Apologies in advance for the preponderance of Hunter Biden news in today’s newsletter. There’s just so much, and it speaks so loudly of the corruption that is the current administration. Let’s get started…
Wednesday morning, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s “mark-up” meeting on a resolution to hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress was crashed by...Hunter Biden himself. He walked in flanked by lead attorney Abbe Lowell and the person who is paying for Lowell, Hunter’s “sugar brother” and wealthy Hollywood attorney/producer Kevin Morris, and the three of them took seats. Of course, they’d brought a large entourage and camera crew into the room as well.
Was Hunter there in response to his subpoena? No. This was a stunt that was over in just a few minutes, as the meeting-crashers quickly walked right out again, unwilling to sit through the outspoken comments from Reps. Nancy Mace and Marjorie Taylor-Greene. MT-G appeared ready to start asking questions of Hunter right then, but Hunter wasn’t there to do that.
Morris seemed highly entertained by the spectacle. He’s been working for months producing a documentary on Hunter, and the little circus he and his friends created was surely intended to be a part of that. He looked pleased.
And it WAS entertaining, as Mace revealed a sharp sense of humor. “My first question is who bribed Hunter Biden to be here today?” she quipped. “That’s my first question. Second question, you are the epitome of white privilege. Coming into the Oversight Committee, spitting in our face, ignoring a subpoena to be deposed --- what are you afraid of? You have no balls to come up here.”
Our one quibble with that is that she might have called it “political privilege.” President Trump’s white family has never been spared the responsibility to testify --- in the very kind of closed-door depositions that Hunter is trying to dodge now.
Hunter and his entourage streamed out of the room in a flash when Greene took the floor; she didn’t even have time to ask one question. “I think it’s clear and obvious for everyone watching this hearing today that Hunter is terrified of strong conservative Republican women because he can’t even face my words as I was about to speak to him,” she said after they were gone. “What a coward.”
We’re not sure if the “strong conservative Republican women” issue is a factor for Hunter, as it would be surprising if Hunter had ever even talked to one in his whole life. (Maybe it would have helped.) My guess is that he would’ve been out the door just as fast if Chairman James Comer had started questioning him.
Abbe Lowell gave a statement to the press after they left that was his usual steaming load, going on about how willing they’d been to participate in a public hearing. (Given Hunter’s quick exit from this one, we wonder about that!) He says they don’t want a closed door because this is “a tactic that Republicans have repeatedly misused in their political crusade to selectively leak and mischaracterize what witnesses have said.” He said Hunter doesn’t want to participate in a hearing in which Republicans can “distort, manipulate or misuse that testimony.”
That is, to use some of our favorite highly technical legal jargon, a hoot.
Once again, we have a big Democrat accusing Republicans of doing what THEY do. How many hours and hours of closed-door testimony have members of the Trump family had to put on the record? How much testimony was taken behind closed doors by Nancy Pelosi’s January 6 Kangaroo Kommittee, later to be presented during public hearings in highly edited form? As far as we can see, it’s the Democrats who specialize in obtaining massive amounts of testimony in secret and then cherry-picking and leaking it. So Lowell is, to use another favorite technical term, full of it. He has no grounds to reject this congressional subpoena and absolutely does not get to dictate the terms.
This is the second stunt Lowell has pulled on behalf of Hunter. On December 13, the day he was scheduled to be deposed behind closed doors, Hunter delivered a press conference outside the building instead. Kevin Morris was there that day, too. Recall that the outdoor space had been reserved by California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who has no business being in Congress at all after getting touchy-feely with a Chinese spy.
Now, on to breaking news about the money paid for Hunter’s “artwork.” George Berges, owner of the Manhattan gallery that was selling Hunter’s paintings, told House impeachment investigators that three of the purchasers were prominent Democrat donors.
Well, who did anyone think would buy them --- art lovers??
Elizabeth Hirsch Naftali was already known to have bought his work, two months after Joe Biden became President, and she later was appointed by President Biden to a prestigious commission. The major buyer was...(drum roll, please)...”sugar brother” Morris, who also happens to be an art collector. What are the odds?
[Interesting side note: Naftali’s niece was among the first American hostages to be released by Hamas as part of a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the terror group.]
According to a report in THE MESSENGER, Hunter knew who his buyers were. Sources said he found out on his own, rather than being told by Berges. But Berges apparently was unaware of any plan to keep the Bidens in the dark about who was buying. After interviewing Berges, the Oversight Committee called this “an ethics nightmare.”
Maryland Rep. Jame Raskin stepped in to defend President Biden, saying Joe had no knowledge of these art sales. “It’s not illegal to buy and sell abstract art in America,” he said.
No, it’s not, unless it’s being used as a way to launder bribe money. In Jonathan Turley’s new column, he writes about the frequent reassurances from Jen Psaki that “there was a special ethical plan in place with the gallery to prevent Hunter from knowing who purchased the art.” Berges, though, says he was never contacted by the White House about this and that Hunter knew who had purchased “roughly 70 percent” of the value of his art.
Turley points out that Berges was reading news accounts of this “special ethical plan” and knew there wasn’t one but never objected to this alleged misrepresentation. He just sold paintings and gave money to Hunter. Berges might not have told Hunter who bought them, but, as we’ve all known from the beginning because we’re not stupid, it was easy for Hunter to find out. The buyers must’ve found SOME way to let him know, like maybe a note in that year’s Christmas card.
Oddly, when Kevin Morris bought paintings, he paid the dealer’s commission as well. As Turley says, “The strange arrangement reinforces the view that this was all a sham, from the alleged ethics plan to the purchases themselves.” He notes that Morris was a major Democrat donor who had only briefly known Hunter when he started paying all his bills. The column is a must-read.