House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) looked like a fool after presenting two key “pieces of evidence” of the DOJ’s politicization, dated August 7, 2020 and June 6, 2017, both times to which Joe Biden was not the president or even the vice president or even a candidate. Both are timed during Donald Trump’s term as president.
Smith is one of three House committee chairmen appointed by Kevin McCarthy to lead the impeachment inquiry into Biden, but he got into a heated conflict with an NBC News reporter.
NBC Reporter: Just asking about the timing of all this. You’re talking about a two-tiered legal system. I’m not mistaken. On August 7, 2020, Bill Barr was the Attorney General and Donald Trump was the President. So explain to me where the two-tier justice system comes into play?
And then the WhatsApp message you have is, I believe, dated June 6, 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some criminal offense?
At the point when Smith makes his own attempt to mislead the public and ultimately suggests that Donald Trump should be investigated:
Smith: Well, I think the facts speak for themselves. We have over 700 pages of examples of things that people should be very concerned about when you talk about: What was your first question?
News reporter: The timing of this is August 7, 2020. Bill Barr is the attorney. Oh, Donald Trump is the president.
Smith suggests it doesn’t matter who was in the White House at the time (it was Trump), but still uses this to implicate Biden:
Smith: Yes. And Leslie Wolf is a career employee. She was not a political appointee and she was the one who obstructed the investigation. It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House. We must ensure that the Justice Department works for all people and does not treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples raised by the two IRS whistleblowers that prove that people are treated differently because they are politically connected.
What I’m talking about is the 700 pages we have in front of us containing all the information that came from the IRS whistleblowers. And that’s what we’re releasing now. And I will tell you that I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think what’s in it is okay, then we live on two different planets.
Reporter remains confused and wants to know why something is dated during the Trump administration. is being used as evidence of Biden’s alleged and unproven or even suggested misconduct:
News reporter: Can you explain the time? That would be on the sixth What’s App message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?
Smith has no answers, but repeats the Republican mantra that he has questions:
Smith: I’m not an expert on the timeline. I would like President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines because it’s really unfortunate that we’re seeing so many meetings and so many phone calls related to official activities in which the Vice President has participated. And then large sums of money follow later.
What does he actually say? Reporter would really like an answer to the question:
News reporter: He was not vice president at the time. He wasn’t even a candidate yet.
Smith resorts to smearing the source the reporter works for because he can’t answer a simple question about why they’re holding Biden responsible for things that happened under Trump:
Smith: He was a candidate in August. So apparently, which source are you at? So apparently you’ll never believe us.
Reporter doesn’t bite:
News reporter: Let me ask you a very direct question. You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6, 2017. That shows that Joe Biden used political influence to help his son because he was not a political official at the time.
The first WhatsApp message you post, in which you talk about the brand and I don’t, I am completely open about this. I ask you specifically: how does that turn out? that some kind of political influence is exerted over him. If he’s not a politician at the time, he’s not an elected official.
Instead of answering, Smith pretends it’s far too specific a question to respond to:
Smith: I’m certainly not going to point out one item. I think we’ve outlined countless of them. So apparently you don’t agree with it, it’s a report that you don’t agree with it. I will answer the next question. Yes.
This is one of the most deplorable excuses for an investigation that I think the US has ever witnessed.
Instead of launching an investigation because reliable and credible evidence has laid the foundation for one, Republicans have launched an investigation without evidence, and in their struggle to produce evidence, they have ended up tripping over themselves repeatedly. This time they are trying to blame Joe Biden for things that happened when he was not in office or even running for office.
As for these two IRS whistleblowers, Republicans claim that Biden’s interference in the investigation into his son “proves” resulting in more serious charges than most would face (this result alone is quite suggestive that the President did not interfere ), several Republicans’ own witnesses acknowledged this claim, including IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who said neither AG Garland nor Biden interfered with the Hunter Biden investigation.
The Republicans’ claims have been repeated repeatedly debunked and not even all their own members buy it.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy himself has admitted to this costly cosplay of an investigation is about hurting Biden’s poll numbers as he faces off against current 2024 GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
The evidence from Republicans in the House of Representatives dates back to Trump’s time as president. Are Republicans finally trying to impeach Donald Trump? Of course not. And that, my friends, is what politicization looks like.
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Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then Vice President Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively reported on her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump.
Sarah is a two-time Telly award-winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.