctions against him lifted. He and court interpreter Sergey Shestakov, a U.S. citizen, were charged in the Southern District of New York; details of the charges here.
Pompeo said he’d personally suffered under this for two years because of the FBI’s Russia hoax. “It’s hard to know where to begin,” he said, “because it is so outlandish. … Director [James] Comey has a lot of questions to answer about how he picked this guy, why he picked this guy, and did he not know what this guy was up to?”
Once again, not a good look for the FBI. As Jack Posobiec tweeted, “I’m just going to repeat this for the people in the back. An FBI official who investigated Trump for illegal ties to Russia but found none has just been arrested for his illegal ties to Russia. Internalize this.”
Legal analyst Alan Dershowitz has said for a couple of weeks that the Trump and Biden classified documents scandals will cancel each other out and that neither man will be prosecuted. He said that again to Sean Hannity on Monday night. Different issues are at play: For Trump, he was the president and arguably had the authority to declassify any document at will, and for Biden, his possession of the documents would have to be proved intentional, and Biden would just say he didn’t know about them.
Where did this new standard of “intention” come from? Our understanding was that it was the mere possession of classified materials that was illegal. Comey used the same argument — the difficulty of proving intent — when saying “no reasonable prosecutor” would take Hillary Clinton’s email case. And even if prosecutors did have to prove intent, Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails and her destruction of evidence looked to us about as intentional as it gets.
(Aside: Dershowitz — bafflingly — has always maintained that Clinton, as egregious as her actions were, should not have been criminally prosecuted and said so again yesterday. He seems to be playing the part of her defense attorney and simply will not go there. Hannity pressed him on that, with Dershowitz still saying she claimed those were personal emails and she had not destroyed anything classified. He also said it wasn’t necessarily deliberate. With all respect, Mr. Dershowitz, this willful blindness where Clinton is concerned is making it harder to rely on you as an expert.)
Anyway, Dershowitz foresees no criminal prosecution of either Trump or Biden for having classified documents. But the larger issue is the massive corruption within the Biden family, Joe included, and what the documents he squirreled away in multiple locations might have to do with that. Dershowitz did call for “complete transparency” regarding the documents, noting that Biden, as the current president, has the power to declassify them all right now.
Gregg Jarrett reiterated that, yes, the president does have the authority to declassify. “It’s an exclusive power contained in the Constitution through the Commander in Chief Clause. The vice president doesn’t have that right, or Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.” Unlike Dershowitz, he believes that the evidence against Hillary was “overwhelming” and it was a “terrible injustice” not to bring a case against her. He said that “every prosecutor in America would love to have brought such an easy case.”
He agreed with Dershowitz that the Trump and Biden classified documents cases will be a “wash” but disagreed, as we do, that knowledge and intent is the only standard. “If you examine Section F of 18 USC 793, that also provides for gross negligence or carelessness.” The growing number of locations where Biden’s classified materials are being found “renders ‘inadvertence’ implausible, and instead seems to be the definition of recklessness, gross negligence, under the statutes. So I think that legally, it would be a fairly strong case.”
Jarrett sounded much like Jonathan Turley when he called Biden’s “whack-a-mole” rebuttals to these ongoing discoveries — the infamous Corvette defense included — “more and more preposterous.” And for Biden to say he had no regrets was just arrogance, he said. Biden has to know that taking those documents was gravely wrong; plus (and most importantly for his party), it’s interfering with the goal of prosecuting Trump. You know he cares about that.
It should be noted that advisers such as Anita Dunn, who is married to Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer, no doubt came up with or at least reviewed those responses. During the unfortunate “no regrets” remark, he was reading off a piece of paper, and the effect was just as lame as when Karine Jean-Pierre does it. He appeared to be just looking at the paper without even engaging his brain, which would be par for the course for him.
The narrative that Biden was being “cooperative” likely came straight from Dunn. Andrew C. McCarthy, writing in National Review, explains why that’s a crock.
“The truth of the matter,” he says, “is that, like most criminal suspects as to whom there is already strong evidence of felony offenses, Biden consented to a search knowing that, if he did not, newly appointed special counsel Robert Hur would apply for a judicial warrant from a federal judge.” That might lead to a chain of legal disasters. Better to play the dedicated public servant who has nothing to hide. He’s just doing what’s in his best legal interests. So don’t fall for it, McCarthy says.
I still can’t get over Biden’s treatment of Jimmy Carter’s nominee for CIA director, Ted Sorenson, during his early days in the Senate. He ambushed Sorenson during his confirmation hearing, savaged him for taking classified documents home and insinuated that Sorenson could be criminally prosecuted for that. We know now that Biden did it himself when he was a senator. This blast from Biden’s past shows his blatant hypocrisy, and also that he had to know what he did was wrong.
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, in an interview on Fox News, said Hillary Clinton went far beyond either Trump or Biden and that Congress should look at the handling of all three cases. “Let’s get the facts and then the Justice Department will have to be sure that they’re treating all the cases fairly,” Yoo said. But I’m not so sure it’s as simple as “compare and contrast” when this “Justice” Department doesn’t even seem to care about the perception of fairness.
Judicial Watch is still trying to get to Biden’s U.S. Senate papers held by the University of Delaware. It’s filed an appeal brief, also on behalf of the Daily Caller News Foundation, with the Delaware Supreme Court asking for limited discovery to depose a university representative about this issue. A lower court blocked access to records about the papers.
Finally, Miranda Devine at the New York Post has a good overview of the classified records scandal up to this point. She speculates that administrative aide Kathy Chung was named publicly so the Biden administration could throw her under the bus to deflect scrutiny from the president.
Devine also describes a striking email sent by Hunter Biden to then-partner Devon Archer a week before VP Biden went to Ukraine to meet with the then-prime minister. Hunter refers to “my guy’s upcoming travels.” This email is highly detailed, not at all the sort of thing Hunter usually wrote, and has “the distinct flavor of an official briefing, perhaps even a classified one.” It also instructs Archer to buy a “burner phone,” presumably to keep their conversations private: “Buy a cell phone from a 7/11 or CVS tmrw and ill do the same.”
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