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ROUNDUP: House Republicans Reject Calls To Investigate Their Indicted Witness

Jul 13, 2023

MAGA Republicans are standing by their chief witness who was recently indicted for acting as an unregistered foreign agent for China, trafficking in arms, violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, and making false statements to federal agents, ignoring calls by their Democratic colleagues to turn over information on the witness. With House Republicans standing by the indicted agent and arms dealer – whose whereabouts are still unknown – this saga only further demonstrates that James Comer and members of the House GOP are desperate to push partisan stunts as their house of cards continue to crumble. But don’t just take our word for it:


Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told a reporter that Luft’s indictment could undermine part of the House GOP inquiry “if his activities as an unregistered foreign agent go to his credibility, if they are accurate.” [Twitter, 7/12/23]

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY): “It really demonstrates where this conspiratorial Republican Party is right now, that they would offer to give, or want to give, immunity to someone with such serious crimes just to further their own politicized investigations. They are misusing and abusing the committee process – the official committees of the Congress, in order to try to make a political hit on the President. And none of their allegations – nothing they have come up with, nothing they have said – connects to President Biden. […] It’s a disgrace to anyone who’s ever done investigations, and it’s a disgrace to this institution.” [MSNBC, “Morning Joe,” 7/12/23, VIDEO]

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD): “This was going to be the big mystery whistleblower witness who was finally going to redeem the last six months of wasted effort and failures in Republican investigations on the Oversight committee and suddenly the whole country knows now the reason he was missing is because he’s a fugitive from the U.S. government…” [MSNBC, “All In with Chris Hayes,” 7/12/23, VIDEO]

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL): “Chairman Comer elevated and amplified a fugitive agent for China who has been indicted for illegal arms dealing in exchange for Iranian oil, violating U.S. sanctions. Today, I’m calling for House investigations into Gal Luft and the security breaches resulting from his actions…It’s also critical that the China Select Committee launch an investigation into the House Oversight Committee and determine whether the CCP has infiltrated the Committee’s work product.” [Twitter, 7/12/23]

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA): “As a member of the Oversight Committee, I want to know why our Chairman James Comer has been working with an indicted Chinese spy and arms dealer to attack the Biden family? Once again we get more fake investigations from the House GOP. We deserve answers.” [Twitter, 7/11/23]

Ed Krassenstein, independent journalist: “No, I don’t take the word of Gal Luft as the word of the gospel.” [Twitter, 7/12/23]


HuffPost: Jamie Raskin Rips Republicans For Hyping ‘Con Man’ Gal Luft. “Democrats on the House Oversight Committee suggested Tuesday that Republicans made a mistake by promoting a ‘whistleblower’ who’s been charged with serious crimes. In a letter to committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) noted that charges revealed on Monday accused the purported whistleblower of acting as an unregistered agent for the Chinese government.”

Bloomberg: Democrats Want Inquiry on GOP’s ‘Duping’ by Hunter Biden Accuser. “Democrats unsuccessfully sought an immediate US House inquiry into whether Republican lawmakers leveling accusations of corruption against presidential son Hunter Biden were misled by an informant who is now charged with working secretly for the Chinese Communist Party. Their demand followed the unsealing Monday of a federal indictment charging Gal Luft — the purported whistleblower — with arms trafficking, breaking US sanctions against Iran, making false charges to federal agents and operating as an unregistered foreign agent of the Chinese Communist Party.”

MSNBC: After GOP Relies On Accused Operative, Dems Press Comer For Answer. “We now know quite a bit about the elusive ‘informant’ that Republicans have relied on to fuel some of their anti-Biden theories. We know, for example, that the man in question is Gal Luft, a director at a D.C.-area think tank who’s been charged with being an unregistered agent for China, trying to broker secret arms deals, violating U.S. sanctions against Iran, and lying to federal agents. We also know that a few too many congressional Republicans have responded to the indictment by incorporating the news into their partisan conspiracy theory and the GOP’s increasingly reflexive campaign against the U.S. justice system. What we don’t know is the extent to which Republicans on the House Oversight Committee relied on, and interacted with, the accused operative. As Politico reported this morning, this is the area that’s sparking some worthwhile questions from some Democrats on the panel. Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, and Rep. Dan Goldman sent a letter to Oversight Chair James Comer requesting that he hand over any information he has received from Gal Luft, who has claimed to have information about Hunter Biden. This is hardly unreasonable. After all, House Republicans on the Oversight Committee have spent months pointing to highly provocative and dubious allegations, based in large part on claims they received from a suspected felon. It’s not too surprising that Democrats on the same committee would want to know what, exactly, the accused operative gave the panel.” 

Daily Beast: House Dems Demand Probe of Comer’s Indicted ‘Missing’ Biden Informant. “‘We are concerned that an official committee of the House of Representatives has been manipulated by an apparent con man who, while a fugitive from justice, attempted to fortify his defense by laundering unfounded and potentially false allegations through Congress,’ the letter reads. ‘Although Mr. Luft has been on the run for months, you touted him as a ‘potential witness’ and even prepared to interview him as part of your investigation,’ the statement continues. ‘As recently as Friday, you described Mr. Luft as ‘a very credible witness’ about matters relating to the President’s son’s financial dealings with Chinese companies.’”

The Hill: Democrats Demand GOP Turn Over Info On Indicted Think-Tank Leader, ‘Patient Zero’ Of Biden Probes. “But Democrats say Luft’s work with the committee could have been an attempt to evade justice amid investigation into his activities. In addition to the other crimes listed in the indictment, Luft is also accused of making false statements to the FBI. ‘It appears as if Mr. Luft sought ‘whistleblower’ status from you in an effort to defend himself from criminal prosecution while a fugitive from justice,’ the Democrats wrote. ‘These recent revelations naturally raise broader concerns about the credibility and motivations of other purported whistleblowers that Congressional Republicans have relied on to support unfounded and baseless allegations. Sadly, the Luft episode severely undermines the credibility of the critical function of whistleblowers in this body.’”

The Independent: Democrats Call For Probe Into Whether ‘Whistleblower’ Gal Luft Made Claims About Biden To Help China. “While he claims he is being persecuted by the federal government because he provided derogatory information about the Biden family to the FBI in a 2019 interview, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement that he ‘engaged in multiple, serious criminal schemes’. ‘He subverted foreign agent registration laws in the United States to seek to promote Chinese policies by acting through a former high-ranking U.S. Government official; he acted as a broker in deals for dangerous weapons and Iranian oil; and he told multiple lies about his crimes to law enforcement,’ Mr Williams said. […] The Democratic representatives called on Mr Comer to stop withholding documents relating to Mr Luft from members of the minority on the committee, and asked him to initiate an investigation into whether his panel has been manipulated by Mr Luft in service of a foreign power.”