Besides the fact that they are both proud sons of the old Commonwealth sod, what do Rep. Jamie Comer, wherever he claims to hale from these days, and the late magazine publisher Larry Flynt, of Salyersville, have in common?
Both men promoted pornography.
That revelation leapt to the fore on Wednesday during a hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, chaired by Comer (R-TheFrankfortHook), when the panel voted to include in the record of its proceedings a photograph of President Biden’s son, Hunter, in the altogether, as they used to say, during the course of a sexual encounter.
Now, the photos in question are not quite as explicit as those Larry used to print in Hustler. In a bid for modesty, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who sought to include the smut in the record, agreed to block out sections of Hunter’s delicate anatomy, although the details of what is being concealed are obvious to anyone taking a gander.
The erotica received the strong approval of Comer, who obviously distanced himself from the folks in his old home town of Tompkinsville, where such displays undoubtedly would be considered rather unpalatable.
“It’s not pornography, it’s appropriately censored evidence,” Comer said, without detailing what the photo offered evidence of, other than a little whoopie. That comment led Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), aka The Smart Jamie, the committee’s ranking member, to remark, “This is not The Jerry Springer Show,” introducing the late Cincinnati mayor and shock television show host who encountered his own sexual kerfuffle with a courtesan in, you guessed it, Kentucky (Ft. Wright, to be precise), oh so many years ago.
Ah, just another episode in what has become Gomer Comer’s Flying Circus.
The hearing was held to determine whether Hunter Biden should be held in contempt for failing to honor a committee subpoena, issued as part of an ongoing and consistently fruitless probe into whether his old man, President Biden, should be impeached, even though no one has managed to come up with a reasonable – or even unreasonable – rationale for giving him the heave-ho.
Comer has to this point shown only disinterest in the fact that three of his fellow Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, treated subpoenas from the special committee convened to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol like so much toilet paper, ignoring the demand to appear before the committee and facing no consequence for refusing to do so.
But Hunter Biden, a private citizen? You bet.
Regardless, in this instance, one might be moved to ask, if the issue was Hunter Biden’s failure to answer a committee subpoena, what in the name of Al Goldstein does a photo of him in flagrante delecto have to do with the issue at hand? Offering it up at this juncture is rather like posting naked photos of an ex-girlfriend on the Internet without her permission, a practice known as revenge porn that law enforcement authorities generally and understandably frown upon.
The photos were taken at a time when, as Hunter Biden himself has acknowledged, he was in a bad spot mentally, abusing drugs and acting out sexually for, apparently, a variety of reasons. He has since recovered, thanks, in part, to the efforts of his father, and has established a business career in which, it’s fair to note, he has experienced some bumps in the road, including a tax problem, leading to a not guilty plea in a Los Angeles federal court on Thursday.
All of which brings us back full circle to Jamie the Panderer.
Comer and his henchmen on the committee have sought to exploit Hunter Biden’s past misadventures for their own nefarious, political purposes. Our boy Jamie loves to go on right-wing TV news programs where he’s treated with kid gloves to declare he is leading a “legitimate” and “substantive” investigation into the Biden Crime Family™. Then he allows, even embraces, the introduction of a pornographic photo that carries no evidentiary purpose.
It would be like, well, citing the claims of a woman who dated Jamie when the two attended Western Kentucky University who said he was physically and mentally abusive to her during a two-year relationship as proof that his “legitimate” investigation is really bogus.
Actually, her input would be unnecessary. Comer has done a good job substantiating just how phony this probe is all by himself.
Here’s the short of it: Hunter Biden entered the business world in a big way when his father was vice president under President Barack Obama from 2009-2017. Some of that activity eventually included relationships with outfits close to the governments in places like China, Russia, and Ukraine. The arrangements brought in millions, shared by Hunter, some relatives, and business associates.
But not the president.
It is not illegal in the U.S. to trade on one’s name in order to obtain a job or business contact. Nor is it against the law to do business with foreign governments – people do it all the time. Comer maintains that old man Biden, who happens to be the president, is actually the head of some Underworld USA conglomerate that is stuffing his pockets, as well as Hunter’s, with pictures of dead presidents.
After an investigation that has extended a year, Comer has emerged proofless. Bank records fail to establish that the president has prospered as a result of his son’s labors, nor has he taken policy steps to enhance his son’s fortunes. Most of the time in question Biden was even out of office – he was a private citizen from 2017-2021 – and couldn’t have exercised any official influence in his son’s behalf if he had wanted to.
But our boy Jamie, being the national embarrassment he is, persists like a drunken fart boy on a Dublin pub crawl. He issued a subpoena to Hunter Biden to appear and give testimony. Biden, through his attorney Abbe Lowell, said he would be glad to come before Comer’s House Oversight and Accountability Committee in a public forum, nixing the demand that he stand for a private interview outside the public eye, an understandable reluctance given that Jamie has, well, kind of lied about some of the private testimony previously entered.
Comer rejected the Hunter Biden entreaty, even though he had previously publicly offered him a public hearing if he so opted. On Wednesday, in a surprise move, Hunter Biden appeared at the session where the committee took a vote urging the full House to find him in contempt of Congress. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), a consistent thorn in Comer’s side, noted Biden’s presence and suggested, “Let’s take a vote. Who wants to hear from Hunter right now today? Anyone? Come on. Who wants to hear from Hunter?”
A clear majority on the GOP side, including Comer, opposed the idea and instead proceeded with the contempt citation. Biden, with no one stepping forward to throw questions in his direction, left in the middle of the debate. Raskin noted that Comer “reneged on his offer, denying Hunter Biden an opportunity to provide the Committee with evidence, and in effect obstructing his own investigation.”
Raskin added, “this painful impeachment inquiry has nothing to do with facts or evidence, as made clear by Chairman Comer’s repeated misrepresentations about witness testimony and refusal to release interview transcripts. The fact remains that there is no evidence showing any wrongdoing, let alone an impeachable offense, by President Biden. No amount of huffing and puffing can change that.”
The funny thing is it was established earlier this month that a certain president did indeed line his pockets during his time as president and may attempt to do so again. It just isn’t Biden.
The Democratic minority on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee released a report based on documents provided by Mazars USA LLC, the erstwhile accounting firm for former President Donald J. Trump, confirming that, while he was in office, Trump received at least $7.8 million from 20 governments, including the governments of China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Malaysia, through his businesses during his first two years in office, beginning in 2021.
That’s correct. Trump benefitted from the same sort of claims launched against Biden.
The difference is Trump, who vowed to place his holdings in a blind trust but failed to do so, actually made outside cash while president. There’s no proof Biden did likewise.
What’s more, the numbers reflect payments to only four of the more than 500 entities the Lord of Mar-a-Lago owned while he was in office in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause in the Constitution.
Raskin said, “While the figures and constitutional violations in this report are shocking, we still don’t know the extent of the foreign payments that Donald Trump received — or even the total number of countries that paid him and his businesses while he was President — because Committee Chairman James Comer and House Republicans buried any further evidence of the Trump family’s staggering corruption. Despite these efforts, today’s report makes clear that former President Trump put lining his pockets with cash from foreign governments seeking policy favors over the interests of the American people.”
That’s right, Gomer Comer is hiding the evidence.
Written by Bill Straub, a member of the KY Journalism Hall of Fame. Cross-posted from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.