When emerging information about President Richard Nixon’s misconduct became too plentiful to deny, a group of Republican Senators famously visited him in the White House and told him his time was up. They put the welfare of the country above the consequences for their political party.
To say that times have changed would be the understatement of the year….
I thought about that visit to Nixon when I came across a report that Jamie Raskin had called for a congressional investigation of Jared Kushner.
Raskin, of course, is a Democrat, and Kushner a Republican, so it is easy to see this as political gamesmanship–but that dismissal would ignore some highly relevant facts: Raskin is a first-class human being and brilliant constitutional lawyer, for one, and his request for an investigation was not only based on considerable evidence of wrongdoing, it served to underline the politics motivating the GOP’s pursuit of charges against Hunter Biden.
Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, urged the committee’s chairman, James Comer, to “compel Jared Kushner to comply with document requests he has ignored and defied for over a year.” Those requests came in 2022 from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform when Democratic representatives were using the committee to investigate the very real “appearance of a quid pro quo for your foreign policy work during the Trump Administration.” The billions (with a “B”) that Kushner’s investment firm, Affinity Partners, has received from various Gulf monarchies, as well as the $2 billion (with a “B”!) he got from Saudi Arabia is orders of magnitude more than what Comer’s unsubstantiated claims against Hunter Biden are.
Comer immediately dismissed Raskin’s request as an effort to distract from the Committee’s effort to prove that President Biden was involved in his son’s shady business deals–an effort that has so far turned up evidence only that Biden loved his son. For that matter, the Committee hasn’t been able to provide any evidence that Hunter –Biden’s surviving son who seems like a sad and none-too-ethical character–has done anything worse than playing on his family name and failing to pay a couple of years’ taxes.
There is, however, a lot of suggestive evidence of corruption on the part of Jared Kushner. And Kushner–unlike Hunter Biden– was part of what passed for government during the Trump Administration. Indeed, he was a top adviser to the president of the United States (a fact that terrified me at the time, and continues to be difficult to get one’s head around.)
After subpoenas and the full power of his committee, Comer has not been able to produce any evidence that Hunter Biden did anything wrong. In fact, the only evidence Comer has provided seems to prove that then-Vice President Joe Biden, with all of his responsibilities, was trying very hard to be a supportive father to his son.
The linked post points out thatJared Kushner’s top-secret clearance was obtained over the strenuous objections of two White House security specialists who worried about his “dubious connections” with foreign money. Kushner’s current Affinity Partner fund appears to be an entirely Saudi investment fund with clients who are “99% non-United States persons.’”
If there was any credible evidence to suggest that Hunter Biden–a private citizen– committed crimes and that Joe Biden participated or enabled that activity, Americans absolutely should know about it. Given the time and effort Republicans have put into their search for such evidence, however, it’s pretty clear that there is nothing there. Raskin’s call for an investigation of Kushner serves to make a point: this Congress is not basing its investigative efforts on legitimate concerns about government corruption. Instead, the Republicans who currently (barely) control the House are engaged in politcal vendettas unrelated to actual misbehavior.
We’ve come a long way from the time a Republican delegation consisting of Barry Goldwater, House Minority Leader John Rhodes and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott told Richard Nixon that he faced impeachment, conviction and removal from office over the Watergate scandal.
It’s no wonder so many Americans don’t know what–or who– to believe. A significant number of public officials cheerfully substitute propaganda for information and self-serving pronouncements for truthful ones. Today’s GOP is split between the shameless and amoral wanna-be’s who are pandering to the MAGA cult and those who know better, but are too spineless to publicly dissent.
I really don’t care whether Congress investigates the Trump clan, a/k/a the real crime family. I do care–a lot–about the fact that far too many people continue to vote for politicians whose sole fidelity is to their partisan advantage–facts, evidence and truth be damned….