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Even the New York Times Shows Disgust at "Family Man" Joe Biden's Continued Denial of the Existence of His Granddaughter -- But The "Ladies" of The View Love It | Main | Saint Humphry's Day Cafe
July 12, 2023

Quick Hits

David Weiss approved felony tax evasion charges against Hunter Biden -- but then refused to prosecute.


That's one of those rhetorical questions.

An IRS document from early 2022 states Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss' office signed off on bringing a felony tax evasion case against Hunter Biden that stretched back to 2014 and money from Ukraine, creating fresh intrigue as to how the president's son ultimately escaped more serious charges and got a plea deal on tax misdemeanors involving conduct years later.

That's what they call dramatic overstatement.

Actual level of intrigue here: Zero point zero. Everyone knows what happened.

The document, a prosecution "conclusions and recommendations" memo, escaped much notice when it was released last month by the House Ways and Means Committee along with the testimony of IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley.

But it is taking on new significance now that Weiss has issued several carefully crafted statements to Congress appearing to contradict Shapley and a second whistleblower's account of what when in the case.


[T]he chief federal prosecutor for Delaware acknowledged his ability to file criminal charges was "geographically limited" from bringing tax charges in the two other cities and would have first consulted his colleagues in those districts. He also has flatly denied he ever requested or was denied special counsel status while suggesting he could have requested "special attorney" status to bring the charges in the districts outside Delaware.

The "scientists" whom Fauci pressured -- or paid off -- to help him discredit the very-true lab-leak theory had trouble explaining themselves beore Congress.

Twenty-five years ago, President Clinton gave a bespoke definition of the word "is" to claim he did not lie to a grand jury about his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

The lead author of a highly influential COVID-19 origins paper dismissing the plausibility of the lab-leak theory similarly struggled to convince House Republicans that his words "about" and "disprove" did not show that high-ranking federal officials covertly contributed to the paper or that its conclusion was politically driven.


Three participants on a Feb. 1, 2020 conference call to discuss SARS-CoV-2's unusual genome -- Collins and foreign scientists Ron Fouchier and Andrew Rambaut, a coauthor of the paper -- "all expressed concerns that the lab leak theory, if verified, would have significant international political implications -- particularly for China," Wenstrup said, referring to written materials.

Rambaut, for example, told the coauthors it would cause a "sh** show ... if anyone serious [sic] accused the Chinese of even accidental release."

The search for whether the virus was leaked from a lab, and from which lab that might have been, has centered on the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Collins groused to Fauci April 16, a month after Nature Medicine published the paper, that "this very destructive conspiracy" of lab-leak was still considered viable and asked what "more we can do" to "help put down" the theory.

This "clearly insinuated that the NIH had previously taken steps" against lab-leak, according to the GOP subcommittee report, though Wenstrup said it wasn't clear whether Collins was referring to their role in the paper. The next day Fauci publicly promoted the paper at a White House press conference.

Scripps Research Institute immunologist Kristian Andersen told Fauci a day before the Feb. 1 call, which also included Fauci, that SARS-CoV-2 looks "potentially" engineered and that fellow experts also "find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory" if it had indeed arisen naturally.

His email thanking Collins and Fauci for their "advice and leadership" during the paper's drafting was disclosed last year.

Andersen told the subcommittee Tuesday that lawmakers didn't understand the jargon of his emails about the research team's drafting of the paper.

"Our main work over the past couple of weeks has been focused on trying to disprove any type of lab theory," Andersen wrote Feb. 8 to participants in the Feb. 1 call, which he said Tuesday might have included Lawrence Tabak, now acting NIH director.

"Disprove" refers to the scientific process of "falsification," not a predetermination against lab-leak, Andersen said in written testimony and in back-and-forth with lawmakers Tuesday.

Anderson claimed he was free to write a paper proving the lab-leak theory if the facts supported that.

But in another email, he makes it clear that his purpose is to disprove the lab-leak theory, and that the facts "unfortunately" don't "help refute a lab origin."

And that he and his co-author "really, really wish that we could do that."

When Nature Medicine senior editor Clare Thomas asked him about new pangolin sequence data during the review process, however, Andersen responded Feb. 20: "Unfortunately none of this helps refute a lab origin" and the coauthors "really, really wish that we could do that."


This "hand waving and semantic sorcery" puzzled former Senate Finance Committee investigator Paul Thacker, who scrutinized Andersen's written testimony in his newsletter Tuesday.

Dylan Mulvaney: I have fled the United States, where I am Unsafe, to take refuge in Peru among the llamas.

Drama King wants more attention:

Dylan Mulvaney has fled to Peru for some much-needed solo travel and soul searching after she complained she no longer felt safe in the US.

The trans influencer, 26, has been at the center of scandals this year -- having caused a storm of outrage after partnering with Bud Light in April, knocking millions off the value of the beer company.

After addressing the ordeal publicly on her TikTok last month, Mulvaney has announced she's solo traveling in South America to reconnect with herself -- and filmed herself frolicking with llamas.

She told fans in a series of videos, which included posing with a llama: 'Okay surprise! I'm in Peru! I'm at Machu Picchu. Isn't this so beautiful.

Peru's stock value immediately dropped $37 billion.

Matt Gaetz grilled Christopher Wray over his "incuriosity" about the Hunter and Joe Biden "shakedown" of their Chinese "business partners."

Gaetz: [reading from Hunter Biden's infamous WhatsApp shakedown text:] "I'm sitting here with my father...I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father." Sounds like a shakedown, doesn't it, Director?

Wray: I'm not going to get into commenting on that.

Gaetz: Well, you...seem deeply uncurious about it, don't you? Almost suspiciously uncurious. Are you protecting the Bidens?

Wray: Absolutely not. The FBI does not -- has no interest in protecting anyone politically --

Gaetz: Well, you won't answer the question -- hold on -- you won't answer the question about whether or not that's a shakedown, and everybody knows why you won't answer it, because to the millions of people who will see this, they know it is. And your inability to acknowledge that is deeply revealing about you.

He also grilled Wray about possibly perjuring himself when he previously claimed that the FBI wasn't making FISA warrant applications to spy on January 6th suspects.

Jim Jordan pressed Wray on his targeting of observant Catholics as likely traitors and insurrectionists.

Wray says the FBI was perfect on that, too.

FBI Director Christopher Wray told a House panel on Wednesday that the agency's top 8 officials of its "leadership team" aren't political appointees and they reflect "the best" of the organization that's made of "patriots."

Wray's agency has come under fire after Special Counsel John Durham's final report found that the FBI lacked enough evidence to open the 2016 Russia collusion probe. It also found that the agency abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has argued that the FBI hasn't done enough to prevent the same scenario from playing out again. Jordan said on Wednesday that Republicans will oppose FISA reauthorization in "its current form" without significant reforms, particularly to section 702.

Jordan cited a U.S. court that found the FBI improperly searched a database containing information on American citizens suspected of crimes 278,000 times over the last several years.

"I hope our Democrat friends will join us in opposing reauthorization of section 702 the way it's currently done and I think they will," he said. "I hope they will work with us in the appropriations process to stop the weaponization of the government against the American people and end this double standard of justice."


Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz confronted Wray with the number of times the FBI allegedly misused the FISA database and asked how many occurred under his watch. Wray declined to confirm a specific number or explain why the illegal searches happened.

"Again, I don't have the numbers as I sit here right now," he said.

Gaetz shot back, saying, "It seems like a number you should know, how many times the FBI is breaking the law under your watch."


California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa asked Wray if one or more FBI agents entered the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and Wray would not answer. He instead referred Issa to court filings. Other lawmakers asked similar questions and Wray said his office would make the relevant court filings available to the committee.

Throughout the hearing, Wray emphasized that the overall law enforcement operation that the FBI's workforce of 38,000 is doing has been effective, from record fentanyl seizures to taking violent criminals off the streets.

Jordan pressed Wray on the Richmond FBI field office memo about "radical traditional Catholics" and the far-right. Wray said that the memo is subject to an "internal review" and he "ordered it removed from the FBI systems."

Wray said the memo didn't result in any specific investigative action.

I added this as an update to a prior post, but maybe you didn't see it:

Of course, morbidly obese liberal grifter and fake tough-guy Chris Christie -- who recommended Wray to Trump for the top spot in the FBI -- continues insisting that his fellow liberal is perfect.

GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie defended FBI Director Christopher Wray as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

"What you saw today, I think was an animated and combative FBI director who's defending the men and women who work for him every day and do a great job and protect us from domestic terrorism, from international terrorism and from these drug cartels and are helping state local law enforcement every day with their things," Christie told Fox News's John Roberts on "America Reports."

"So yeah, I think Chris Wray has done a very good job," he said. "And I think, look, a lot of the stuff you see today, John, is theater, that people trying to raise money for campaigns, doesn't mean there aren't problems at the FBI -- there are. But I believe Chris is a guy who can get it fixed and he's fixed a lot of them already."

He calls the GOP's criticisms of the FBI for partisan bias and election interference "pure theater" and "insane." Video here.

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posted by Ace at 06:30 PM

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