Senator Warner Is Missing in Action

by Emilio Jaksetic

As co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner, D-VA, was vociferous about the need to investigate allegations of Russian collusion by President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. But Virginia’s senior senator was silent in 2019 when the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General identified serious defects and failings with FBI and DOJ handling of the investigation of those allegations. He was silent when a former FBI attorney pleaded guilty in August 2020 to criminally altering a document used to support a request for a FISA warrant in the Russian collusion investigation. And he has been silent about the subsequent discrediting of the Steele dossier.

Now Warner seems reticent about the need to investigate allegations of foreign payoffs to Hunter Biden or question if former Vice President Joseph Biden knew about those foreign payoffs.

Multiple sources of information support the allegations against Hunter Biden:

  • Peter Schweizer’s books, “Secret Empires” (Harper, 2019) and “Profiles in Corruption” (Harper, 2020);
  • Various emails reported by the New York Post (October 2020);
  • A Senate report issued October 11 (“Hunter Biden, Burisma, and Corruption: The Impact on U.S. Government Policy and Related Concerns”) available here.

Compared to the scanty information based on unnamed sources that triggered the Russia collusion probe against President Donald Trump — primarily the Steele dossier, which has been discredited — there is strong evidence documenting Hunter Biden’s misdeeds. If former Vice President Biden knew about his son’s misconduct, remained silent, and even lied about it, it would raise serious questions about his honesty, integrity, and fitness for office. Yet, Warner has been mum. Why?

Warner’s silence brings to mind the character of Sgt. Schultz in the TV comedy show “Hogan’s Heroes” (1965 – 1971). In that show, Allied POWs continually outwitted the prison camp Commandant and his guards. Shultz occasionally saw what the POWs were up to but turned a blind eye, saying, “I see nothing! I hear nothing! I know nothing!” and “I know nothing, nothing!”

Democrats often call upon Republicans to “show courage” by breaking ranks with their colleagues and political allies on various issues. Warner, who is in line for the top spot at the Senate Intelligence Committee should the Democrats capture the Senate, should show courage by acknowledging that there is enough troubling information to warrant an FBI or congressional investigation. He should publicly call for former Vice President Biden to promptly answer the following questions: (1) did he know about his son’s misconduct, (2) if so, why did he remain silent about it and do nothing, and (3) if not, how can the American people trust his judgment?

The people of Virginia should demand that Senator Warner pursue allegations of wrongdoing in a fair, even-handed, and nonpartisan manner. They do not need a Sergeant Shultz who turns a blind eye to wrongdoing. Warner needs to demonstrate that he is the moderate Democrat he claims to be, not just a partisan who attacks his political foes and defends his friends.

Emilio Jaksetic, a retired lawyer, is a Republican in Fairfax County.

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65 responses to “Senator Warner Is Missing in Action

  1. Ny Post story seems rather squishy.

    • At least the Post names its sources.

      • Who will not make its evidence available for independent verification.

        • The FBI is in possession of that Laptop.

          • Dick Hall-Sizemore

            Has the FBI confirmed it has the laptop? The last I read, the FBI was not commenting on the case one way or the other. Supposedly, Giuliani gave a copy of the hard drive to the New York Post. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/18/business/media/new-york-post-hunter-biden.html

          • Yes, they are in fact in possession of said laptop.

            https://www.thedailybeast.com/fbi-examining-hunter-bidens-laptop-as-foreign-op-contradicting-john-ratcliffe-trumps-intel-czar

            They are examining the veracity of the e-mails and ferreting out if they are part of Russian disinformation.

          • Dick Hall-Sizemore

            Following the links in your linked story reveals not that the FBI has confirmed it has the laptop, only that the owner of the shop says that he turned it over to federal authorities and provided a copy of the hard drive to Giuliani. So, the FBI refuses to confirm or deny anything.

          • Are you sure you read the article I provided you?

            Because the following is located 4 paragraphs is:

            But that assessment gets out in front of the FBI, which took custody of the laptop and an external hard drive as early as in December, according to the New York Post. The bureau, according to the congressional source, is looking into the provenance of the material. And among the questions they’re seeking to answer is whether the laptop dump is part of what the intelligence community’s counterintelligence chief has already described as a Russian disinformation effort targeting the 2020 election.”

            Also, generally speaking the don’t comment on active investigations.

          • Dick Hall-Sizemore

            Oops! I did not read far enough into the New York Post article. It does say there is picture of a subpoena showing that the FBI picked up the laptop. I apologize.

    • James Wyatt Whitehead V

      The squish might be the potty mess Warner is standing in that Hunter left behind.

    • Nothing sticks to DEMS! Squishy, are you saying the evidence is not there. With POTUS – RUSSIA there was NO there / there. With the Biden’s THE evidence is piled deep and wide. What is most troubling is the DEMOCRATE power structure turns a blind eye to the situation. Eliminate life long politicians and establish true donation limits and we will restore the greatest government in history.

  2. Why ask for this two weeks before the election when much voting has already occurred? Why wasn’t this raised earlier in the process? The timing of this makes me question the whole effort. It seems like a frantic 11th hour effort to change the election outcome instead of a serious effort to investigate a problem.

  3. Hunter Biden’s actions were stupid, posing the appearance of conflict of interest for his father. Everyone agrees with that. But even the recent Senate Republican report found no evidence of actual wrongdoing or undue influence. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gop-report-wrongdoing-biden-son-ties-ukraine-firm/story?id=73192146

    So, if no misconduct beyond stupidity and greed have been uncovered, then there is no reason for Warner to pose those questions to Biden.

    As for the Steele dossier, the FBI had begun investigating the possible ties between the Russians and the Trump campaign before that document surfaced. https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/dossier-not-what-started-all-of-this/

    Finally, the committee of which Warner is vice-chair has issued a report showing the influence of the Russians and the involvement of members of the Trump campaing going beyond that reported in the Mueller report. https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report_volume5.pdf
    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/512613-five-takeaways-from-final-senate-intel-russia-report

    I think Warner has handled himself appropriately.

  4. Baconator with extra cheese

    Didn’t the Troggs write a song about him? “Swamp Thing…. you make my heart sing… you make everything groovy”

  5. I think Mark Warner is an android and that he does and says only what he is programmed to do and say.

  6. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Since Sgt. Schultz has been brought up, I can’t resist. What would Colonel Klink do about this?

  7. Biden apologists are hilarious. What we see here is the subtle game of shifting standards of proof.

    In the Trump-Russian collusion scandal, the standards of proof were minimal. The narrative relied upon anonymous quotes from sources of unknown partisan sympathies, unknown axes to grind, and unknown degrees of separation from first-hand knowledge. The flood of anonymous sources was buttressed by the Steele dossier, which also was based upon unknown sources, with unknown motives, and unknown degrees of separation from first-hand knowledge. In a conspiratorial circle jerk, anonymous intelligence sources quoted journalists, who quoted anonymous intelligence sources, recycling charges through one another. Amazingly, the wisps of evidence were sufficient to (a) use the FISA system to surveille Carter Page, and (b) to trigger a special-prosecutor investigation. After mobilizing dozens of FBI agents, questioning hundreds of people, collecting millions of documents, deploying surveillance on Page’s communications, and putting the squeeze on Trump associates using prosecutorial tactics normally reserved for mafia dons, the Mueller team came up with no evidence of campaign-Russian collusion — although it did get convictions for minor charges totally unrelated to the collusion investigation. Since then, we have learned that the main source for the Steel Dossier, one Igor Danchenko, told the FBI that what he told Steele was bar-room gossip, none of which had been verified.

    Imagine that, the country went through two-and-a-half years of hell based on bar-room gossip. Some people still believe that Trump colluded with Russians.

    Let’s contrast that to the standards of proof we’re applying to Hunter and Joe Biden. We know Hunter suffers from long-term substance-abuse issues and was drummed out of the Navy. Basically, the guy is a train wreck. We know that he has no special knowledge of the Ukraine, China, natural gas or finance. We know that he tagged along with his dad on trips to Ukraine and China and managed to snag highly lucrative business deals in both countries during the same trips. This is known and undisputed. Now comes the saga of the laptop and its emails. The store owner who gained possession of the laptop is a known person and has spoken on the record. The chain of custody through Rudolph Giuliani is known. Giuliani is speaking on record. We know exactly what his motives are and how he came by the information. We know the computer is real — the FBI has confirmed that it has possession of it. The New York Post has released photos of a drugged-out Hunter Biden from the laptop. A recipient of one of the key emails has confirmed that the email is genuine. But to some people, this just isn’t enough confirmation.

    The only way to contest the obvious — that the photos and emails are legitimate — is to throw out a suggestion, for which there is ZERO evidence, that the laptop is somehow a Russian counter-intelligence trick.

    It is now irrefutable that Hunter Biden made millions of dollars selling access to his father and the Obama administration. The only question worth asking is whether Joe knew what Hunter was doing or was too obtuse to figure out what going on in front of his face. The latter interpretation is almost scarier than the first. If Joe Biden didn’t know what was going on, the man is too stupid to entrust with the presidency.

    As for Mark Warner…. Really sad. Once upon a time he was a pretty good governor who tried to govern from the middle. Now he’s a victim of the blue bubble of Washington groupthink.

    • Jim – how many people were actually convicted and jailed over the the Trump Russia investigation?

      re: ” The chain of custody through Rudolph Giuliani is known. Giuliani is speaking on record. We know exactly what his motives are and how he came by the information.”

      unless it was in the hands of law enforcement – how do you know the data was not changed?

      “motives” ? what are the motives of Giuliani ?

      • Zero people were convicted of offenses relating to Trump-Russian collusion. They were convicted for improper foreign lobbying registrations, lying to the FBI (giving conflicting statements), that sort of thing.

        • Seems like they were associated with Trump and at the same time engaging in conversations with Russians – and some were actually identified through telephone lines the US was tapping.

          When you have people that are working with and for foreign governments who are also in the Trump administration and did not disclose that relationship with foreign governments – do you think that’s a national security issue?

        • Speaking of foreign lobbying restrictions, I don’t believe Hunter ever registered as an agent of a foreign government. I thought that was a big deal. LarrytheG still thinks it is, though only when it’s someone connected to Trump.

          Did Mark Warner get on TV to call for an investigation into the Mueller team deliberately wiping their phones to prevent the DOJ Inspector General from inspecting them? I’ve read about what must happen to “accidently” wipe them. I believe one needs to enter a wrong password about 16 times. But hey, nothing to see here.

          “DOJ records show members of Mueller’s team ‘wiped’ phones during Trump probe”

          “The records show at least several dozen phones were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons — and came before the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) could review the devices.”

          https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-records-mueller-team-wiped-phones

          • re: ” I thought that was a big deal. LarrytheG still thinks it is, though only when it’s someone connected to Trump.”

            Actually not. I said than when ANYONE who is working in US govt and especially the White House has a relationship for foreign countries and foreign national and does not disclose it, it is a security threat to this country.

            People who think this is about Trump are being willfully ignorant of the fundamental issue which is that no POTUS should have people on their staff or in their campaign with undisclosed ties to foreign govenment.

            Jim B calls this a “process issue” of “failing to register”.

            You can – and should ask any Federal employee with a clearance, the questions on their background check with regard to travel to foreign nations and relationships with foreign citizens and governments.

          • re: wiping phones. They returned their phones to the agency that issued them and normal procedure is for that agency to wipe the phones, re-set them and reissue them.

            If the DOJ wanted those phones, they would have intervened and got the phones by supena BEFORE they were turned in because once they are turned in – there is no guarantee that they won’t be wiped right away per their procedures for re-issuing them to others.

          • Did Hunter ever lobby on behalf of Barisma? Anyone can work for a foreign company.
            In order to be an “agent,” an individual or entity must perform one of the following specified FARA-registrable activities within the United States “for or in the interests of” its “foreign principal”:

            Engage in “Political Activities”—“Political activities” are activities intended to “in any way influence” either “any agency or official of the Government of the United States” or “any section of the public within the United States,” with reference to “the domestic or foreign policies of the United States or … the political or public interests, policies, or relations of a government of a foreign country of a foreign political party.” This is a broad term that covers lobbying, public-relations activities, and even tourism promotion.
            Provide Certain Public Relations or Politically Related Services
            “Public Relations Counsel”—Someone who informs, advises, or represents a foreign principal in a public-relations matter involving the principal’s public or political interests, policies, or relations.
            “Publicity Agent”—Someone who publishes or disseminates information for a foreign principal.
            “Information-Service Employee”—Someone who furnishes, disseminates, or publishes information about a foreign principal’s political, industrial, employment, economic, social, cultural, or other benefits, advantages, facts or conditions.
            “Political Consultant”—Someone who informs or advises a foreign principal either about S. domestic or foreign policies or about the principal’s political or public interests, policies, or relations.
            Solicit, Collect, Disburse, or Dispense Money or Other Things of Value
            Represent Interests before Any Agency or Official of the U.S. Government
            An individual or entity acting at the order, request, direction, or control of a principal within the United States can trigger “agent” status under FARA by engaging in any single one of the above-listed activities.

          • I don’t know about pure civilians but if you work for the US government or you have a business or similar relationship with the US Government – for instance, say you are providing them computers or IT services, etc, they’re going to want to know of your foreign relationships.

            If you actually work for the Feds even as a contractor and get a classified clearance – they’re going to ask you questions about foreign travel, foreign family, foreign contacts, etc…AND they re-do these questions periodically for employees. In fact, you are supposed to report to them any foreign travel.

            Similarly, when getting a clearance, the Feds want to know about your finances and especially any with foreign citizens.

            They ask you these questions on a form you fill out. If you fail to report these things – it’s called breaking the law and it says on the form that you could be subject to legal consequences if you fail to report or lie.

            When the people who did this – are employed by the POTUS – it’s considered a serious national security threat as it should be.

          • LarrytheG – “They returned their phones to the agency that issued them and normal procedure is for that agency to wipe the phones, re-set them and reissue them.”

            That’s pure fiction and wishful thinking on your part, not what the documents released show. The phones were “accidentally” wiped by those using them prior to being turned over.

            “The investigation concluded that there was no bias but as part of it, Mueller’s team was told to hand over cellphones. Many had been wiped of their data.”

            “Among the reasons given was that people had forgotten their passcodes, there was irreversible screen damage or people had lost them.”

            “Andrew Weissman, Mueller’s deputy, ‘accidentally wiped’ his phone on two occasions after entering the wrong passcode too many times in March 2018, and lawyer James Quarles’ phone ‘wiped itself’ without his intervention, the documents claim.”

            “A phone belonging to FBI lawyer Lisa Page – who was caught exchanging anti-Trump texts with FBI agent Peter Strzok – had also been wiped by the time it was handed over.”

            “The wiped phone information emerged in newly released documents from the DoJ at the request of Judicial Watch, a conservative group.”

            This is per MSN, lest you think only conservative sites have reported it.

            https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mueller-team-accidentally-wiped-more-than-15-phones/ar-BB18Vkxg

          • The FBI analysts investigating Trump world knew that what they were doing was so egregiously wrong, they “all went and purchased professional liability insurance.” Read it for yourself directly from court documents. See page 8.

            https://www.scribd.com/document/477364140/Explosive-FBI-Texts-Show-Internal-Furor-At-Crossfire-Hurricane-Handling

          • Anytime any computer/phone equipment is turned back in – it will be wiped and re-initialized and re-issued unless told otherwise or asked to hand over to an ongoing investigation.

            That’s standard operating procedure with a lot of govt IT, Fed, State and local and a lot of corporations.

            When somone leaves a job – they give back their company-assigned equipment and it is re-set to initial settings and reissued with all data wiped off of it.

          • You can repeat that incorrect explanation all you want, but that won’t make it true. If that were the scenario, there would have been no need for those individuals to make up excuses for why the the devices were wiped.

            I’ve worked for the government for 20+ years. When they ask for your device, you give it to them. The government then decides when and if it is wiped. That’s not what happened here.

            More documentation at the link below. Where’s yours? Will you again just quote yourself?

            https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09-11%20CEG%20to%20DOJ%20FBI%20%28Special%20Counsel%20Records%29.pdf

          • Anytime someone leaves – they return their equipment to IT. IT will then either dispose of it or re-use it. Either way, they wipe the machine. That’s standard operating procedure just about any place that has centralized IT function.

            Law enforcement has the ability to seize such equipment and they do but they have to get to it before IT processes and re-uses it or disposes of it.

            My experience? Worked in govt IT for decades.

            Let’s say for the sake of argument that DOJ was going to investigate Muellers team. Once that decision was made – they would seize all the equipment directly from the team membes and from the facility that received their equipment – if they still had it. When people turn in equipment, they will often try to wipe their personal info off of it anyhow for fear that it may not be wiped later. They just do it to be safe.

            You’d do the same thing if you tried to sell a used computer or phone. Nothing nefarious about it.

          • If you are going to just keep repeating yourself without addressing the evidence to the contrary, I’ll just keep reposting what I’ve already said too. The scenario you present isn’t what happened. That’s not even being argued by liberals.

            https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/gop-seeks-investigation-into-mueller-team-wiping-data-from-government-issued-cell-phones/

            You can repeat that incorrect explanation all you want, but that won’t make it true. If that were the scenario, there would have been no need for those individuals to make up excuses for why the the devices were wiped.

            You have produced no documentation to support your incorrect portrayal of events – nothing.

          • I’m just telling how it works in IT when equipment is returned.

            The links you are providing are largely politicol. No surpise their opinions.

            When equipment is returned to IT – they either dispose of it or wipe it and re-issue it. Standard procedure.

          • “I’m just telling how it works in IT when equipment is returned.”

            Exactly. The problem for you is that didn’t happen here. You’re just making up something to provide cover for scandalous behavior. The phones were not turned in to IT as you keep suggesting over and over and over without documentation. They were given to the OIG.

            “According to the documents, which became public following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, as many as 15 phones from members of Mueller’s team were scrubbed of all their data when they were given to the OIG.”

          • Tell me how it should work instead.

            When phones/computers are turned it, they are scrubbed. When they are depends on various factors but unless law enforcement intervenes – they will be scrubbed and likely already have.

            People themselves will wipe personal data before turning them over just in case.

            I don’t see how this would or should work differently if no law enforcement is asking for the equipment.

            The IT folks do not hold the equipment un-wiped – they either dispose of it or re-certify it.

            In ANY even – virtually everything that is on a cell or on a computer gets captured and stored as soon as they connect to a server. Just as what you type here in BR gets captured.. virtually everything on a govt computer or cell gets captured by their servers…

            This is all a made-up thing for political purposes… nothing is going to come out of it because there is nothing to it.

  8. Baconator with extra cheese

    It seems Orangeman-Bad but Senileman-Good … Senileman-Good can threaten Ukrainians, finger rape a woman, hang with Klansman, fight Corn Pop with a chain, do weird leghair pool-stuff with the kids, sniff and rub preteens, start his education ficticiously at a HBCU, and let his crack smoking son ride on Air Force 2 to make shady deals with the ChiComs.
    But yes Big Orange and his crew are all White Nationalist Russian spies so it’s cool. I think I have it down now.

  9. Bacon. You embarrass yourself. Why not start with Stone and Manafort? I can go for further but it is a beautiful Fall afternoon and I’d hatebto ruin it with this nonsense.

    • Well Mr. Galuszka you’ve run headlong into the nonsense. While Manafort and Stone are vile Washington swap creatures their crimes were as follows:

      Manafort (tax fraud, evasion and hiding money offshore)

      Stone (witness tampering, Obstruction of Justice and lying to Congress)

      If either individual would’ve been convicted of assisting the Ruskies it would’ve been the Espionage Act.

      These two dumb swamp creatures made the mistake of buddying up to the wrong political hack which shined a spotlight on their dealings. If you were to spotlight any swamp creature of any political bend in DC you’d find the same thing.

  10. Based on my dealings in Ukraine (I was there as recently as January) I believe this is a decent recounting of the mater. And, yes – the laptop matter is a bit squishy although I wonder why the FBI won’t comment. Finally, Ukrainians in Ukraine will privately tell you that 1) Of course Hunter Biden was hired to provide access to his father, 2) Given what he was paid and how long he was paid – some access was provided and 3) The prosecutor that Biden insisted be fired was not incompetent.

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/ukraine-judge-orders-joe-biden-be-listed-alleged

  11. Wait. Rudy G who has been tasked with digging up dirt on Biden turns over a hard drive that supposedly was in a laptop that Biden had left with a repair shop – and somehow Giuliani came into pocession of the hard drive and turned it over to a local police department and it was “announced” by a Senate candidate? And the repair shop was back in December?

    And Jim B is talking about a “chain of custody” ? 😉

    And all of this is “reported” by the Post and Fox news but not WSJ ?

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/21/rudy-giuliani-gives-alleged-hunter-biden-laptop-authorities/6005040002/

    “squishy” is putting it mildly.

  12. Ah, the tyranny of the mask.

  13. Matt Adams. Are you saying that Manafort had nothing to do with Ukraine?
    Ripper, Trump and family have been involved in so much corruption, from interest shopping, to using private property at federal expense and so on, it is mind boggling. After all if this, to double down on Hunter Biden is really ridiculous.

    • Peter, that’s nonsense. To say that Biden is guilty of corruption is not to say that Trump is innocent of corruption.

      But you, like all Democrats, want to investigate only Trump and not Biden. As I noted above, you apply totally different standards of proof to judge the two. Likewise as Jaksetic says in the original post, Warner has labored mightily to investigate Trump but has turned a blind eye to Biden.

      Cut the nonsensical hair-splitting and just be honest about your partisan bias: You want to nail Trump’s ass to the wall, and you don’t want to investigate the Biden family because you’re afraid it will jeopardize Joe’s election.

    • Was he charged with having something to do with Ukraine Pete?

      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/21/17648760/manafort-trial-guilty-verdict-mueller-trump-russia

      As far as the record shows, he was charged with financial crimes, however if you’d like to provide evidence contrary to that matter, by all means provide it.

      At any given time on any given day the number on individuals how have failed to file FARA paperwork in DC is very high. It’s filth knows no ends for either party.

  14. I guess I was wrong. Fox did touch the story with a 5-foot Italian, and she got touched back.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/seth-meyers-unloads-on-psychotic-maria-bartiromo-for-baselessly-accusing-hunter-biden-of-child-porn

  15. In politics we have “The October Surprise.”

    In sports we have the Hail Mary pass.

    Since the GOP’s favorite scandal in October of national elections centers around email, this appears to be more Spam or phishing by desperate Republicans.

    I have already voted for Warner, so this was not intended for me anyway.

  16. Bacon. You are ridiculous not me. Even crucial New York Post reporters refused to put their bylines on the Hunter piece. Last ditch effort. We’ll also watch the prosecutions when the Donald loses.

  17. Sad. Didn’t think BR would bite on an RT lure.

  18. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    The October Surprise of 1972: Kissenger Announces “Peace Is At Hand”. Nixon was very clever. McGovern never had a chance.

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