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Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden

A 65-page report, a press conference, and nothing to show for it

James Comer stands at a podium while other members of his party surround him
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, at the podium, with other Republican members of the committee

Republicans’ big investigation into the Biden family has revealed … not a lot.

The House GOP accused Joe Biden and his family on Wednesday of engaging in business with foreign entities—but were unable to provide any actual evidence linking the president to any wrongdoing.

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer released a 65-page memo detailing a sprawling investigation into Biden and some of his relatives, particularly his son Hunter Biden. Nowhere in the massive document was there a specific allegation of a crime committed by Biden or any of his relatives.

During a press conference explaining the investigation, Comer was asked if he had evidence directly linking Biden to corruption. The Kentucky Republican hemmed and hawed but ultimately admitted he didn’t.

The memo accuses the Biden family of involvement in a “scheme to peddle influence” in Romania from 2015 to 2017, as well as financial dealings with individuals in China. Hunter Biden’s name comes up repeatedly. But the memo contains scant details of all of these alleged dealings, nor does it contain any evidence that any laws were broken or that Biden was involved in his son’s Chinese business.

Representative Jamie Raskin, the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, slammed Comer for having “failed to provide factual evidence to support his wild accusations about the president.”

“He continues to bombard the public with innuendo, misrepresentations, and outright lies, recycling baseless claims from stories that were debunked years ago,” Raskin said in a statement.

Since taking control of the House of Representatives, Republicans have been obsessed with trying to dig up dirt on the Biden family, instead of actually governing. The United States is weeks away from defaulting on its debt, but the GOP is apparently more concerned with wild-goose chases.

The Beautiful Irony of George Santos Being Charged With Covid Unemployment Fraud

The Republican congressman, known for his serial lies, has also been one of the loudest voices on preventing government handouts.

George Santos stands up and claps
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

The co-sponsor of a bill to prevent unemployment fraud was charged with committing unemployment fraud.

On Tuesday, George Santos was indicted on 13 counts related to money laundering, wire fraud, lying to Congress, and theft of public funds. A day later, Republicans began voting on a bill to recoup Covid-19 unemployment benefits from fraudulent claimants. Santos was unable to participate, however, because he was busy being processed for his 13 counts, including fraudulently claiming $24,000 in Covid unemployment benefits while making a $120,000 salary.

The cherry on top is that Santos himself is one of the co-sponsors of the bill, the Protecting Taxpayers and Victims of Unemployment Fraud Act.

When asked about the clear conflict, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise demurred.

“In regard to George Santos, he was already removed from all his committees,” Scalise said, in contrast to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s earlier suggestion that Santos himself elected to leave his committee assignments. “He’s going to have to go through the legal process. But we’re going to continue to work to root out fraud, and there’s lots of it: We’re talking about tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in fraud.”

Santos is also part of the Republican quest to hold the debt ceiling hostage to impose work requirements for Medicaid and SNAP benefits: again, a great irony given his own fraudulent use of government handouts.

The contradiction is run-of-the-mill from a conservative ideological movement (note: all Republicans, and some Democrats) that, in all senses, has carried out a “regulation for thee but not for me” regime.

On government handouts, the conservative movement has showered corporations—particularly those in special favor with it, like fossil fuel or railroad companies—with subsidies and rolled-back regulations.

On taxes, the rich have been able to evade taxes and secure wild tax breaks, while the poor pay disproportionately more for a society that treats them disproportionately worse. The majority of Americans pay for a system that only makes the gap between rich and poor even wider, and the cycle continues, entrenching it all further and further.

And on unemployment benefits, Republicans are now pursuing a bill that pretends to go after fraudsters while actually seeking to repeal federal funds approved by Democrats in 2021 that would empower the Labor Department to investigate fraud cases. All the while, one of their own co-sponsors appears guilty of the exact misdeed Republicans claim they’re attempting to address.

The contradictions are all backgrounded by a political movement that has complained about government spending and student debt relief while being among the largest recipients of emergency Covid PPP funding, or among the politicians—from Dianne Feinstein to Kelly Loeffler and Richard Burr—who have committed insider trading during the height of the pandemic.

George Santos Indictment Leaves One Big Question Unanswered

The new charges against the Republican congressman show what else prosecutors are trying to uncover.

Nathan Howard/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Ever since Representative George Santos forced his way into the public consciousness six months ago, a major question has been exactly how he made his money. The Republican congressman claimed to have made millions in a short amount of time, with no real explanation of where the money came from.

The new charges against him, if anything, make things even more complicated.

Santos was formally charged in a New York federal court Wednesday with 13 counts of various forms of financial fraud, including two counts of making false statements on his House financial disclosure reports. Santos has previously claimed he had made $3 million in the years before he ran for Congress, including a $750,000 salary in 2021.

But according to court documents, he never came close to making that much. The court filing alleges that Santos only earned about $55,000 in 2020, when he first ran for Congress, in salaries from two different companies. One of those companies, Harbor City Capital, was accused of a ponzi scheme, which Santos conveniently failed to disclose.

The indictment also says Santos falsely claimed a $750,000 salary and between $1 and $5 million in dividends from his company Devolder Organizations. So if that’s the case, where did Santos get the money he claimed to have, including his campaign funds? And did it even exist?

The indictment makes it clear that prosecutors are also trying to determine the source of Santos’s alleged massive personal wealth.

Santos was also charged Wednesday with two counts of unemployment fraud for claiming unemployment Covid-19 benefits and five counts of wire fraud for soliciting donations in 2022, saying they were for his House campaign. Instead, he transferred the donations to his own bank account and used it for personal expenses, such as buying designer clothes and making credit card payments.

The indictment checks out with other shady dealings we’ve learned about regarding Santos in recent months. One donor told Talking Points Memo that they had donated $1,000 to his 2020 campaign, paying via credit card over the phone. Over the next year, more than $15,000 in fraudulent charges were made on that card, with some of the money going to companies and other campaigns linked to Santos.

Santos also helped broker the sale of a $19 million yacht between two of his biggest donors just a few weeks before the election in November, The New York Times reported. He told Semafor that his referral fee for such a deal would be several hundred thousand dollars.

But in the end, exactly where all his money came from remains a mystery. Perhaps his upcoming federal trial will help shed a little more light on the matter.

Here Are the Five Sickest Reactions to the Trump Verdict

Trump was found liable of sexual assault, and Republicans are doing whatever they can to excuse it.

Marco Rubio
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Florida Senator Marco Rubio

More and more Republicans have actually begun to expand their expressed discomfort with, or outright disdain for, Donald Trump after he was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation against E. Jean Carroll on Tuesday.

But, of course, there are swarms of Republicans still tripping over themselves to expose themselves as disgusting, both in their docility and in their demonic defenses—or even lauding—of Trump and his now affirmed sex-pest behavior.

Here’s a taste of how some Republicans are defending a man even former aides are now admitting was a serial harasser.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron—who already has shown his meek deference toward those in power by not charging any police officer for killing Breonna Taylor—expressed little woe for Trump.

Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville said the verdict holding Trump liable for sexual abuse “makes me want to vote for him twice.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio—who ran against Trump in 2016 and now acts as his cute little lapdog—assailed the jury and case as a “joke.” Very cool for a sitting U.S. senator to dismiss the entire legal system (and the regular Americans who did their part in participating in it) not on any systemic issues but because Trump was found responsible for sexually harassing someone.

Rubio also dismissed Trump being found liable for defaming Carroll. “If someone accuses me of raping them and I didn’t do it, and you’re innocent, of course you’re going to say something about it.… It was a joke.”

It wasn’t a joke—and if Trump wanted to “say something,” why didn’t he defend himself at his trial?

Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis simply put her hands up, as if she has no agency as one of the 0.00016 percent of Americans who are in Congress.

She said the ruling does not impact her decision on who to support in 2024. “I’m going to stay neutral,” the Wyoming Republican said when asked whether she has anything to say about her party’s front-runner being found liable for sexual abuse.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy—now juggling between being asked about Trump being charged with sexual abuse and defamation and George Santos being charged with 13 counts of fraud and lying to Congress—elected to keep his chest out and chin up by simply ignoring questions about Trump’s charges.

“Sir, what’s your reaction to President Trump being found liable in the E. Jean Carroll case?” a reporter asked him in the halls of Congress. McCarthy pursed his lips and kept walking.

Prosecutors: George Santos Scammed People And Used The Money For Designer Clothes

Hopefully a 13-count indictment doesn’t interfere with the congressman’s acclaimed volleyball career.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images
George Santos

New York Representative and serial fabulist George Santos was charged Wednesday with 13 counts of various forms of financial fraud.

The freshman congressman known for making up a career in volleyball (among other more serious fabrications) surrendered to authorities at the federal court on Long Island. He was officially charged with five counts of wire fraud for soliciting donations to a company that was managed by his LLC, Devolder Organizations LLC. Santos allegedly said the money would go towards his House campaign, and that the donations could be unlimited because the company was a Super PAC and a registered nonprofit, none of which is true.

Santos was charged with three counts of unlawful monetary transactions for transferring those donations from the company bank account to his personal account. The court documents allege that he used those funds for personal expenses, “including luxury designer clothing and credit card payments,” not his campaign.

He was also charged with one count of theft of public money and two counts of unemployment fraud. In mid-June 2020, Santos allegedly applied for unemployment benefits under the Covid-19 relief program, despite the fact that he was making a $120,000 salary at an investment firm. According to court documents, Santos received regular unemployment payments from June 2020 until April 2021, even though he was employed.

Finally, Santos was charged with two counts of making false statements on his House financial disclosure reports. In 2020, when he first ran for Congress, he claimed his total earned income was $55,000, paid by one company. In reality, he made about half of that from a second company, Harbor City Capital, which was accused of a ponzi scheme and which he conveniently failed to disclose.

Then, in 2022, he claimed he had a $750,000 salary from Devolder Organizations LLC and between $1 and $5 million in dividends from the same company in a savings account. Court documents allege that not only were neither of these statements true, but Santos only made about $48,000 from 2021 up to when he filed the disclosure form. Half that money was a salary from another company, and the rest came from unemployment benefits.

Santos has courted nothing but scandal since he was elected in the 2022 midterms. He appears to have fabricated the bulk of his professional and educational resume. He also claimed his mother survived 9/11 (she was not even in the country) and seemingly lied that his grandparents fled the Holocaust and four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Santos is also still under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, and he agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud.

This story has been updated.

Read the full indictment here.

Tucker Carlson Takes His Racist Show to Twitter

This is a partnership from hell—and it’s just further proof Elon Musk wants Twitter to be his own personal echo chamber.

Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images
Tucker Carlson

For those concerned with where Tucker Carlson might land after being booted out of Fox, fear not. He’s actually landing in a spot where he’ll be even more ideologically comfortable, and where he won’t be bothered by the pesky particulars of things like editorial responsibility, or legal liability.

Why? Because Elon Musk’s Twitter is rolling out a welcome mat for the far-right television host. Carlson is going to relaunch his show on the social media website, bringing along some of his old staff from Fox.

“Starting soon, we’ll be bringing a new version of the show we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter,” Carlson said in a video statement on Twitter.

“The best you could hope for in the news business at this point is the freedom to tell the fullest truth that you can. But there are always limits,” Carlson continued. “And you know that if you bump up against those limits, often enough, you will be fired for it,” perhaps nodding towards his own departure from Fox after the network shelled out $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for the network’s lies about its voting machines and the integrity of the 2020 election.

The news of Carlson’s show comes after months of Musk ramping up Twitter to be more like a far-right haven and less like an open platform that serves as a massive information highway for the world.

Musk has reinstated far-right Nazis back to Twitter. He has banned numerous journalists for doing their job. He has completely upended the verification system, enabling impersonation and misinformation to run rampant. He gave exclusive file access to a handful of writers, so they could construct a cherry-picked and conspiratorial narrative about online right-wing suppression.

In recent days, Musk has whipped up lies and conspiracy theories surrounding everything from the horrific mass shooting in Allen, Texas carried out by a neo-Nazi and white supremacist, to Daniel Perry’s killing of homeless man Jordan Neely on the New York City subway.

All that dangerous rhetoric—illustrated by how the shooter in Allen, Texas, explicitly has said stochastic terroristic figures like Libs of TikTok inspired him—has been tolerated and indeed encouraged by Musk under the abstract glorification of “free speech.”

“Amazingly, as of tonight, there aren’t many platforms left that allow free speech. The last big one remaining in the world, the only one is Twitter, where we are now,” Carlson said. “Twitter is not a partisan site, everybody’s allowed here…but actually the gatekeepers are still in charge,” he continued. “We think that’s a bad system. We know exactly how it works,” he concluded, alluding to “the new version” of his show being an antidote to his posed problem.

Carlson has long made his brand one that purports to advocate for the little guy, while he in fact redirects anger towards the wrong targets, or even flatters people who already have power and influence (like Musk). The dynamic was more of the same in his remarks.

Musk for his part claims that Twitter has not signed an exclusive deal with Carlson, and that he is “subject to the same rules & rewards of all content creators” (which, given how much misinformation and inflammatory content users have been allowed to spread so far, doesn’t necessarily say much anyhow).

Nevertheless, news of Carlson’s show still indicates how Musk is using Twitter to create his own echo chamber. Already, within Musk’s new Twitter regime—in which most of the mere thousands of Twitter Blue subscribers are Musk sycophants, far-right users, or both—most top replies beneath the sorts of conspiratorial tweets Musk himself promotes are similarly conspiratorial or inflammatory. And these same tweets are the ones that receive inordinate amounts of amplification in areas like Twitter’s “for you” recommendation tab. Any illusion of debate or open discourse or even intellectual exchange that Twitter may have had previously is gone.

So make no mistake, any “free speech” that Carlson is advocating for (read: at best, faux populism that doesn’t genuinely call for collective action against corporate villains; at worst, viciously racist whip-ups that encourage vigilantism or militaristic police crackdowns against protestors) is not only already allowed, but encouraged on Musk’s Twitter.

Twitter has already been circling the drain; advertisers have been fleeing en masse, and they likely will only depart faster after Musk’s even more explicit conspiratorial turn over the past 48 hours. Carlson’s deal adds another layer of shit that’ll whirl down the drain.

Republicans Are Weak A.F. on Trump’s Sexual Assault Verdict

Some cowardly, cowardly excuses to avoid commenting on the E. Jean Carroll case

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Republicans are never good at condemning Donald Trump, and it was no exception following the verdict in his sexual assault trial.

A New York jury unanimously found Trump liable for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s and for defaming her when she accused him of assault decades later. They recommended Carroll be awarded a total of $5 million in damages.

And Republicans’ reactions to the verdict have been weak at the very best.

Representative Mike Burgess, Tom Cole, and Thomas Massie all claimed ignorance. Burgess said he hadn’t seen the verdict yet, Cole said he didn’t “know anything about it,” and Massie said he had “been in a car” and so hadn’t seen the outcome.

Representative Jim Jordan, a staunch Trump ally, said he thought that all of the current lawsuits against the former president were “ridiculous.” But he also claimed to be unaware of the verdict. Since taking over the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan has proven far more obsessed with Hunter Biden’s laptop and attacking the people investigating Trump than the actual things Trump is accused of.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, another Trump loyalist, also said he hadn’t heard the verdict yet. “I’ve been in this meeting,” he said, referring to a meeting with President Joe Biden and other congressional leaders on the U.S. debt limit.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John Kennedy had no comment on the verdict. Senator Mike Rounds managed a kind of rebuke by not even half-heartedly saying he probably wouldn’t support Trump in the 2024 presidential race.

Only former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who is also running for president, has had the guts to call Trump out thus far. “Over the course of my over 25 years of experience in the courtroom, I have seen firsthand how a cavalier and arrogant contempt for the rule of law can backfire,” he said in a statement. “The jury verdict should be treated with seriousness and is another example of the indefensible behavior of Donald Trump.”

E. Jean Carroll, Thank You

Carroll was a rock on the stand in the rape trial against Donald Trump.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mary Trump’s tweet was about as short and to the point as it could be:

She tweeted it at 3:20 p.m. When I saw it a half an hour later, it had more than 10,000 likes.

That’s because everyone knew what Mary Trump was communicating, in just repeating Carroll’s name. She was saying thank you, bless you, we salute you.

Knowing what we now know about how the trial went, it’s easy to think this was a breeze. Carroll was a rock on the stand. Her corroborating witnesses were strong. Joe Tacopina, Trump’s attorney, came across about as badly as a lawyer who cares about his reputation could: as a bully defending an accused sexual abuser. Trump’s videotaped deposition, in which he literally confused Carroll with second wife, Marla, was embarrassing for him. Well, that part was embarrassing. The part where he said men have raped women for a million years, “fortunately or unfortunately,” was a little worse than that.

But this was no breeze. This took guts. It took tremendous courage to file this suit and see it through, eat all the shit that Trump’s lackeys would try to force-feed her, deal with whatever kinds of threats she faced—and most of all, to run the risk of losing. Because losing would have been awful, for her and for the country. But she knew the truth, and she was confident that she could convince a jury of the truth.

She thus becomes the first person in history to get the legal system to hold Donald Trump to account. She certainly beat Merrick Garland to the punch. E. Jean Carroll, Trump grossly said you weren’t his type. We say with admiration that you are definitely ours.

Fox Shows Poll That Americans Want Trump Convicted for 2020 Election, in Accidental Self-Own

Fox aired the poll just minutes after the former president was found liable in his rape trial.

Donald Trump
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Donald Trump has been impeached twice, lost the popular vote twice, was the first ever criminally indicted president, faces numerous investigations into his efforts to overthrow democracy, and has now been found liable of sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll.

And minutes after the announcement of Trump’s latest conviction, Fox itself began advancing the question: What else should Trump face consequences for? The network emblazoned to its millions of viewers a recent Washington Post/ABC poll that suggests a majority of the country believes the former president and 2024 candidate should face criminal charges for his efforts to “illegally overturn the 2020 election.”

The choice by Fox has followed an already confused conservative response to Trump’s latest and severe misdeeds. Though there have been moves by conservatives to downplay or detract from the charges, there have been some relative expressions of a newfound willingness to criticize the former president.

Shortly after the verdict, Fox played the deposition clip of Trump mistaking E. Jean Carroll for his ex-wife. A guest on the show, former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, didn’t even bother trying to spin the incriminating clip.

“The context of this is that he said ‘she wasn’t his type,’” McCarthy said. “The last person you would want to confuse her with would be someone you married.” An uncomfortable pause ensued.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of playing niceties after forking over $787.5 million to Dominion in a lawsuit settlement; perhaps it’s a matter of the facts just being too incriminating not to acknowledge even somewhat. Either way, even Fox is beginning to admit the nature of Trump’s criminality—and that most of America sees him in that way too.

Trump Is Mad as Hell He Owes E. Jean Carroll $5 Million

The former president is already screaming about the verdict in the rape and defamation case.

Donald Trump
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump has to pay $5 million for sexual abuse, battery, and defamation against E. Jean Carroll—and he’s livid.

A New York jury unanimously found him liable for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s, and for defaming her when she accused him of assault decades later. They recommended Carroll be awarded a total of $5 million in damages.


Carroll is not the only woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault: At least 26 others have done so, two of whom testified during the trial. But Carroll is the first to get justice.