President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday said the “attorney general of the United States of America is not the president’s lawyer,” when asked if the federal investigation into his son Hunter Biden was brought up during discussions with his team and in meetings with candidates for U.S. attorney general.
“No, no. I guarantee you I’m going to do what I said,” when asked by a reporter about if the ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes came up in those talks related to picking who will eventually become his U.S. attorney general.
“The attorney general of the United States of America is not the president’s lawyer,” the president-elect said. “I will appoint someone who I expect to enforce the law as the law is written, not guided by me.”
Biden, however, is unlikely to pick his attorney general before Christmas, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday.
A person often cited as the leading contender to be Biden’s nominee for the job is recently ousted Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who is also the former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have also been cited as being in contention for the role.
The outgoing attorney general, William Barr, who recently resigned, has been a source of controversy for the Trump administration by critics for engaging in conduct seen as being overly protective of President Donald Trump and his administration. However, Trump has been at odds with Barr for failing to complete the Durham probe into the FBI’s conduct during Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. before the end of his term and for failing to fully investigate the 2020 election.
Monday this week, in the lead-up to his departure, Barr said he would not appoint a special counsel to investigate neither Hunter Biden nor Trump’s so far unsubstantiated allegations of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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REPORT: China has vast network of covert police stations around the world
China has a vast network of covert police stations abroad, according to a recent report by Safeguard Defenders, an NGO that focuses on human rights violations in China and other Asian countries. These police stations serve consular functions, but are also used by China to crack down on what the CCP deems “illegal” activity of Chinese nationals abroad. The police stations include at least 38 run by the Fuzhou City police, and 22 run by the Qingtian City police. Cities housing these police stations include New York, Toronto (which has three stations), London (two), Paris (three), Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro, and Tokyo.
Key findings of the report are below.
“Persuaded to return”
According to China, China has “persuaded to return [to China]” 230,000 Chinese nationals living aboard from April 2021 to July 2022 alone to face charges of fraud and telecommunications fraud. A Yangxia police station set up in Mozambique, for example, persuaded a Chinese national to return to China after being accused of stealing money from his employer. Chinese authorities also put pressure on the accused family to convince the accused to surrender.
Roughly 54,000 Chinese nationals were persuaded to return from northern Myanmar alone, in the first nine months of 2021. In July 2022, the government of Wenchang City warned that its citizens living in northern Myanmar must check in with their local police stations or face multiple penalties including blocking their children from attending urban schools back in China. Similarly, in February 2022, the government of Liayang City stated that Chinese “illegally staying” in northern Myanmar must return or the bank accounts of their immediate family members could be frozen.
The Nine Forbidden Countries
China has claimed that nine countries contain serious levels of fraud and telecom fraud perpetrated by Chinese nationals. Since November 2021, China has declared that Chinese citizens living in these nine countries must return to China immediately unless they have an “emergency reason” or a “strict necessity” to travel or stay in those countries. Those countries are: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the UAE, and Turkey. However, the report questions whether these countries are truly awash in such fraud, as most of China’s oversees police stations are in the West, and only one of the nine countries (Cambodia) has such a police station. Chinese staying in the nine forbidden countries, as well as threats to family members as stated above, creates a “guilt-by-association” atmosphere intended to repatriate the Chinese nationals.
According to the report, Chinese police stations abroad serve to bypass “bilateral extradition treaties or other mechanisms of judicial cooperation” to cooperate with CCP-linked NGOs which effectively “[sets] up an alternative policing and judicial system within third countries.” Instead of using international judicial cooperation, which establishes due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a fair trial, China uses the above “persuade-to-return” methods and transnational police stations to circumvent international law and coerce Chinese nationals to return to China for trials. These policies show the power of China’s long-arm oppression over its own subjects.
You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic
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