Monday, January 31, 2022

Moar Impeachment!

So I had to take a look at the Breitbart story, which reports:

A criminal IRS investigation into Hunter Biden — President Biden’s son — appears to have convened a grand jury as far back as May 2019, a confidential subpoena served to JPMorgan Chase bank reveals. The subpoena also seeks bank records of James Biden, the president’s brother, which appears to be the first time another Biden family member has surfaced in connection with the investigation.

Actually, this isn't exactly news; it seems to be an investigation we could have known about for quite a while, since December 2020, when Hunter Biden himself found out that his taxes were under investigation, and immediately issued a statement. According to CNN's reporting picked up by Wilmington TV,

Investigators have been examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China, according to two people briefed on the probe.

Some of those transactions involved people who the FBI believe sparked counterintelligence concerns, a common issue when dealing with Chinese business, according to another source.

The investigation began as early as 2018, predating the arrival of William Barr as attorney general, two people briefed on the investigation said.

"As early as" means it could have been before Barr (who entered office in February 2019), not that it was. Anyway the new thing that the Breitbart story reveals is that it gathered steam after Barr got to Justice, seeking the bank records for the first time, and after Joe Biden entered the race. These two anonymous sources seem anxious to make it look as if Barr had nothing to do with it (why introduce his name?), without actually saying so. 

Also there's at least one page missing, which seems peculiar—any attorneys in the house want to venture a guess as to what it was?

Meanwhile that wasn't the only thing going on in May 2019 involving Joe Biden, who'd announced his candidacy for the presidency on 25 April. On 1 May The New York Times published a story with Ken Vogel's byline reporting a possible conflict of interest for Biden, who'd participated as vice president :in an international push to have Ukraine's corrupt chief prosecutor removed:

Among those who had a stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden, Mr. Biden’s younger son, who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.

Although, you know, as the story makes clear, the prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had in fact not investigated the oligarch, Mykola Zlochevsky—it was one of the reasons everybody wanted him fired, because he was clearly protecting criminals of whom Zlochevsky was one—and Hunter Biden had not been working for the company at the time the investigation should have taken place.

But that doesn't inspire Vogel to conclude that there wasn't any conflict of interest, and he moves on to discussing the interest in the case of President Trump's personal attorney, Rudolf Giuliani, who had been spending a lot of time in Ukraine himself, talking to Shokin and his successor, Yuriy Lutsenko:

Mr. Giuliani said he got involved because he was seeking to counter the Mueller investigation with evidence that Democrats conspired with sympathetic Ukrainians to help initiate what became the special counsel’s inquiry.

Vogel being the very same Vogel who, as a Politico reporter in 2017, beefed up the bothsidery story Giuliani was talking about there:

A Ukrainian-American operative [Alexandra Chalupa] who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.

You say that like exposing Manafort's criminality and revealing connections between Russia and the Trump campaign (which we now have some real knowledge of, in the matter of the election data Manafort got to Russian intelligence through Konstantin Kilimnik) were a bad thing!

Anyway, May was where the momentum leading to Trump's 25 July shakedown call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy and eventually to his first impeachment began to gather steam.

April or May 2019 could also be when a Trump political appointee in the Treasury tried to interfere with the obligatory annual audit of Trump's income tax return (or possibly Pence's), according to a complaint from an IRS whistleblower that surfaced that October:

The IRS complaint has come amid the escalating legal battle between the Treasury Department and House Democrats over the release of President Trump’s tax returns. Part of that inquiry from Democrats is over how the IRS conducts its annual audit of the president’s and vice president’s tax returns. That process is supposed to be walled off from political appointees and interference.

You see where I'm going with this? If Trump had a mole improperly sniffing around in the IRS in spring 2019, couldn't that same person also have kickstarted an investigation of Hunter Biden's taxes around the same time? (That whistleblower, in a different department, wouldn't have known about it.)

Having thought it, I can't really stop thinking it: weeks after Biden announced, Trump was doing everything he could to find some of that precious "dirt" on him and his son, including the Ukraine stuff that got him impeached, and had a Treasury employee illegally looking after his own interests in the IRS, at the same time as the IRS suddenly pushed ahead on an inquiry that may or may not have existed earlier into Hunter Biden with subpoenas on two banks. You can't tell me Trump and Barr aren't behind this, and it's misfeasance, siccing the tax authorities on a political opponent, on an absolutely Nixonian scale.

Breitbart, unknowingly, is providing guidelines for yet another impeachment.


 Barr's daughter Mary was working in the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the time that subpoena was issued, and still working there a year later when FinCEN sent the same documents to Chairman Chuckles Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee for his "investigation" of Hunter Biden.

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