Biden’s Canned Hunt: The Punishment of the Border Agents is about Protecting a President, not Migrants


Below is my column in The Hill on the punishment of four mounted Border Patrol agents in Texas and what is says about us as a country. What is particularly crushing is not just that this can occur but that it was predicted almost a year ago.

Here is the column:

President Eisenhower once said that “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.” When it comes to subordinates, that can become a virtual canned hunt for a president. Worse yet, presidents often use other subordinates to pull the trigger.

That is what happened this week when President Biden bagged four Border Patrol agents in one of the most cowardly canned hunts in political history.

After almost a year of investigation, the Biden administration announced the agents would be punished even though investigators found no evidence that they whipped migrants, as Biden and many other politicians and pundits insisted. Since the president declared — before an investigation had begun — that the agents would have to be punished, the agents had to be found guilty of something. So, they were reprimanded for “unprofessional conduct,” “working in an unsafe manner” and “derogatory language.”

Make no mistake: This is not about protecting migrants. It is about protecting a president.

The verdict on these agents was decided ten months ago, after the media went into a frenzy over a false story accusing mounted officers of whipping undocumented migrants near Del Rio, Texas, on Sept. 19.

A photographer captured the scene, which showed agents using bridle reins to guide their skittish horses. The entire videotape clearly shows the agents using the reins on their mounts, not on the migrants. Not only did the photographer quickly deny seeing any officers whip migrants, the videotape clearly refuted that allegation. However, for many in politics and the media it did not matter because it played into a racial-justice claim of the “whipping (of) Haitian asylum seekers.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) condemned “the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) decried “images of inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol — including the use of whips.” Vice President Kamala Harris emoted on “The View” about how the brutality “invoked images of some of the worst moments of our history, where that kind of behavior has been used against the Indigenous people of our country, it has been used against African Americans during times of slavery.” Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) described the incident as “worse than what we witnessed in slavery” and “white supremacist behavior.”

President Biden rushed to express his own revulsion and rage, too: “It was horrible what — to see, as you saw — to see people treated like they did: horses nearly running them over and people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you, those people will pay.”

At the time, some of us objected that the president had, once again, declared the guilt of accused persons without evidence or investigation. The possible innocence of these officers simply did not matter to the president or to many in the press.

Despite being tasked with an investigation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas joined the condemnations of the agents, saying that their conduct “defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.” He then promised swift justice with an investigation that would take “days, not weeks” — yet the investigation dragged on for months.

The reason was obvious. Within hours, the issue was no longer whether the agents whipped migrants. The issue was that the president wrongly claimed they whipped the migrants and would be punished.

Even some in the media admitted that the story was false, but President Biden never apologized for his false accusation. The innocence of the agents simply did not matter.

In a column last year, I explained what was likely to happen. First, the administration would bury the investigation “to wait for public attention to wane.” Then it would issue a long-delayed report and protect the president “by changing the question. For example, what began as an investigation into whether agents used reins to whip migrants might be converted into a long investigation into the use of horses in crowd control operations.”

And that is precisely what has happened. After almost a year, the agents will face relatively light punishment — two weeks without pay — for such transgressions as speaking in a threatening matter or managing a horse too close to a child.

This small detachment of mounted border officers was ordered to the river’s edge to prevent a huge body of migrants from crossing. In previous legal cases, I have deposed mounted officers involved in crowd-control operations. Since horses are commonly used to control crowds, such moments are routine. That does not excuse threatening language or careless maneuvers — but such instances generally result in verbal reprimands at the scene or, occasionally, formal discipline within weeks of the operation. They do not involve multi-agency efforts and almost a year of investigation.

Moreover, these circumstances were known within days of the Del Rio incident. Yet the Biden administration waited until a Friday afternoon ten months later to release its findings. Notably, at no point did it clear the agents of allegations of being racists who whipped black migrants, despite that fact that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus said there was “no evidence Border Patrol agents involved in this incident struck anyone with their reins intentionally or otherwise.”

From beginning to end, these agents have been treated as props for the president and his administration. They were first used as embodiments of alleged systemic racism in law enforcement; they were then used as scapegoats to fulfill the president’s promise that “those people will pay.”

Most Americans would be appalled by this treatment, but few have seen the full story. It is doubtful they will, either, because much of the media was complicit with the president in the original false story and may be reluctant to fully correct the record now.

At the start of his administration, President Biden proclaimed that “the most difficult but important step [for a free nation] is burying the legacy of tyranny” and ensuring “a government and institutions that abide by the rule of law. Every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.” What few of us expected was that Biden himself would become one of those most persistent challenges.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

76 thoughts on “Biden’s Canned Hunt: The Punishment of the Border Agents is about Protecting a President, not Migrants”

  1. As the biden foundation and an 84 million dollar no compete bid was given to this company to bring illegals across the border, house them in motels and feed them… I’d say we are DONE as America.

  2. A key tenet of the idiocracy is ‘do only what’s best for the Party, not the people.’

  3. What point are you trying to make? You do not have to be a medical doctor to read and learn about a particular illness, the benefits/contraindications of the required treatment protocol and the politics involved. Wolf does not give medical advice, she repeats evidence supplied by doctors and medical research. She is an important focal point in the discussion. It’s a shame that people didn’t follow her earlier…many lives might have been saved.

  4. I wonder who is really running things?

    Brandon obviously isn’t. Neither is Camela.

    Russia and China probably know.

    Maybe China is.

    Seems like.

    Or Hunter.

    1. Good question. This interview is worth a listen, especially toward the end at 1:20 or so. She is paying attention. Tyranny is here. Wake up, people.

      “We speak to Dr Naomi Wolf, CEO of the DailyClout.IO, best selling author and journalist about what she has uncovered from studying the Pfizer data, and how government seeks to use cascading emergencies to further curtail our liberty.”

  5. This whole joeytaterhead admin move is simply revenge of whom they think they need to payback, It’s sickening lies , deceit and duplicitous admin doings behind the scenes….that we all see plainly in daylight. This admin is so Orwellian in its doings and what they say aloud…truly bad for America.

  6. Imagine an aged, dementia suffering, corrupt and moronic Lavrentiy Beria and that is what Joe Biden is. He may smile, he may play the backslapping good old Joe, he may do the “c’mon man” bit and he may do the shiny sunglasses and even shiner teeth, but he is nothing but a stupid, corrupt, demented jerk.

    PS. For those of you from Boston, my former home, the Bidens are just the Bulgers without the murders of Whitey.

    1. 100%. Biden and his wife are classless, corrupt, filth. His children are degenerates, grifters and losers. His grandchildren have to be supremely screwed up psychologically at this point. It’s not Joe’s senility that is taking him down; he has always been an awful, incompetent, unimpressive man utterly void of charisma or character. Ask Clarence Thomas what a nasty pos Joe Biden actually is.

  7. Democrats Pro- Abortion talking points:

    “Ten years old. Raped, six weeks pregnant. Already traumatized. Was forced to travel to another state. Imagine being that little girl. Just—I’m serious—just imagine being that little girl.”
    – Joe Biden

    1. This fake story is sickening as it’s all they have in rebuttal and its a patently false propaganda story. A 10 year old pregnant ?… where is the rapist of this child ?. Why would an admin proffer up such a flawed and disgusting story and then just use it to bolster their flawed propaganda and not address that a 10 year old was raped ?. There is no shame with these people.

    2. Prof. Turley’s overarching comments were-not about the legality of abortion, but more about 1/was a crime commited, and 2/ the welfare of the child. Now that a suspect is in custody, been charged the story has more context. Before, to some it seemed like a convenient anecdote to push back against the recent SCOTUS decision.

    1. I believe they are requesting extra guacamole and shredded cheese since we Hispanics all look like breakfast tacos.



      1. Estovir,
        Right you are.
        Seems to me, the Jill Biden white supremacist likes to flaunt her white privilege at the expense of minorities everywhere.
        Jill Biden is an perfect example of white privilege!
        Just remember, she looks down on anyone not white.

      2. Homework assignment for all the Latinx from “Dr.” Jill: If you were a taco here in America, what kind of taco would you be?

        And call me “Dr” Jill! Because everyone must know I am not Mrs Biden, or the wife of Senator Biden, or the Second Lady, or the First Lady of the United States. No! Hear my insecurity roar! I am DOCTOR Jill Biden. Me and my cheap Ed.D. need to be front and center calling me DR, because I am THAT insecure of a woman. You. Must. Call me DR Jill, all you little Latinx tacos!

        1. Anonymous – when I took my grad school entrance exam, I found out by accident that each of the different colleges has a different minimum score they accept. At Arizona State, the College of Education accepted the lowest score.

      3. Estovir, this was meant to be on our thread yet posted into the wild.


        Oky1 says:
        July 12, 2022 at 9:25 PM

        Here’s some Real People instead of the usual Patronizing political Aholes.

        Latinos Call OUT Jill Biden’s Ignorance



        Jul 12, 2022
        Sav Says
        Sav Says

        After Jill Biden called the Hispanic community “Latinx” tacos, I decided to go out and see if anyone even uses the made up term…


        This is just the 1st study they are comment on, there will be more for conformation of the findings, as was predicted before the shots started

        Panel of Doctors Warn Covid Vax Is Alternating Your DNA


        Jul 11, 2022

      4. The woman is an “educator” who cannot pronounce common, simple spanish words, for Gods sake. This woman is a real dum dum just like her husband.

      5. Also, rumors are picking up speed, since Biden is failing so bad & polling almost across the board 20% or lower that the Dims will be removing Biden before this Nov’s election some how. They know Camala has to go as well below the 2024 race.

        They may try to blame it on a Trump/2nd supporter, but a lot of people are watching for that so it’d be rough pulling that ole game off.

      6. FIrst Lady Melania has more class, grace, elegance, poise, character, intelligence, kindness, compassion, and style in her pinky finger than this piece of Jersey shore white trash posing as our better. Jerzy Jill is a classless dummy posing as something she is not and will never be. She can thank the fake news for propping her ugly self up all these years.

      7. She was duped by her husband, who mistakenly believed she would be going to the Uneeda Biscuit convention and represent her fellow crackers.

  8. I would have more respect for someone who can admit that they were wrong.

    Yet we have politicians who will never do that and act as if they never were wrong in the first place.

    Border Agents whipping our illegal immigrants who bravely faced dangers to get here? Shame on them. They should be punished!

    What? They didn’t ‘whip’ anyone? Well they should still be punished so that I don’t look stupid.

    Yeah, now that’s a way to run the government.


  9. What we are witnessing at the border is the Democrats attempts to fulfill the Cloward and Piven Theory. Cloward and Piven knew they could not overwhelm, destroy and replace the American way through Republicans but the Democrats were the easier target.

    1. I still see them rigging this 2022 primary season. This election/selection is already mostly over. The Az court ruled yesterday attempting to set it up.

      Among others issues if you listen below video the WEF Kaus Schwab & co moving to replace BOD’s with Globalist Commie/Nazi types.

      BTW: More Content Provides continue to join Banned.Video. More then I can keep up with.

      Biden Corruption Explodes



      Jul 10, 2022
      Bowne Report
      Bowne Report

      We are living in a time when the enormity of Joe Biden’s treason is finally coming to light even to those who refuse to see his central role in Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset.

      And as food and energy are systematically dismantled. The remaining liars for the Administration attempt to cover for compromised puppet Biden’s sabotage of the United States.

      And as China and India siphon off American fuel reserves. While American inflation is at a historic high. Biden has already signed off 54 Billion in taxpayer dollars to his corrupt partners in Ukraine along with a laundry list of military aid.

      Meanwhile, war torn and supposed cash strapped Ukrainian politicians have been reported smuggling millions in U.S. cash across the Hungarian border and have been seen with high end prostitutes soaking up the sun on the yachts of billionaires. In April of 2022, Biden’s Energy Department lead by the great reset minion Jennifer Granholm announced the sale of 950,000 Strategic Petroleum Reserve barrels to Unipec or Sinopec, which is wholly owned by the Chinese government. As of last month, more than five million barrels of oil were released from the U.S. emergency reserves, and sent overseas at least one shipment of American crude went to China,according to Reuters. In 2015, a private equity firm cofounded by Hunter Biden, Bohai Harvest RST, previously owned a stake in the Sinopec Marketing valued at $1.7 million. While Americans plummet headlong into a recession and gas prices double. The Biden family is selling off our assets.This is high treason.

      The sooner Americans comprehend that heavily compromised Joe Biden is merely the puppet of NWO globalist sabotage to destroy the United States the sooner we can salvage what is left of our borders, our elections, our economy, our energy, our farmland and our future.

    1. Just stay safe & steer clear of the nasty Taco Natcha which could lead to a bad case of Botulism. 😉

  10. When lawlessness starts at the top, as seen in President’s Biden push to protect the validity of his false claims, we can expect lawlessness throughout the system.

    The left doesn’t believe in the rule of law and exempts itself. Other leftists that have demonstrated little more than hate pile on and are considered heroes by the media and those without the brains to know better.

    This type of action will not go well.

    1. S. Meyer, a late answer for your perusal:


      George, recognizing that you have some good points, its hard to separate them from the problem ones.

      Was George Washington’s father an American citizen? How about Adams, Jefferson, etc.?

      George says:
      July 12, 2022 at 7:30 PM



      That is a fair question which was addressed in the constitutional qualification in Article 2, Section 1:

      No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution,…


      “…born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”

      Vattel’s Law of Nations stated:

      “The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.”


      Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

      1. George, late is better than never. I am glad you had the time to finish your thought which of course I agree with. Tell me where “Vattel’s Law of Nations” is in that clause or any other clause. Then we can get back to Obama who was born in Hawaii.


          You didn’t read. The Framers lived with Vattel in their back pockets. Most certainly they used the Law of Nations, the text and reference of the era, continuously. Please read this time.

          Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations: “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”

          Barak Obama will NEVER be eligible to be U.S. president.

          Barak Obama’s father was a foreign citizen at the time of Barak’s birth.

          – A mere “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution – not after.

          – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and that he be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

          – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

          – “The importance of The Law of Nations, therefore, resides both in its systematic derivation of international law from natural law and in its compelling synthesis of the modern discourse of natural jurisprudence with the even newer language of political
          economy. The features help to explain the continuing appeal of this text well into the nineteenth century among politicians, international lawyers and political theorists of every complexion.” – Law of Nations Editors Bela Kapossy and Richard Whatmore.

          – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

          – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

          – The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define words or phrases, such as “natural born citizen,” as a dictionary, while the Law of Nations, 1758, does.

          – The Law of Nations is referenced in Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution: “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;…”


          Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758

          Book 1, Ch. 19

          § 212. Citizens and natives.

          “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”


          Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

          “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”


          To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

          From John Jay

          New York 25 July 1787

          Dear Sir

          I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d

          Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore

          Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet,

          which sailed Yesterday.

          Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to

          provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

          administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief

          of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

          Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

          Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

          I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

          John Jay

          1. ” The Framers lived with Vattel in their back pockets.”

            I have sympathy for such an interpretation, however,,,

            In the back pocket is not within the 4 corners of the Constitution.

            Try again, George.

            1. What you seek is not within the four corners of the Constitution or any other relevant document (can you provide a definition?). It is necessary, therefore, to seek the words and actions of those who wrote and ratified that requirement, to determine the original intent of the authors and George has made a compelling case. If you can argue otherwise, proceed…we’re listening.

              1. Prsmith, I’m not making the claim. I like George’s definition of a natural born citizen (2 parents are citizens), but Vattel is not incorporated into the Constitution. Therefore based on those things you mentioned, you have to prove it. Then one can go further.

                1. Read above: The Constitution is not a dictionary.

                  The Law of Nations, 1758, was, as the legal text and reference of the era.

                  The Founders used multitudes of words which are defined elsewhere, not merely “natural born citizen,” which you see Jay/Washington use above.

                  You denigrate disingenuously, nay, fraudulently out of fear of the truth.

                  That you don’t solicit the truth, does not negate the truth.

                  1. George, you are right. The constitution is not a dictionary, but it sets a path. Sometimes there is a fork in the road, and we go down the wrong fork.

                    Get out your bullhorn and start pushing that Constitutional Amendment. Alternatively, figure out a way to bring the case to the Supreme Court and do it.

                    No matter what you do, you will not be able to write Obama out, but if you do I won’t be displeased.

  11. Border Patrol – quit en masse. You cannot work a job in which you will be punished for political gain though you did nothing wrong.


    Border state governors – ship all those millions of illegal immigrants to the blue states whose massive populations vote for open border politicians. Teach them the downside.

    We need to flood the expensive private schools, and public schools in wealthy neighborhoods, with ESL learners grades behind in school. Let the rich schools struggle to educate overwhelming numbers of ESL students, unable to provide existing students a decent education.

    Right now, illegal immigrants flood cheaper places to live. Rural areas. Poor neighborhoods. The quality of education in local schools plummet when more and more students don’t speak English and are behind.

    In reasonable numbers, ESL students can be absorbed into schools and receive an excellent education. Too many, and the education quality falls for everyone.

    Our leaders are supposed to look out for the best interests of OUR country. Open borders is bad for any nation. Democrats are playing a long game. Children of illegal immigrants born here vote Democrat, because Democrats are for amnesty and open borders. Every time there is amnesty, they vote Democrat, which is a vote for more amnesty.

    Open border policies are a tactic for Democrats to gain political power at the expense of American poor, American workers, and the safety of the nation. Let Democrat politicians deal with the consequences in their own wealthy enclaves and schools. Stop Democrat NIMBY in which they push off the problems associated with illegal immigration on other communities. MS-13, Sinaloa, and cartel illegal immigrants? Send them to Pelosi

  12. Turley misses the point. The agents weren’t “using horses for crowd control,” they were on horseback because they were in an area where the only way to get around was either on horseback or on foot. This incident proves once again that the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party are made up of idiots. By the way, it appears that most, if not all, of the agents are Hispanic. Calling them “racist” is outrageous. After all, only whites can be racist. Ask any Democratic politician.

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