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Bill Straub: Jamie Comer’s odd, misplaced notion that Hunter Biden trumps Trump as real threat to USA

Boy, you can’t put anything past that old son of a gun Jamie Comer, can you? He knows a phony-baloney effort to discredit his old pal, former President Donald J. Trump, when it stares him on the face, and he recognizes what others can’t see, the real threat to these United States of America – Hunter Biden.

To Comer, the Republican congressman from Tompkinsville, or Frankfort, or DC, or someplace or other, the labors of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is a big nothingburger, unworthy of the public’s notice, while Hunter Biden, the president’s troubled son, on the
other hand, is “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Now some people might think that a congressional panel investigating a former president’s role in upending a legitimately conducted national election by urging a rowdy crowd of his followers to march on the Capitol, where a riot and an ultimately unsuccessful insurrection ensued, might be worth the time and trouble
of the House of Representatives, of which he is a member.

The NKyTribune’s Washington columnist Bill Straub served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post. He also is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and writes frequently about the federal government and politics. Email him at williamgstraub@gmail.com

Not Comer.

“…this is all a political stunt,” Comer told Fox Business News on June 9. “This has nothing to do with any informative investigative research done by this illegitimate committee. This is all about politics. This is a big show.”

Besides, he added, “I don’t think the American people are very concerned about Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 committee,” referring to the Democratic House Speaker from California.

What the American people really are sitting on the edge of their collective seats about, in Comer world, is the goods on Hunter Biden, a one-time drug abuser who, hopefully, is now on the straight and narrow with a laundry list of personal issues.

Comer has vowed, should Republicans assume control of the House in this year’s midterm election and he is elevated to chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, to pursue Biden fils with the zeal of a million Justin Bieber fans.

“Hunter Biden is not only a walking, talking, ethics violation, he’s a national security threat,” Comer told Newsmax TV on June 15, adding that Republicans have Hunter Biden saying on a tape recording that “his dad will do anything that he says.”

“Now we know he did this to pitch himself to try to grift off our foreign adversaries and that’s where he profited from bad guys in Russia, bad guys in Ukraine bad guys in China,” he said.

There is evidence Biden fils has sought to make bread off of his old man’s name.

And he maintains connections with any number of disreputable characters in nations that aren’t looking after the best interests of the United States.

But a federal probe already is underway. In December 2020, one month after his father was elected, Hunter Biden revealed that federal prosecutors were “investigating my tax affairs.” There are indications that investigation has since expanded, causing a delay in any action, good or bad.

Comer is playing the game with a great deal of gusto, smiling like a Cheshire cat whenever the subject is broached, hoping that somehow, in lassoing Hunter, they can also corral Papa Joe, who maintains he has no ties to his son’s business dealings.

“The Biden family has some issues,” Comer told Fox News. “I’ve got some bad news for the mainstream media and Democrat leaders in Washington – Joe Biden did have knowledge of Hunter’s shady business dealings. He was involved. There was always an attempt by Hunter Biden when he would pedal his services to our adversaries in foreign countries that he had access to the federal government at the highest levels.”

But this is, in Comer’s own words, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. It’s only a national concern if the president is involved in any illegal dealings. During an appearance on The Takeout podcast, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett asked Comer if there is any evidence to link Hunter Biden and his father and whether it could amount to an impeachment proceeding.

“I haven’t seen that yet,” Comer said.

In other words, weak gruel.

Assuming that Hunter Biden is engaged in what can charitably be called questionable foreign business activities – not to mention his career as a so-called artist, selling his works for impressively more than they seem to be worth – his peccadilloes would seem to fall well short of prodding an insurrection, seeking to overturn a reputable election, fomenting a riot and, if reports hold up, tampering with witnesses.

Now that’s a resume for some solid Leavenworth time.

That’s only a small portion of the rap sheet Trump, a man with Svengali-like control over millions, including our boy Jamie, might be facing. Yet Comer remains dismissive of the damning revelations that come rolling out as frequently as a blast from Old Faithful.

“I don’t think Donald Trump ever envisioned that this rally would ever get out of hand like that,” Comer told ABC News. “There’s no evidence that shows beforehand they thought this crowd would become unruly and do the unspeakable, which is what happened on Jan. 6.”

As you might imagine, that rationale is a bunch of hooey. Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee this week that Trump was aware that some of his supporters carried weapons on Jan. 6 and encouraged them to proceed to the U.S. Capitol regardless, where the riot broke out.

At the pre-insurrection rally, Trump was informed his people were armed to the teeth. This from The Washington Post:

The Jan. 6 congressional committee said supporters came to his “Stop the Steal” rally on the National Mall armed with weapons — pepper spray, knives, brass knuckles, stun guns, body armor, gas masks, batons and blunt weapons — and Trump was told many of these people couldn’t get past security. Hutchinson testified that Trump was mad that Secret Service wasn’t letting these armed supporters into the rally, which Trump has denied. “I was in the vicinity of a conversation where I overheard the president say something to the effect of, ‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me,’” she said.

Then, toward the end of an hour-long speech delivered to his supporters, Trump said, “I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened, and we fight. We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

And, of course, Trump waited for hours to call off the dogs once the violence

The committee has plenty of corroborating evidence.

But Hunter Biden is the real danger.

Here’s the deal: My guess is Comer wakes up every morning, whether it be in Tompkinsville, Frankfort, DC or parts unknown, looks in the mirror and sees a future speaker of the House of Representatives. At 49, he has a chance to become chairman of perhaps the most powerful committee in the lower chamber and is presented with an opportunity to make hay while the sun shines.

Attacking Hunter Biden has several purposes. It provides Comer with the gratitude of fellow House Republicans always looking to attack Biden and, hopefully, it moves some of the public focus off the Jan. 6 committee. It also keeps him in good stead with the puppet master himself, Donald J. Trump. And it constantly places his smirking mug on television of the crazy right-wing sort, a public relations coup in GOP circles these days.

There’s also a point to be made that the speaker in waiting if the Republicans gain control, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, of California, is universally recognized as a first-class dork who likely will fall on his face at the first opportunity, providing Jamie with a big hole to run through.

The only question is: Should anyone who maintains that Hunter Biden is a bigger threat to the United States than an orange buffoon who tried to overthrow the duly-elected government of the United States deserve to be third in line to the presidency?

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