Meddling with elections has become the norm at DOJ.
DOJ and Election Interference
As the major party nominations grow closer, questions of age and competency have plagued both party’s probable candidates. Trump is certainly older than most presidential contenders, and Biden, well, it seems obvious.
Biden’s acuity and age issues seem apparent to us, but not to everyone. Supporters either don’t appear to notice, or to be overly concerned, about his mental state. Maybe we are biased, maybe they don’t want to see it. Maybe both are a bit true.
The recent report on Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents put the President’s diminished capacity on paper and in an official government document. That is hard to ignore or brush off. Robert Hur was the former US Attorney appointed as Special Counsel to handle the inquiry into the classified documents found in the President’s garage and homes.
Defenders of Biden will surely note that he is a Republican, but remember that Merrick Garland specifically chose him to handle this investigation. Merrick is no Republican. (Remember hearing about “Trump appointed” US Attorney David Weiss over and over?)
Hur did not recommend charges against Biden. He stated that there was not probable cause for an arrest despite the fact that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency”. Hur discovered Biden was sharing of documents with a ghostwriter and acknowledging he had them. US Code appears to state that Biden was allowed to remove the documents as Vice-President, but was not allowed to retain them. It is not clear how that substantially differs from Donald Trump.
Hur makes the argument that Biden’s diminished capacity would be a valid defense to his “knowingly” retaining classified documents. It is not a prosecutor’s job to create defense strategies for his target, but it does create the opportunity to blast Biden on his mental decline.
And this is where the problem lies. The Department of Justice has had a serious and outsized effect on the past three presidential elections. This trend is more than alarming, it is un-democratic.
In 2016, the DOJ very publicly gave Hillary Clinton a pass on her private server and the classified documents it maintained. Weeks before the election FBI Director James Comey gave a press conference indicating that Clinton had, in essence, committed a crime but would not be prosecuted. He appeared to be more concerned about getting caught sweeping the whole thing under the rug than the interests of justice.
But a more sinister plot was afoot. The Russian collusion Crossfire Hurricane investigation was invented to damage Trump. Created in the Clinton Campaign, it was pitched to the FBI who turned it into a publicized conspiracy investigation. The damage affected both the 2016 and 2020 elections. Even after the Mueller Report, 48% of Americans thought Russian collusion was true.
The Justice Department again put its finger on the scales during the 2020 election with the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story and its influence on social media companies. The Twitter Files blew the lid off this malfeasance by the FBI and Justice Department. Polls show that this story may have changed the outcome of the Trump-Biden election.
For the 2024 election, the Justice Department is actively prosecuting the candidate leading the presidential polling. Running for president doesn’t mean you get a free pass on crime, but these cases are relatively weak. Perhaps this is the ultimate election interference, its hard to run a campaign from your new home within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
And now comes this report on Joe Biden in time for the 2024 election. It is not as damaging as the two Department of Justice cases against Trump, but it is serious and unnecessary. Trump supporters may be cheering, but realize what you are supporting: An appointed bureaucrat with no voter accountability making official pronouncements that affect our election process. You may agree or disagree with Hur’s recommendation on charges, but that was a legitimate undertaking. Hur’s opinion on the President’s mental acuity is not in his purview.
Hur should have done the job he was hired to do. As in: Refer Biden on potential charges for his conduct to a U.S. Attorney.
Then as to the election: Let the voters decide on their own.
Alvin Bragg’s True Colors
Alvin Bragg gave a stumbling, disjointed, and poorly organized press conference Thursday regarding the indictment of perps in the migrant gang assault of two NYPD cops in Times Square. He used a PowerPoint worthy of a high school presentation to try to cover up his obvious distain for the police. He took questions, but the television audience could not hear them due to a lack of proper audio. This was yet another Bragg-inspired slight to New Yorkers who tuned in because they were concerned about how their cops were being treated by the District Attorney of New York County.
Mayor Adams joined him at this dog-and-pony show, although we have no idea why. Adams at least seems to want cops to succeed. We can’t say the same for Bragg.
Bragg’s excuses on why he did not request bail for these serious felonies were hollow and contrived. He had claimed that he did not have enough evidence to rush a grand jury presentation if the perps had been held in on bail. NY Criminal Procedure Law requires defendants held in custody be indicted within a maximum of 6 days. Even if you wanted to believe Bragg’s excuses, the release of NYPD bodycam video dispelled most of his arguments.
One of the officer’s body cameras clearly captured solid video evidence of the perps before and during the assault. It is true that some of the individuals initially contacted were not those committing the assault, but they are all on video. That combined with surveillance video and the NYPD Argus cameras, as well as the testimony of the officers themselves, would seemingly make a grand jury presentation a snap.
Now Bragg has his indictments. Let’s see what he does with them.
We can guarantee that the NYPD will do everything it can to locate these perps and bring them to justice. It remains to be seen if Alvin Bragg – who undoubtedly is waging an internal battle between his disdain for cops and his desire to be re-elected –will do the same.
Thanks for reading The Ops Desk. Stay Safe!