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Democrats’ Behind-the-Scenes Efforts to Thwart Imminent Biden Impeachment

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Joe Biden

In a covert effort to undermine the imminent impeachment inquiry into President Biden, House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat, Jamie Raskin, has been conducting behind-the-scenes talks with Republicans. Raskin, known for his close ties with both right-wing and moderate GOP members, is strategically countering their arguments by highlighting the Biden administration’s purported cooperation with investigators.

According to Fox News, reports indicate that Raskin is not merely engaging in friendly chats but is actively working to sway Republicans away from supporting the impeachment proceedings. In response to GOP concerns and potential information gaps, House Oversight Democrats are preparing meticulously crafted “fact sheets” aimed at providing a comprehensive, fact-based appeal to their Republican counterparts.

One of these documents zeroes in on obstruction, seeking to defend the Biden administration, banks, and private citizens who have allegedly exhibited “extraordinary cooperation” with the committee’s investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings. Another memo delves into the defense of the controversial firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, a focal point in the ongoing impeachment saga.

Republicans, leading the charge in the impeachment inquiry, are scrutinizing an FBI-generated document detailing an alleged bribery scheme involving Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky. This confidential human source (CHS) reporting document is pivotal in the investigation overseen by Special Counsel David Weiss.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer claims that Democrats, while contending there is no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden, are actively obstructing the evidence-gathering process. Democrats are also highlighting financial transactions involving Joe Biden and his brother, James Biden, asserting that these were short-term, interest-free loans.

With the House Rules Committee gearing up for a meeting to formalize the impeachment inquiry framework against President Biden, the internal dynamics within the Oversight Committee underscore the escalating clash over allegations of corruption and dubious financial dealings involving the Biden family.

The impeachment inquiry, spearheaded by Comer, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, unfolds against a backdrop of mounting political tensions.

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Minnesota farmer’s lawsuit prompts removal of race and sex-based grant program

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Five months after Minnesota farmer Lance Nistler filed a federal lawsuit with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the state has removed race- and sex-based preferences from its Down Payment Assistance Grant Program. This significant policy change followed Nistler’s legal challenge, which highlighted the discriminatory nature of the program’s selection process.

Pacific Legal Foundation writes involvement in Nistler’s case drew attention and criticism from Minnesota progressives. Writing in the Minnesota Reformer, Sigrid Jewett accused PLF of using Nistler “as a pawn in a larger culture war game.” She questioned why a California-based legal firm with numerous Supreme Court victories would be interested in representing a small Minnesota farmer pro bono.

PLF opposes all race- and sex-based preferences in the law, and that’s the real reason the firm chose to represent Nistler. The foundation stands against discrimination in various domains, including government board selections, school admissions, government contracts, and grant distributions, such as in Nistler’s case.

Here are the facts: Minnesota’s Down Payment Assistance Grant Program offers up to $15,000 toward the purchase of farmland. Recipients are chosen through a lottery system. However, before the policy change, even if a recipient was among the first picked through the lottery—as Nistler was, being selected ninth—they could be bumped to the back of the line if they were not a racial minority, female, LGBTQIA+, or otherwise designated as an “emerging” farmer by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Despite being chosen ninth in the lottery, which awarded grants to 68 applicants, Nistler did not receive a grant. He was moved from ninth to 102nd on the waitlist because he is a white male.

Nistler grew up on his family farm, milking cows. “They would lose money every year,” he says of the family operation. After he left for school, his family sold the cows and switched to farming soybeans, oats, and wheat. Lance’s father and uncle now run the farm, but they’re getting older. Lance, who has a degree in electronic engineering and worked in HVAC, is interested in buying a 40-acre chunk of the family farm, becoming the fourth-generation farmer in his family.

The land isn’t just going to be given to Lance. This is a working farm, and the Nistlers aren’t a wealthy family that can transfer land from one generation to the next without consideration. “My dad and uncle, they don’t have 401(k)s or anything,” Lance says. “I mean, the land and the equipment, that’s their retirement. This stuff isn’t given away. I’m not just going to get it handed down to me and inherited. It has to be purchased, and it is not cheap.”

Despite being from a farming family, Lance considers himself a new farmer—he has never owned farmland before, and he has an electronics background. Buying these 40 acres would be a huge step for Lance, planting him firmly in the farming world, which is what Minnesota’s grant program aimed to do. The idea that he would have qualified as an emerging farmer if only his skin were a different color struck Lance as wrong.

“The country we live in, the idea is it’s equal opportunity for everyone,” he says. “And if that’s what it is, then well, why shouldn’t I have the same chances?”

When Lance filed his lawsuit in January, the complaint argued that the discriminatory process violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The complaint stated:

“Nistler brings this lawsuit to vindicate his constitutional right to equal protection of the law. He brings it to give all Minnesotans a fair chance at a difference-making grant program. He brings it in the hope that he will be able to own that small farm in the near future. He brings it because he is not giving up on his dream.”

In May, after Lance called attention to the unconstitutional policy, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed legislation removing the race and sex prioritization from the program. Now, Minnesota will treat farmers equally—as the Constitution promises.

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