Sudden Political Tsunami Brews for 2024 – “The Sunday Political Brunch” June 25, 2023

Sunday, June 25, 2023


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Joe Biden with Hunter Biden PHOTO: Flicker Ben Stanfield CC

All of a sudden, a whole bunch of divergent headlines is converging, all with the collective possibility of stirring up the pot for Campaign 2024. Yes, we all knew the Donald Trump – Hunter Biden “dance” at the Justice Department would be a trouble spot, but now other stories are entering the collective political stew. Let’s “brunch” on that this week.


“Donald Trump v. Hunter Biden” – Let’s agree at the outset that the two cases are apples and oranges. Trump’s cases generally stand around the mishandling of classified documents, and Biden’s around mishandling his taxes and a gun.  Trump faces 37 federal counts, while Biden faces 3. There are always going to be the people who say the Justice Department in the Biden administration was going to pile on Trump while going easy on the president’s son. No matter how these cases ultimately turn out, there are always going to be those who say, “The fix was in.” or “This was a ‘sweetheart deal’ for Hunter.”



“The House Cleaning” – As loud as the critics may be jeering at the Justice Department, this issue is not over. The House Oversight Committee and the House Judiciary Committee, led by Republicans, plan to go forward with their Congressional investigation of the Biden family business dealings. “Let’s be clear: the Department of Justice’s charges against President Biden’s son Hunter reveal a two-tiered system of justice. Hunter Biden is getting away with a slap on the wrist when growing evidence uncovered by the House Oversight Committee reveals the Bidens engaged in a pattern of corruption, influence peddling, and possibly bribery,” said Rep. James Comer (R) House Oversight Chairman in a statement. Comer added, “We will not rest until the full extent of President Biden’s involvement in the family’s schemes are revealed.”


“The President Responds” — “I’m very proud of my son,” President Joe Biden said Tuesday after a reporter yelled out a question at a joint appearance with Gov. Gavin Newson (D) California. A White House spokesperson issued a more direct and terse response. “The president and first lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life. We will have no further comment.” But that will hardly silence the Congressional inquiry. The real GOP goal is to find out if Hunter used his famous family name, and his father’s influence as vice president to snag big business deals with international clients and foreign governments. Republicans really aren’t interested in Hunter, as they’d much rather connect the dots to his dad and derail a second Biden term in the White House.


“Who is this Hurting in the Polls?” – The latest Real Clear Politics composite poll of all recent media and academic polling shows this on the GOP side: Donald Trump 51 percent, Ron DeSantis 21 percent, Mike Pence 6 percent, Nikki Haley 4 percent, Tim Scott at 4 percent and Chris Christie at 2 percent. The rest are way down in the weeds. President Joe Biden has a comfortable 62 to 15 percent lead over Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. In a head-to-head November match-up, Trump leads Biden 45 to 43 percent, but well within the margin of error. Call this one a toss-up fourteen months out.


“Paybacks or Politics?” – On Wednesday, House Republicans voted to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D) California, who led inquiries to impeach President Trump during his term. Many Republicans called Schiff unfair, and that he used a badly tainted investigation suggesting Donald Trump colluded with Russia prior to being elected president. Now with the GOP back in the House Majority, Schiff will have to stand in the well of the House as Speaker Kevin McCarthy reads the censure proclamation, standing right next to him. While many would view such a public rebuke as embarrassing, Schiff is going out swinging saying he’ll wear the censure as a “badge of honor.” Schiff is now seeking the U.S. Senate nomination to replace retiring Sen. Diane Feinstein, (D) California.


“And Justice for All? I Don’t Think So!” – People can argue all they want about whether justice is being served for the rich and famous like the Trumps and Bidens. But what about justice for Michael Fanone? Who, you say? Officer Michael Fanone was working for the Washington, DC Police Department on January 6, 2021. While defending the Capitol against rioters that day, he was attacked, beaten, kicked, dragged, and then twice tasered in the neck by one of the terrorists, by the name of Daniel Rodriguez.


“And the Verdict Is?” – On Wednesday, Rodriguez received a federal prison sentence of just 12 and a ½ years, on conspiracy, assault, and obstruction charges. But where was the attempted first-degree murder charge? There was clearly pre-meditation and intent based on Rodriguez’s social media posts in the days leading up to the riots. He also ordered fellow rioters to seize Fanone’s own gun so they could kill him with it. Again, that’s clear premeditation and intent needed to prove attempted murder. If you want to bitch at the Justice Department, bitch about this. It should have been a life sentence for attempted murder. For shame!


“More Sparks on the Senate Campaign Trail” – As mentioned here often, the biggest U.S. Senate primary in the nation next year, is right here in West Virginia. Termed-out Gov. Jim Justice (R) West Virginia is facing five-term U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, in hopes of replacing Sen. Joe Manchin (D) West Virginia, who has yet to announce his plans. Now CBS News reports Justice is under federal investigation for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination lottery. I’ve confirmed just one federal subpoena was issued, and that the Justice Department has now dropped the matter. Justice cried “dirty politics” from the Biden administration. “Without any doubt in the world, the Biden administration knows that I’m coming to the Senate. It’s going to flip the entire Senate and absolutely when we do that, the Republicans are going to take control of the Senate,” Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, told me in an interview this week.


“Hurd Joins the Herd” – Former Rep. Will Hurd (R) Texas has joined the 2024 GOP presidential primary field. Hurd served in Congress from 2015 to 2021 and was often a sharp critic of President Trump, especially for the January 6 Capitol riots.

Mark Curtis, Ed.D., is Chief Political Reporter for the seven Nexstar Media TV stations serving West Virginia, its five neighboring states and the entire Washington, DC media market. He is also a MINDSETTER™ contributing political writer and analyst for and its affiliates.


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