House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) looked like a fool after presenting two key pieces of “evidence” of politicization of the DOJ that were dated August 7th 2020 and June 6 2017, both of which are times that Joe Biden was not the president or even the vice president or even a candidate. Both are timed during Donald Trump’s tenure as the president.
Smith is one of the three House committee chairs tapped by Kevin McCarthy to lead the Biden impeachment investigation, but he got into a heated scrap with an NBC News reporter.
NBC Reporter: Question just about the timing of all of this. You’re talking about a two-tiered system of justice. I’m not mistaken. August 7th 2020 Bill Barr was the Attorney General and Donald Trump was the president. So explain to me where the two-tiered system of justice comes into play?
And then the WhatsApp message you have, I believe, is dated June 6th 2017. Joe Biden is not vice president or even a candidate for president at that time. So where is the direct connection to some sort of criminal malfeasance?
The moment Smith steps in his own attempt to deceive the public and ends up suggesting that Donald Trump should be investigated:
Smith: Well I think the facts speak for themselves. We have over 700 pages of examples of where people should be very concerned when you’re talking about, um, uh, the what was your first question?
Reporter: The timing of this is August 7th 2020. Bill Barr’s the attorney. Oh, Donald Trump’s the president.
Smith suggests it doesn’t matter who was in the White House then (it was Trump), but is still using this to implicate Biden:
Smith: Yeah. And Leslie Wolf is a career employee. She was not a political appointee, and she was the one obstructing the investigation. It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House. We need to make sure that the Department of Justice works for all people and doesn’t treat those who are politically connected or wealthy much differently. And unfortunately, we have several examples that came forward by the two IRS whistleblowers that proves that people are treated differently because they’re politically connected.
What I’m talking about is a 700 pages that we have before us, which is all the information that came from the I. R. S. Whistleblowers. And that’s what we’re releasing right now. And I’ll tell you, I would encourage everyone in this room to look at those 700 pages. If you think it’s okay with what’s in it, then we live on two different planets.
Reporter remains confused and wants to know why something dated during Trump’s administration is. being used as evidence of Biden’s alleged and unproven or even suggested wrongdoing:
Reporter: Can you explain the timing? That would be on the sixth What’s App message? Why is that evidence of some wrongdoing?
Smith has no answer, but repeats the Republican mantra that he has questions:
Smith: I’m not an expert on the timeline. I would love to have, um, President Biden and his family to tell us about all the timelines because it’s really, really unfortunate that we see so many meetings and so many phone calls that involved around official activity that the vice president has been participating in. And then um big sums of money follows later through.
What is he even saying? Reporter would very much like an answer to the question:
Reporter: He not vice president at the time. He was not even a candidate at the time.
Smith takes refuge in smearing the source the reporter works for, because he can’t answer a simple question about why they are holding Biden accountable for things that happened under Trump:
Smith: He was a candidate in August. So apparently, uh, what source are you with? So apparently, you’ll never believe us.
Reporter won’t bite:
Reporter: I’m asking you a very direct question. You presented a piece of evidence that you say came on August 6 2017 That demonstrates that Joe Biden was using political influence to help his son, because at that time he wasn’t a political official.
The first WhatsApp message you put up, where you talk about the brand and I’m not, I’m completely open minded about this. I’m asking you specifically, how does that demonstrate? that there’s some sort of political influence being put over him. If at that time he is not a political, he’s not an elected official.
Instead of answering, Smith acts as if it’s way too specific of a question to respond to:
Smith: I’m definitely not going to pinpoint one item. I think we’ve outlined numerous. So apparently you don’t agree with it’s a report that you disagree with it. I’ll take the next question. Yes.
This is one of the most deplorable excuses for an investigation I think the U.S. has ever witnessed.
Instead of launching an investigation because reliable and credible evidence has built the case to do so, Republicans have launched an investigation sans evidence, and in struggling to come up with evidence, have ended up tripping on themselves repeatedly. This time, they’re trying to blame Joe Biden for things that happened when he wasn’t in office or even running for office.
As for these two IRS whistleblowers Republicans claim “prove” Biden’s interference in the investigation into his son that resulted in harsher charges than most would face (this result itself is rather suggestive that the President did not interfere), several of the Republicans’ own witnesses dunked this claim, including IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who said that neither AG Garland nor Biden interfered in the probe of Hunter Biden.
Republicans’ claims have been repeatedly debunked and not even all of their own members are buying it.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy himself has admitted this costly cosplay of an investigation is about hurting Biden’s poll numbers as he faces off against current GOP front-runner Donald Trump for 2024.
House Republicans’ evidence is dated during Trump’s time as president. Are Republicans trying to finally 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 VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.