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FACT SHEET: James Comer: All Hat, No Cattle

May 11, 2023

Time to mooooooove on.

Ahead of his press conference earlier this week, James Comer (R-KY) commented, “Congressional investigations are always all hat and no cattle.” This certainly holds true for Comer’s own House Oversight investigations, especially after yesterday’s pathetic showing.  After holding over twenty interviews hyping supposed bombshell revelations and declaring his press conference “judgment day” for the White House, Comer and his MAGA House Oversight committee lined up shoulder-to-shoulder and announced…a whole lot of nothing. In fact, they showed no new evidence showing any wrongdoing whatsoever or a direct link to President Biden. He even managed to call Ukraine our “adversary.” Comer set himself up for failure, and this is just the latest instance of Comer over-promising and under-delivering on everything from his nothing-burger Twitter deep dive to his obsession with Hunter Biden. It’s no surprise that he’s facing backlash for launching yet another investigation based on conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated claims. Comer has always based his agenda on outright lies, misrepresentations and baseless claims with little-to-know supporting evidence: all hat, no cattle.

Watch our video calling out James Comer for being all hat, no cattle

May 2023: Comer Failed To Produce Evidence Linking President Biden To Outlandish Claims After Hyping Allegations For Weeks. “[T]he highly anticipated press conference also raises fresh questions about their ability to ultimately capture their white whale: the president himself. And Comer’s already faced plenty of doubt, including from some within his own party, that he can back up his promises to show Biden’s connection to his family’s business dealings. No link has publicly emerged, and that didn’t change at Wednesday’s press conference. Asked if he would ultimately be able to prove his central thesis, Comer sidestepped […] But even as Republicans continue to rhetorically circle around Biden, much of the investigative effort they revealed on Wednesday centered around a network of businesses related to his family members and their associates. […] [Oversight Republicans’ memo] also doesn’t show any way Biden’s decisions were influenced by those agreements or that he had direct knowledge of them. And while Republicans have criticized the payments as questionable, they stopped short of calling any of the activity potentially illegal.” [Politico, 5/10/23]

  • Fox News Host to Comer: “’You Don’t Actually Have Any Facts.” “Fox News host Steve Doocy pushed back against Rep. James Comer (R-KY) after the powerful Oversight Committee chairman claimed President Joe Biden and his family were engaged in an influence-peddling scheme. ‘I know the Republicans said that the smoking gun were these financial records that you were able to subpoena and got your hands on,’ Doocy told Comer on Thursday. ‘And your party, the Republican investigators, say that that’s proof of influence peddling by Hunter and James [Biden].’ ‘But that’s just your suggestion,’ the Fox News host added. ‘You don’t actually have any facts to that point. You’ve got some circumstantial evidence.’  Doocy added: ‘And the other thing is, of all those names, the one person who didn’t profit is that — there’s no evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegally.’” [Raw Story, 5/11/23]
  • Comer: “We’ve Uncovered More Than, I Think, Any Congressional Committees Ever Uncovered.” “[T]his is taking a long time, but look, I haven’t had subpoena power 100 days, and we’ve uncovered more than, I think, any congressional committees ever uncovered. Normally, you’re working with the media on stuff like this, but we’re on our own. We’re having to fight the mainstream media.” [“Fox & Friends First,” Fox News, 5/9/23; VIDEO]
  • Comer: Tomorrow Is Going To Be ‘Judgment Day’ For The White House. “[I]t’s gonna be Judgment Day tomorrow for the White House. […] these are some very serious charges and any other American family would have already been indicted and probably gone to prison for some of the things that the Biden family has done. So tomorrow is going to be Judgment Day and it’d be very interesting to see what Jean Pierre and little Ian Sams have to say when they’re presented with evidence.” [“Fox & Friends First,” Fox News, 5/9/23; VIDEO]
  • Comer: “The Allegations And The Things We’re Investigating Make Watergate Look Like Jaywalking.” “This is a very serious investigation. The allegations and the things that we’re investigating make Watergate look like jaywalking. I mean, this is a very serious investigation of public corruption of a historical proportion. If, in fact, Joe Biden has committed these crimes that we’re investigating him, then I think everything’s on the table.” [“Wake Up America,” Newsmax, 4/27/23; VIDEO
  • Comer: “You’re Going To Learn Without A Shadow Of A Doubt That The President Of The United States Has Lied Countless Times.” “You’re going to learn without a shadow of a doubt that the President of the United States has lied countless times about his knowledge, and his involvement in his family shady business dealings.” [“Wake Up America,” Newsmax, 5/8/23; VIDEO]

May 2023: Comer Called Out For Hyping “Unsubstantiated” FBI Allegations, Despite Offering “No Evidence.”  In May 2023, James Comer and Senator Chuck Grassley published an open letter to the FBI announcing subpoenas for internal documents flagged by a supposed whistleblower as evidence of corruption. Comer was immediately called out for pushing unsubstantiated allegations. The Associated Press noted, “the lawmakers used the word ‘alleged’ three times in the opening paragraph of the letter and offered no evidence of the veracity of the accusations.” HuffPost reporters concurred: “[Republicans] acknowledged they don’t know if the allegation will pan out. […] Comer has previously sought to tie Biden to allegedly corrupt businesses [sic] dealings by his son Hunter Biden. […] A number of other Republicans appeared on Fox News to weigh in on the latest supposed criminal evidence, backing the allegation despite the scarcity of details.”

  • Comer Invoked ‘Deep State’ Conspiracies Dozens of Times In Interviews, Claiming Whistleblowers “Fear For Their Lives” From Biden Family & Unnamed Rogue Government Actors. “As I said on Fox, [whistleblowers] fear for their lives, not just from the Biden family, from rogue intelligence people within our government.” [Brian Kilmeade Show, 5/1/23]

February 2023: Comer Blatantly Misrepresented Whistleblowers, Then Refused to Produce Evidence Substantiating His Claims. Earlier this year, Comer blatantly misrepresented witnesses in his investigation, claiming he connected with “four whistleblowers” as part of his investigation. But after Comer hyped the so-called whistleblowers on Fox News and Breitbart, his Democratic House Oversight Committee members called him out for misrepresenting the number of individuals (two were identified, not four), their status (not official whistleblowers), and the impact of their testimony (no new witness information provided). To date, Comer has refused to produce any new evidence to back up his claims.

February 2023: In His First Oversight Hearing, Comer Pushed a “Factually Unsupported Narrative” About The ‘Twitter Files’. After one of the GOP House Oversight committee’s first hearings, Chairman Comer got called out for pushing “a factually unsupported narrative about the federal government secretly colluding with Twitter,” despite “no real evidence to support this weighty and consequential claim.” 

  • Republicans’ Own Witnesses Contradicted Comer’s Claims: “No Unlawful Collusion.” During House Oversight’s first hearing, former Twitter Deputy General Counsel James Baker told the committee, “I am aware of no unlawful collusion with, or direction from, any government agency or political campaign on how Twitter should have handled the Hunter Biden laptop situation.” Even ‘Twitter Files’ author Matt Taibbi (who testified in front of a separate committee hearing in March) could not substantiate Comer’s claims: “there is no evidence — that I’ve seen — of any government involvement in the laptop story.

December 2022: Comer Falsely Claimed ‘Twitter Files’ Showed Evidence Of So-Called Collusion on Fox News. They Didn’t. Shortly after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, he hand-picked a group of right-wing journalists to release a carefully-curated cache of internal documents. After some of the documents were released, Comer took to Fox News to claim that Musk’s ‘Twitter Files’ contained “evidence”  that President Biden’s campaign supposedly “colluded” with Big Tech. But the evidence wasn’t there: “The unsupported claim […], of course, is not what the selectively released company documents show.”

November 2022: During His First Press Conference, Comer Said He Had “Evidence of Federal Crimes.” His Report Failed To Name A Single One. During his first press conference after Republicans won a House majority in November 2022, Comer declared: “Committee Republicans have uncovered evidence of federal crimes committed by, and to the benefit of, members of the president’s family.” But when he released a 31-page interim report, reporters noted that it lacked evidence and declined to specify charges: “[the report] does not make specific allegations about the Biden family or their alleged crimes. Indeed, the report stops short of listing any of the specific crimes listed by Comer…it does, however, accuse the Biden family.” 

October 2022: Fact Checkers Called Out Comer For “Need[ing] To Get His Facts Straight” On Hunter Biden Claims. Weeks before the 2022 midterm elections, Rep. Comer made false and unsubstantiated claims about President Biden’s civilian family on Fox News: “Hunter Biden committed serious crimes, as you mentioned, 150 suspicious activity reports. […] But yet the FBI did nothing about it.” Just days later, Comer got called out by independent fact checkers for lying to Americans about Hunter Biden. An investigative reporter wrote that Comer “needs to get his facts straight” after making numerous false and/or unsubstantiated claims about foreign business dealings.

August 2022: Comer Claimed He Wouldn’t Chase Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories. His Record Since Says Otherwise. In August 2022, Comer told Politico reporters, “I’m not going to be chasing some of these right-wing blogs and some of their conspiracy theories.” Now, Comer is a frequent face on right-wing media blogs like Newsmax and One America News Network and has openly embraced conspiracy theories ranging from Hunter Biden to the ‘Deep State’ and even former hostage Brittney Griner.

Comer Said He Didn’t Want To Be Seen As “Overly Political.” Then He Sourced Right-Wing Extremists To Serve As Witnesses For His Committee Hearings. In a June 2022 interview with reporters from The Hill, Comer stated: “I want to hope that when my time is done as Chairman of the Oversight Committee, they will say, ‘He was fair, we didn’t try to do anything overtly political.’” Despite his pre-election sentiments, Comer no longer has any reservations about overtly partisan stunts, as evidenced by his choice of far-right extremists, MAGA conspiracy theorists, and election deniers to serve as witnesses.