Economy 22-02-2024 07:31 6 Views

10 Republicans who treated the Biden bribery claim like gospel

When we learned last week that the Justice Department had indicted the informant behind the severest claims against President Biden for allegedly lying about those claims, the House GOP impeachment leader, Rep. James Comer (Ky.), downplayed the news.

“To be clear, the impeachment inquiry is not reliant on the FBI’s” document that included Alexander Smirnov’s allegations, Comer said.

In fact, Smirnov’s allegations — including that Joe Biden and his son Hunter had each taken $5 million bribes — were a centerpiece of Comer and the GOP’s impeachment push; Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) last month called the FBI document “the most corroborating evidence we have.” And Republicans often held it out there not as mere allegation but established fact — a damning one at that.

Documents released Tuesday show that the Justice Department accuses Smirnov not only of making up his claims but also of having “extensive” contacts with Russian intelligence and admitting “that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved” in a recent claim.

Despite the gravity of the allegations against the Bidens and the thinness of the purported evidence — which my colleagues Glenn Kessler and Philip Bump have done yeoman’s work documenting over the course of this saga — many Republican lawmakers pushed the case quite hard. While some of them might be faulted for repeatedly airing an unsubstantiated claim, others went quite a bit further.

Below are 10 examples, in reverse order of brazenness.

June on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show: “How much you want to bet this source is a lot more credible than Christopher Steele, the guy who created the dossier that they used to go after President Trump? I bet you this source has a lot more credibility.”

July: “This is damning evidence that Biden is compromised.”

This is damning evidence that Biden is compromised.

Remember when Democrats and their pals in the media went as far as to question whether this document even exists?

— Rep. Pat Fallon (@RepPatFallon) July 20, 2023

September impeachment hearing: Citing the claims about “$5 million to pay one Biden and $5 million to pay the other,” Fallon said, “This is direct evidence of naked corruption and bribery.”

June (after Republicans released the FBI document): The bribery allegations are “the biggest political corruption scandal, not only in my lifetime, but I would say the past 100 years.”

August on Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo’s show: “This is the most corrupt president. You just have to read the FBI’s FD-1023 form of the interview with the president of [Ukrainian energy company] Burisma to see that Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden were bribing or requiring from, really extorting Burisma to the tune of $10 million, $5 million for each one of them. I mean, come on.”

July on Bartiromo’s show: “We’ve shown them the evidence. I don’t know what else you need other than President Biden coming on the news saying: ‘Hey, I’m a crook. I took this money. I took these bribes.’ I mean, what else do they need? There’s just too much evidence in it. And it’s all documented.”

November at a debate: “Joe Biden sold off our foreign policy. Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden got a $5 million bribe from Ukraine.” (When confronted by CNN’s Dana Bash after the debate, Ramaswamy conceded there was merely “circumstantial evidence and testimonial evidence to suggest it.”)

June: “Evidence revealed Joe Biden took a $5 million bribe from Ukraine.”

August: “Look, the guy got bribed.”

June: “This is an impeachable document. President Biden should be impeached. Secondly, he should be prosecuted. This is unbelievable. It’s a pay-to-play scheme. He took a bribe from a foreign national in a foreign country that paid millions of dollars. He needs to be prosecuted for this, and I would argue that he should serve jail time.”

June on Bartiromo’s show: “The fact is, is that this is absolutely something that Oversight has been speculating on. But now that we have proof … there’s no doubt in my mind that this president is corrupt.”

Also June: Biden is “100% guilty” of bribery.

June: “Joe Biden caught on tape getting bribed and the Left looks the other way.”

Joe Biden caught on tape getting bribed and the Left looks the other way.

Donald Trump slow walks documents and they want to give him a death sentence.

That’s it in a nutshell.

— Rep. Nancy Mace (@RepNancyMace) June 13, 2023

September impeachment hearing: “We already know the president took bribes from Burisma.”

This post appeared first on The Washington Post
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