A GOP Chairman’s Tough Hypocrisy on ‘Political’ Probes

Whereas Rep. James Comer (R-KY) has been tapped to steer congressional probes into what Home Republicans characterize because the “weaponization” of presidency investigations, Comer isn’t any stranger to weaponizing politically pushed investigations.

Final week, Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) fired off a controversial missive to Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg, claiming Bragg was flirting with “an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority” in his reportedly pending resolution to indict former President Donald Trump. The letter demanded funding data associated to the probe and preemptively attacked any coming fees as “a politically motivated prosecutorial resolution.”

However Comer has but to reply for what seems to be a politically motivated prosecutorial resolution from his previous.

The difficulty resurfaced in a New York Occasions profile on Comer final week, the place the congressman “confirmed, for the primary time” that he had helped orchestrate the 2015 leak of a journalist’s personal emails. His marketing campaign then used the leak—unsuccessfully—to fight home abuse allegations throughout Comer’s ill-fated Kentucky gubernatorial run.

In response to the Occasions, Comer additionally “strongly hinted” within the interview that he had obtained the emails from a personal legislation agency server.

“I’ve had two servers in my lifetime,” Comer instructed the Occasions. “Hunter Biden’s is one, and you’ll—I’m not going to say who the opposite one was, however you should use your creativeness.”

He added, “It ended up in my lap. I’ll put it like that.”

Comer’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Through the 2015 main, the Comer marketing campaign tied these leaked emails to a grand jury investigation into native blogger and erstwhile lawyer Michael J. Adams, who had been publishing rumors of the abuse allegations because the early phases of Comer’s run.

However the Comer marketing campaign was itself liable for placing that grand jury into movement within the first place, when Comer’s working mate, Chris McDaniel, handed different emails he’d acquired from the blogger to a county prosecutor, Rob Sanders—who additionally occurred to be a political ally.

(Sanders had additionally donated to the Comer marketing campaign forward of the first—whereas his grand jury was investigating—in line with Kentucky marketing campaign finance data.)

Not solely did the Comer marketing campaign provoke the grand jury investigation, they had been additionally those who first revealed it to the general public—and at a vital second within the election.

Two weeks earlier than the first, Comer’s working mate, McDaniel, talked about the existence of the grand jury in a debate. That very same day, the Louisville Courier-Journal ran the girl’s story, quoting from a four-page letter she’d despatched the publication together with interviews together with her mom and folks near her on the time of the alleged abuse.

Comer then falsely implied to reporters that the grand jury probe not solely involved Adams, but additionally the abuse allegations and improper coordination with the marketing campaign of his main rival. The prosecutor, Rob Sanders, then closed the investigation with out informing the general public quickly after Comer misplaced the first.

Comer has denied the allegations. His workplace didn’t reply to The Every day Beast’s request for remark.

Within the letter, the girl mentioned she determined to come back ahead after studying Comer’s denials. And people denials, it seems, had appeared within the story in regards to the emails that Comer just lately admitted leaking—and which he seems to have obtained from the legislation agency server. The emails confirmed that the blogger had mentioned the abuse rumors with an lawyer married to the working mate of Comer’s GOP rival, Hal Heiner.

Within the debate, McDaniel mentioned the race had taken “a flip for the nasty,” citing the hyperlink between the blogger and the Heiner marketing campaign. McDaniel then revealed the beforehand secret grand jury probe, claiming the blogger had “put out private threats” towards his daughters, which “induced us to must contact the commonwealth’s lawyer, who has convened a grand jury and has an ongoing investigation.”

After the controversy, Sanders—an in depth political ally who had reportedly entertained a gubernatorial run earlier than Comer stepped in—confirmed that he’d launched the grand jury inquiry in December.

“I don’t anticipate that this investigation can be over earlier than the first, and that’s very intentional on my half,” Sanders instructed the Cincinnati Enquirer on Might 5.

The prosecutor later disclosed that he had shuttered the five-month investigation with out fees “on the finish of the first.” However Sanders, who had publicly confirmed the grand jury earlier than the first, didn’t publicly verify dissolving the panel till months after he ended the inquiry.

“I assume the investigation roughly stopped on the finish of the first election as a result of I haven’t heard any additional complaints towards Mr. Adams,” Sanders instructed the Courier-Journal in August, including, “barring extra proof or testimony, I don’t anticipate they are going to be contemplating the rest.”

A livid Adams accused the marketing campaign and Sanders of abusing the judicial system to “deceive the general public” for political achieve.

“I’m outraged {that a} prosecutor would coordinate his workplace with a political marketing campaign to deceive the general public and affect an election,” Adams instructed the Courier-Journal. (The Every day Beast despatched a remark request to an e mail deal with affiliated with Adams’ official Kentucky Bar Affiliation account, however didn’t obtain a reply.)

On the identical time, Comer—extensively considered one of many extra accountable members of the rambunctious Home GOP caucus—has quietly closed a earlier Democratic probe into whether or not Trump leveraged his White Home place for private monetary achieve. He did the identical with one other investigation into Saudi Arabia’s enterprise dealings with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner; the Occasions reported that Comer acknowledged the investigation can be politically infeasible.

Final Thursday, the Congressional Integrity Venture, a Democratic group, seized on Comer’s Occasions confession to request a proper native investigation into Comer’s function within the e mail leak, the Courier-Journal reported.

In a press release to The Every day Beast, CIP president Kyle Herrig mentioned that whereas Comer has used his subcommittee perch to focus on purported politically-motivated investigations, Comer “didn’t suppose twice about weaponizing prosecutors to advance his personal political profession.”

“Whereas Comer might have grown accustomed to main political stunts that don’t pack a lot of a punch, a legislation enforcement investigation in Kentucky into his obvious admission that he illegally hacked a server and leaked paperwork would have severe penalties,” Herrig alleged within the assertion.

Whereas Comer’s efforts have the full-throated assist of the right-wing agitators within the Home, different Republican leaders seem skeptical.

“He’s prone to do it in a extra type of levelheaded, much less flamboyant approach than some members of the Home may try this job,” Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell (R-KY) instructed the Occasions final week.

“He’ll do it in addition to anybody may. What we don’t know is whether or not anybody may,” McConnell added.