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February 27, 2024

As regular readers will know, Steve Baker at THE BLAZE has spent many months investigating the January 6 riot and subsequent prosecution, tirelessly combing though hours of video to try to get the full sense of what really happened.  With the release --- at last --- of surveillance camera video from outside the DNC headquarters, he’s been focusing on the pipe bombs that were placed at or near the headquarters of the DNC and RNC, and we’ve featured his reporting here.  Baker has been waiting a long time for that “knock on the door” from the FBI, and last week, it came.

Figuratively, anyway.  He’s been told he has to turn himself in to face misdemeanor charges.

As Baker posted on X: “Misdemeanors?  For what?  Terrorism?  Is there such a thing as misdemeanor terrorism charges?  60 other journalists entered the Capitol on J6.  Do we all have to see the world through the same prism?  Here we go.  Game on.  I will not take a plea deal.”

He plans to make the case for selective and vindictive prosecution.  He is a JOURNALIST.

At REVOLVER NEWS, there’s a video clip with Glenn Beck and Baker talking about the optics of the pipe bomb story that day and the limitations put on the FBI investigation afterwards.  Be sure to see it.

In another case of journalist harassment, Catherine Herridge, recently fired from CBS NEWS, has reportedly received the materials CBS confiscated from her, which would have included information on confidential sources going back years.  The corporation says no one has looked through any of that information and that her former office was secure after she left (or, as we would imagine, was escorted out by security).  Hey, their word on that is good enough for us!

You know when we’re joking, right?

The U.K. DAILY MAIL has details.  According to their report, and that of the NEW YORK POST, Herridge had been working on a story “related to Hunter Biden’s laptop.”  You know, the one that had the classic earmarks of Russian disinformation.  More on that soon.

Sidenote: Giving credit where it’s due, the SAG-AFTRA union that represents TV journalists as well as actors (some fall into both categories) actually defended Herridge, condemning CBS for its “shocking,” “absurd” and “completely inappropriate” actions.

As Hunter Biden prepares for questioning by congressional committees this week (or else for how to avoid it, ha), the special counsel handling his prosecution on gun charges is being accused of endangering national security through his incompetence.

This stems from Special Counsel David Weiss’s charges filed last week against FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, who is now --- after working with the FBI for a decade and being considered a reputable confidential human source (CHS) --- alleged to have made false statements in the Biden finance case.  Among other things, he claimed Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky had said he “paid $5 million to one Biden and $5 million to another Biden.”  This claim was immortalized in 2020 in an FBI agent’s “1023” interview notes.

(Incidentally, that “1023” is absolutely NOT the “centerpiece” of the bribery allegations about the Bidens, despite Democrats’ claims.  We’ve been all over that, Jamie Raskin.)

As legal analyst Margot Cleveland reports, “In indicting Smirnov, Weiss confirmed his office had botched the Hunter Biden investigation by ignoring the FD-1023 for nearly three years — and then only investigating Smirnov’s claims after Grassley made the document public. Specifically, according to Thursday’s indictment, the FBI did not question Smirnov about his reporting until Sept. 27, 2023.” 

Then-Attorney General William Barr had tasked the Pittsburgh office with screening any information relating to Ukraine, which agents appear to have done with this “1023.”  The U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh, Scott Brady, had found no connection with “known sources of Russian disinformation” and had forwarded the “1023” to Weiss’s team in Delaware.  Smirnov continued to be a CHS for the FBI.

But earlier this month, when Smirnov was arrested, Weiss argued in a memorandum in favor of detention that because of his many connections to foreign intelligence services, Smirnov was a flight risk.  Smirnov had made no secret of these to the FBI; the FBI knew about them because he’d reported these to his handler.  Read Cleveland’s column, and she outlines the connections in detail.  Smirnov was re-arrested on Thursday, after first being allowed to be free on bond while wearing an ankle monitor.

These are the sorts of connections that a CHS normally has.  (How else is he supposed to have anything in the way of information to pass along?)   From all appearances, the DOJ is using them now to throw Smirnov under the bus and discredit the claims of Biden financial impropriety.

In his filing, Weiss said Smirnov had claimed to have seen video of Hunter at a Russian-controlled hotel in Kiev.  But they apparently have established that Hunter had never traveled to Kiev.  This might have just been a mistake, but in his filing, Weiss claimed that this meant Smirnov is attempting to interfere with the 2024 election.  Quite a leap.

“He [Smirnov] is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November,” Weiss wrote.

Was Smirnov lying to the FBI, or was he not?  Either way, this makes the FBI look really bad.  If he was feeding them false information, we know they were using him as a CHS for years, and continued to.  He gave them the information in that “1023” three years ago.  As Cleveland asks, “What information might our FBI have entrusted Smirnov with for those three years?”

If Smirnov wasn’t feeding them false information, then the FBI is railroading him to create the false narrative that his story incriminating the Bidens in a bribery scheme is “Russian disinformation.”  Oh, but the FBI would NEVER do something like THAT.

Sadly, the plan seems to be working; look at how the mainstream media is running with the “Russia” theme AGAIN.  NBC NEWS even brings up the “classic earmarks” letter about the laptop signed by 51 former intel officials, some of whom now say they feel “vindicated.”  (We’re sorry; this commentary was supposed to be about REAL journalism.)

To clarify: No, claiming to have found some real “Russian disinformation” doesn’t mean you’ve been vindicated for falsely suggesting that something entirely different was “Russian disinformation.”

RELATED:  James Biden, younger brother of the President, appeared last week before the committees conducting the impeachment inquiry --- the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and the Judiciary Committee. In his opening statement, James said:

“I have had a 50-year career in a variety of business ventures.  Joe Biden has never had any involvement or any direct or indirect financial interest in those activities.  None.”

He also said that “because of my intimate knowledge of my brother’s personal integrity and character, as well as my own strong ethics, I have always kept my professional life separate from our close personal relationship.”  He said he’d never relied on his “status as Joe Biden’s brother.”

“Those who have said or thought otherwise were either mistaken, ill-informed, or flat-out lying,” he said.  Well, he can say that all he wants, but business associate Rob Walker’s earlier testimony confirmed that, as the House Oversight Committee put it, “Joe Biden met with nearly every foreign national who funneled money to his son.”

According to a source who spoke to FOX NEWS, James said he was not part of a deal with Hunter Biden and Biden associates James Gilliar, Rob Walker and Tony Bolukinski. When he was shown a contract with his signature on it and asked specific questions about it, his memory seemed shaky.  He said he “did not recall” signing a contract he’d signed with Hunter.

Tony Bobulinski testified a couple of weeks ago that “ is clear to me that Joe Biden was ‘the brand’ being sold by the Biden family.  His family’s foreign influence peddling operation --- from China to Ukraine and elsewhere --- sold out to foreign actors, who were seeking to gain influence and access to Joe Biden and the United Sates government.”

Hunter is scheduled to testify Wednesday, or else to put on another dog-and-pony show with Kevin Morris and entourage in tow.  Who knows?

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