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Bill Straub: Comer has no evidence, no records, no witness; is he being used or has he gone to dark side

Rep. Jamie Comer, the congressman most likely to be mistaken for a member of the “Hee Haw’’ cast, has rather publicly crossed the Rubicon from doofusness to sleazebaggery, thus joining such accomplished grandmasters of that artform as former President Donald J. Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and most of the Tennessee legislature.

Comer, R-Whereverit’spoliticallyconvenient, has spent the first five months of his tenure as chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee dogging President Biden in very much the same manner as Wile E. Coyote pursues the Roadrunner — with the same degree of success.

Under the fantasies being spun by Comer, Biden has somehow enriched himself by selling out the nation he has served in one capacity or other for 50 years – Comer was literally in diapers when Biden was first elected to the Senate from Delaware –- using his official authority to benefit what Comer has referenced as the Biden crime family.

In other words, the president as the Tony Soprano of Washington DC.

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

Last week, Comer released a report detailing the financial activities of Biden family members, particularly the goings-on of the president’s wayward son, Hunter, who has managed to finagle his way into the substantial billfolds of untold numbers of foreign individuals and entities over the past few years. These financial entanglements, Comer likes to suppose, have “compromised” Biden in his decision-making processes when it comes to dealing with nations that put dough in his offspring’s pockets.

In a preview of the big press conference unveiling the report, Comer titillated those who would like political harm to befall the president by boasting that said document, along with bank records his committee had obtained, would prove to be “judgment day for the Biden administration, the Biden White House.”
If so, the judgment was innocent, with Comer, as usual, like an addled prosecutor, failing to provide the promised goods, unable to offer even a scintilla of evidence that Biden benefitted from his high governmental position. Comer couldn’t show that Biden was compromised, nor could he establish that the president gained financial benefit in any way. Even conservatives, who would love nothing better than to see Biden in an inextricable jam, laughed at him.

More recently, our boy from Monroe County raised a ruckus by declaring he has obtained information from a whistleblower he termed “credible” who revealed that a “foreign national” had the lowdown on Biden being engaged in an “alleged criminal scheme” regarding “the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

In layman’s terms, bribery.

“We have basic information with respect to what the informant has alleged and it is very serious,” Comer told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News (where else?). “It all alleges that Joe Biden when he was Vice President was involved in a quid pro quo with a foreign country in exchange for foreign aid.”

Comer and fellow shining star, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, have asked the FBI to reveal what it knew about this murky deal. Thus far, at least, the agency has replied no thanks.

“I trust the whistleblower,” Comer said.

All this resulted in some hubbub over Comer, well, misplacing a star witness of some sort who conceivably could provide the coup de grace to the Biden administration. Sadly, it appears Comer has somehow managed to lose track of wherever this informant might be. But a spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee later attempted to explain to Time magazine that the panel knows the whereabouts of the informant who instigated the bribery inquiry but lost yet a different whistleblower providing dirt on the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes.


Comer, by the way, claims to have oodles of whistleblowers willing to aim the spotlight at Biden peccadilloes. Some of these brave folks, Comer noted, are in jail, a fact that might raise questions about their altruism in the minds of anyone apparently not named Comer.

Now, our boy Jamie would very much like for everyone to believe that his heart is in the right place, that he is simply trying to hold President Biden accountable and this has nothing to do with politics.

If this is so, why then did he go off half-cocked, blubbering around about the president being on the take, poisoning the public’s mind, without first fully confirming what this mysterious whistleblower, who may have an ulterior motive, had to say.

This could have been done quietly without raising suspicions. Instead, Comer made everyone aware. And then the public isn’t supposed to deduce that, maybe, politics is involved.

And if this isn’t a wholly political maneuver, why isn’t the camp of Biden’s predecessor, the aforementioned Donald J. Trump, under a similar committee microscope?

Comer is playing an ugly and destructive game and it bears repeating that Americans, including Hunter Biden, are free to engage in business deals with foreign nationals and foreign governments under certain restrictions. He has failed to establish that the president was directly involved in any of Hunter’s business dealings or even knew much about them, other than, perhaps, what he learned asking his son at the Thanksgiving table how things were going. None of the bank records he is waving under everyone’s nose so much as suggest that Biden was involved in any misconduct.

All the big talk has established nothing. Now he’s yakking about bribery.

“Once again Chairman Comer has failed to provide factual evidence to support his wild accusations about the president,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, ranking member on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. “He continues to bombard the public with innuendo, misrepresentations and outright lies, recycling baseless claims from stories that were debunked years ago.”

Raskin added that committee Republicans, led by Comer, have resorted to using cherry-picked bank records, misrepresentations about confidential and unverified bank reports and baseless conspiracy theories to implicate the president directly in wrongdoing and attack his family.

It is possible that Comer, who comes across as a clone of Jethro Bodine and was, at one time, well-liked by Kentucky Democrats and folks on The Hill, is being used as a senseless tool by the House leadership and the GOP staff on his committee.

That panel, the lower chamber’s primary investigatory instrument, is frequently populated by the true believers of the party in control, this time the Republicans, and their only goal is to annihilate the other party, in this case, the Democrats, who nonetheless control the White House.

They will do so using any underhanded means at their disposal, pushing Comer out before the cameras and microphones to regurgitate the nonsense they’ve provided to further poison the well and undermine whatever it is Biden is trying to

If that’s true, Comer is being played for a dope. If it isn’t accurate, you’ll find him on the dark side.

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