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THE BIG NEWS
Biden Gets His Very Own Special Counsel
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland yesterday covered his ass by appointing a special counsel to investigate how classified documents wound up at the private office -- and home garage -- of President Joe Biden. From the Washington Post:
The Biden documents special counsel will examine the discovery of at least two sets of classified material. About 10 documents from Biden's time as vice president were found Nov. 2 at the Washington-based Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, an institute in Biden started after leaving the vice presidency in 2017.
Biden's personal lawyers found the documents and said they immediately turned them over to the National Archives and Records Administration, which is responsible for storing and preserving presidential records. Legal representatives for the president then searched his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Del., and found additional classified material at the Wilmington residence, the White House said Thursday morning. Most of the documents were in the garage, while a single page was found in an adjacent room. No documents were found in the Rehoboth Beach home, Biden lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement.
The Republicans and to an extent the Beltway press corps have sunk their teeth into this story, because the GOP thinks it can help get Donald Trump off the hook for his many crimes, and because the American press is still trained to embrace false equivalence. But what Biden did is materially different than what Trump did. Trump remains under investigation by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith for stealing more than 300 classified documents from the White House, including nuclear secrets, and hoarding them at Mar-a-Lago in such places as his desk drawer next to his passport -- while deflecting and denying efforts from the National Archives and the DOJ to return the government property. Biden, by contrast, has by all accounts cooperated with government investigators and archivists, and he and aides have so far been consistent in explaining that the relative handful of documents in Biden's possession got packed up by mistake. It seems Biden didn't even know he had them. None of these facts will convince anyone who thinks Biden serves the antichrist or whatever.
Garland picked a U.S. attorney appointed by Trump, Robert Hur, to act as special counsel in the Biden investigation. As the New York Times notes, Hur's "appointment is intended to insulate the Justice Department from accusations of partisanship at a time when the new Republican majority in the House has embarked on an aggressive and open-ended investigation into what they claim is the Biden administration's bias against their party." And there's not much I can add to that, except to express the hope that Garland feels he needs the political cover of a second special counsel because he actually intends to do something about Trump's brazenly criminal attacks on democracy, not because he needs an excuse to let the Trump investigations wither away.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Proud Boys Seditious Conspiracy Trial Begins
The Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial kicked off yesterday in Washington, D.C. with opening statements from the prosecution as well as the fascist thugs' lawyers, who include a Montana Libertarian who once "wrote a pamphlet that praised Hitler and described Black people as so inferior to White people that they are a different species." Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason McCullough opened with a video presentation showing five Proud Boy defendants wreaking violent havoc at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, along with online messages posted by former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio before and after the insurrection boasting that they were "Lords of War" responsible for the violence and chaos. Tarrio's lawyer tried to shift blame to Donald Trump while claiming there was no plan to attack the Capitol, and falsely claimed the Proud Boys are merely an all-inclusive drinking club. Tarrio and his co-defendants (Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola) have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Brazil Update: Lula Plans to Clean House
Leftist Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva yesterday said he's convinced that supporters of fascist former president Jair Bolsonaro left doors open for insurrectionists to enter government buildings during last weekend's "stupidity," and that his government will take steps to replace "hardcore Bolsonarista[s]" with career civil servants -- "preferably civilian ones."
"How can I have someone at the door of my office who might shoot me?" Lula added, pointing to media reports he said he had read about military officials vowing to assassinate him.
Police reportedly found a document at the home of former Bolsonaro justice minister Anderson Torres describing a process to declare martial law and overturn the legitimate election that returned Lula to power. Meanwhile in the U.S., 46 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to expel Bolsonaro from his Orlando, Florida crash pad for fomenting "violence against democratic institutions."
- FAA Identifies Problem That Grounded Flights: User Error It seems an engineer mistakenly "replaced one file with another" during routine scheduled maintenance. via ABC News.
- Multiple Deaths From Big Storm in South "In Selma, brick buildings collapsed, cars were on their side and traffic poles were strewn about in the downtown area." via the Associated Press.
- More Republicans Call on Sketchy New York Rep. George Santos to Resign House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is not among them. via NBC News and the New York Times.
- Months-Late National Security Report on UFOs Cites Increase in Reports The increase is attributed to "reduced stigma" around the subject, and roughly half of the sightings "demonstrated unusual flight characteristics" that have yet to be explained. via Politico.
- NYC Nurses' Strike Ends; Amazon Labor Union Certified The nurses won a tentative deal and Amazon is now legally required to bargain with ALU. via the NY Times and Vice News.
That's how many uninterrupted seconds Los Angeles Police Department officers used a Taser on 31-year-old high school teacher Keenan Anderson following a traffic accident on Jan. 3, as he shouted for help and screamed "they're trying to George Floyd me!" Anderson, a cousin of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, died hours later due to cardiac arrest.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
"I don't actually care that he had the documents": you could have stopped there.
Apparently they're calling Covid vaccines "death shots" now. Nuts.
"Mom, it's OK. Just be calm."
-- 5-year-old Kyle Doan's last words to his mother before being swept away by floodwaters on California's central coast, per the Associated Press. A search continued for a third day yesterday but had so far turned up only one of his shoes.
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