DML Morning Briefing Fri. Dec. 11: How Barr held off on Hunter case, all eyes on Texas, and more…
By Team DML
Today is December 11 and I am Dennis Michael Lynch.
1 – Attorney General Barr Worked to Keep Hunter Biden Probes From Public View During Election
Wall Street Journal reports: Attorney General William Barr has known about a disparate set of investigations involving Hunter Biden’s business and financial dealings since at least this spring, a person familiar with the matter said, and worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign.
Republicans and President Trump have pressed Mr. Barr for months to pursue Mr. Biden, especially as his father, Joe Biden, gained momentum in his ultimately successful bid for president. Mr. Barr has staved off pressure from Republicans in Congress for information into the investigations, the person said, without elaborating on his actions.
WSJ highlights two cases involving Hunter Biden:
- U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware served a subpoena on Hunter in connection with a criminal tax investigation
- Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have been investigating an international financial criminal investigation for at least a year that involves Hunter Biden
While the investigations in Delaware and Manhattan proceeded, investigators tried to keep the cases out of public view by taking few visible steps in the weeks before the November election, recognizing the impact their work could have, said one of the people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Barr was aware of the investigations involving Hunter Biden before the spring, the person said, though it isn’t clear when or how he first learned of the inquiries. Justice Department guidelines advise investigators against taking overt actions in a run-up to an election so as not to be seen as affecting the outcome.
DML: I’ll be talking about this on my podcast this morning!
2 – 18 states join Texas case seeking to overturn Biden win
The Hill reports: Eighteen states have joined Texas in its lawsuit that seeks to halt presidential electors in four battleground states from casting their votes for President-elect Joe Biden.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) filed the lawsuit before the Supreme Court on Tuesday against Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — all states Biden won. It argues that electors from those states should not cast their votes because the states unconstitutionally changed their voting processes to allow for mail-in voting.
The attorneys general of seventeen states that President Trump won filed an amicus brief on Wednesday. Those states are: Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) filed a separate brief in support of the case.
ALSO… Missouri and five other states on Thursday threw their support even further behind the Texas lawsuit aiming to prevent Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin’s electors from casting their electoral votes by asking the Supreme Court to let them join the Texas suit.
The Thursday filing led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, which also includes Arkansas, Utah, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, would make those states parties before the court in the case rather than just outside voices weighing in. President Trump’s campaign did the same on Wednesday.
ALSO… More than 100 House Republicans on Thursday signed an amicus brief in support of the Texas lawsuit.
“This brief presents [our] concern as Members of Congress, shared by untold millions of their constituents, that the unconstitutional irregularities involved in the 2020 presidential election cast doubt upon its outcome and the integrity of the American system of elections,” states the brief signed by 106 GOP lawmakers.
DML: It’s not over till it’s over!
3 – Gov. Whitmer defends Michigan Democrat state lawmaker who posted sinister threatening video directed at Trump supporters
Democrat Michigan state Rep. Cynthia Johnson was stripped of her committee seats by senior GOP state officials after she released a video on Facebook Tuesday, as a warning to Trump supporters who had left her threatening messages.
“So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful, walk lightly, we ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough,” she said in a three-minute-long video. “And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right, be in order, make them pay,” she said in a threatening voice.
But Gov. Gretchen Whitmer slammed Republicans for removing Johnson from her committees, claiming that Johnson “has been through a lot” lately, including threats directed against her after a contentious voter-fraud hearing with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani — and dealing with a loved one’s case of the coronavirus. She urged “a little bit of compassion and grace” for the lawmaker, who was the vice chair of the state House Oversight Committee.
4 – Time magazine names Biden, Harris its Person of the Year in profile fiercely critical of Trump
Fox News reports: Time magazine announced late Thursday that it named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris its Person of the Year in a profile that was fiercely critical of President Trump.
Charlotte Alter, the author of the piece, wrote that Biden’s pledge “to ‘restore the soul of the nation’ felt like antiquated hokum at a moment when Hurricane Trump was tearing through America, ripping through institutions, chewing up norms and spitting them out.”
She interviewed Biden and praised his approach to the campaign. She wrote that to Biden “it wasn’t about fighting Trump with righteous vengeance, or probing any deeper rot that might have contributed to his ascent. Biden believed most voters simply wanted reconciliation after four years of combat, that they craved decency, dignity, experience and competence.”
The decision for Time to announce Biden and Harris for its top honor will likely rankle Trump supporters who will likely see the move as the latest example of how mainstream media will embrace the Biden administration for the next four years.
DML: Welcome to 2020
5 – Little boy left in tears after mall Santa tells him he can’t have a nerf gun
From KTVU:After a young boy’s visit with Santa ended in tears from being told he couldn’t have a toy gun, a mall in Illinois apologized by sending another jolly ol’ Saint Nick to his home with a brand new Nerf gun.
The boy was captured on video posted by his mother, Sabella DeCarlo, at a mall in Norridge, a suburb of Chicago. It shows 4-year-old Michael sitting at a table across from the mall Santa on Dec. 6.
Michael tells the mall Santa he would like a Nerf gun, and the Santa replies saying, “No, no guns.”
DeCarlo told Storyful she thought maybe the Santa did not hear her son correctly, so she chimes in to clarify, “Nerf gun.”
The Santa responds, “no, not even a Nerf gun,” adding, “if your dad wants to get it for you, that’s fine. But I can’t bring it to you.”
The next day the Harlem Irving Plaza sent another mall Santa to the boy’s home with a nerf gun.
DML: I’ll be talking about this on my podcast this morning