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WASHINGTON ― 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.
“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,” Raskin and Goldman wrote.
Federal prosecutors on Monday unsealed an eight-count indictment against Gal Luft, an Israeli-American dual citizen who has claimed to have compromising information about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Luft’s allegation, made in a video published by the New York Post last week, centers on Hunter Biden’s stint consulting for officials connected to a Chinese energy conglomerate called CEFC China Energy in 2017 and 2018.
Part of the scheme, which has been extensively reported previously, involved an agreement for the younger Biden to provide legal representation for an official who would soon be indicted and sent to prison for paying bribes in Chad and Uganda. The official, Patrick Ho, wound up hiring someone else to represent him in the case.
Luft also worked for CEFC, which prosecutors said used him to recruit and “educate” former CIA director James Woolsey as a mouthpiece for ghostwritten statements favorable to China. Woolsey briefly served as an advisor to former President Donald Trump before he took office.
Luft was arrested in February, released, and has since been on the run. In the video, he said the charges against him ― failing to register as a foreign agent, illegally arranging overseas arms deals, and lying to investigators ― are an effort to thwart his testimony to the Oversight Committee.
Comer apparently communicated with Luft earlier this year but lost touch after his arrest. On Tuesday, undaunted by news of the charges, Comer pointed out that Luft and Hunter Biden worked for the same foreign principal.
“The ultimate irony is one of the charges they levied against him was not being a registered foreign agent, which is the main thing that we’ve said the Bidens were ― unregistered foreign agents,” Comer said on Fox News.
Raskin and Goldman asked Comer to investigate whether he’d been “duped” by Luft and to provide Democrats with any material he’d received from the fugitive self-styled whistleblower.
“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,” Raskin and Goldman wrote. “Worse yet, this latest episode also raises concerns that Mr. Luft may be manipulating your investigation not only for his own self-interest but perhaps also in furtherance of the CCP’s efforts to undermine U.S. security interests and the President of the United States.”
In response to the Democrats’ letter on Wednesday, Comer said that if Luft is untrustworthy for having worked with CEFC, then so are the Bidens.
“Democrats have either been duped by the Bidens or they are intentionally misleading the American people,” Comer said. “Democrats should join us in requesting the FBI’s record memorializing its interview with Gal Luft to get to the bottom of his claims about the Bidens.”