House GOP Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer‘s alleged FBI “whistleblower,” who he claimed just days ago was a “very credible witness on Biden family corruption,” despite having been missing for months, was just indicted on charges including “arms trafficking,” “Iranian sanctions violations,” and “conspir[ing] with others in an effort to act within the United States to advance the interests of the People’s Republic of China (China),” according to the U.S. Dept of Justice.
He is currently on the run, DOJ says.
“According to court documents, Gal Luft, 57, is charged in an eight-count indictment with offenses related to willfully failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), arms trafficking, Iranian sanctions violations and making false statements to federal agents,” a DOJ press release states. “Luft was arrested on Feb. 17 in the Republic of Cyprus based on the charges in the indictment. Luft subsequently fled after being released on bail while extradition proceedings were pending and remains a fugitive.”
Some, including NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins are characterizing Luft with being charged as a “Chinese spy.”
“The ‘missing’ Hunter Biden witness the GOP was promising for a while there was just charged by the DOJ with being a Chinese spy,” Collins tweeted.
On Friday, Chairman Comer (photo) tweeted out a clip of his appearance on Newsmax, and wrote: “Gal Luft, a very credible witness on Biden family corruption, provided incriminating evidence to six officials from the FBI and the DOJ in a meeting in Brussels in March 2019. We have no reason to believe the FBI & DOJ acted on this info. Americans deserve answers.”
Comer told Newsmax Gal Luft is “very credible, and the people on MSNBC who made fun of me when I said that we had an informant that was missing, they should feel like fools right now.”
“This is their worst nightmare, again, because this is a credible witness,” he continued.
Chairman Comer’s allegations attacking President Joe Biden and his family repeatedly have been baseless.
“Comer has so far failed to show how Biden may have benefited from the payments or how any alleged business dealings by relatives may have impacted Biden’s policy decisions,” TIME reported back in May. “He has repeatedly blamed stonewalling by the Biden Administration for why his investigation hasn’t gotten more traction.”
“We are hopeful that we can find the informant,” Comer told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. “Now remember, these informants are kind of in the spy business, so they don’t make a habit of being seen a lot or being high profile or anything like that.”
Also Friday, Rupert Murdoch’s NY Post Editorial Board ran a piece titled, “Media silence on key would-be witness Gal Luft’s Biden revelations speaks volumes.”
“The drip-drip-drip of evidence detailing the Biden family criminal enterprise has turned into a torrent,” it claimed.
Watch below or at this link.
Gal Luft, a very credible witness on Biden family corruption, provided incriminating evidence to six officials from the FBI and the DOJ in a meeting in Brussels in March 2019.
We have no reason to believe the FBI & DOJ acted on this info.
— Rep. James Comer (@RepJamesComer) July 7, 2023
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House Votes to Boot George Santos 311-114
Representative George Santos (R-NY) has been expelled from Congress following a 311-114 vote; two House members voted “present.”
The expulsion of Santos follows a debate on his fate on Thursday. The vote required a two-thirds majority, or 290 of the 435-seat chamber. This is Santos’ third vote of expulsion; last month, a vote failed with 31 Democrats voting against, according to The Hill.
While the vote was decisive, some notable Republicans voted to save Santos, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
“We’ve not whipped the vote and we wouldn’t,” Johnson told CNN Wednesday. “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this, I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.”
Santos himself had harsh words for the House following the vote. Leaving the capitol building, he briefly spoke with reporters.
“The House spoke that’s their vote. They just set new dangerous precedent for themselves,” he told CNN. “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”
He then cut his time short, telling reporters, “You know what? As unofficially no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer your questions.”
Santos also faces 23 federal charges, which include fraud, money laundering and misuse of campaign funds, according to CNN. He has pleaded not guilty. An Ethics Committee report found evidence that Santos used campaign funds for Botox and even an OnlyFans account.
On Thursday, Santos said he refused to resign because otherwise, “they win.”
“If I leave the bullies take place. This is bullying,” Santos said. “The reality of it is it’s all theater, theater for the cameras and theater for the microphones. Theater for the American people at the expense of the American people because no real work’s getting done.”
Santos also threatened to file a resolution to expel Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Bowman pulled a fire alarm in September. Bowman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and said it was an accident. He said he thought the fire alarm would open a locked door as he rushed to a vote. Bowman paid a $1,000 fine.
There have only been six total expulsions from the House, including Santos. Santos is the only Republican to ever be expelled from the House.
The previous expulsion was in 2002, when Representative James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled after a 420-1 vote. Traficant had been convicted on 10 counts of corruption-related crimes.
Before Traficant, Representative Michael “Ozzie” Myers (D-PA) was the first representative of the modern era to be expelled. Myers got the boot following his conviction for accepting bribes. Myers couldn’t keep out of trouble; in 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of election fraud.
Prior to Myers, the only expulsions from the House were in 1861, at the start of the Civil War. Henry Cornelius Burnett (D-KY), John William Reid (D-MO) and John Bullock Clark (Whig-MO) were all expelled for joining the Confederacy.
Peter Navarro, Former Top Trump White House Advisor, Guilty of Criminal Contempt
Peter Navarro, the controversial economist and former top Trump White House advisor, was found guilty by a jury on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress Thursday afternoon after a short trial that began on Tuesday.
Navarro refused to comply with a congressional subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack.
Legal experts had predicted a “quick conviction” after Navarro, called a “conspiracy theorist” who promotes “fringe” economic theories, had called no witnesses. The jury deliberated for under five hours. He faces up to two years in prison.
“The defendant chose allegiance to former President Trump over compliance with a subpoena,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi told the jury Thursday, as Politico reported. “The defendant chose defiance.”
“Our government only works when people play by the rules and it only works when people are held accountable when they do not,” Aloi also said, during closing arguments. “When a person intentionally and deliberately chooses to defy a congressional subpoena, that is a crime.”
Politico reported earlier that “ Navarro has long claimed that Trump told him to defy the committee’s Feb. 9, 2022 subpoena and assert executive privilege, a demand he said conferred immunity from having to cooperate with Congress’ investigation.”
“There’s no mistake, no accident,” prosecutor John Crabb told jurors, NBC News adds.
“That man thinks he’s above the law,” Crabb said. “In this country, nobody is above the law.”
‘Look for a Quick Conviction Here’: Navarro Jury Could Reach a Verdict ‘Early This Afternoon’
Peter Navarro‘s criminal contempt of Congress trial is moving quickly and the jury may come to a verdict as early as this afternoon, court watchers say.
Navarro, who has been called a “conspiracy theorist” who holds “fringe” and “oddball” economic views, is a former top Trump White House aide. He advanced “Big Lie” election fraud claims and refused to comply with a February, 2022 subpoena issued by the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. He was criminally indicted in June of 2022 by a federal grand jury.
The trial began Tuesday in D.C. federal court.
Just before 11 AM Thursday the case was handed to the jury, Politico’s Kyle Cheney reports.
“Given the brevity of the case, a verdict is highly likely in the next few hours,” Cheney adds, noting: “If convicted, he faces up to one year on each of two counts — one for refusing to testify, one for refusing to provide docs.”
“Navarro has long claimed that Trump told him to defy the committee’s Feb. 9, 2022 subpoena and assert executive privilege, a demand he said conferred immunity from having to cooperate with Congress’ investigation,” Politico reports. “For months, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta wrestled with intricate questions about how executive privilege might apply to a former adviser to a former president, whether Navarro’s belief that Trump had invoked the privilege constituted a defense to the charges and how the Justice Department’s decision to charge him compares with its longstanding views of immunity for some senior executive branch officials from compelled congressional testimony.”
Wednesday evening, former top DOJ official Harry Litman noted, “Peter Navarro evidence already done, closing arguments tomorrow. Basically, it’s an incredibly simple case — he knew he had to comply with the subpoena, and he still thumbed his nose at it.”
Adding the the government called three witness but “Navarro called nobody,” Litman predicted: “Look for a quick conviction here.”
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