Monday 20th of March 2023

an own goal..... but the VAR will disallow it because of the "I can't remember" syndrome......

How did sensitive government documents from President Joe Biden's time as vice-president of the United States end up in his garage?

That's one of the key questions a special counsel appointed by the nation's top law enforcement official will seek to answer in a probe announced on Thursday, local time, in Washington DC.

US Attorney-General Merrick Garland said it was "in the public interest" to assign veteran prosecutor Robert Hur to investigate Mr Biden's handling of two batches of Obama-era classified documents, recently discovered by the president's legal team.

One set, disclosed earlier this week, was found last November by Mr Biden's personal lawyers in a private office he used before launching his 2020 campaign.

The other set, revealed just days later, was being stored in the garage at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, next to his famous Corvette.

"By the way, my Corvette's in a locked garage. So, it's not like it's sitting out on the street," he told reporters on Thursday afternoon, local time, after being pressed on his storage choices.

Mr Biden vowed to cooperate "fully and completely" with the Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation.

"People know I take classified documents seriously," he said.

"I'm cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department's review."

The White House has characterised the number of documents as "small" and said they were returned swiftly to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

However, the discovery has elicited a sense of deja vu in the American public after a messy legal fight between NARA and former president Donald Trump over a separate trove of classified materials.

It's also drawn accusations of hypocrisy from Republicans still furious about the FBI search of Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago home to retrieve them, and the ensuing investigation. 


Hold up, what is a special counsel?

A special counsel is a semi-independent federal prosecutor who operates outside the DoJ's regular chain of command.

Justice Department rules allow the attorney-general to appoint a special counsel to oversee criminal investigations in "extraordinary circumstances"

Such circumstances could include the need to avoid a perceived conflict of interest, or where it is in the public interest to bring in an outside prosecutor. 

Mr Garland said Mr Hur's appointment underscored the DoJ's commitment to "independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters, and to making decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law". 

It also means there are now two special counsels looking into presidents' handling of government secrets.

In November, Mr Garland appointed another special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee the investigation into documents found at Mr Trump's Florida residence

Mr Smith, who previously investigated war crimes at The Hague, is also overseeing the criminal probe into Mr Trump's actions during the January 6 attack. 

Sarah Krissoff, a former federal prosecutor in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, said Mr Garland was "proceeding cautiously" by appointing a second special counsel. 

"The attorney-general no doubt understands the political implications of this investigation into Biden's possession of classified information," she said. 

"And I think, in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety here, he's appointed the special counsel to try to provide this independent voice to the investigation." 


How do the Biden and Trump cases compare? 

While on the surface the two investigations may bear some similarities, Brian Jacobs, who also served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, warned against conflating them. 

"They are night and day," he said. 

"In the case involving Mar-a-Lago, based on the public reports, there were multiple requests by the government that former president Trump return the documents.

"There was an attestation signed by an attorney saying that all the documents had been returned. There was a subpoena. There was a search warrant that the Department of Justice executed."











house of secrets........

Hunter Biden lived in his father’s house in Wilmington, Delaware—the house where classified documents have been found—at the same time foreign businessmen linked to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence were funneling millions to the Biden family.


While addicted to drugs, cavorting with prostitutes, and making deals with businessmen tied to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence, Hunter Biden lived in the house where Joe Biden stored classified documents.

On a background-check application dated July 2018, Hunter Biden claimed that he paid $49,910 per month in rent and that his “current residence” at that time was 1209 Barley Mill Road in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a document found on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop.


Hunter also listed that Wilmington address as his primary residence on at least one form of identification (his Delaware driver’s license) and used the same address as his billing address for both his personal credit card and Apple account in 2018 and 2019, a review of files from Hunter’s abandoned laptop reveals.


According to the background check document, Hunter claimed that he paid rent from March 2017 until February 2018 (11 months) at the Wilmington address leading some to wonder if he was paying rent to his father, who has owned the home since 1996. But Hunter apparently filled out the form in error.



Contrary to some reporting, Hunter Biden was not paying his father $49,910 per month; rather, that figure represents the amount Hunter was paying to rent prime office space at the prestigious House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., materials in Hunter’s laptop show.


Nevertheless, the period that Hunter claimed he was living at 1209 Barley Mill Rd (the Wilmington house where classified documents were found) overlaps with the time multiple Biden family members were taking money from foreign businessmen linked to the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intelligence apparatus.


Hunter claimed on various documents and financial statements that he lived at the Wilmington House between early 2017 and 2019—immediately following his father’s second term as vice president and as Joe Biden was gearing up for his presidential run.

Given the discovery of the classified documents at multiple unsecure locations, the timeline of the Bidens’ Chinese business deals paints a troubling picture.


Beginning in late 2015, while his father was still vice president, Hunter Biden began making plans to meet with officials from the Chinese energy company CEFC. CEFC and at least four of its principals and associates, Ye Jianming, Patrick Ho, Gongwen Dong and Jiaqi Bao, have been linked to the Chinese government and its military intelligence apparatus. Hunter once described Patrick Ho as “the fucking spy chief of China.”



Many observers viewed CEFC as a state-directed entity. CNN, for example reported in 2018:

From the yellow stars in its logo to the fact it had China in its name – a privilege normally reserved for state-owned companies – CEFC China Energy’s messaging strongly suggested state ties.

 By early 2017, Hunter was directly corresponding with CEFC personnel and flew to Miami in February of that year to meet with CEFC Chairman Ye Jianming. During this trip, Ye Jianming gave Hunter a 3.16 carat diamond valued at approximately $80,000. 

When Hunter’s ex-wife discovered that he had obtained something of such immense value, she had her divorce attorney send an “Urgent” email seeking to determine the whereabouts of the diamond and secure the asset before Hunter could “dissipate” it. Hunter’s attorney offered a shady denial:

There is no diamond in Hunter’s possession. I don’t know where Kathleen is getting access to this information, but on this score, what your email purports below is inaccurate.



Metadata gleaned from photos of the diamond on the abandoned laptop indicate that Hunter lied about not having the diamond and he in fact had the diamond with him in Wilmington. The current location of the 3.16 carat diamond remains unknown.

After the fateful February 2017 meeting with Ye, and around the time Hunter claimed to have moved into the Wilmington house where classified documents were found, the Bidens’ business with CEFC exploded.

Nine days after Miami meeting, Hunter received two separate wire transfers of $3 million which the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network flagged as suspicious.


Between April 2017 and September 2018, CEFC and its affiliates funneled millions of dollars to the Bidens (mostly to Hunter, but some of that money flowed to Joe Biden’s brother and sister-in-law, James and Sara Biden). Joe Biden met with Hunter’s business partners during this time. All the while, top secret and sensitive compartmented information documents were just lying around in unsecured locations (such as the closet of the Penn Biden Center and the Wilmington garage), easily accessible by the Bidens and their associates.

James Biden, Joe’s brother, was central to the Biden business dealings with CEFC. One of Hunter’s former business associates, Tony Bobulinski, messaged another associate, James Gilliar, on April 30, 2017, wondering “what is the deal [with] Jim Biden as he wasn’t part of the discussion and now seems a focal point.” Likely alluding to Hunter’s addictions, Gilliar replied:


[With Hunter’s] demons, [it] could be good to have [Jimmy as] a backup…he strengthens our U[nique] S[elling] P[roposition] to [the] Chinese as it looks like a truly family business. [Emphasis added]

Bobulinski met with Hunter, James, and Joe Biden for at least an hour on the evening of May 2, 2017, and he alleges that they discussed the Biden family business dealings in China with which the former vice president was “plainly familiar.”


On May 13, 2017, Gilliar emailed Bobulinski an equity breakdown of a new business venture involving CEFC wherein Gilliar proposed Hunter will hold a 20 percent equity stake and 10 percent will be held by Hunter for “the big guy.” Tony Bobulinski alleges that Joe Biden is the big guy.

According to messages Bobulinski provided to congressional investigators, Hunter claimed he talked to Ye on a “regular basis” because “we have a standing once a week call as I am also his personal counsel (we signed an attorney client engagement letter) in the U.S.” Hunter also claimed he was advising Ye “on a number of his personal issues (staff visas and some more sensitive things).”


The chairman of CEFC, Ye Jianming, has been linked to the highest levels of Chinese intelligence and CNN reported that Ye was a suspected “princeling” of People’s Liberation Army top brass.

In their summer 2017 correspondences, Hunter sent “best wishes from the entire Biden family” and Ye concluded his reply “please accept my best regards to you and your family.”

Between February 9, 2017, and December 20,2018, tens of millions—perhaps more than $150 million—flowed between a dizzying web of CEFC-linked companies and shell corporations. And some of that money went directly into Biden family coffers.

On August 8, 2017, CEFC wired $5 million to an entity called Hudson West III. That same day, Hudson West began wiring payments that would ultimately total $4,790,375.25 to Hunter Biden’s Owasco LLC. The last payment was on September 25, 2018, according to congressional investigators. Between August 14, 2017, and August 3, 2018, Owasco sent 20 wires totaling $1,398,999 to James and his wife Sara Biden’s consulting firm.


Throughout the summer of 2017, as the CEFC arrangements were being hashed out, Hunter talked with Ye Jianming about the impending legal troubles of another CEFC principal, Patrick Ho (the “spy chief”).

In September 2017, Hunter agreed to represent Ho and executed an agreement to provide “Counsel to matters related to US law and advice pertaining to the hiring and legal analysis of any US Law Firm or Lawyer.” Hunter was ultimately paid $1 million through his Owasco LLC (the wire transfer memo line read “Dr Patrick Ho Chi Ping Representation”) to represent Ho.

Patrick Ho was arrested on November 18, 2017 and he was convicted in December 2018 on international bribery and money laundering charges, according to the New York Times. Upon incarceration, Ho’s first phone call from jail was to James Biden. He was looking for Hunter and James Biden gave him Hunter’s contact information.

Notably, Hunter Biden had never been a serious attorney, so his receiving one million dollars to represent Ho is notable given that Hunter was apparently living in a house with classified documents at the time.










running biden off the road?


By Patrick Lawrence / Consortium News


There are two things I love about the mess our more or less senile president finds himself in as his hoard of classified documents comes to light in a rolling barrage of revelations.

One is the mainstream media’s quite unbelievable faith in the American public’s stupidity. Does anything more persuasively measure the stupidity of these media?

Joe “My Corvette’s in the Garage” Biden howls with indignity when Donald Trump gets caught with classified files at Mar–a–Lago, his Florida estate. Then our serving president is discovered with his own stashes of secret documents here, there and everywhere.

Oh, but it is very different, we read. Not at all the same, because Trump didn’t cooperate with the National Archives and the Justice Department, and Biden did.

As the man from Scranton now takes to saying, “I did nothing wrong. There’s no there there.” The New York Times, the other major dailies and the corporate broadcasters all report this with straight faces: The Trump case is one thing, Biden’s another.

So are we urged to think illegal possession of classified documents is not the issue. No need to consider this. It’s all about attitude.

If you exhibit the right attitude when you are caught red-handed in a criminal act, you can stand there and claim innocence, insist that the garage where classified documents were found is locked because your Corvette is parked in it, and the media will go all the way for you.

They can’t be so stupid as to think their readers and viewers are so stupid, I’ve said to myself since CBS News opened the door onto this farrago of nonsense a couple of weeks ago. How wrong I have been.

We have a 50–year record attesting to Joe Biden’s stupidity. We now know, if we didn’t already, that there is no limit to our mainstream media’s defense of his stupidity.


More Post-Trump Authoritarianism 

In my read, this is another feature of the liberal authoritarianism that emerged after Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. It has been “blue no matter who” since then: Biden’s our guy no matter what — in this case, no matter how stupid.

The lead reporters covering Biden’s legal breach for the Times merit brief mention. Michael Shear, Katie Rogers and Charlie Savage are nothing more than salespeople. They would be better off — and we would, too — if they forgot about journalism and hawked used cars at some vast lot in a New Jersey suburb.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump, a sitting president and his immediate predecessor, are now subject to investigations run by separate special counsels assigned by the Justice Department.

There is a very large truth attaching to this startling reality. Whether or not Americans are aware of it, and my impression is few are, they are now face-to-face with the extent to which our government conducts its business in secret.

This is the second thing I love about these matching messes over classified documents. A paradox here: It is illegal for a government official to possess classified documents without authorization, and it is perfectly normal to do so given the extent to which classified material forms the basis of U.S. policy — notably, but not only, its foreign policy.


A Culture of Concealment

There is a moment to seize here, at least (and perhaps only) in theory. If Americans can begin now to come to terms with the culture of concealment that has grown over Washington for decades like kudzu on a South Carolina telephone pole, they can begin reasserting democratic control over institutions of government that now operate in secret, in perfect sequestration, and so with indifference to the public’s wishes and preferences.

Pat Moynihan, the late senator from New York, was among the first to assert that secrecy in Washington was on the way to becoming a crisis in American democracy.

In Secrecy, his 1998 survey of the phenomenon, Moynihan wrote of “secrecy centers” throughout the American government, of “the routinization of secrecy,” of “concealment as a modus vivendi.”

Something called the Information Security Oversight Office — a secret in itself to most of us — each year totes up the number of secrets government bodies created during the previous 12 months.

The ISOO was founded during the Carter administration, in 1978. It is interesting to note that its predecessor, the Interagency Classification Review Committee, dated to the Nixon administration and was comprised of officials from the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

This list is usefully suggestive of which government institutions kept the secrets that mattered most: those managing foreign policy and the military-industrial complex, intel and covert operations, and domestic law-enforcement.

As Moynihan explained, in essence the ISOO counts the documents classified in a given year. To say these have grown exponentially from year to year without pause since Moynihan’s time is not an exaggeration.

At this point, it is commonly assumed among paying-attention people that a small proportion of what our government decides and does is visible to us. This has been my assumption, certainly, for years.


Democracy & Structures of Secrecy 

To what extent is secrecy considered essential to the conduct of policy? No one knows the answer to this more acutely, at so high a cost, than Julian Assange.

The WikiLeaks founder was early to recognize that our political culture’s infinitely elaborated structures of secrecy are “where civilization is going,” as he once put it. And he understood that these structures must be penetrated if authentic forms of democracy are to survive and prosper.

It is for Assange’s dedication to this latter project that he is now behind bars.

Donald Trump took home classified documents. Joe Biden did, too — and for many years as a senator and then Barack Obama’s veep. Did the studious Obama do the same? Did Bush I (previously a C.I.A. director, let us not forget) and Bush II?

Did Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and the bureaucrats of rank in any given administration? In the cases of Bill and Hillary Clinton I’m not even going to ask.

The practice doesn’t much stir me, in truth. What stirs me is the extent to which secrecy is the norm and, more specifically, the extent to which secrecy makes possible the conduct of the imperialists who run our hegemonic foreign policies.

America, as an astute commentator remarked not along ago, now runs a global empire of which few of its own people are even aware.

Along with “we’re cooperating” — “we got caught,” in translation — “we’re being transparent” is the other phrase the Biden administration incessantly deploys and the media repeat with not a single reporter questioning the truth of it.

Withholding the facts until CBS News uncovered them does not pass as transparent. All the nonsense excuses — my favorite being “the garage is locked” — do not bespeak transparency. They bespeak a coverup.

The most consequential of these untruths, and they are prima facie such, is that Biden didn’t know there were classified files in his Wilmington, Delaware, home, or in his private Washington office, or in his garage, or in “a storage area adjacent to the garage,” whatever that may mean.

Here’s my reply to this: If this log-rolling liar didn’t know he was in possession of classified documents, in some cases for more than a decade, he simply cannot be counted qualified to be president or hold any public office allowing him such access.

Biden’s theme as he attacked Trump after the F.B.I. raided the Mar–a–Lago property was that the former president was “irresponsible.” Tell me about it, Joe. Tell us all about it, you whose secrets may well outnumber those of anyone now holding public office.

One final question: Who exposed the presence of classified material in Biden’s residence and private office?

Given the reported divisions among Democrats as to Biden’s plans to run for a second term next year, is this a subterfuge operation conducted by those who fear for his mental decline and want decisively to knock him out of the box?