WTH is Happening with the Biden Classified Document Scandal?
Andy McCarthy on the Legal and Political Implications

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This is the third incident of document-gate in as many election cycles: Hillary Clinton with her “home brew” internet server, Trump with Mar-a-Lago, and now Biden with classified documents stored in his Washington D.C. think tank and his (locked!) garage. It is, to use Biden’s own characterization of Trump’s document scandal, “irresponsible,” to an almost ridiculous degree. And Biden’s claim that he did not know how the national secrets ended up in his home are the very opposite of comforting. Like probes of presidencies past, Biden’s scandal raises a slew of suspicions: why did the public only learn about this now, when the documents were discovered before the midterm elections? Is the newly appointed Special Counsel a piece of political fiction to slake public thirst for justice, when in reality the Attorney General answers to the president all along? Will Congress step up and provide the oversight as the Constitution intended?

These questions and more with Andy McCarthy. McCarthy is a senior fellow at National Review Institute. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. He is also the author of Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency.

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The 118th Congress has arrived, and after 15 grueling voting sessions, we finally have a Speaker of the House: Kevin McCarthy. This is the first time an election for speaker went to multiple ballots since 1923, and that is not the only element of the history-making chaos. To secure the gavel, McCarthy agreed to lower the number of members needed to begin a vote of “no confidence” from 5 to 1, and agreed to cap the levels of discretionary spending at FY22 levels; he has promised a slew of new subcommittees; agreed to re-organize appropriations; and the list goes on, to the point where Matt Gaetz, McCarthy’s nemesis in the Speaker race, “ran out of stuff to ask for.” As the drama unfolds, we find ourselves asking exactly What the Hell is Going On… who are these self-described “rebels” in Congress, really? What does this mean for defense spending and Ukraine, and balancing the budget in general?

These questions and more with our guest Chad Pergram. Chad is a Senior Congressional Correspondent at Fox News. He has won an Edward R. Murrow Award and is a two-time recipient of the Joan Barone Award. Prior to Fox he was a Senate producer for C-SPAN, producer and anchor for NPR, and a reporter for the Capitol News Connection.

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What the hell happened in 2022? Joe Biden is midway through his presidency, and he has delivered both good and bad policy. The bad may outweigh the good … record inflation, growing divisions among Americans, skyrocketing gas prices, an unconstitutional grab for trillions to forgive student loans, and the list continues. But his presidency has not been without accomplishments either, from the invitation of Finland and Sweden to join NATO, to declaring U.S. policy to defend Taiwan, to handling China’s semiconductor industry. What made both lists? Ukraine: his rallying of allies to save Ukraine, but often too little, too late.

In this week’s New Year’s episode, Marc and Dany discuss Marc’s Washington Post lists on the top ten best and worst things the president did this year.

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We’re familiar with the story: the storming of the Capitol nearly two years ago, Donald J. Trump’s attempt to “stop the steal,” the legal mess that ensued. But our institutions held. And Vice President Mike Pence followed through with his Constitutional duty, and certified the Biden victory in 2020. The former VP joins us on the podcast today to speak about what happened that day, and the difficulty of navigating an unconstitutional and disqualifying end to four years of solid conservative policy. He reminds us that America must honor its commitments to its people, and that in foreign policy, simply, America stands for freedom.

Mike Pence was the 48th Vice President of the United States. He has a new memoir out, So Help Me God. He was the 50th governor of Indiana, and served for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Kanye West, Nick Fuentes, and Donald Trump meet for dinner… and discuss what, exactly? Indeed, what does a white supremacist have in common with Kanye?? Yep, hatred for the Jewish people. The spike in antisemitism seen today can be explained away – bad economy, covid, whatever – but the sad truth is that Jew-hatred has been a perennial in American life for centuries. The truth, of course, is that America’s tiny percentage of Jews have been singularly unable to move the needle in favor of their own well-being or the well-being of the State of Israel. The reality and the tropes of antisemitism do not line up in any way. But when have facts ever gotten in the way of bigotry?

The rise in antisemitism, relations with the State of Israel and much more on today’s episode with Walter Russell Mead. Mead is the author of the new book, The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People. He is the Global View Columnist at the Wall Street Journal, a Distinguished Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and a Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities and Bard College. He is also a member of the Aspen Institute.

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Xi Jinping’s long-lasting, draconian zero-Covid policy has resulted in the largest protests in China in more than 30 years. Tens of thousands of demonstrators are testing the government’s “perfect” police state by actively calling for an end to Xi’s regime, breaking through China’s firewall to spread protest messaging, and calling into question the very legitimacy of the empire Xi has built. This instability comes in the face of Xi Jinping’s tightening grip on state power; the recent Chinese Military Power Report showcases a military capable of taking Taiwan, and Xi’s ideological push shows that he is willing. In just a few years, the U.S. may very well be wishing that it had taken more risks in its approach to defending Taiwan, to increasing democratic messaging in China, and to hardline policy on Xi’s regime… how will we ensure today that these future mistakes are not made?

Our guest this week is Dan Blumenthal, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously, Blumenthal served as senior director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia at the US Department of Defense. He also served as a commissioner on the congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission from 2006-2007, and was vice chairman of the commission in 2007. He also served on the Academic Advisory board of the congressional US-China Working Group. He is the author of The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State.

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Over a third of Americans spend hours every day on an app that directly feeds their data to the Chinese government. TikTok, owned by Chinese parent company Bytedance, is constantly collecting reams of data on its users, from GPS to keystrokes to outer-app monitoring, and even encrypted data that might be useful someday. But aren’t these D.C. elite problems — worrying only for those who plan to work in intelligence or government someday? Nope. The implications of China’s TikTok-enabled reach touch almost every American. Personal privacy aside, our national security is at immediate risk. The Chinese Communist Party exerts a measure of control over more than one-third of Americans. Are we going to continue to cede our sovereignty to Axios Jinping? Or will the U.S. Government shut down TikTok once and for all?

These questions with Klon Kitchen, a senior fellow at AEI. He specializes in national security, defense technology, innovation, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. Previously, he was a director at the Heritage Foundation and was the national security advisor to Sen. Ben Sasse. He has worked at the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center, in the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, and at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

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The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. A lack of strategy to face China. Indifference in the face of Iranian protests. In-fighting over the correct policy to support Ukraine. Is it any wonder that the American people are wondering about the efficacy and longevity of America’s power? A hard look at American history suggests that the reasons behind American decline have more to do with choice than with circumstances. Decline, after all, is a choice for American presidents persuaded the nation is not a force for good in the world. Leaders in Washington who are willing to adopt strong and decicive military policy are few and far between, on both sides of the aisle. How do we fix decades of decaying interest in American power? How do we market American security in the global context to reluctant internationalists?

These questions and more with today’s guest, Senator Tom Cotton. Sen. Cotton is the U.S. Senator for Arkansas, and just released the book, Only the Strong: Reversing the Left’s Plot to Sabotage America. His senatorial committees include the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee. He previously served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, and served in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction team. He also served with The Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery, and has received the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

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The 2022 midterms came as a shock to Ds and Rs alike: the Democrats did better than expected, and the Republicans did worse. Much worse. Last week, covered the reasons behind the Red Fail. But what about Democrats? The left ran a shrewd, if cynical, anti-MAGA campaign, and capitalized on weak GOP candidates. But it the aftermath, President Biden and his party seem to be learning the wrong lessons. Despite losing ground with women and minorities, the Democrats’ short-term vindication has encouraged Biden to announce he would make no changes. None at all. What he and his party don’t get is that the Democrats didn’t win, the Republicans lost.

Our guest this week is Ruy Teixeira. Teixeria is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute where he focuses on the transformation of party coalitions and future of American electoral politics. He is the co-editor of the Substack The Liberal Patriot, and he previously was a scholar at the Center for American Progress and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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In the months leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, the Republican party projected a red wave of GOP wins across the nation. And the odds were good: Biden has delivered the worst inflation in 40 years, the worst collapse of real wages in four decades, the worst murder rate since 1996, and that’s not all. His approval rating is abysmal, and of course, the party in power almost always loses seats in a midterm election. So why did the predicted red wave not only fail to materialize in full, but barely show up as a trickle? Although results are not final, one thing is certain: Trump lost big time, and DeSantis swept. While we wait for the runoff in Georgia (again), the GOP is asking itself what the hell is going on. Will someone emerge as a viable challenger to Team Trump? Can the Republican brand be repaired?

These questions and more with our guest, Josh Kraushaar. Kraushaar is a Senior Political correspondent at Axios, and host of the Against the Grain podcast. Previously, he was Editor in Chief of the Hotline, and a co-author at the Almanac of American Politics.

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