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The Republican Daddy Imperative

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Today’s events are another outcome made possible by the deeply entrenched idea that only Republicans are fit to conduct major investigations of political figures:

And while it’s to be expected at this point that even if a Republican investigating a Democratic public figure finds there’s no basis for bringing charges they will engage in a bunch of gratuitous partisan editorializing, it should be noted again that it plainly violates DOJ guidelines:

Robert Hur totally slimed Biden with these gratuitous comments about his mental acuity and memory, referring to him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” Even if you assume they are the product of a good faith evaluation they are still wildly inappropriate.

DOJ guidelines make clear that if you’re not bringing charges you don’t bash the subject of the investigation in your announcement (a la James Comey). You certainly aren’t supposed to affirmatively attempt to demean the subject of the investigation with clearly political attacks that aren’t even related to what you’re investigating. Hur might as well have called him “Fake News Joe Biden.” It’s really that transparent and that bad.

Are we sure that Hur let his political bias get in the way of his professional judgment? Can we draw that from his background as a politically connected Republican lawyer? I don’t even think it’s a serious question. The lengthy and gratuitous comments speak for themselves. Of course he did.

It’s very bad, but at this late date it has to hang on Garland at least as much as Hur himself. He was doing what anybody should have expected him to do.

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