But that was sort of shrug and can you believe they are trying to be a celebrity? And they were and they made some money -- Roger Clinton was a guest star on THE NANNY for example. But if scheming and grifting went on, we did not learn of it.
Hunter Biden? He is a portrait of corruption and of ethical problems. These just continue. Ben Shreckinger (POLITICO) reports:
The White House responded that the identities of the buyers would be kept secret, both from the painter and the public, while leaving it to the art dealer to weed out any suspicious patrons.
Many ethics experts expressed sharp disapproval of the arrangement, including a former head of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, who described the sums of money involved as “absolutely appalling.”
[. . .]
Along with new evidence that at least some of the alleged laptop material is genuine — as well as other emerging evidence about the deals family members have sought or received from people with an interest in influencing Biden — the bipartisan outcry over the painting venture suggests that the Hunter Biden issue is not going away, and that liberals may increasingly tune in.
After all, concerns about money influencing politics have traditionally animated liberals more than conservatives. In fact, one of the most scathing critiques of Biden came during the Democratic primary, from the progressive reformer and Bernie Sanders surrogate Zephyr Teachout, who authored an op-ed for the Guardian accusing Biden of having a “corruption problem” (the column prompted Sanders to apologize to his former Senate colleague).
And with his father in office, Hunter Biden’s activities no longer bear on an electoral choice between Biden and Trump. Instead, they threaten to complicate the White House’s efforts to position Biden as a global anti-corruption crusader, along with its contention that “we have the highest ethical standards of any administration in history.”
That is only one example and, yes, it is going to remain a problem and it is going to fester. For example? There is this:
Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley joined "Fox & Friends" Wednesday to discuss a new report alleging that Hunter and Joe Biden previously held shared bank accounts. Turley said it's time for an independent special counsel to be appointed to look into the allegations.
JONATHAN TURLEY: With these disclosures, we have accounts being used to pay both Hunter and Joe Biden and money being reimbursed to Hunter Biden from an individual associated with a company called Rosemont Seneca. Now that’s a company that has been tied to payments from China and Russia. And so this is getting more and more serious. The question is why the Justice Department hasn’t considered the appointment of a special counsel. We know there's a criminal investigation into the tax issues, possible money laundering. But there are also serious questions about whether the Biden family conducted an extensive influence-peddling operation involving not just Hunter but his uncle and potentially the president of the United States.
And here is FOX NEWS:
A report published Tuesday contends that President Joe Biden could get tied up in the ongoing FBI investigation into his son Hunter Biden’s finances due to the sharing of bank accounts and payment of each other’s bills.
Emails obtained by DailyMail.com from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop show that his business partner, Eric Schwerin, was working on Joe Biden’s tax returns and discussing the father and son paying each other’s bills.
Additionally, the emails show that Schwerin fielded book deal requests for Joe Biden, who was vice-president at the time, and also managed the donation of Biden’s Senate papers to the University of Delaware.
Hunter Biden has claimed that he and his father shared a bank account and admitted last year that he was under federal investigation over his taxes.
Emails show that on April 9, 2010, Schwerin wrote to Hunter: "I was dealing all afternoon with JRB's taxes (but solved a big issue - so it was all worth it)."
On June 10 of the same year, Schwerin wrote, "Your Dad's Delaware tax refund check came today. I am depositing it in his account and writing a check in that amount back to you since he owes it to you. Don't think I need to run it by him, but if you want to go ahead. If not, I will deposit tomorrow."
It is unknown what specifically Joe Biden owed Hunter money for.
Again, they should have locked him in the attic. He should be Hunter Biden Bronte -- a mad person hidden away in the attic.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
Wednesday, October 13, 2021. As the vote count in Iraq is still 'preliminary,' distrust grows.
Sunday, elections took place in Iraq. Sinan Mahmoud |and Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) write:
Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission has confirmed that the manual count for a sample of polling boxes matched the initial results released on Monday.
It has moved to reassure sceptics of Sunday’s national election result, which were based on an electronic tally.
[. . .]
The turnout, 41 per cent, was the lowest participation in any Iraqi election since 2005, underlining the growing disappointment among Iraqis towards a political system that is widely seen as broken.
In the 2018 election, the turnout was 44.5 per cent.
Was the turn out even 41%? Who knows. It wasn't a fair and free election. For example? You have mainstream outlets reporting the purchasing of votes. You have Human Rights Watch calling -- for weeks -- for efforts to be made for the disabled and challenged to vote -- the Iraqi government did nothing to adopt the recommendations HRW made. You had some candidates who were intimidated into not campaigning due to threats that only increased when they attempted to report them. Some point to one group of militia members not being allowed to vote in early voting (which was last Friday). The regulations forbade them from early voting because they did not have the right paperwork. If you were the security forces, you were dispersed throughout Iraq on election day (Sunday). If you did not early vote on Friday, you had to travel to wherever you were stationed on Sunday, work your full shift and then return to your home to vote. This was not possible for some and that is the reason security forces are among the groups allowed to early vote.
All of this and much more has led to a growing distrust of the results. CNA notes:
Two days after Iraq's legislative election, pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim parties and armed groups on Tuesday (Oct 12) denounced early poll results as "manipulation" and a "scam".
Sunday's election - the fifth in the war-scarred country since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled dictator Saddam Hussein - was marked by record low turnout of 41 percent.
I see the image above all over MENA social media. I do not, however, see it at the High Electoral Commission's website. Doesn't mean it's not there. (And I only traveled through the Arabic version, I didn't go into the English portal.) I do see this page. It notes that, as of April 2020, there were 24,907,679 registered voters in Iraq.
I'm not saying the above image didn't (or doesn't) exist at the commission's website. I couldn't find it. Maybe I missed it. Maybe it was pulled as it began to trend on social media. Or maybe it is a fake.
That it is being spread so widely goes to the fact that the public does not trust the results or the government.
In the US, the elections are being downplayed by the press. Government press briefings either have no questions about Iraq or just one.
For example, yesterday's US State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Ned Price:
QUESTION: (Inaudible.) First, do you have any comment on the Iraqi parliamentary election? And how do you view that – that Moqtada al-Sadr won and the defeat of popular mobilization forces?
MR PRICE: So when it comes to the Iraqi elections, we congratulate the Iraqi Government on having fulfilled its promise to hold early elections. We are pleased the – we are pleased that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We have seen the preliminary results announced by the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, and we’re awaiting for the final certified results. So we’ll – we will omit judgment until then. But these elections included hundreds of international monitors and observers from the UN and the EU, in addition to thousands of domestic observers. We look forward to reviewing their reports.
Once the final results are certified, we hope that the new Council of Representatives members will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people, and which can work to address Iraq’s governance, security, and economic challenges.
When it comes to Moqtada al-Sadr, again, we’re waiting for final results. We don’t want to prejudge the outcome. But we do look forward to working with the new government once it is formed.
And yesterday's White House press briefing by spokesperson Jen Psaki:
Q What does it take -- what does it take -- sorry, quick question: What
does it take for the White House -- on the Iraqi election, there’s a lot
of changes. Some Iran -- pro-Iran groups are saying this is not a fair
election. So, what is the take of the White House?
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
Q Thank you.
MS. PSAKI: So, we congratulate the Iraqi government on having fulfilled its promise to hold earlier elections. We are pleased that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We’ve seen the preliminary results announced by the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission yesterday and are waiting for the final certified results.
These elections included hundreds of international monitors and observers from the U.N. and EU, in addition to thousands of domestic observers. We look forward to reviewing their reports.
Once the final results are certified, we hope that the new Council of Representative members will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and which can work to address Iraq’s governance, security, and economic challenges.
It was only at yesterday's John Kirby's press briefing at the Defense Dept that a follow up question on Iraq existed.
Q: John, I want to ask a question about Iraq in light of the initial results of -- of the elections? And this is not a, you know, political question. It's related to the security of Iraq and the security of U.S. forces. So the so-called Iraqi Resistance Coordination Committee, basically groups that -- some of the groups that were targeting the U.S. forces in Iraq, are claiming that the elections have been manipulated...
MR. KIRBY: That had been?
MR. KIRBY: OK.
Q: And that the elimination of the BMF will "only serve," quote-unquote, the American occupation.
MR. KIRBY: Thelevation?
Q: The elimination of the BMF.
MR. KIRBY: Elimination.
Q: Based on -- on this statement, and the -- and the initial result -- results, are you concerned that this could usher a new wave of -- of targeting U.S. forces in Iraq?
MR. KIRBY: Well, I mean -- so a couple of thoughts. First, we congratulate the Iraqi government on having fulfilled its promise to hold early elections. And we're pleased to see that the election days were largely conducted peacefully. We've seen preliminary results announced by the Iraqi government. I'm sorry, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission, and we're waiting for the final certified results. Once those results are certified, it's our hope that the new Council of Representatives will form a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and will work to address Iraqi's governance, human rights, security, and economic challenges. We, from a security perspective, we are still partnering with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi security forces in an effort to continue to put pressure on ISIS. That's the focus. That's what we're there for. And we are still in technical talks with Iraq about what that looks like going forward.
As a part of our presence there, yesterday, as today, we still maintain the right of self-defense. And so we obviously don't want to see, as a result of these elections or any other event, we don't want to see violence increase. We certainly don't want to see attacks or threats on our troops. But our commanders have the right of self-defense; they have the capabilities to defend themselves if they need it. Again, they're there predominantly to -- to help the Iraqi security forces improve their capabilities against ISIS. That's the mission.
Q: (OFF-MIKE) and since you talk policy and politics...
MR. KIRBY: I did not. I was just congratulating the...
Q: No, no, you said more than that. I love it to ask this question. Clearly, the -- some of the militias and -- and political groups were associated with -- with Iran or supported by Iran. And some of these groups were targeting the U.S. forces. They didn't do well in -- in the elections based on that preliminary results. Is that -- is that a message from the Iraqi people to the -- to Iran and the militias that -- that resulting to violence is not the answer inside Iraq...
MR. KIRBY: Well, it should never -- it should never be the -- the answer. Violence should never be the answer. But again, as for the exact results and what they mean, we're not going to prejudge those results because they're -- they're still -- the preliminary results -- all we've seen, they have not been certified. OK?
Preliminary results were stressed at all three. For any who missed it, the ballots were supposed to be counted and complete by the day after voting. Even now, the votes are still not all counted (the estimate as this is dictated is that 90% of the ballots have been counted).
This rejection of the count is a major story. FRANCE 24 reports on it.
ALJAZEERA also reports on this as well.
Nouri al-Maliki is questioning the vote and were it just him? You could dismiss it. This is his pattern. But the other officials questioning? This is something new for them. The Iraqi people are also more suspect of the count than they have been in previous elections since the US-led invasion of 2003.
MIDDLE EAST EYE's Nabil Salih discussed the election on yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!:
The following sites updated: