Tuesday was an absolute debacle for the Republican-led House. The ultra-extremist right of the Republican Party is engaged in open war with the merely radical right Republicans, resulting in the shoot-down of a defense funding bill, another round of everybody hates Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and fun things left in bathrooms. At the end of the day, McCarthy was left showcasing the kind of whining you never saw from Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
But just because Republicans can’t manage to accomplish anything on the normal agenda of the House doesn’t mean they’re not all in on the most important item for the Republican House: inventing reasons to be mad at President Joe Biden. After all, the pretense of their “impeachment inquiry” allows Republicans to send out fundraising letters with lots of teeth-gnashing, foot-stomping, tough-guy rhetoric all about how they are getting that rascal Biden. And really, how much fundraising potential is there in a smoothly running House that funds the military, passes legislation, and keeps the government functioning? Boring.
On the Wednesday schedule for this farcical inquiry is an appearance by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland is popping into the House Judiciary Committee so Rep. Jim Jordan can lead the chorus in making false claims about the Department of Justice protecting the president’s son Hunter Biden. It’s the opposite of the truth, but this is a day ending in “y,” so lying is definitely on Jordan’s schedule.
As The New York Times reports, the normally low-wattage attorney general is expected to find second gear and raise his voice in defense of the DOJ. Excerpts from his opening remarks show that Garland is prepared to face down false claims and wild complaints from Jordan and company.
“We will not be intimidated,” Garland is expected to say. “We will do our jobs free from outside interference. And we will not back down from defending our democracy.”
Additional excerpts released by The Hill and CNN indicate that Garland intends to forcefully push back at the idea that the DOJ is in the service of either Congress or the White House.
“Our job is not to do what is politically convenient. Our job is not to take orders from the President, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” says one portion of the remarks. “As the President himself has said, and I reaffirm here today: I am not the President’s lawyer. I will also add that I am not Congress’s prosecutor.”
None of this is likely to hold back Republicans eager to spend the day hammering Garland with lies about President Biden’s actions in Ukraine; false claims about the actions of U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has led the investigation into Hunter Biden; or threatening the public with more revenge porn.
According to the Times, it’s the five-year investigation into Hunter Biden that will be the primary focus of Republicans as they grill Garland. That investigation, conducted by a Donald Trump-appointed U.S. attorney who started looking into the president’s son two years before Biden’s election, failed to generate the kind of big, salacious charges that Republicans wanted. Overnight, Weiss went from a Republican hero who was surely going to uncover material Republicans could use to smear President Biden in 2024, to a wimp completely under the thumb of Garland.
Last week, Hunter Biden was charged with three felonies related to his purchase of a firearm in 2015. The charges are a travesty, greatly exceeding what would be applied to anyone else in a similar situation. In fact, Weiss chose not to prosecute three other cases from the same year Hunter Biden made his purchase, even though those cases involved the same offense. Hunter Biden is getting very special treatment—just not the kind that Republicans claim.
The festivities started at 10 AM ET and are expected to continue for hours. Don’t expect Garland’s opening remarks, or the facts, to slow Republicans down. After all, they have things to say.
And it’s not like the House has anything else to do.
C-SPAN is carrying the hearing live.