The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

Today’s Adventures in Politics

A grand jury that will decide if Trump or anyone else will be indicted in the Fulton County, Georgia, election interference case has been sworn in.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville refuses to admit that white nationalists are racists.

A couple of months ago, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and tireless investigator of Hunter Biden’s laptop, admitted he had lost an informant.

During an interview on Fox News, host Maria Bartiromo asked Comer about evidence he had of [President] Biden’s alleged corruption.

“You have spoken with whistleblowers,” she noted. “You also spoke with an informant who gave you all of this information. Where is that informant today? Where are these whistleblowers?”

“Well, unfortunately, we can’t track down the informant,” Comer replied. “We’re hopeful that the informant is still there. The whistleblower knows the informant. The whistleblower is very credible.”

The mystery is solved:

Yesterday the Southern District of New York announced a wide-ranging indictment of Gal Luft, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, for various charges including unregistered foreign lobbying for China, sanctions busting for Iran and arms dealing. (Here’s CNN’s run-down of the details.) Luft was indicted last November but remained under seal until yesterday. He was arrested in Cyprus in February to be extradited back to the United States but promptly jumped bail. It turns out Comer really had “lost” his whistleblower because Luft was quite literally on the lam and actually still is.

Josh Marshall continues,

This is part of a pattern: government workers or others facing workplace or criminal investigations trying to get a get-out-of-jail-free card or at least allies in a tough situation by showing up at the doorstep of Jim Jordan or James Comer basically willing to say quite literally anything. It’s true of course that chancers in a jam often do know things and are willing to talk for protection. But that’s why such claims require real scrutiny, something Republican investigators simply never do. In Luft’s case it’s not at all clear why he would be privy to anything about the President or his son in the first place. Indeed, the pattern is so persistent that it’s pretty clear Republican investigators are, if not explicitly in on the ruse themselves, totally indifferent to the truth of any of their claims.

Philip Bump:

This has been the pattern on the right for months. Anyone making any allegation against Biden and/or his family is accepted as inherently credible, however shaky the evidence or, as in the case of Luft, however obvious the conflict of interest. Not only are anti-Biden claims taken at face value, any skepticism about those allegations or, again as in the case of Luft, external indicators of unreliability are themselves folded into a voluminous conspiracy theory.

The timeline is important. It appears, both from comments by Luft in the video reported by the New York Post and in looking at court records, the indictment was handed down last fall. (Update: It occurred on Nov. 1, as Luft indicated in the video reported by the New York Post.) As mentioned, his initial arrest was in February. It is not clear why the indictment was unsealed now, but it is not the case that the charges are new. In other words, the understood order of events suggests not that he was charged because he made public allegations but, instead, that he made public allegations after he had been charged.

That hasn’t stopped anyone on the Right from accusing the Biden administration of political harassment of Luft, of course.