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An oft-cited Lily Tomlin line was made for the moment: “No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.”
It fits our turbulent times for many reasons, including a White House promise that President Biden will not pardon his son.
Cynics know that somewhere there’s small print saying there will be no pardon until Hunter Biden is convicted of a crime!
After all, this is the same Joe Biden who denied for years that he ever talked with Hunter about the son’s business.
He repeated the lie despite numerous pictures of Joe with Hunter, his partners and foreign paymasters.
Unsustainable now that the truth is clear, that lie has been shelved for a more narrow White House claim: the president was “never in business” with his son.
But wait, he was the “big guy” in a China deal, so how long can that lie last?
If it were up to Attorney General Merrick Garland (inset), the Biden lies would last forever.
Thankfully, the bitter partisan hack didn’t get his way and now he’s lost control of the narrative.
The collapse of the sweetheart deal Garland’s Department of Justice tried to give Hunter Biden marks a pivotal moment in the hunt for the truth about the family’s influence-peddling schemes.
As Tomlin would appreciate, those who believed the deal was proof of favoritism were not cynical enough.
Not by a long shot.
Sweetheart slap in face
Not content to let Hunter skip jail on two serious tax charges and a gun charge that should have been treated as three felonies, Garland’s flunkies secretly tucked in a broad immunity gift as well.
The blanket shield against any other charges based on past misconduct was so inappropriate that the only possible explanation is that the aim was to shut down the probe of the family permanently.
That way, Hunter could escape further scrutiny and the dirt on dear old dad would remain hidden, even under a Republican president.
The discovery of that disgraceful sweetener by federal Judge Maryellen Noreika blew up the deal, but that must be only the start of the fallout.
Because any agreement on such an important criminal case would have needed the approval of Garland or his top deputy, Lisa Monaco, neither can be trusted again to have the final word on the Biden investigation.
The mistrust is underscored by an insider telling me with certainty the FBI was never shown the plea agreement before it was submitted to the court, a shocking break with usual practice.
The insider also said FBI leaders would have objected to the deal as far too lenient if they had seen it.
That leaves just two acceptable paths forward.
First, Garland must appoint a special prosecutor, taking the Biden case as far as possible out of his hands and away from his office.
But given his dual sins of protecting the president and his family while unleashing a double-barreled legal assault against Donald Trump, anyone Garland appoints would be suspect — unless the AG seeks the advice of congressional Republicans.
That would be a highly unorthodox move but there is no legal reason why it can’t be done.
Given the ocean of mistrust about the department under Garland, getting GOP buy-in for the choice of a new Biden investigator would give the public some confidence that rank partisans would no longer decide the outcome.
Consider that a late June poll by Reuters/Ipsos found that 50% of respondents believed then that Hunter Biden was receiving favorable treatment because of his name, including 33% of Democrats and 42% of independents.
Left running out of spin
That number will almost certainly climb in coming polls because of the wide coverage the court meltdown got.
Even The New York Times, which has protected the Bidens by ignoring evidence the president shared in the family’s illicit millions, made the plea collapse the top story on Thursday’s front page.
Other leftist media also finally gave the case prominent play, and once the public digests the facts and implications, the Bidens will find themselves even more isolated among Democrats.
The president’s sudden Friday announcement that he recognizes Hunter’s out-of-wedlock daughter as his grandchild was an act of desperation, not decency.
As I wrote recently, growing public awareness of the family’s corruption, along with his low approval ratings, likely will force Biden to announce he will not seek a second term.
As for Garland, a Quinnipiac poll last month found that 62% of respondents believed the federal charges against Trump over withholding classified documents were motivated mostly by politics.
Combined with the widespread belief Hunter got favored treatment, the findings show there is not enough public trust for Garland to retain control of politically-charged cases.
If nothing else, a special prosecutor approved by House Republicans would take the Biden case away from David Weiss, the Delaware US attorney who had it for five years but ultimately defended the Bidens instead of prosecuting them.
The testimony of IRS and FBI whistleblowers that they were blocked from conducting an honest probe and Weiss’ dodgy answers to congress about his authority marks him as untrustworthy.
Grounds for Garland ax
The second possible path forward would come into play if Garland refuses to recognize and act on the disaster he created.
In that case, the House should impeach him immediately.
It would be a well-deserved and historic move, although conviction and removal by the Senate is unlikely. Garland earned the taint by caving into pressure from the White House and other Democrats to do their political bidding.
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed impeachment articles against him last May over Garland’s “weaponization” of the department and for creating a “two-tiered” justice system.
Greene, a wacky apostate in her own party, nevertheless happens to be on target this time.
Additional articles would cover Garland’s handling of the Biden and Trump cases, based on the evidence provided by whistleblowers and documents gathered by congressional committees.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would almost certainly be able to hold his slim majority together given the Biden scandal and the continuing legal onslaught against Trump.
The prosecutor Garland picked for that case, Jack Smith, is a known headhunter, while the prosecutor he picked to investigate Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents has been so silent he must be in the witness protection program.
Finally, the Biden impeachment inquiry McCarthy is planning is warranted, but the timing is crucial.
Rushing the process without wider public support would risk defeat, and give Democrats a victory that would be a vote for unfettered corruption.
Next year’s election is far enough away that there still would be sufficient time to build an unassailable brick-by-brick case against Biden after Garland has been impeached.
Only by gathering and revealing irrefutable evidence that the president is both corrupt and compromised will the public give the necessary support to such a dramatic move.