Dear Rep. Comer: It’s time to find a new wild goose chase Skip to content

Dear Rep. Comer: It’s time to find a new wild goose chase

Bill Straub points out the ongoing Keystone-Cops-like antics of KY Rep. Comer, and says it’s time give it up, Jamie.

5 min read

Observing Rep. Jamie Comer as he feverishly maneuvers to create a blockbuster scandal from a mere bagatelle (or, as Ralph Kramden used to say, a mere bag of shells) is increasingly like watching some schlub try to fry bacon without a pan.

Jamie’s endeavor, as he hopscotches from one network purveyor of rightwing misinformation to another, is actually quite entertaining, even endearing, in a weird way, as he pleads with the big boy media to pay him proper heed, sort of like the tyke who skins his knee and begs mommy to kiss it.

Comer (R-WhereverHeHangsHisHatIsHisHome), as chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, the lower chamber’s primary investigatory arm, is going about pursuing President Biden and his vagabond son, Hunter, in much the same way Abbott & Costello chased ghosts. He has little to show for his efforts, hinting that Biden has somehow been “compromised” in carrying out his executive duties because of his son’s scurrilous business activities and that the “Big Guy” himself may have been the recipient of a $5 million bribe.

The whole saga took something of, well, let’s say a setback this week when the U.S. attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, a prosecutor appointed by former President Donald J. Trump who has spent five years or thereabouts pouring through Hunter Biden’s tax returns, business dealings and various other activities, finally charged him with two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay taxes in a timely matter for the years 2017 and 2018 and lying on a federal application to purchase a gun. The president’s son is not expected to face incarceration.

And that’s all, folks.

Comer and other Republicans were left aghast and aggrieved. They had been praying that Hunter would be forced to walk up the 39 steps, thus skewing his father’s re-election chances. What emerged was certainly not your everyday Al Capone sorta stuff.

“Let’s be clear: the Department of Justice’s charges against President Biden’s son Hunter reveal a two-tiered system of justice,” Comer blubbered. “Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery.”

For those keeping score at home, the “two-tiered system of justice is homage to the rightwing myth that the FBI and, presumably, federal prosecutors, come down hard on alleged Republican miscreants – you may have heard that Trump faces federal charges under the Espionage Act – while treating Democrats with kid gloves. It’s an overtly ludicrous claim. Quick fact: A registered Democrat has never served as FBI director, including the current office holder, Christopher Wray. For some reason it never occurs to Comer and his cronies that a grand jury in Florida indicted Trump for a reason and Hunter Biden was led down an easier path because, as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland, “There’s no there there,” or very little, at least.

Weiss personally exposed the GOP lie about the Justice Department calling the shots in the case, dispatching a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, who is even more worthless than Comer, asserting that he was afforded “ultimate authority” in the investigation, meaning Attorney General Merrick Garland kept hands off.

This nonsense spewed by Comer about Biden being on the take is bereft of even the slightest glimmer of proof and isn’t the least bit credible. Yet Jamie simply can’t fathom why news folks aren’t gratefully consuming the horse manure he constantly shovels. Here is our hero recently on Mornings With Maria, a Fox Business News program, being urged on by host Maria Bartiromo, like a third grade teacher introducing the multiplication tables to a dull student, who demanded to know if the media’s resistance to covering arguably the “most serious allegations ever leveled against a president” complicates his desire to sway the public.

“I will admit, Maria, it’s very frustrating,” the poor, misunderstood, Monroe County farmer said. “They know there’s something wrong here. They know all the allegations have merit…”

Of course, since most, if not all, of Comer’s claims are humbug, they will never amount to what Bartiromo characterized as “arguably the most serious allegations ever leveled against a president,” at least as long as Donald J. Trump is alive.

The media, Comer claimed, realizes what he has often cited as “the Biden crime family” has engaged in money laundering. He has provided no such proof. He maintains Hunter Biden made millions working for outfits with ties to governments in Ukraine, China, Russia, Romania and elsewhere. What he fails to mention is that while the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prohibits U.S.-owned companies from hiring the children of foreign government officials it is not a violation if a foreign company hires or does business with the family members of American politicians, say, someone like Hunter Biden, the son of the president of the United States.

Should there be a prohibition? Perhaps. It’s certainly debatable, but there’s nothing currently in place.

Even Jamie noted the possibility that Hunter might be in the clear last December while appearing on a podcast, Flyover Country with Scott Jennings. Discussing Hunter Biden’s foibles, our boy acknowledged “When you talk about what the Biden family was doing, I’m not sure it was illegal.”

It’s right there in the transcript.

That should have, frankly, settled the matter. But Comer soldiers on, even though his options are dwindling to a precious few. He can try to show Joe Biden acted in an official capacity to support his son’s business dealings or that he, himself, directly profited from those dealings. On those two issues, Comer has produced bupkis and there’s little reason to believe he’s ever going to reach paydirt.

Then there’s the $5 million question. In a nutshell, the FBI obtained information from a source that Biden received a pay-off from some muckety-muck at Burisma Holdings, a now shuttered energy outfit in Ukraine that at one time provided Hunter Biden with a seat on its board. This source said Biden in 2015, while vice president, saw to it that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokina, rumored to be investigating Burisma, was given the official heave-ho by the Kyiv government.

The FBI looked, apparently found nothing of substance, and moved on. Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, however, received word that an FD-1023 form, reflecting that the agency interviewed someone Comer characterized as a “highly credible source,” passed on intelligence about the supposed bribe.

Since then for Comer it’s been world without end. But there exists obvious flaws with this scenario.

To cut to the chase, it’s bunk.

Biden indeed pressured the Ukraine government to dismiss the prosecutor, threatening that the U.S. would withhold military aid until the deed was done. Biden acted with the support of various U.S. allies and moved because Viktor Shokin refused to probe internal Ukraine corruption.

It has since been determined that Shokin, despite the rumors, wasn’t actually investigating Burisma at the time of his departure. He was the one circulating word about the phony probe.

The individual who told the “highly credible source” about the bribe hasn’t been heard from in three years.

Not exactly an airtight case. And it’s a twice-told tale – the claim of Biden favoritism for his son was looked at and shot down years ago.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, said Comer is simply trying to “breathe new life into baseless allegations against the president.”

“It is a transparent attempt to distract Fox News viewers from Donald Trump’s indictment and Congressional Republicans’ failure, after years of investigation, to identify any evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden,” Raskin said.

“It may be time to find a new wild goose chase.”


Written by Bill Straub, who served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post, and is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. Cross-posted from the NKY Tribune.

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