Biden Goes Bannon? Counsel for Hunter Rebuffs Congressional Demands for Documents

Hunter Biden’s legal team has been at the center of news coverage this month after it appeared to confirm the authenticity of his laptop in a letter (only to try to backtrack 24 hours later). It was a curious and gratuitous move for Biden and his counsel Abbe Lowell as they called for criminal investigations into his critics, suggested lawsuits against media, and even argued that the tax exempt status of some groups be rescinded by the IRS. Now, however, the team is moving in a far more precarious direction. They seem to be adopting the strategy of Steve Bannon that resulted in his conviction for contempt of Congress. Lowell categorically refused to turn over material to Congress this week, leaving his client open to a subpoena and possible prosecution. The move may have thrilled hardcore Democrats, but it is the Republicans who should be most ecstatic with Hunter’s initial position.

Lowell has declared the oversight investigation in the Biden family’s alleged influence peddling as illegitimate and has refused to turn over records related to its investigation. In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY), Lowell declared “Peddling your own inaccurate and baseless conclusions under the guise of a real investigation, turns the Committee into ‘Wonderland’ and you into the Queen of Hearts shouting, ‘sentence first, verdict afterwords.’”

The move comes after news reports of a Democratic team forming around Hunter to attack potential witnesses and adopt a scorched earth approach in litigation. Even in personal matters, Hunter appears to be dispensing with his prior cultivation of a tragic and besieged figure.  Recently, Hunter moved to block one of his daughters from using his surname.

In this latest matter, Lowell appears to be channeling the same strategy of Steve Bannon who was ultimately charged with contempt and convicted. At the time, I said that Bannon was asking for a contempt charge and Biden appears to be replicating this same ill-considered strategy.

Lowell would have been far smarter to turn over some material to the Committee in good faith while seeking to negotiate on the scope of the inquiry. A categorical refusal gives the Committee ample basis to issue a subpoena. Lowell is simply wrong that there is “no legislative purpose” in seeking information on possible influence peddling by the Biden family that could involve the President himself. Such corruption scandals have been part of congressional inquiries from the XYZ Affair to the Teapot Dome scandal to the investigation of Trump family business interests.

Lowell left open the door to Comer convincing him of some “legitimate legislative purpose” in meetings, but the letter went too far in its categorical rejection of the initial demand. Comer is likely to balk at having to convince Hunter Biden of the “legitimacy” of his investigation. A court would likely support the Committee’s right to such evidence for financial and communication records. While the Committee will not necessarily get everything, it is likely to prevail on threshold issue of the right to such evidence.

In the Bannon case, the Democrats spared little time in seeking a contempt order. Just one week after Bannon missed a date to appear, they voted out the contempt sanction of Committee and it was quickly approved by the House as a whole. It was contempt of Congress, as I said at the time. However, Republicans opposed the sanction on the same grounds now being used by Lowell and some Democratic members.

Lowell could tack back on his letter, as he did his earlier letter on the laptop. However, he may have little time to do so. He just laid the foundation for the Oversight Committee to move quickly toward a subpoena and ultimately a contempt sanction, if he maintains this position. Lowell actually expedited the process for the House, shortening the calendar for possible contempt proceedings. If this matter were to go to the courts (either as a criminal contempt matter or an enforcement matter, or both), there is now plenty of time for the Committee to prevail in securing much of this material.

That would place Attorney General Merrick Garland in a tough position. After years of the Justice Department largely ignoring contempt sanctions, Garland moved aggressively to prosecute Trump figures like Bannon. The failure to do so with Hunter Biden would fuel concerns over political bias at the Department.

The bill has come due on the alleged Biden influence peddling operation. While Democrats and pundits have insisted that there is no actual crime raised in such corruption, it is clearly a matter for Congress to investigate. Otherwise, the Democrats will be in a position of arguing that neither the courts nor Congress can pursue allegations of corruption and foreign influence surrounding the President and his family.

That is a fight that the Republicans should relish and Hunter Biden just made it a lot easier.

83 thoughts on “Biden Goes Bannon? Counsel for Hunter Rebuffs Congressional Demands for Documents”

  1. The FBI was always political, corrupt and unfairly applied the law under cross-dressing, J Edgar Hoover. That’s why at a young age I learned from my Italian relatives that you never cooperate with them. Now the rest of the country is figuring this out. The Bureau should have been disbanded years ago but, of course, every FBI Director has dirt on the pervert politicians who rule us right up to POTUS. You see that’s good for their budget requests. And potential threat is always better threat than utilized threat to a coward. The Praetorian Guard had better ethics than these guys and they murdered emperors.

  2. “The failure to do so with Hunter Biden would fuel concerns over political bias at the Department.”

    Pfft. Of course there is obvious bias. Yet these people don’t give a flying hoot. They see it as one bad news cycle. Their lapdogs in the fake propaganda press will cleanup after them. They are all pure filth.

  3. “While Democrats and pundits have insisted that there is no actual crime raised in such corruption, …”

    Well then there sure needs to be a law making such proven corruption clearly a punishable crime.

  4. The laptop is only one item (an extraordinarily disturbing item) among many smoking guns in this particular crime saga. Look at the testimony of Tony Bobulinski, or of Hunter’s former partner Bevan Cooney who went to prison for fraud and who also turned over access to have twenty thousand emails. Devon Archer, also the Biden partner was also sentenced for fraud that involved 60 million dollars in tribal bonds.

    What is shocking is the hubris of white-collar criminals, politicians who arrogantly shun the legal system, drunk on power and addicted to the “good life” lifestyle some have chose. Shame on the justice system who treats the criminal elites with indifference. Shame on the corporate and legacy media leaders who bury or pervert truth. They can slap themselves on the back at the country club and laugh about how easy it is to get away with a crime.

    The real story is that this crime and many crimes like it occur in broad daylight and nothing is done about it nor do any of those in power seem to care. They care more for self interests, money and for holding on to power at any expense.

    Ol’ Joe from Scranton didn’t acquire his multiple homes and the lifestyle he enjoys on a Senator’s salary. He cannot complete a sentence. He rarely has more than one or two small items on this agenda. He cannot answer a question that is not on a teleprompter or on a card that has been written for him. It obvious that he is not in control. He does what he is told and his reward is that he gets to be called the President. So, we continue to act like the characters in the children’s story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

    Meanwhile, the average citizen is getting clobbered. Inflation is far more than what the government statistics show, ask anyone who buys groceries, fills up their car, buys cleaning supplies and those in construction or the trades who are waiting on parts for months and months. It is not a joke when they see their retirement funds dwindle, their grown children unable to afford to buy a home and to see the criminals released within hours of being caught.

  5. When the Dim sought to bury Bannon they should have dug two graves. Now the Repubs will dig one for them.

    1. The DOJ is under complete democrat control and no-person named Biden or associated with the Bidens will EVER be prosecuted by the corrupt DOJ. The US federal justice system has mutated into a banana republic level of cronyism and corruption.

  6. (OT)

    They found another classified doc in Pence’s possession today after another consensual search.

    Also, “Former President Donald Trump’s legal team turned over more documents with classified markings and a laptop belonging to an aide to federal prosecutors in recent months, multiple sources familiar with the investigation told CNN. The Trump attorneys also handed over an empty folder marked “Classified Evening Briefing,” sources said. The previously undisclosed handovers – from December and January – suggest the protracted effort by the Justice Department to repossess records from Trump’s presidency may not be done. … A Trump aide had previously copied those same documents onto a thumb drive and laptop, not realizing they were classified. The laptop, which belonged to an aide, who works for Save America PAC, and the thumb drive were also given to investigators in January.”

    1. multiple sources familiar with the investigation told CNN.

      The FBI is consistent in their policy to never comment on ongoing investigations.Which this story confirms, because not a single person is quoted.

  7. I dunno, the Trump family has a lot more business deals for a lot more money than the Biden family. Can a Congressional committee ask for records of all of Tiffany Trump’s business deals? How about Trump’s sister, the judge? Certainly Ivanka Trump, who made hundreds of millions while holding a government title, should have all of her business records scrutinized? Certainly, when Melania Trump was selling NFTs, Congress should know who bough those.

    How about CJ Roberts’ wife? She has all kinds of business interests that can pose a conflict.

    Asking for the various Senate Committees that are controlled by the Democrats right now.

    1. How many of the Trump family took money from foreign governments for nothing except influence? How many of the Trump family provided classified information to foreign entities?

  8. Dear Prof Turley,

    Clearly, Mr. Lowell, by all accounts an able litigator of power-politics, understands in a ‘weaponized’ Congress it is better to shoot first and ask questions later.

    >”A court would likely support the Committee’s right to such evidence for financial and communication records.”

    Perhaps .. . eventually.

    *btw, Wasserman-Shultz’s line of questioning was pure conjecture and vacant speculation. .. imo.

  9. I’m among those who have given up on Justice and payback. We believe that giving blanket immunity to Hunter Biden and force him to Testify. Have this all televised. Also do this with full immunity to the next witness and so on. Trying to get documents without redaction or even as valueless redacted documents will take years.

Leave a Reply