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Fugitive whistleblower Gal Luft hiding in plain view, as GOP are caught in their own sting...
“Who’s the mark?”*
The GOP whistleblowers, both of them, have swallowed their pea. A new dent in the GOP case against Hunter Biden as proxy for his father has developed. An FBI agent overseeing the probe into the President’s son has disputed the latest “whistleblower’s” claims that the DOJ had given Hunter special treatment. The GOP party line insists that pressure coming from Merrick Garland— and the White House— forced the U.S. Attorney in Delaware to take it easy on the Bidens and to let his kid off with a slap on the wrist, when in fact not much has ever come easy for Joe Biden. Unlike the Trumps, Biden’s roots were firmly planted in the middle class. Rumor has it there were no golden spoons in Ma Biden’s cutlery drawer. Biden has lived most of his years in the public eye and has worn his warts and trials like battle scars for all to see. It is what makes the GOP case the Republicans are concocting so preposterous because Joe Biden has not denied us access to his personal life— or his tax returns. Biden is famously loquacious and nearly immune to secrets.
An IRS agent, Gary Shapely has implied that Joe Biden, who the GOP has claimed is well past his mental prime, is at the same time a brilliant mastermind whose family has long traded on his name to amass a secret fortune. The source of this fortune, according to the Republicans, is a scheme intertwined with a Chinese company that the Bidens have bribed and scammed over many years. Sounds like someone else we know. The agent reports that the Delaware U.S. Attorney, David Weiss was being controlled by his DOJ bosses. Shapley said Weiss told FBI and IRS agents during that meeting that Weiss was not the “deciding official on whether charges are filed.” Meanwhile, another agent who was present at the same meeting along with Shapely denies the implication that anyone but Weiss was in charge of his investigation. Agent Thomas Sobocinski testified before James Comer’s House committee that he did not hear Weiss say that and “never felt that [Weiss] needed approval” to bring charges:
Sobocinski, who is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore field office, noted there was a “bureaucratic administrative process” Weiss had to work through to bring charges outside Delaware but that his understanding was “that [Weiss] had the authority to bring whatever he needed to do.”
“I never thought that anybody was there above David Weiss to say no,” he said.
Pressed again on the issue later in the interview, he said, “I went into that meeting believing he had the authority, and I have left that meeting believing he had the authority to bring charges.”
Shapely’s testimony includes charges that Weiss and his team were slow-walking the investigation and giving Hunter Biden preferential treatment in the tax evasion case for which Biden was eventually charged and now stands indicted. The whistleblower then makes the assumption that this was because of pressures from above, which both the DOJ and now Sobocinski deny. Sobocinski has indicated that he, too, was frustrated by the pace of the investigation, but laid the blame on Weiss whom he said was in charge and who never gave the agent the indication that the case was being held back on DOJ orders. The truth is that Weiss may have been hesitant in bringing charges for exactly the opposite reason— Biden was being held to a higher standard than others who would have been either charged with misdemeanors or had the charges settled with payment and a fine. David Weiss was appointed U.S. Attorney by then-President Trump and the Biden investigation by Weiss was begun while Trump was still in office. Shapely testified after being passed over for a promotion that he felt he deserved.
“Not only are you a cheat, you’re a gutless cheat as well.”*
Cue Gal Luft.
Luft is the original whistleblower who is the star witness for House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer’s (R-Ky.) effort to ensnarl Joe Biden into his son’s misfortunes. Luft holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship and was touted by Comer as the smoking gun on the Biden family’s transactions with CEFC, a Chinese company that Luft alleges the Bidens used the company to bribe and influence unnamed foreign officials in a plot to the Bidens' advantage, On July 3, the Rupert Murdoch tabloid, The New York Post, released a 14-minute recording of Luft teasing a conspiracy involving the President, his brother, and son in an illegal foreign deal with the Chinese.
At the time of Comer’s announcement of his committee’s interest in interviewing the whistleblower, he was aware that Luft had been charged by the DOJ for working as an unregistered agent of the Chinese. Luft was arrested in February in Cyprus, but fled custody after he was released on bail:
According to court documents, Gal Luft, 57, is charged in an eight-count indictment with offenses related to willfully failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), arms trafficking, Iranian sanctions violations and making false statements to federal agents. Luft was arrested on Feb. 17 in the Republic of Cyprus based on the charges in the indictment. Luft subsequently fled after being released on bail while extradition proceedings were pending and remains a fugitive.
According to the allegations contained in the indictment, for years, Luft conspired with others in an effort to act within the United States to advance the interests of the People’s Republic of China (China) as agents of China-based principals, without registering as foreign agents as required under U.S. law. As part of this scheme, while serving as the co-director of a Maryland-based nonprofit think tank, Luft agreed to covertly recruit and pay, on behalf of principals based in China, a former high-ranking U.S. government official (Individual-1), including in 2016 while the former official was an adviser to the then-President-elect, to publicly support certain policies with respect to China…
Just when Comer needed his smoking gun to sully the reputation of Joe Biden and his family, Luft was in the wind! On the lam! A virtual “Where’s Waldo?” No one seems to know where Luft is hiding but there are some breadcrumbs that can be followed. The real question is, that for the GOP, Luft's predicament works to their advantage. He has done his dirt and serves them better in hiding. Republicans would prefer innuendo to full disclosure and Gal Luft’s story is not simply fishy, it has the smell of a foreign disinformation campaign.
“What was I supposed to do – call him for cheating better than me?...”*
Luft seems to be alive and well— and churning out pro-China commentary from a server somewhere in Hong Kong. His co-author is a former Hong Kong minister, Patrick Chi-Ping Ho, who himself has legal problems stemming from murky interests that include bribery and energy sales for—you guessed it— the Chinese company Luft accuses the Bidens of consorting with:
HO (sic) orchestrated and executed two bribery schemes to pay top officials of Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC China, a Shanghai-based multibillion-dollar conglomerate that operates internationally in multiple sectors, including oil, gas, and banking. At the center of both schemes was HO, the secretary-general of a non-governmental organization based in Hong Kong and Arlington, Virginia, and registered as a charitable entity in the United States, the China Energy Fund Committee (“CEFC NGO”), which held “Special Consultative Status” with the United Nations (“UN”) Economic and Social Council. CEFC NGO was funded by CEFC China.
The pair have co-authored articles at the site hkmo33.com/… that are favorable to Chinese interests and critical of the U.S. One article written in July just as Comer was touting the Biden bribery story, strangely shares a common theme:
First and foremost, what American (sic) regards as corruption may be socially accepted practices of goodwill in the indigenous communities in foreign countries where age-long tradition and culture condone such expression of generosity in return for favor and jobs well done. Did we not offer tips to persons who wait on our tables and serve us dishes in restaurants? In many cultures, red packages with money inside are given to people we like and as gesture of gratefulness. Surely, these could never be regarded as bribes. (Google Translation)
— “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Yours is a bribe and mine is a donation. Another long arm of American extraterritorial jurisdiction” by Patrick Ho and Gal Luft, July 10, 2023
Luft and Ho have been fixated on a common theme that suggests that monetary policy in the U.S. will be our undoing. It is a theme that closely resembles the current downturn in China’s post-COVID economy. Luft and Ho seem to be interested in undermining American economic interests to take the heat off Xi’s own missteps and underperforming economy. In May 2023, the co-authors wrote:
The hegemony of the US dollar (the dollar) over the global monetary system is the single most important source of America’s power today—more so than its military. If not for the special status of the dollar...
Historian Paul Kennedy demonstrated in his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers that imperial decline typically happens when an empire overstretches and can no longer afford to maintain its military power. This means that if the dollar were to lose its preeminence, America’s ability to defend itself and the free world would, too, erode. (Google Translation)
— “The rise and fall of great currencies,” by Patrick Ho and Gal Luft, May 10, 2023
Another commentary written on August 10, extols the power of the BRICS alliance— Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa— whose economic goals include challenging the “dollar hegemony”:
Whereas the formation of a currency union may take a long time for serious discussions, this 15th summit in Johannesburg will most likely see on its agenda, priorities such as payment and settlement systems being alternative to SWIFT, and local currency transactions. And we will certainly see BRICS being rapidly built into a “BRICS wall” against the dollar hegemony. (Google Translation)
— “The five R’s of BRICS”, by Patrick Ho and Gal Luft
It sounds as if the GOP whistleblower has an interest in destabilizing America’s image in the world which would be music to the Chinese leader’s ears and serve the purposes of China’s own interests at home and abroad.
“Can you get a mob together?”*
So this is the guy Comer and the Republicans are counting on to weaken Joe Biden. Luft’s story serves the GOP and Donald Trump not only to the detriment of the Bidens but in service to China. Comer and his masters are the worst type of dupes, those who are willingly and knowingly bamboozled— for the sake of their party’s empty ideology— and at the greater cost of American political stability. The cost would not be worth it if Luft's story were even half true as the GOP is advocating the interests of autocracies at the expense of democracies throughout the world.
The whistleblower charade despite the taint of its evidence has influenced public perception of the case and it has infected the nation with new and unrelated distractions to the Big Lies the party now traffics in. While the President defends himself against unproven accusations and innuendo from a discredited fugitive, Republicans act like children playing in mud puddles for kicks and giggles.
In a New York Times article this week, reporter Luke Broadwater reinforces the argument that Republicans are using their investigative authority in the House as political hay despite evidence that their inquiry has been tainted by bad actors:
The emergence of fresh evidence this week undercutting Republicans’ claims against Mr. Biden is no coincidence. It suggests that, now that the G.O.P. has decided to plow ahead with a formal impeachment inquiry, the president’s allies, including Democrats on Capitol Hill who have access to the many investigative threads Republicans have pursued, have stepped up their efforts to reveal weaknesses in the case.
— NYTimes, “Witness Testimony Casts Doubt on Some Biden Impeachment Allegations,” by Luke Broadwater, September 15, 2023
Gal Luft is a China agent who infiltrated the GOP with an ease that could only suggest that their leaders are no better than the seditionists who attacked the Capitol on January 6. They are runts of the Republican litter that began with Richard Nixon and included dullards like Jerry Ford, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. And their whistleblower-in-hiding, like their latest version whose testimonies have been called out by other witnesses all seem to share the same hot air as the Chinese unmanned balloons that wafted over the U.S. and were similarly shot down with relative ease. Disputing that truth matters, Comer and his committee continue to rely on the word of a known agent for Xi Jinping and a disaffected FBI agent whose testimony has been challenged by others who have stepped forward.
Whistleblowers, the real ones, are brave truthtellers who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the public good. Most are motivated by a moral duty that guides and compels them to act. The Republicans, for their part, have ginned up a pair of tattletales to destroy the Bidens as vengeance for a degenerate, soon-to-be-convicted con artist. The Republicans' attestations of fairness are made not out of bravery or principle, but out of fear of Trump and allegiance to his base. Comer and his GOP fellow travelers are acting as China’s tools here— and dull ones at that— grasping for headlines. This may turn out as a case of the “stingers” getting stung.
* “The Sting” (1973)