Exclusive — Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke on Chinese Spy Balloon: ‘An Embarrassment We Took No Action’

Exclusive — Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke on Chinese Spy Balloon: ‘An Embarrassment We Took No Action’

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke (R) called the Biden administration allowing the Chinese to float a spy balloon into the United States’s airspace “an embarrassment.”

“I think it’s an embarrassment that we took no action, not even diplomatically and say, you know, ‘Warning, warning warning, don’t do this. We’re gonna follow it,’” he told Breitbart News on Friday in an exclusive phone interview.

“But just to have it drift up here, and for days loitering — I think it shows that we are ineffective,” he said.

A senior defense official told reporters Thursday said the military considered shooting it down as it drifted over “sparsely populated areas in Montana,” but that, “we just couldn’t buy down the risk enough to feel comfortable recommending shooting it down.”

As a native Montanan, Zinke scoffed at that reasoning and said “absolutely” the balloon should have been shot down over the area.

“I would have volunteered to be there and pull the trigger,” he said.

“Roosevelt County I think is the least populated in the lower 48 of any county. That’s where my family originally was from. My grandmother was a one-room school teacher out in Roosevelt County. I love Roosevelt County, but I can tell you your chances of doing harm to humans is low. And you know what, and Montanans would understand that. There’s a lot of people that probably have something in the garage that might shoot it down, too,” he said.

Zinke said the Biden administration should have stopped the balloon from even reaching Montana — home to sensitive military sites such as Malmstrom Air Force Base, which maintains 150 intercontinental ballistic missile silos.

Rather, the balloon should have taken it out over the Aleutian Islands, where it reportedly flew over before even reaching the continental U.S., he said.

“It’s a balloon, guys. This balloon didn’t get here overnight. This is not like a fast moving problem set. So certainly, we must have picked it up over the Aleutian chain and if we didn’t shame on us,” he said. “I’ve operated in the Aleutian chain, have been out there. You’re glad if you see anybody during the whole day.”

He added, “What if it was something, something that was clear and threatening? Again, this is a balloon. The balloon takes a long time to get there. You know, people have looked at it. But what if it was a formation of fighters? What if it was, you know, a ship at sea that we suspected its intention would be harmful?”

Zinke, a former Navy SEAL commander, said the balloon was a “very clear poke in the eye” from China.

“We need to make sure that one is that there’s a consequence for poking us in the eye. But when there’s no consequence of bad behavior, then really bad things can happen,” he said, citing the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster.

“We were effective in Afghanistan. That was a colossal blunder, a failure. It could have been a heck of a lot worse. And then I think that gave Putin the green light,” he said.

“And now now we have a very aggressive China in the South China Sea. And the message to them is, well we don’t know what we’re going to do. Or largely at least we can’t make a decision or or our ineptitude, of dealing with a balloon. You know, there’s a big difference between like defending Taiwan and destroying a balloon,” he said.

He said letting the balloon fly over the U.S. could raise doubts with allies.

“It also brings, you know, worldwide uncertainty — ‘Well, if the U.S. isn’t gonna get a stand up against a balloon, are they gonna stand with me as they did in Afghanistan?’”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook.

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Exclusive: Chinese Spy Balloon Renews GOP Push for Foreign Land Purchase Ban

Exclusive: Chinese Spy Balloon Renews GOP Push for Foreign Land Purchase Ban

The news of a Chinese spy balloon floating through American airspace has bolstered Republican calls to focus on national security — including from Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), who is proposing a foreign land purchase moratorium to protect U.S. food security and stabilize housing prices.

Congresswoman Miller is set to reintroduce a bill on Monday entitled the ‘‘Saving American Farms from Adversaries Act.” The legislation would give the president power to prohibit the purchase of public or private real estate in the United States “by any foreign person,” including corporations and partnerships, for the five-year period after the enactment of the law. Breitbart News learned exclusively of the bill’s introduction on Friday, and was first to report the bill last year when Miller introduced it with now-retired Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

“Our adversaries continue to rob our country of wealth and prosperity under Joe Biden’s weak leadership. Congress must respond to the critical economic and national security threats China poses to our nation because Joe Biden refuses to put America’s safety and best interests first,” Miller said of the bill, which will be her first of the 118th Congress. 

Leland Wells / LOCAL NEWS X /TMX

The bill points out that Chinese nationals have “led foreign investments in homes in the United States for the past seven years.” Miller’s bill notes that “foreign companies and individuals have purchased 853,813 acres of agricultural land” in her own state of Illinois, — purchases that are “worth approximately $6.3 billion.”

“We must put American farmers and consumers first and prevent China from buying up our farmland,” Miller told Breitbart News. “As a farmer, I know that foreign land purchases are especially an issue in rural America where the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to buy land in our country to gain strategic leverage over the United States and our food supply.”

Republicans at the state level have also been sounding the alarm on foreign land purchases, as Chinese companies continue to try to purchase land near U.S. military basesFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), and Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott have all said they are considering blocking China from buying American farmland. Former President Donald Trump has also made the issue part of his early 2024 presidential campaign by pitching a federal proposal to block China from buying American farmland.

Miller Bill by Breitbart News on Scribd

According to the legislation, foreign investors now account for almost one-third of institutional investments in single-family rental homes in the United States. Breitbart News previously reported how global investors are “gobbling up” middle-class suburban homes, “enriching wealthy investors and turning would-be homeowners into lifetime, no-equity renters.”

The legislation also states that increased foreign investment in urban areas has led to a rise in gentrification. This is “pushing many long-time residents out of their homes, including some of our most vulnerable and poor communities,” according to the bill. Additionally, “roughly 47 percent of rural renters pay a third or more of their income in rent each month. The Federal government has done nothing to help rural Americans deal with the rising costs in housing.”

Miller said the “misguided effort to attract foreign investment” is “destroying the American dream for millions” and pointed to other countries that have similar laws that limit foreign land purchases.

“For example, in Macedonia foreign citizens cannot purchase agricultural land and may only lease. In Poland, foreign individuals need permission from the Ministry of International Affairs to purchase land. Mexico too has restrictions in place that put limits on foreigners’ ability to purchase land. Vast foreign land purchases of American land hurts rural and urban communities alike,” she said. 

“We have an inherent responsibility to put our own citizens first, and Americans are clearly not benefiting from the current system. Again, our laws are currently designed in a way that benefits large multinational companies over everyday Americans,” she continued. 

Chase Doak via Storyful

The bill further calls for the EB-5 visa system, which allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards if they invest in specific business ventures, to be made “more stringent,” and states that the rules of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) need to be “more strict.”

The Comptroller General of the United States would be required to submit a report to Congress six months after the enactment of the bill detailing the history of foreign public and private real estate purchases located in the U.S. The comptroller general would also be required to make recommendations as to how “to make it easier for United States citizens and harder for foreign persons to purchase real estate located in the United States, including farm land,” and to provide a percentage of real estate located in the U.S. that is owned by foreign persons. 

Miller ended by warning lawmakers to “take the threat of China’s provocation seriously” and called out President Joe Biden for pushing “his America Last Agenda.” 

“Biden continues to push his America Last Agenda with an open southern border, continuous funding for Ukraine, Chinese-manufactured batteries, and Green New Deal policies,” Miller said.

“Our country should be united on the issue of national security because we have an inherent responsibility to put our own citizens first. America is on a dangerous path of losing our self-sufficiency in farming, and we must take the threat of China’s provocation seriously by passing the Saving American Farms from Adversaries Act,” she concluded. 

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Exclusive — Mike Pompeo on General’s Warning of War with China in 2025: ‘Our Military Should Get Ready’

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state and CIA director during the Trump administration, told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday in an exclusive interview on Saturday he supported the point a U.S. military general made in a recent memo that the U.S. needs to be prepared for war with China.

NBC News reported Friday that Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC), wrote a memo that predicted that the U.S. would be at war with China over Taiwan in 2025. Minihan wrote that the U.S. and Taiwan would be “distracted” by presidential elections in both countries in 2024, and Chinese President Xi Jinping would have an opportunity to move on Taiwan. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me will fight in 2025,” said Minihan.

Minihan also reportedly told all air wing commanders in AMC and other Air Force operational commanders to report all major efforts to prepare for a fight with China by February 28.

AMC is responsible for transport and refueling of service members around the world.

Pompeo told host Breitbart News Washington Bureau Chief Matt Boyle he had not read Minihan’s memo, but that, “the general point is very well taken.”

“The Chinese Communist Party has frankly…been at war, at the very least economic war, with the United States for 40 years, and we just turn the other cheek and let them run over us and build their economy on the backs of the American worker. And so I’m glad to see this,” Pompeo said of the memo. He added:

Yes, our military should get ready. I don’t know if 2024, 2025 is the moment, but we should be doing the hard work, getting our military space systems, our cyber systems, all of those lined up, and then working our tails off to continue to build on what I write about in [my book] Never Give an Inch; India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, our partners in the region the Philippines we should be working with them to deliver against the Chinese Communist Party a capacity to deter them from doing precisely what [Minihan] writes about.

“It’s possible to do — I pray that President Biden and his team are up to that task, and they are serious about it. I have seen some evidence that they’re working on it, but not not remotely fast enough, or seriously enough,” he added.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter, Truth Social, or on Facebook. 

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Exclusive — Elise Stefanik Previews Weaponization Committee: ‘Deep State Needs to Be Rooted Out’ of Agencies

Exclusive — Elise Stefanik Previews Weaponization Committee: ‘Deep State Needs to Be Rooted Out’ of Agencies

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) expects the House’s newly created subcommittee examining the “weaponization” of the federal government to be “some of the most important work of the 118th Congress.”

Stefanik, who chairs the House Republican Conference, spoke to Breitbart News in an interview about what to anticipate from the panel after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) named her and 11 other Republicans as members of it this week.

“We’re coming off of two years of single-party Democrat rule, when there was virtually no oversight effectively of these agencies that have run afoul, and, in many cases, I believe, have committed illegal acts,” Stefanik said.

The subcommittee, led by Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), will have far-reaching authority to investigate the Justice Department, intelligence community organizations like the FBI and CIA, and private companies like Twitter.

Modeled after the famous 1975 Church Committee chaired by former Sen. Frank Church, the subcommittee is expected to have a massive budget — roughly the size of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) now-dissolved January 6 committee — to probe allegations of civil liberties violations within the agencies.

“Take the FBI and DOJ for starters,” Stefanik said. “There is a long, long list of abuses and illegal targeting, not just of high-profile Americans who happen to be conservatives or Republicans but everyday Americans, whether it’s the raid on Mar-a-Lago, whether it was the illegal spying on the Trump campaign in 2016, whether it was the tampering with the FISA documentation, or whether, most recently, it was the fact that one of Bob Mueller’s top FBI officials working on the special counsel was, at the time, he was the FBI, New York, head of counterintelligence, was just found guilty of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Russia.”

The official, Charles McGonigal, a former special agent in charge at FBI Counterintelligence Division in Stefanik’s home state of New York, was recently indicted on charges of conspiring to violate and evade U.S. sanctions against Russia and money laundering.

McGonigal allegedly had a business relationship with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, whose name made headlines during special counsel Mueller’s 2016 investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion because of Deripaska’s ties to Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager.

“These agencies are ripe for transparency and ultimately reforms, and this select committee is going to be one of the many tools we have in the majority to get to the truth and make sure the American people know the truth,” Stefanik said.

While some of the subcommittee’s investigations will target agencies’ work that predates the Biden administration, Stefanik said the “deep state needs to be rooted out at the core of these agencies, and it’s culminating in the politicization and how the Biden White House has used these agencies as their political arm and a political weapon.”

The New York Republican said Republicans going to be “coming to the table with ideas” at a meeting Friday as the subcommittee begins its work, and as Republicans await the appointment of Democrat members, whom Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is expected to choose soon.

The subcommittee, which originally was set to have 13 members, is now expected to have 21 — 12 Republicans and nine Democrats — pending a resolution expanding the panel’s bench.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.

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Exclusive — Kristi Noem on Push to Restrict Chinese Land Purchases: ‘This Is a National Security Issue’

Exclusive — Kristi Noem on Push to Restrict Chinese Land Purchases: ‘This Is a National Security Issue’

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem told Breitbart News exclusively this weekend that she is undeterred by criticism from special interests concerning a proposal she is pushing to restrict the ability of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) entities and other foreign entities from buying land in her state, noting this is a matter paramount to national security.

Noem appeared this weekend on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel to discuss a report from last week that exposed several agricultural groups in South Dakota stating they were concerned with her proposal without providing specifics.

“I think all of us can agree as Americans that China shouldn’t be buying up land in the United States. They are an enemy,” Noem said. “They are an evil government built on Communism and taking away freedom. That isn’t something we should allow to have a presence here in our great country.”

Noem’s bill is currently being considered by the South Dakota state legislature and has prominent sponsors in both the State House and State Senate. What it would do is create a state-level version of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Currently, CFIUS is a federal board that approves or disapproves of foreign entities engaging in major U.S. transactions. Noem’s proposal would establish a CFIUS-South Dakota, or CFIUS-SD, which would review proposed transactions in the state where foreign entities including but not limited to Chinese entities seek to purchase land. The board, if established — which would require the legislature to pass Noem’s proposal — could block such land sales as it sees fit.

Noem has been taking several steps to directly confront the CCP, including, most recently, being the nation’s first governor to adopt a ban of using TikTok on state devices. In several other states, both GOP and Democrat governors followed her, and then the federal government did the same at the end of last year. Noem’s next move, she noted in the interview, is to block China from buying South Dakota farmland—an idea that governors such as Texas’s Greg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis have followed her on as they consider similar proposals in their states.

“We took action a couple months ago to ban TikTok on state devices, and we saw many other states follow that lead. And also now, the federal government took action to ban that device that China is using to collect information on our citizens,” Noem said. “Then, I took it a step further with our proposing this bill that I’d like our legislature to pass. It says any land purchased by a foreign entity in South Dakota will come to the CFIUS board, where they will evaluate if it’s an enemy of the United States of America, including China, and then the governor will make a decision on if we want to reject that purchase and not allow it to happen.”

LISTEN TO SOUTH DAKOTA GOV. KRISTI NOEM ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY:

Noem noted, too, during the interview that the Chinese are particularly interested in land near American Air Force bases, including a recent purchase Chinese entities made in neighboring North Dakota. Just last year, South Dakota was picked as home to the forthcoming B21 bomber at Ellsworth Air Force Base just outside Rapid City, South Dakota, which is why Noem is trying to get ahead of any Chinese efforts to acquire land in her state.

“This is an issue that came up months ago when we saw a land purchase in North Dakota, our neighbors to the north, where a Chinese entity bought up land next to their Air Force Base, saying they were going to build a corn plant, but there wasn’t enough even corn grown in that area to sustain a facility like that, and it came under question,” Noem said. “I think we all agree that we shouldn’t allow our enemies to have a presence, especially close to our national security infrastructure. We have Ellsworth Air Force base, which is going to be the home of the B21s. We want to make sure that those who have the chance to purchase land here in our state love America and that they want to do good, not do us harm.”

Noem acknowledged the opposition from farming interest groups, telling Breitbart News that the push has “been a bit of a struggle just because we do have opposition to the bill” and that some of the opposition is from “our friends in agriculture.”

“I think everybody knows that I’m a lifelong farmer and rancher,” Noem said. “The lieutenant governor is as well. It’s our number one industry in South Dakota. We would never do anything that would hurt that industry or our ability to grow our own food in this country and provide for the ability to take care of our farmers and ranchers.”

But, she added, the issue is a national security priority—and the special interests raising concerns with the plan have not been specific about them and have no alternative plans to stop China from acquiring South Dakota farmland.

“We also agree that this is a national security issue and that protecting America is important and that this has been a real threat to our country, and with the B21 coming to South Dakota, we are a target for exactly the kinds of activities that China is doing in other places, such as buying up land and assets and from other countries that hate us,” Noem said.

“What’s been interesting about the debate so far on this bill I’m proposing with help from a couple legislators,” she continued, “is that the opposition has not come to the table and given us other solutions and other things they think would work that would give us this kind of accountability and make sure that we have a review of land that’s purchased in South Dakota. They haven’t given us articulated reasons as to why they’re opposed to the bill, so for me, this is an issue the public has brought to me for many, many months. They care about this.”

Noem is not backing down and is fighting to make sure the legislature adopts her proposal so she can stop China from entering South Dakota with land purchases.

“This is important to the citizens of South Dakota,” Noem said. “We need a solution to make sure we know who’s buying land in our state and we know that they’re friendly to the United States and that they actually want to do business here not harm us. We’ve seen that other countries have purchased large amounts of land in other parts of the country; 40 million acres of ag land in the United States is held by foreign countries. It’s not as much of a problem in South Dakota, but South Dakota can be in front of this and make sure we’re only selling land to, and purchases are only going to people who want to help our state and our country.”

More from Noem’s latest interview with Breitbart News is forthcoming.

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Exclusive – Rep. Russell Fry Previews Oversight Committee’s Southern Border Hearing: Biden Is ‘a Day Late and a Border Wall Short’

Exclusive – Rep. Russell Fry Previews Oversight Committee’s Southern Border Hearing: Biden Is ‘a Day Late and a Border Wall Short’

Rep. Russell Fry (R-SC) previewed an upcoming House Oversight Committee hearing on the border crisis while appearing on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday over the weekend and blasted President Joe Biden as “a day late and a border wall short” on the heels of his first trip to the border two years into his presidency.

Fry is the only freshman congressmember to serve on both the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees and is one of just three members of Congress serving on both. The representative for South Carolina’s seventh district — who unseated former Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC), one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump — emphasized the importance of oversight from all committees but noted that the Judiciary and Oversight committees would be key vehicles in bringing about accountability.

FLORENCE, SC - MARCH 12: House of Representatives candidate Russell Fry waves to a crowd during a rally with former U.S. President Donald Trump at the Florence Regional Airport on March 12, 2022 in Florence, South Carolina. The visit by Trump is his first rally in South Carolina since his election loss in 2020. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Russell Fry waves to a crowd during a rally at the Florence Regional Airport on March 12, 2022, in Florence, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

“Look, every single committee is going to have oversight capabilities into this administration into what is going on, but these two, Oversight and Judiciary, are going to be kind of at the centerpiece of the oversight umbrella, if you will, of the new Republican majority,” Fry told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle. “I mean, that is one of the tools of House Republicans in really exposing what is going on in the Biden administration, that they haven’t done oversight for two years. Nancy Pelosi didn’t do anything.”

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as she introduces President Joe Biden during the 2022 House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference March 11, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The upcoming Oversight hearing on the border will take place February 6, and as Fry pointed out, the committee will hear testimony from “officials at the border about how the Border Patrol agents are managing the crisis” in addition to “the impacts of the crisis on … their mission” of securing the border.

“To me, look, I mean, the president, it took two years to get down there,” said Fry. “You know, he went down to the border … during the slowest time of the year in January … President Biden’s been a day late and a border wall short. I mean, we really have to get a handle on that. You look at the policies of the Trump administration on illegal immigrant crossings on the border wall; these things work. These things unite the American people, really, on how to deal with this issue, but Democrats have turned a blind eye, so… uncovering what is going on down there is really important so that we know how to fix it because this administration hasn’t done that.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported more than 250,000 migrant encounters along the Southern border in December alone, setting a new record, as Breitbart News reported.

LISTEN: 

Boyle emphasized that “oversight is not just about ‘We’re going to go get these guys, and we’re going to go, you know, embarrass them and … drag them through the mud,’… it’s about highlighting these problems.”

“Again, highlighting the problems with the policies that we’re seeing at the border, digging into what went wrong at the beginning of the Biden administration, and then recommending solutions … that can then be implemented policy-wise,” Boyle added, emphasizing that Democrats and the mainstream media have claimed that Republicans are overstepping.

President Joe Biden walks along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, January 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Fry concurred, noting, “The oversight capabilities of a Congress, any Congress, are really important to make sure that the administration, any administration, is doing their job and enforcing the laws and, and executing the laws that Congress passes … so this is, this is not new,” he said.

President Joe Biden walks with U.S. Border Patrol agents along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Joe Biden walks with U.S. Border Patrol agents along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Sunday, January 8, 2023. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“And you know, it’s amazing to me, Democrats, how they flip the script because just a couple years ago they wanted to investigate everything, and it ultimately culminated in … a wrongful impeachment of a president without due process. … But now, it’s hands off, we can’t touch them,” Fry explained. “We can’t do anything … that would highlight the failures of this administration. But here’s the thing: I mean, they can continue to gaslight us with the national media, but the American people are smart, they know what’s going on. They see it, they feel it in their pocketbooks, so oversight is a really good way, like you said, to … bring light to issues that are happening in real time and provide solutions on how to deal with them.”

“So I think the border is chief among those, I mean, Republicans are committed in their commitment to America to secure that border, and part of that is going to be … a range of Oversight hearings that’s going to highlight the failures of this administration on dealing with the crisis at the border,” continued Fry. “Look, every single town in this country is seeing overdoses spike from fentanyl. I mean, we’re at an all-time high, you’re seeing border crossings at an all-time high, and people see it, they feel it in our communities, and it’s because of the failures of this administration to secure the border and enforce the laws. So oversight is going to provide not only a why, but a how to fix it.”

Boyle asked Fry if Americans can expect impeachments over the handling of the border crisis, including a potential impeachment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, in addition to other actions to ensure accountability.

“Absolutely. For me, I think all options should be on the table as they should be for any Congress,” said the representative for South Carolina’s Seventh Congressional District. “But I also think in the same vein, having run against somebody who voted for [the] impeachment of a president … I think you’ve kind of lay your case out. I think you’ve got to develop testimony, real testimony in these hearings, to talk about the failures … and to expose them for what they are.”

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

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Exclusive–Oversight Committee to Probe Biden Admin over Plan to Hide Classified Docs Scandal 

Exclusive–Oversight Committee to Probe Biden Admin over Plan to Hide Classified Docs Scandal 

The chairman of House Oversight Committee told Breitbart News it plans to probe the Biden administration’s reported plan to hide the classified document scandal from the American people.

According to the Washington Post on Thursday, the White House and Justice Department not only agreed to obscure the scandal from public view, but they also refused to divulge that the second trove of classified documents was already unearthed at Biden’s home in Wilmington when CBS News first contacted the White House about the initial leak of classified documents illegally stored at the Biden Penn Center.

“The Biden White House’s secrecy in this matter is alarming,” Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) told Breitbart News. “Many questions need to be answered but one thing is certain: oversight is coming.”

The White House, Justice Department, and National Archives have so far failed to respond to congressional demands for information related to the scandal.

The stonewalling has been amplified by the White House’s inconsistent timeline of events. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre falsely claimed on January 12 that the search for Biden’s classified documents was completed.

That timeline was contradicted on January 14, when the White House admitted five more documents had been found on January 12. Jean-Pierre later claimed she was out of the loop with the White House, Justice Department, and Biden’s personal attorneys.

Both Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), who has also launched an investigation into the scandal, and Comer believe the White House’s timeline is crooked.

“We first learned about the Penn Biden Center classified documents months after they were found in an unsecure closet,” Comer explained about the timeline of events. “Then it took the White House weeks to inform the public about the documents found in President Biden’s Wilmington garage. And days later, we learned that there were more documents at the Wilmington residence.”

Comer also noted his concern about the search by the president’s personal attorneys for the classified materials on January 12 after the Justice Department had already appointed a special counsel earlier that day to investigate the scandal.

“Equally alarming is the fact that Biden aides were combing through documents knowing there would be a Special Counsel appointed,” he added.

In total, about 25 classified documents — some of which are top secret — have been found by Biden’s personal attorneys between the locations at the Biden Penn Center and the president’s personal residence in Delaware.

Critics have questioned why Biden’s personal attorneys were initially looking for classified documents. The White House has not yet explained why or what caused the attorneys to search for the classified materials.

Comer believes the American people would not have known of the unearthed documents in the Biden Penn Center or Biden’s home if CBS News had not first reported the scandal.

The White House claimed total transparency after the scandal broke.

According to a Wednesday Quinnipiac poll, 60 percent of Americans believe Biden inappropriately mishandled classified materials related to Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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Exclusive — Emmer on Debt Ceiling Fight: Democrats Will Use Media to Try to Convince Americans They ‘Hold the High Ground’

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) expects Republicans to craft “creative solutions” in the coming months to address the nation’s debt ceiling while President Joe Biden stands firmly against negotiating with the GOP on the matter.

Emmer spoke about his position on the looming fight during an interview with Breitbart News in his Capitol Hill office Wednesday, one day before the U.S. was expected to reach its statutory debt limit.

“I think our members are already working on solutions. I think we’ll be proactive,” Emmer said. “And, you know, I know the press loves the drama, but I just don’t think there’s going to be a lot of drama on this side. I think the House will lead. I think the House will put together something that makes sense.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last week that the U.S. was expected to reach its $31.4 trillion debt limit on January 19 and that the Treasury Department would then resort to “extraordinary measures” to avoid defaulting on its debts. Yellen estimated the department could take such measures through roughly early June before the U.S. would run out of options.

On Thursday, Yellen confirmed to McCarthy that the U.S. had indeed hit its debt ceiling and that she had begun taking measures to stave off a default.

FILE - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington, Jan. 10, 2023. Yellen will meet with her Chinese counterpart Vice Premier Liu He in Switzerland on Jan. 18, 2023 to discuss economic developments between the two nations. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington, January 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

House Republicans have pledged, as a result of conference negotiations during their prolonged speaker race fight, to offset raising the debt ceiling with substantial federal spending cuts, while the White House has vowed not to entertain giving Republicans any such concessions.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated in a press briefing this week, “This is something that should be done without conditions. We have been very, very clear about that. We are not going to be negotiating over the debt ceiling.”

The stalemate marks the early stages of a fight reminiscent of 2011 between the House GOP and President Barack Obama’s administration over government spending, which lasted until the two bodies agreed — after what appeared to be a period of heightened financial turmoil and anxiety — to temporarily suspend the debt limit.

Warnings at the time about grave repercussions of a default and Standard & Poor’s historic decision to downgrade the U.S. credit rating proved, as explained by Breitbart News’s John Carney, not to have lasting negative real-world impact.

Yellen in her correspondence to McCarthy nevertheless warned of “irreparable harm” to the U.S. economy if the country could not pay its bills, saying the “livelihood of all Americans” and “global financial stability” were at stake.

The Democrat-controlled Senate, the Republican-controlled House, and the White House must all be in agreement to be able to pass a law that addresses the debt limit, but Emmer said he deems most Senate Democrats and the Biden administration untrustworthy on the issue.

“That’s the other thing — is, you can’t believe a word that comes out of their mouth at this point. They’re going to try and do as little as possible for as long as possible, and they’re going to try to use the press to convince the rest of the country that they’re the ones that actually hold the high ground,” Emmer said.

Asked if he is concerned that a handful of centrist Republicans could eventually succumb to pressure over the actual or purported risks of a default and side with Democrats on the matter, effectively handing Democrats a debt ceiling increase or suspension without Republicans’ desired spending offsets, Emmer said no.

“Our team showed you last week that it doesn’t matter how you want to characterize one of our members and his or her political perspective. … Every voice matters in this conference,” he said.

The majority whip said he looks forward to seeing some members, such as Budget Committee chair Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) or RSC chair Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK) or some group of “fiscal Hawks,” emerge as leaders for Republicans as they come up with “some very creative solutions” to modifying spending in the coming months.

“And by the way, even the more moderate members are looking at this stuff, in terms of you cannot continue the spending,” Emmer said.

Write to Ashley Oliver at aoliver@breitbart.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.

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