Marching Orders: White House Letter Tells Media To “Ramp Up Their Scrutiny” In Response to Impeachment Inquiry

I have previously written how the level of advocacy and bias has created a danger of a de facto state media in the United States. It is possible to have such a system by consent rather than coercion. Given that long concern, a letter drafted by the Biden White House Legal Counsel’s Office was striking in a call for major media to “ramp up their scrutiny” of House Republicans “for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies.”

The message is curious and concerning, particularly in the aggressive role being played by the White House Counsel’s office under Stuart Frank Delery.

First, as I have previously noted, the White House is now actively involved in pushing narratives and denying factual allegations linked to the Biden corruption scandal. That could create Nixonian-type allegations of the abuse of office in the use of federal employees to counter impeachment efforts.

Second, the letter was drafted by Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office. So White House lawyers are now enlisting the media in a counter media campaign against impeachment? The letter removes any pretense of separation between the Biden personal legal team and the White House Counsel’s office. Sams has been the most aggressive White House official in actively swatting down allegations of corruption as well as the President’s documents investigation.

Third, the letter calls for the media to actively support the White House account. The draft of the letter is a call for what I have previously criticized as “advocacy journalism” where reporters frame stories to advance their own viewpoints or values.

Sams wrote “[c]overing impeachment as a process story – Republicans say X, but the White House says Y – is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.” In other words, media should (and it has for years) decline to give equal attention to allegations against the Bidens and instead tell the public what the truth is.

It is a call for media to tailor the coverage to push the position of the White House against this effort to ramp up the investigation into corruption. It is an approach that is already embraced by many in the media. That was evident in the meltdown of Washington Post columnist Philip Bump recently when he was confronted by countervailing evidence in the Biden scandals.  Before storming out, Bump chastised the interviewer for not just taking his work as the “putative expert” and said that he had enough “because you don’t listen to the press. I’m sitting here and I’m telling you, you’re wrong about these things, and you don’t listen, and you continue to insist upon things that are, you know, parsing of language.”

That appears the approach pushed by Sams, who specifically references Facebook and Fox as enemies of the truth: “in the modern media environment, where every day liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to Fox, process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth.”

The letter has an uncomfortable feeling of marching orders to the media.  This is a media that followed the lead of Biden associates in spreading the false story that the Hunter laptop was Russian disinformation.

This is the media that refused to acknowledge the authenticity of the laptop until only recently — long after the presidential election.

This was the media that only recently admitted that President Biden has been lying about denials related to his son’s influence peddling.

Yet, the White House is now calling for the media to again form the wagons around the President and attack the impeachment effort as it did the laptop and the corruption investigation.

Once again, what is most disturbing is that the White House shows no reluctance or concern in making such an open pitch to the press. There is a sense of license in using the media as an extension of the White House press push. The fact that this is a representative of the White House counsel’s office is particularly chilling. This is not the press office but the counsel for the President calling on media to form a unified front against the Republicans and the impeachment inquiry.

The letter is an alarming erosion of separation of the White House Counsel’s office from the Biden defense team. It also confirms an active and aggressive role of White House officials in swatting down allegations against the President. While the staff obviously is not expected to be neutral on impeachment, there is a careful line that past White House counsels have walked between fulfilling their duties to the office as opposed to the officeholder.

270 thoughts on “Marching Orders: White House Letter Tells Media To “Ramp Up Their Scrutiny” In Response to Impeachment Inquiry”

  1. The New York Times shows a gran total of two (2) stories about the Biden Impeachment Inquiry. One about McCarthy yielding to pressure, and one about Trump applying pressure.

    Looks like they got their orders and are following them.

  2. Since bugger was deleted already saying, “The person you’re mocking wasn’t Bug.”, this anonymous comment ” bug logic” might be from ATS. ATS is known to deceive, use pretend postings to increase numbers, and all sorts of trickery, I would not be surprised. Beware of ATS, he is sly but not that smart.

    1. That’s why they have all earned the moniker of Smeagol. Because its multiple personalities inhabiting the same deluded entity. Also, they talk to themselves a lot.

      If you want to post stupid crap like the guy who mows lawns for a living and pretends to be a law scholar, then I will treat you as if you are. Otherwise, choose a name.

      1. Tom,
        I generally lump the ATS into the same category.
        As it has been pointed out, they lie, lie again and again. Or they use the dictionary and Wiki semantics to spin things away.
        They are the online version of Brown Shirts or the Red Guard.

  3. So Turley wants to point out that the WH wants the media to ask questions, and Turley works and receives a paycheck from FOXNEWS, who’s very existence is to protect and defend the republican party and the Trump cult.

      1. Tom, Fishwings has no brains remaining. He holstered his finger in his nose and shot his brains out in the process. No great loss. He hasn’t changed.

      2. They say ignorance is bliss, but I find yours rather disturbing. I noticed you could not disprove any thing I wrote.

        1. You didn’t say anything worth disproving. And you can’t prove a word of it.

          But to your point,
          a) Do you suppose Turley could make a lot more money feeding at the MSM trough?
          b) you do know that hard core Trumpers HATE Fox News, right?

          See, like I said, nothing factual or worth disputing.

    1. The WH is not telling the media to ask questions. They are telling the media to forward a certain narrative without asking questions. There is a difference.

  4. It grinds his soul, yet here he is. Some days, like yesterday, he actually holds it together to make a few cogent, but nonetheless flawed, arguments. Throw in a few blatant lies, and get called out, and Gollum couldnt hold it together. But today, Smeagol is back with his diarrhea (the smeller is the feller) on full force. Nice job, now go change your diaper, bug face the lawn boy.

  5. Grounds for Biden impeachment inquiry explained in six words: ‘Public offices are not for sale’

    The first-term leader of the House on Tuesday authorized an official impeachment inquiry against America’s 46th president. He did it without having to hold a formal vote on the House floor, in part because his predecessor Nancy Pelosi changed the tradition during the Donald Trump era….

    the alleged influence peddling operation started under former President Barack Obama…

    1. It’s worse than you think. If VP Biden took personal bribes to influence/alter U.S. policy in Ukraine, that’s a direct threat to vital U.S. national security interests .. . and, in retrospect, constitute probable war crime(s).

      *see also @ 14th amendment

    2. Here, all that is even suggested are allegations related to Hunter Biden–not Joe Biden, who doesn’t have his family members as part of hs administration. Why haven’t Republicans investigated Jared Kushner receiving billions from Saudi Arabians, or Ivanka getting fast-track approval to sell her clothes in China, all while they actually worked at the White House?

      1. What about, what about, what about. Give it a break Gigi. You’ve got the Senate, have a blast. Or better yet, why haven’t democrats investigated??

        1. Because it’s all you have, and because your hero responds the same way, your response to inconvenient facts to which you have no counter proof is to 1. insult the person who presents them; and 2. call them a liar.

      2. Hunter Biden didn’t threaten to withhold the money to Ukraine Joe Biden did. Hunter Biden didn’t lie and say Shokin was corrupt. That was said by the Democrats and Joe Biden. Below is a key sentence expanded.

        Take note, when you talk about the Ukraine impeachment of Trump remember that the Democrats and administration lied and withheld documents proving Trump innocent. You have no answers so you will shift subjects, lie or not respond at all.

        “We have been impressed with the ambitious reform and anti-corruption agenda of your government,” then-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland personally wrote Shokin in an official letter dated June 9, 2015 that was delivered to the prosecutor two days later by then-U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

        Nuland, now President Biden’s undersecretary of state, wrote that “Secretary Kerry asked me to reply on his behalf” to let Shokin know he enjoyed the full support of the United States as he set out to fight endemic corruption in the former Soviet republic.

        “The ongoing reform of your office, law enforcement, and the judiciary will enable you to investigate and prosecute corruption and other crimes in an effective, fair, and transparent manner,” Nuland added. “The United States fully supports your government’s efforts to fight corruption and other crimes in an effective, fair and transparent manner.”

    3. For each of the above–WHERE IS THE PROOF? As to Biden “thwarting” investigations and prosecutions of his son–he could simply PARDON him if he wanted to and be done with it. There’s no doubt that Trump would have done this if one of his children were charged with crimes. Biden could also fire Weiss–but, he didn’t. Biden is hands-off the DOJ, and no amount of lying about this by Trump or his media supporters can create any counter facts because it’s the truth.

      The truth about firing the Ukrainian prosecutor have been presented before. From USA Today:

      “It’s true that Joe Biden leveraged $1 billion in aid to persuade Ukraine to oust its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, in March 2016. But it wasn’t because Shokin was investigating Burisma. It was because Shokin wasn’t pursuing corruption among the country’s politicians.

      As European and American diplomats pressed Ukraine to clean up its corruption, they focused on Shokin’s leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office, which he took over in February 2015.

      Mike Carpenter, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the then-vice president, told USA TODAY that Shokin “never went after any corrupt individuals at all” and “never prosecuted any high-profile cases of corruption.”

      The international community was all on board over this action. Biden has already been investigated–and no proof of wrongdoing was established.

      1. “For each of the above–WHERE IS THE PROOF?”

        I will provide one bit of proof already provided to blog members before. Then you can discuss it.

        To Shokin from Victoria Nuland (This proves her testimony was a lie)

        “We have been impressed with your ambitious reform and anti-corruption agenda…”

        The letter is in full @

        There are similar letters by others and by Europe.

        You can be an idiot or a liar. Maybe you will read the letter and comment only on what the letter says. If you can’t do that then you are one of the former two or both.

        One of the reasons the Biden administration is fighting the normal release of information is because the Biden administration is lying.

          1. How can facts be a delusion?

            Unless you are a DNC Brown Shirt. Then things like facts and the truth have got to be destroyed.

          2. Thank you for showing everyone how stupid you are. The link is not to Just The News. Instead it is to a copy of the Victoria Nuland letter created by the administration and Victoria Nuland.

            Are you saying the letter doesn’t exist. Keep proving yourself the fool. ATS said this same thing many times, and that is why he became known as Anonymous the Stupid.

      2. Gigi, I provided you with the letter of Victoria Nuland that proves you lied. You didn’t respond telling everyone that lying is all you know and you don’t bother with facts.

    4. “Biden didn’t withhold $1 billion to force Shokin out. Shokin wasn’t investigating Burisma. He was never going to investigate. He was corrupt. Congress, including republicans WANTED Shokin to be gone. It was sanctioned by congress, and the EU.”

      This is a lie. Only the first sentence is true. He didn’t withhold it, he just threatened to.

      Shokin and Zlovchevsky say he was investigating Burisma.
      Poroshenko says Shokin was agressively pursuing Burisma
      Archer said that this was the reason they hired Hunter
      Archer said that Hunter and Zlovchevsky called Joe from Dubai for help calling off the dogs

      Your horse manure news stories claiming some nebulous “concurrance” that Shokin be fired was a narrative peddled after the fact by Bidens people.

  6. Ah yes, if Biden is in fact uncorrupted, then why scream and jump up an down denying the allegations. Let the truth set you free.
    Pay no attention the anon behind the anon moniker.

  7. In the movie ‘The Graduate’, 1967, and iconic film in a turbulent time in America, young Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) is at home after graduation, out by the pool during a party his parents had organized in his honor— and one of the family friends pulls him aside and tells him to remember one word of advice…….Plastics.
    As the year 2023 winds down, that word of advice in today’s America should be…..Kevlar

  8. Dear Prof Turley,

    Read that WH memo by Sams this a.m. and thought of you. Lies, damned lies and the NYT. To paraphrase the ‘putative expert’ @ WaPo, Mr Bump, you, at least, are not listening .. .

    Iirc, it was OLC long ago that issued-forth the memo stipulating a sitting president cannot be ‘indicted’. Always thought that meant impeachment the appropriate remedy for any presidential high crimes and misdemeanors, but it now seems Sams and Biden WH OLC have taken impeachment off the table as well.

    If you can’t indict or impeach a president, what can you do?

    Hey son, ‘.. . read the Times this morning, and I think you’re in the clear. Love Dad’

    *continue to believe the on-going U.S. media coverage about Ukraine, and its far-reaching consequences, the greatest assault on free speech in American history .. . but I’m willing to hear you out.

    1. – and Biden’s own boast on tape that he interfered in Ukraine’s justice system, using American power as leverage, to get Victor Shokin fired.

  9. This is the most significant threat to our freedom I have seen in my lifetime, and I’m 77. When I was a kid, I used to make fun of the USSR and Pravda; now the MSM is increasingly acting like Pravda. The free press, which was supposed to keep us free, is now one of the primary threats to our freedom.

  10. There is an article in Breitbart this morning about how the NYT is already shaping a new narrative: Joe was dragged into his son’s “business deals” because his love for his son overcame his better judgment.

  11. “ process stories that fail to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth.” Would the WH counsel be able to provide evidence that the allegations are untrue? Inquiry is meant to uncover the truth. If they have nothing to worry about, they would not be adamant about blocking the story.

    1. The WH is not blocking the story, they just want questions asked about the prove or facts the Cult thinks it has. Spoiler alert….after 5 years, they have nothing.

      1. I’m curious if you’ve looked at the materials produced by the House oversight committee in regards to Joe’s dealings with foreign countries? First question – do you have an off-shore account? Second – do you have shell companies which apparently provide no services?

      2. Except that you know that’s no true, if it were there’d be no need to so “unequivocally state.” By you or the OLC.

        You know, the funny part is, nobody likes a crook. Not even the crooks themselves.

      3. Yea yea, fishlips, we are all quite familiar with the DNC line of defense…”you got nuttin’ coppa!”

        A couple of the other defenses tossed about and then abandoned by the DNC strategists.

        “No way Joe is lying about this. He is as honest as the day is long.”

        “No way Joe did this. Just look at his kids. No way a slimy, self serving criminal could have raised those upstanding children”

        I notice no one ever even bothers to try to defend the man, they just say “there’s no evidence”, over and over again, like its some sort of incantation that is going to alter reality.

      4. They have nothing as a corrupt DOJ, FBI, IRS, have done everything they could to cover for the Biden Crime Family.
        They stonewalled investigations.
        They slow rolled investigations to allow SOL to expire.
        They ignore evidence.
        They make sweetheart deals.

        Had we a real, serious, un-biased, non-corrupt DOJ, FBI, and IRS we would of gotten down to the facts and truth long ago.
        But go right ahead and keep your head in the sand. Ignore the level of corruption the Biden admin and the DNC has brought America to. It only makes you that much more pathetic.

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