From his ham-handed mangling of congressional probes that makes Inspector Clouseau look like Sherlock Holmes, to his stupefying lack of anything approaching acuity, Kentucky’s own Rep. Jamie Comer has suddenly emerged as the pasty face of a new, grievance-riddled Republican Party, steamrolling the nation toward the sort of discord unseen since the Vietnam War.
Comer, R-WhereverHeHangsHisHat, chairs the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, the chamber’s primary investigatory panel, and he has vowed to examine President Biden on everything up to his bathroom habits, although it’s always possible that may wind up next on the panel’s agenda.
Thus far, the only thing Jamie has managed to establish is that he is a dope, a fool, and a schnook on any number of stages, ranging from his seeming devotion to the so-called “replacement theory” to his pursuit of Hunter Biden, the president’s son, that has resulted in every available two-bit, crank, right-wing broadcaster providing his preening visage to millions.
But the latest grotesquery takes the cake.
Appearing on a podcast featuring MAGA factotum Lou Dobbs, Comer lamented that another Biden offspring, Beau Biden, died before investigators had an opportunity to nail him on some phony-baloney campaign finance claim.
“This U.S. attorney had had an opportunity to go after the Bidens years ago,” Comer told Dobbs. “In fact, it was Beau Biden, the president’s other son, that was involved in some campaign donations from a person that got indicted, as well as Joe Biden was involved in some of these campaign donations when he was a senator, and then when he ran for president against Obama.”
“But nothing ever happened,” he said. “So I don’t know much about this U.S. attorney other than he’s had an opportunity to investigate the Bidens before, and he chose not to. We all know that he’s just been silent for a long time.”
Obviously, it was quite rude of Beau to up and die like that at such an inconvenient time, thus depriving our boy Jamie of the opportunity to celebrate his questioning by federal authorities. Hopefully it won’t happen again.
Of course it’s all just more of the same, old bull manure of a sort the old farmer has been slinging for months. Here’s the crux of the matter:
Comer is bad-mouthing U.S. Attorney David Weiss for failing to fulfill his dreams of a federal indictment of Hunter Biden, the president’s wayward son, for a number of alleged financial irregularities resulting from foreign business activities. It was in this context, Weiss’ failure to neatly package and hand him the Holy Grail, that Jamie felt compelled to raise the sadly missed opportunity with Beau.
Weiss was nominated by President Donald J. Trump, a Republican, you might recall, to serve as U.S. attorney for Delaware in 2018. He retained that role when Biden became president, with Weiss continuing to investigate Hunter Biden’s affairs.
Before that appointment, in 2011, Weiss served as an assistant U.S. attorney and prosecuted Christopher J. Tigani, for illegally funneling more than $200,000 in contributions to several political campaigns, including, apparently, President Biden’s unsuccessful effort to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Tigani pled guilty. In his fevered mind, Jamie came to the conclusion that Biden and his son, Beau, were somehow involved in the scheme. Beau Biden, who was the Delaware attorney general at the time, recused himself from any proceedings dealing with Tigani. A special prosecutor later determined that no credible evidence existed showing the Bidens were aware of the wrongdoings.
Beau Biden died from brain cancer in 2015. He is therefore unavailable to defend himself from Comer’s unfounded claims. The White House stepped up and called Comer’s comments “despicable” and “appalling.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre noted, “To make the statement that he did is incredibly ugly and inappropriate.”
No response from Jamie.
Recall for a moment a fellow named Jesse Benton who at one time served as campaign manager for both Sen. Rand Paul, R-TedYass, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Louisville. Benton has twice been convicted of campaign finance crimes. In November 2022 he was found guilty for illegally funneling money from a Russian national into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Let’s establish that neither Paul nor McConnell knew shucks about Benton’s goings on. There is absolutely no reason to think otherwise. But there is no reason to think Beau Biden was tripping the light fantastic with Tigani either. Comer recklessly attacks a Democrat and says nothing about a real issue tangentially involving a couple of Republicans from his home state.
This appears to be Comer’s calling card. He is all over Hunter Biden but keeps his mouth zipped about the extracurricular activities of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, who made out like bandits financially while they were on the White House payroll.
Obviously being an honest broker is not on Jamie Comer’s to-do list. If any of his probes are going to attract legitimacy, both sides have be treated equally, a concept that appears to be above his level of reasoning, if that’s what it’s called.
Comer, during his political career, has earned a reputation for being something of a sweetheart with a shy grin and a Western Kentucky drawl. Several Democrats in the Bluegrass testify in his behalf and friends portray him as a good ol’ boy who likes to share gas station-bought pizza and guzzle long-necks, according to one recent article by Austin Horn of the Lexington Herald-Leader.
But there’s a darker side. There’s the college girlfriend who asserts he was physically abusive toward her, a claim that just won’t go away despite his denials. Joe Gerth, the estimable columnist for the Courier Journal in Louisville, wrote a few years back about a Twitter message Comer penned in October 2017 to a Kentucky-based site – as a member of Congress, mind you – apparently about Brad Metcalf, the clerk of the state House, who was about to be fired.
“Hey Brad, when the House finally fires your dumbass, (which will be very soon) for being a lazy dumb sh–, David Williams (former state Senate president) can help you find a job cleaning sh– stains off the commodes in the Corner Pool Room in Burkesville. But I’m sure you won’t last long there because everyone hates you and you are dumb and lazy.”
Yeah, a real sweetheart.
An incompetent sweetheart at that. His first big hearing as chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, about the Biden administration attempting to pressure Twitter to refrain from running Tweets about Hunter Biden and downloads found on his laptop, quickly went south when former company officials testified that they experienced no pressure to exclude them. The only White House pressure came from Trump during his tenure on an unrelated matter.
Last week, sensing that a freight train derailment in East Palestine, PA, might cause political havoc for Democrats, Comer sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg railing against his response to the accident, steaming at one point about a preliminary report from “DOT’s National Transportation Safety Board” that failed to cite a cause.
Buttigieg responded, “I am alarmed to learn that the Chair of the House Oversight Committee thinks that the NTSB is part of our Department. NTSB is independent (and with good reason). Still, of course, we will fully review this and respond appropriately.”
And it’s hard to forget his Chicken Little routine about the Chinese spy balloon that floated over the nation’s breadbasket, raising the possibility that it could be carrying bioweapons from Wuhan – a theory that travelled less than the balloon itself.
He killed the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties during a time of racial unease for no stated reason.
Wait, there’s more. Comer has cited the ”replacement theory” – an idea generally considered racist – that holds that the nations elites are bringing immigrants into a country to replace white people. He told Fox & Friends in December, “They believe this is part of their social equality campaign to fundamentally change America.”
That should do it. It’s safe to say at this point that the boy’s in over his head. At least he’s contributing to what’s becoming a long-standing Bluegrass tradition of sending folks to Washington who elicit a singular response from folks outside the Commonwealth’s borders – “Where in the hell does Kentucky come up with these guys?”
Writeen by Bill Straub, former Frankfort bureau chief for The Kentucky Post and a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. Cross-posted from the Northern Kentucky Tribune.