These are going to be short(-ish) pings. OSINT research is all over the place right now – God bless us, every one – and my intention is to focus. So I’m not going to do a comprehensive treatment.
Conservatives are justifiably disgusted with the media for double-standard coverage on the reportedly recent discovery of classified documents loosed upon the world by former Vice President Biden when he left office in January 2017. The documents have been somewhere for the last six years; in November, we’re told, some of them turned up in a search by Biden’s “personal” lawyers of his one-time office at the digs of the Chinese-funded (U.) Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. In December, more were found at a “separate location” where Biden had office space. And In January, another discovery was made in Biden’s Wilmington garage, where his vintage Corvette lodges.
Update: More material was reportedly (14 January) just found in the Biden home in Wilmington (i.e., the property where the garage and Corvette are).
A timeline from Biden’s attorney:
Some of the material discovered has been Top Secret, and is reportedly about Iran and Ukraine. Although the Department of Justice was notified (on 4 November, according to Merrick Garland), the document discoveries in each instance have been made by people described as Biden aides, or Biden lawyers. There’s no indication the FBI has been involved in the searches.
But let’s move beyond that. It’s not worth occupying the main stage in this article. Here’s what is.
On 12 January, Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to look into the Biden document finds. This mirrors the special counsel appointed to look into the Trump document find at Mar-a-Lago in 2022.
So, two cases of out-of-office POTUSes (in Biden’s case, a former VPOTUS but also a current POTUS) holding classified documents outside the confines of approved classified spaces. And two special counsels. Both appointed by DOJ.
Let’s spot ourselves a third relevant data point. Just this week, it’s been reported that the U.S. Attorney for Delaware is close to a decision on charging Hunter Biden with a short list of tax felonies.
Now the ping. Consider what this does for the “cabal” (TIME’s word, not mine) behind the Biden administration. It puts both of the presidential document capers, and potentially Hunter Biden’s always-compromised circumstances, behind the DOJ/FBI secrecy wall of “ongoing investigations,” at a time when the Republican-majority House intends to open an investigation of the Biden family’s overseas financial adventures as they relate to the current president.
Don’t think small on this. It doesn’t have to be just a measure to protect the Bidens.
Rather, it throws a DOJ cloak over three of the major chess pieces in the game of “2024.” The leverage is optimal from this position to calibrate what’s done with each case. Keep in mind that the goal of leaving Trump as roadkill is still there, but still unfulfilled, and you’ll be thinking broadly enough.
The point of throwing that DOJ cloak is to exert significant control over what can happen to Joe Biden and Trump with reference to their classified-document embarrassments, and exert similar control over how much Congress can find out about the connection of Hunter Biden’s activities to Joe Biden’s execution of his offices.
The nexus of control is all in one place.
Ponder, for example, the possibility that the “cabal” is willing to heave Joe Biden overboard, if that’s what it takes to get rid of Trump. I do not suggest this is an envisioned strategy. Don’t read that into this. It’s not implausible, given the astonishing, once-unthinkable fact of the Russiagate conspiracy, but for now it’s merely a thinking aid.
I do suggest, however, that if I can see the outlines of such a possibility, others can. And holding the reins on both operations is what would enable a “permanent state” contingent to have such an option.
What would make more sense than rendering Trump ineligible to run in 2024, for the same “high misdemeanor” a noble Democratic Party would accept defenestrating Biden for as well?
Even if we assume it wouldn’t come to that, we still have the situation in which there’s a center of knowledge and power outside of Congress – DOJ – with independent discretion over all three extraordinarily important cases.
The discretion is what matters. Whoever’s actually running the Biden administration controls what’s done by that DOJ. They can go big, or go small, depending on shifting circumstance. That, and not a specifically determined course of action, is what this looks to be about.
That’s the position a power broker would want to be in, between now and November 2024. It doesn’t militate against this point, to reflect as numerous commentators have that officials connected with Russiagate, Spygate, and in general with the Obama administration, are all over this array of moving parts. Just one example:
That brings us to Ping Two, which is on Topic Two: the egregious George Santos.
Dirt-diggers on the Left have been having a field day with Santos, and he’s really a toxic stew of inexplicability, going by what they’ve turned up on him. (I did independent digging of my own and found much of the same material.)
A data point that seems to have come only through the Left – namely, the Daily Beast – is one of the most interesting. For some reason, a Santos-connected PAC and a fundraising entity reportedly received some $56,000 in campaign funding from Andrew Intrater, a cousin of and financial manager for oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. Left-wing media have been at pains to link Vekselberg and Intrater to Trump via Michael Cohen. The donations from Intrater (and from his wife) started in March 2021.
But as chronicled in some of my earlier articles (here, here, here), Vekselberg was linked to enterprises of the Clintons going back to Uranium One, the Rosatom buy-out, and Hillary Clinton’s money-intensive patronage of the Russian “Silicon Valley” at Skolkovo, outside of Moscow, during her time as Secretary of State. The Ukrainian-born Vekselberg (who was thus a Soviet citizen at birth) was also a big donor to the Clinton Global initiative in its heyday in the early-mid-2010s. He’s considered a crony of Oleg Deripaska, an even better-known figure from Russiagate, as well as Vladimir Putin.
Oddly enough, it was Vekselberg’s yacht that was seized by Biden as a warning to oligarchs in April 2022, a few weeks after the invasion of Ukraine.
The Intrater reporting is on top of allegations of nearly $200,000 in “excessive contributions” to Santos’s campaign from other sources.
Another really strange feature of George Santos is that he’s had no evident source of significant income over the last decade, but somehow had $700,000 on hand to donate personally to his 2022 campaign. We need to know where that $700,000 came from.
Santos’s presence needs to remain a throbbing annoyance in the House until we get to the bottom of these things. No sweeping him under the rug. There’s a whole lot more, and it’s extraordinarily bizarre: Santos seems to have participated fairly recently in what the SEC deemed to be a couple of Ponzi schemes with a married couple operating a slew of apparent shell companies out of an office park in Melbourne, Florida. Santos’s own company, Devolder Organization LLC, was set up by the male in the couple, a person named Devaughn Dames, and in recent days (literally) changed its address of record to what looks like a box at a FedEx in a Melbourne strip mall. Dames’s name was removed from the incorporation documents at that time.
It’s not clear why Santos wants to keep the company, which bears his mother’s family name (Devolder). His mother, who seems to have passed away in 2016, was a housekeeper in New York for a period of time about a decade ago, but was a native of Brazil. Her son George is reported to be effectively on the lam from check-fraud charges lodged in Brazil in 2008, which he incurred using the account of his mother’s deceased boyfriend.
And there’s more. In the 2022 election cycle, Santos received a donation from Paul Singer, the angel donor for the Washington Free Beacon who initially (2015) funded the dirt-on-Trump investigation to be done by Fusion GPS. Singer, an activist-investor billionaire, isn’t known for throwing his money around without vetting recipients. So that strikes me as peculiar.
Meanwhile, the corporate entity from which Santos received the greatest amount of individual contributions – i.e., PACs, company officers, and employees contributing to his campaign – was … FTX. Yes, that FTX.
For some reason, the left-wing Internet sleuths haven’t been taking much if any note of that.
On the other hand, Peter Strzok was Johnny-on-the-spot with commentary about Santos at his Substack account. Go figure Strzok being so well informed.
And in a really what-are-the-odds-weird twist, it seems Santos associate Devaughn Dames was linked to the 2022 campaign of Republican challenger Tina Forte for the House seat held by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also of the Boroughs in NYC. (See the Status Kuo article at Substack, above.)
Who sprang this guy Santos on the GOP? It’s no excuse for the Republicans of New York and Long Island, who didn’t vet him better, but this doesn’t look at all like a random eccentric dude running as a Republican for no apparent reason. It looks like a ringer of some kind. That $700,000 had to come from somewhere, and the $29,000 of attention from the FTX meteor (presumably from executive Ryan Salame, who did the Republican giving while Sam Bankman-Fried gave to Democrats) only increases the weirdness. The DOJ has yet to probe the depths of the murky FTX enterprise to launder money and inject it into politics.
An activist non-profit, the Campaign Legal Center (website here) has been on Santos for a while, and moved very quickly after the November election. Peruse the CLC’s personnel pages; it’s a group of usual suspects, few with high-profile names (though you’ll see Debo Adegbile on an advisory council) but all with the inevitable accomplishments in their bios. The group’s main dedication is to causes like the House Democrats’ H.R. 1 of 2019, the “voting reform” act that served as a wish-list for the various extra-legal alterations to election practice made by the states in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.
One of the CLC donors is the Voter Participation Center (heavily funded by Tom Steyer; see here as well), which along with a linked, Steyer-funded organization, the Center for Voter Information, dispatched hundreds of thousands of questionable ballot-related mailings to several East coast states in the national election cycles from 2012 to 2018.
Other donors past and present can be seen here, including the Open Society Foundations and the Tides Foundation.
It doesn’t pass the smell test, that the CLC knew so much so quickly about Santos while the New York GOP knew nothing.
Something else that doesn’t pass the smell test is Santos’s little speech in Washington, D.C. on 5 January 2021, the day before Trump’s rally and the riot at the Capitol.
Santos doesn’t talk the way actual Trump supporters talk. He talked the way the Left has relentlessly characterized the speech and motives of Trump supporters: he talked of wanting to “overturn the  election.” This isn’t about whether you agree with one side or the other; it’s about how actual Trump supporters see it. They don’t think they wanted to overturn anything, and they don’t talk about it that way. They think and say that their purpose is to recover a “stolen” election – not “overturn” an election.
Santos’s speech had a tellingly false ring, with just those few words. Santos is neither who he claims to be, nor what the Left depicts him to be. There’s something else going on here. He should not be ridden out of Congress on a rail, and suffered to disappear from history, until there’s sunshine illuminating for all of us what that is.
Feature image: Then-VP Joe Biden shows off his Corvette Stingray to Jay Leno in 2016. Jay Leno’s Garage video, YouTube.
4 thoughts on “Two pings: On POTUSes with classified docs, and the riddle-wrapped mystery of George Santos”
The oddest part of JRB’s classified docs?
Exactly 20 (or now 25) secret docs? Suspiciously precise, even more suspiciously low.
Who has checked for more under all of the kitchen sinks?
Adding, seems to be a distraction, for media and punditry alike, from the very real crises, not just US National Debt, nor Japan’s Kishida joining jRb about Russian nukes, which Russia has never said. Ukraine lost the Soledar salt mines – what did Russia find there?
Today, Ukraine admitted the cruise missile strike on the apartment building in Dnepropetrovsk:
Why would UKR admit that so quickly? Before the lights went out.
Thanks for the recap on Santos. He ran for NY-3 in 2020, was ahead before NYS finally, slowly, for weeks, counted the absentee ballots, giving Suozzi a close win.
How could NY GOP, under new leadership thanks to Zeldin, not check him out after that?
Both are Three Shells and a Pea tricks.
Except the Three Shells are Rabbit Holes.
Interesting watching Jordan’s new Judiciary – first Ctte to update their website with new members. From the ’20’: Reps. Gaetz, Biggs, Roy, Bishop, & Spartz.
Plus Massie, who, curiously, is no longer on Science, Space, and Technology, also updated.
At 12:43 AM, my Spectrum went down. Several ‘new’ apps, all wifi related, which I never use, appeared on my Internet Access.
garage speaker DOT ynm was suspicious enough to shut down and go to sleep. Fortunately, it was all fixed today, no national hack (that we will ever know of.) ynm appears to be a g00g wifi app, and an airport in Matagami, Quebec, with no scheduled passenger service.
“Garage Speaker” did seem to be a message…
Hmm, and NYC Mayor Eric Adams just visited the border and declared “something must be done.”
Democrats want to dump Biden but can’t drop him and Kamala without a better replacement. Newsom is a straight white male, Adams at least is black.
Taint both Biden and Trump with the same broad brush (very broad even though Trump has the constitutional power to declassify) and through in Santos as a “gee, another corrupt Republican.”
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