It's no secret at this point that President Joe Biden has used his administration and the federal bureaucracy to go after his political and ideological opponents. From the DOJ's targeting of parents at school board meetings, to its selective enforcement of the law that saw a generally blind eye turned toward the attacks on pro-life organizations and feigned ignorance of the illegal intimidation of Supreme Court justices.
Some two years in, and despite facing more oversight from Republicans in the next Congress, Biden isn't showing that he's ready to stop using feds to benefit his friends while harassing his opponents. As Katie reported this week, Biden's post-midterm press conference included some bizarre comments about Elon Musk.
"I think that Elon Musk's cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at," Biden said on Wednesday. "Whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate — I'm not suggesting that — I'm suggesting that it is worth being looked at and, but that's all I'll say," Biden added. When asked to clarify how Biden might scrutinize Musk's business dealings, Biden replied "there's lots of ways."
Then, when the issue was brought up in Thursday's White House briefing, Biden National Security Advisor provided some more detail as to what scrutiny the Biden administration could be applying to Musk. "Well, you heard the President yesterday, and the CFIUS process is the normal process through which transactions that might have a national security nexus get reviewed — and I will defer to the CFIUS process rather than comment on it further from this podium," NSA Jake Sullivan said.
But CFIUS — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States — is not just some bureaucratic body within Treasury. It also includes the heads of several other federal agencies, including the Justice Department, which currently means that Attorney General Merrick Garland is part of this CFIUS committee and its reviews.
In the same Thursday briefing, once Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was back at the podium, Fox News' David Spunt raised the DOJ's connection and role with CFIUS and questioned how Biden could claim to have an "independent" DOJ while, yet again, suggesting that a DOJ-involved committee probe Elon Musk's business dealings.
"You’ve said several times from this perch right here that the White House wants to remain independent from the Justice Department," Spunt noted in his question for Jean-Pierre before calling the White House out for its apparent acknowledgement that CFIUS — including DOJ leadership — was taking cues from Biden. "CFIUS is made up of the Treasury Department and DOJ officials. The President has been criticized in the past for talking about the Department of Justice and looking into people relating to January 6th subpoenas," Spunt reminded before asking what Biden meant when he said Musk is "worthy of being looked into."
As usual, Jean-Pierre had nothing to say to the question and refused to answer, as seen in the clip below from our friends at the Media Research Center:
And what could she have said? Biden on Wednesday said it was worth looking into Elon Musk's business deals. Biden's NSA said on Thursday that CFIUS would be the entity to conduct such a look. CFIUS includes the head of the Justice Department. But Biden still claims the DOJ is independent from the White House? It just doesn't fly, and Jean-Pierre couldn't possibly have answered without confirming what conservatives already believe to be true.
Biden might also want to be careful when he's calling for his ideological foes to have their business deals investigated by the DOJ. With Republicans set to take control of congressional oversight powers in the new year, he and his family are not likely to appreciate similar scrutiny of say, Hunter Biden's relationships with Ukraine or China.