Everything new is old again.
And that includes the familiar Obama excuse. A line so tired and implausible that it became a hoary cliche even to the media. And that line was usually some variation, “I found out when you did from watching the news.”
The line is back.
President Joe Biden said he was not told in advance about the FBI’s execution of search warrants at the New York City home and office of Rudy Giuliani, one of former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers.
“I give you my word, I was not” briefed beforehand, Biden told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin in an interview that aired Thursday.
“I learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it, my word,” Biden said of early Wednesday’s raids, in which FBI agents seized electronic devices from the former New York mayor and ex-federal prosecutor.
“I had no idea this was underway.”
Is he telling the truth? Could be.
We’re talking about a guy who’s not firing on all cylinders on his best days. His staffers seem determined to keep him from answering questions from reporters out of fear that he’ll blurt out something horribly inappropriate. Kamala Harris handles his calls with foreign leaders.
Is the FBI going to brief Biden about a raid on President Trump’s lawyer?
Biden’s problem though isn’t making damaging admissions. It’s spewing random word salads that reveal he’s not quite all there. Still I don’t see Wray and Merrick Garland trying to brief Biden on something he really doesn’t need to know about for his own good.
Presidents don’t need to know about political hits being carried out against their political opponents by their plumbers in the government.
The question isn’t whether Biden was briefed on the raid. The question is the double standard in which Hunter Biden, Bernie Sanders’ wife, and Hillary Clinton, among other top Democrats, get a pass from the feds, while they aggressively go after Republicans.
The Biden administration doesn’t even need to do very much except send the message that they’re fair game.
This is a political machine in the DOJ, the FBI, and local offices that was cranked up under Obama and then supercharged during the Trump administration to target political opponents.
Biden doesn’t need to be briefed about what the machine is doing. But the machine’s operatives expect support and political cover from the Biden administration and AG Garland when the inevitable requests for Congressional hearings are made. And I imagine the key players have been briefed enough just to be able to claim plausible deniability.