It’s quite simple, really. Given his ongoing craven attempt to impeach President Biden with nothing to back him up, any assessment of Rep. Jamie Comer (R-WhereverHeHangsHisHatIsHisHome, aka Snuffy Smith in a Wal-Mart suit) must consider three possibilities:
A) Is he really that incredibly stupid, so dumb that, as the great Dylan pronounced in Idiot Wind, “It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe?”
B) To paraphrase Al Franken, is he a lying liar who lies, an individual who doles out untruths as regularly as most folks blink their eyes?
C) Since the previous two options are not mutually exclusive, is he both incredibly stupid and a lying liar who lies?
The jury is out.
The embarrassment our boy Jamie brings to the commonwealth as chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is unparalleled. It’s been established time and again, and here his old pal, former President Donald J. Trump comes into play, that the true danger facing the nation comes from dull normal people who think they’re Einsteins. You need look no further than Jamie Comer to grasp the wisdom of that notion.
Hollywood Henderson, former linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, once said of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw that he couldn’t spell cat if you spotted him the C and the A. With Jamie you might have to toss in the T as well.
Comer, as anyone who views Fox News with any degree of regularity knows — since he shows up on the screen more frequently than most of the network’s anchors — has made it his life’s work to oust Biden, pouring through bank records, taking depositions from know-nothings, subpoenaing family members who probably haven’t seen Uncle Joe in years, all as part of some devious plan to remove the nation’s duly-elected leader from office.
There’s only one thing prohibiting him from fulfilling that dream – the facts.
After 11 months of investigations, tall tales, hyperbole, an incredible amount of face time on right-wing television networks and more fibs than Carter has little liver pills, Comer has failed to prove that Biden has so much as merited a jaywalking ticket, not to mention any high crimes or misdemeanors required by the Constitution.
Don’t believe it? Maybe you’ll heed House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who has privately told some fellow lawmakers, including Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE), that the case for impeachment just ain’t there.
“Most of us are saying, look, we can’t even get a single Democratic vote on this right now,” Bacon told The Washington Post. “I think the voters will reject what they are seeing when it comes to Biden. But high crimes and misdemeanors? I don’t think we’ve seen that or enough data to really make a good case and I feel like he (Johnson) really agreed with us on that.”
A brief recap is necessary. Biden’s son, Hunter, has been engaged in some questionable business activities with companies with ties to governments like China, Russia, and Ukraine, using the family name to get his foot in the door and rake in what appears to be an estimable amount of cash.
Comer maintains, without evidence, that President Biden is actually the head muckety-muck in what he inanely refers to as the Biden Crime Family, calling the shots, stuffing his pockets with ill-gotten gain, and making policy decisions based on what benefits his family, not the nation.
It is likely that Hunter Biden and other members of the family, the president’s brother Jim, for instance, have engaged in influence peddling, inking lucrative deals based on their relationship with the president. But Comer consistently fails to note there’s no law prohibiting that practice and that President Biden’s own hands remain unsoiled.
Comer, like an inept jazz musician making it up as he goes along, has proffered an unending stream of tales establishing that the investigation his committee has undertaken shows that black is white and up is down. He announces every inconsequential piece of information that crosses his desk as if he had just discovered the Lost Dutchman Mine. And every time he makes a bold declaration of the president’s involvement in his son’s activities he gets slapped down.
Consider the latest example.
The House Oversight Committee staff snooped through thousands of subpoenaed Biden family bank records and found two instances where his brother Jim and his wife sent the president checks — one for $40,000 and another for $200,000 – which Comer suspected as some sort of payoff from an unseemly source.
In a statement released on Oct. 20, Comer said the payments raised “new questions about how President Biden personally benefitted from his family’s shady influence peddling on his last name and their access to him.”
But records show, and the White House maintains, the checks were sent to address no-interest personal loans the president made to a brother facing temporary financial difficulties. In fact, both checks cited by Comer had “loan repayment” written on them.
Comer expressed doubt that any loan repayment was involved in what he deemed a shady transaction, hinting that the money was Joe Biden’s portion of his family’s business assets.
“Contrary to the White House’s and Democrats’ claims, nothing within the Oversight Committee’s possession clearly shows that Joe Biden did indeed loan his brother large sums of money,” Comer said in a statement provided to National Review. “And even if Joe Biden loaned money to his brother, Joe Biden benefited from his family’s shady influence peddling schemes since the ability of his brother to pay him back depended on cashing in on the Biden last name.”
But bank records indeed support Biden’s claim and there remains no evidence – none – that he was directly involved in any of his family’s business ventures. And it’s one hell of a stretch to maintain that by recouping a loan the president somehow experienced an illicit financial benefit since he didn’t make a penny on the deal.
It also should be noted that the repayment checks cited by Comer were signed in 2017 and 2018 – after Biden had concluded his service as vice president and before he launched his successful 2020 a campaign for president. So nothing that transpired here had any official reverberation.
Getting slapped down on this great discovery would be bad enough if Jamie didn’t find himself embroiled in his own $200,000 controversy involving property transactions with his brother Chad in Monroe County and some tracts in Tennessee after their father’s death in 2019.
According to The Daily Beast, citing property records, Comer and Chad engaged in a series of land swaps related to their family farming business.
“In one deal — also involving $200,000, as well as a shell company — the more powerful and influential Comer channeled extra money to his brother, seemingly from nothing,” the website reported. “Other recent land swaps were quickly followed with new applications for special tax breaks, state records show. All of this, perplexingly, related to the dealings of a family company that appears to have never existed on paper. But unlike with the Bidens, Comer’s own history actually borders a conflict of interest between his official government role and his private family business — and it’s been going on for decades.”
The transactions, as is often the case with agricultural land deals, are wrapped in a confusing blanket of back-and-forth property trading and the mixing of assets. It might all be on the up-and-up. Essentially, Chad bought Jamie’s share of some of the inherited property for $100,000 and, a few months later, Jamie bought the same property from Chad for $218,000.
Some, including Rep. Jared Markowitz (D-FL), a Comer critic who serves on the House Oversight Committee, suggested during a hearing that Comer was engaged in the same sort of shady practices that he has accused – falsely – the president of being embroiled in with his brother.
Moskowitz hinted Comer’s transactions were done in a manner to avoid taxes and that the money represented a loan. He offered Comer an opportunity to explain himself.
“It has come out in the public, that you also do business with your brother with potential loans,” Moskowitz said. “And so, since you have framed that and manipulated that with the American people, that Joe Biden did something wrong when he wasn’t in office…”
Comer said the story was “completely false.”
“I’ve never loaned my brother one penny,” Comer said. “My father, who was a dentist, had some farmland. He died, and my brother couldn’t afford — he wanted to sell it, but he wanted to keep it in the family. So, I bought it from my brother. That story, that you tweeted, also said I had a shell company. That is bulls–t.”
The two argued the point, talking over each other, leading Comer to state, referring to Moskowitz, “You look like a Smurf, here, just going around and all this stuff.”
Now to be fair, Moskowitz was adorned in a bright, blue jacket that wasn’t the most becoming apparel in the world, leading to the Smurf comment, although one wonders about Comer’s familiarity with the tiny cartoon creatures.
Regardless, the affair might send Comer before the House Ethics Committee. The Congressional Integrity Project, affiliated with the Democratic Party, that has been keeping the heat on Comer and his investigation, has filed a complaint accusing Jamie of, essentially, conduct unbecoming a congressman.
The group said Comer offered inaccurate statements and used obscene language during the back-and-forth.
“Representative Comer’s actions are not only a violation of the public trust, but a violation of his fundamental duty as a Member of the House of Representatives to uphold the letter and spirit of the House Rules,” the letter seeking action stated.
It will probably go nowhere, headed into the same circular file as Comer’s Biden probe.
But it does recall an old adage – turnabout is fair play.
Written by Bill Straub, a member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame. Cross-posted from the NKY Tribune.