Guy Benson With us now is Kim STRASSEL, Potomac Watch columnist, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News contributor. Preorder her new book coming out soon, The Biden malaise, which I read and blurbed. Kim, it’s great to have you back here, as always.
Kim Strassel: Hi, Guy. It’s great to be here.
Guy Benson: So can you please walk us through we talked a bit about this yesterday with Jason Chaffetz. But I think for people who might be listening to us right now, and quite frankly, if truth be told, I would put myself in that category to some extent. They’ve heard so much swirl about whistle blowers and Hunter Biden and Joe Biden and secret payments and circuitous payments and all of that. Then you’ve got the other side of things with Trump and the Durham probe and the Russia investigation. There’s just so much swirl out there. It’s hard to keep everything straight. There’s this fight happening at the moment between the FBI and the House Oversight Committee, where there was something of an agreement struck, it seemed the other day, where they wouldn’t move forward in the oversight committee with a contempt vote against the leader of the FBI, Christopher Wray. And then some document that Comer wanted to see the chairman of that committee. He saw it and he said that’s actually doesn’t comply with what we had agreed to and what our subpoena requires. And so now contempt, I guess, is back on. He’s got the backing of the speaker of the House. What is this about? Why is the FBI not simply providing access to this document, to Congress? They want to see it. They’re withholding it to some extent. Just explain this to us.
Kim Strassel: Sure. So this has to do with a document which claims to have an allegation from a confidential human source. So this is someone that reports back information to the FBI. This confidential human source claims that he spoke with a foreign national and that this foreign national claimed that he offered to bribe or did bribe then Vice President Biden over something to do with Ukrainian policy. So the Republicans have been wanting to see this for a long time. The FBI refused to even acknowledge the documents existence. Now it has acknowledged it does exist. This report on the confidential human source and what was supposedly said. They brought it up to the Capitol Hill for the Republicans to look at. Republicans were like, yeah, you know, that’s all great, but we want to have access to it. We want to keep it ourselves. That’s where you get to the contempt issue. They have been able to see it, but apparently some of it was redacted and also they weren’t allowed to take possession of it. So they are saying that Wray has not complied with their subpoena. Separately, you have this swirl. Democrats walked out of that at that meeting and claimed that this had all been put to rest, that, in fact, the FBI told them that this allegation has been investigated and dismissed. You now have Republicans coming out saying that is not true, that in fact, it was referred to a different office, that former Attorney General Bill Barr came out as well and said that did not seem to be true, that this is still being looked at potentially.
Guy Benson: So that’s part of the allegation. Kim, just real quick, I thought part of the allegation was this was an accusation against Biden involving potential bribery, millions of dollars that the accusation had come in and had basically just they sat on it. They didn’t really investigate it. That’s what the Republicans are saying. The Democrats are saying, oh, no, it was looked into, dismissed. Those are diametrically opposed narratives. Something has to be true, right? One of those has to be true.
Kim Strassel: Absolutely. And then the question is, is who’s lying? Because there’s also this question. The Democrats are saying this is what they were told. Now, if that’s what the FBI didn’t tell them then, is the FBI being untruthful? Are Democrats being untruthful about what they were told? Are Republicans being untruthful about what they were told? It’s very confusing at the moment because, yes, the allegation is that it was set on and and the Democrats are claiming that, in fact, it was looked at and dismissed.
Guy Benson: Okay. Meanwhile, on the subject of former President Trump, he put out on a truth social the other day, all capital letters rant about the possibility of a federal indictment coming his way over the Mar a Lago documents. We’ve gotten details about, I guess, like a pool getting drained and then flooding a room where some of the stuff was held. And you’ve got people wondering, was that evidence destruction? What was going on there? His public statement on that social platform was read by many people as him reacting to what his lawyers are telling him, which is maybe there really is a good chance an indictment is coming down the pike. This is not Alvin Bragg in New York. This is the feds on the classified documents stuff. And. Again, it’s hard to sort of separate spin and sort of, you know, angry blowhard stuff from what’s real. I am open, Kim, to the possibility that Trump did something unlawful, irresponsible, that he tried to obstruct justice or cover up. That seems totally plausible to me. At the very least, it had to be proven, of course. If they decide to charge him. On the other hand. Hillary Clinton. And this is not What about ism? This is about ism. Hillary Clinton grievously, grotesquely mishandled classified material. She did so intentionally. She set up a whole system to allow her to do it and get away with it without being caught. Which didn’t work out because she did get caught. Then she and her team destroyed evidence, lied about it incessantly. I mean, every step of the way it was just rotten. And ultimately, she got a public slap on the wrist that hurt her politically. But it was not. A criminal charge. At the time, it felt like cut and dried that she had committed a crime and she was getting special treatment for political reasons. If they then look at not the exact same fact pattern, obviously, but let’s say very bad mishandling of classified materials and classified documents and not being fully truthful, not fully cooperating in all of that. And they look at Donald Trump, they say, well, that is worthy of a criminal charge. That’s not necessarily, you know, a vindication or absolution for Donald Trump’s conduct. But it is, once again, I would say, potential evidence of a two tiered justice system where there are different sets of rules, which is something that makes a lot of Americans very, very angry. Trump’s been playing on that. I think it’s a legit thing to play up if in fact, this is what’s going to happen. I just wonder how you see his public post and where you think this is going.
Kim Strassel: Well, I absolutely agree with you about the perception that there would be two tiers of justice given Hillary Clinton. And I think it could be worse than that Guy, because don’t forget that in the wake of this raid on Mar a Lago and the appointment of the special counsel, of course, we find out that Joe Biden has held classified information right in several residences. And of course, this kind of backfired on Attorney General Merrick Garland. He felt compelled to put forward a special counsel to look into Biden as well, too, which means, first of all, there’s this almost craziness right now because we talk a lot about the Department of Justice and how politicized it is. We currently have two special counsels that are investigating the former president and the current president. Okay. I mean, that’s just on its own.
Guy Benson: Forcing for similar breaches of protocol, at the very least when it comes to classified materials. Right. I mean, that’s right. That that’s at least part of of the Trump probe. It is the heart of the Biden probe. The Biden stuff is bad. And I think he should be held accountable. And it seems very clear that they mishandled this stuff and then said, oh, it’s all done. And then, oops, there’s more being discovered. And it was sloppy and quite possibly dishonest. The Trump stuff on the merits to me seems worse, but not worse than the Hillary stuff, which was as bad, if not worse still. And the key is she was never charged. Kim. And a lot of people remember that. That has to color not just decision making processes at the DOJ. It will also color public perception, public opinion if they decide to file charges against this guy. But not that gal.
Kim Strassel: Well, right. But that’s my perception point as well, even when it comes to Biden, because if they’re going to indict Donald Trump on classified documents and then not do so for Joe Biden, they can talk until they’re blue in the face about the differences in degrees and why one of them might have been obstruction and why one wasn’t. But that isn’t going to resonate with most Americans. They’re going to say to special counsels, one guy got indicted, one guy didn’t. And, you know, that’s not for bringing in all your excellent points about Hillary Clinton, which is a far more egregious example. And I understand that prosecutors have to make decisions on the merits. And every case is unique. But for Americans watching this, I don’t think they’re necessarily going to make that distinction. And all of this let’s also remember this, too. Look, no one’s above the law. I say this all the time, but prosecutors ought to be at their most restrained when they are investigating political figures. And we have to ask why we’re going down this road over a documents question.
Guy Benson: Kim, we have a bit of time left. I do want to get your reaction to The New York Times story. This week we’ve been discussing with various guests tackling the issue of President Biden’s age and how it’s giving heartburn to Democrats and some of the political sensitivities surrounding his sometimes mental acuity issues, sometimes his his physical fitness issues. And I mean, it’s a live question, I think, for a lot of voters. And we were once again told we learned again that his team tries to limit. His public events and things that they schedule him for. It’s just a very small window. Couple hours a day, five days a week, and that’s basically it. Quickly, your reaction?
Kim Strassel: Well, I know we always talk about this in the political realm in terms of next year’s election. What I worry about most, though, when I saw that poll is just the potential for a real health emergency on Biden’s watch and what that would mean for America’s security. Other people are watching. You know, it could cause a crisis in terms of who’s in charge. Like, I just think that for the good of the country, there are some really serious questions that have to be examined here that are.
Guy Benson: Totally especially concerning who the vice president is as well. Another factor in this.