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The Royal Family Is Going to Legal War With … Someone?

How the Dutch translation of a tell-all book touched off a very English scandal.

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Buckingham Palace may take legal action after the translation of a book about the royal family accidentally disclosed that King Charles and Princess Kate discussed the skin color of Meghan and Harry’s unborn son. This is, at the very least, the current state of play that’s resulted from a comedy of errors involving the Dutch translation of a tell-all book and the United Kingdom’s unofficial bad penny, Piers Morgan.

Here’s the backstory: During an explosive 2021 interview with Oprah, Meghan and Harry alleged that at least one royal relative had spoken to them about how dark-skinned their son might be, the implication being that it would be something verging on scandalous. Both Meghan and Harry declined to say who had made those comments.

Longtime British royal reporter Omid Scobie also knew about those conversations. In his book Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival, which was published in August, Scobie made note of this matter amid a larger discussion of the royal family’s approach to race. But he did not specify in his book which royals had mentioned the skin tone of Meghan and Harry’s child.

However, in the Dutch translation of the book, those two people were identified—somehow or another—as Charles and Kate. Copies of the book that included this disclosure were quickly pulled from the market, but not before British television host Piers Morgan had shared the information on air.

“I’m going to tell you the names of the two senior royals who are named in that Dutch version of the book because, frankly, if Dutch people wandering into a bookshop can pick it up and see these names, then you, British people, here—who actually pay for the British royal family—you’re entitled to know too,” Morgan said Wednesday night.

Scobie says he does not know how the Dutch version ended up with the names in it. When asked by the BBC about reports that the palace was considering legal proceedings, a spokesperson said Friday, “We’re exploring all options.” They did not specify against whom they would take legal action.

Every aspect of this story is a perfect nightmare for the British royal family. It truly is the sum of all fears: It involves the public airing of dirty laundry, Piers Morgan, and coming second in something to the Dutch.

It is ironic that Charles is one of the people involved in that discussion, considering his coronation was supposed to mark a modernization of the royal family. But it is also not all that surprising that he or any of the royals had this conversation.

This is, after all, a family that exists purely because of a race- and class-based institution—an institution that colonized swathes of the nonwhite world. A family where one member casually wore blackamoor jewelry, which glorifies slavery. A family that refused to defend its one member of color when she was subjected to an onslaught of vicious and often racist tabloid coverage. A family that ignored that same woman’s distress until she became suicidal.

For more, there are six seasons of The Crown currently streaming on Netflix.

The Reason These Democrats Voted to Save George Santos

Four members of the House were worried about the precedent set by his removal—and the possibility it would be used against Black lawmakers.

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Representative Al Green of Texas

Former Representative George Santos was expelled from the House on Friday, in an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Republicans were divided on whether to expel Santos from the House, with 105 voting in favor of his removal and 112 voting against. Democrats were almost entirely united in voting for his expulsion, with four exceptions: Representatives Bobby Scott and Nikema Williams voted against his ouster, while Representatives Al Green and Jonathan Jackson voted “present.”

All four Democrats joined many of the Republicans who opposed his expulsion in warning about setting a bad precedent by removing Santos before he had received either due process in the courts or judgment from his constituents. But Green also issued a more pointed warning: that Black legislators will be especially vulnerable going forward.

“It would not surprise me to know there are some people in Congress who don’t believe Black people are worthy of being here,” Green told me in an interview. He continued: “I suspect that African Americans in Congress will live to regret that vote in some point, because we are among the most vulnerable.”

He added: “The people ought to decide whether a person who has not been adjudicated as a criminal could be removed from the House of Representatives. I think that for us to have this awesome power that allows us to be judge, jury, prosecutor, and investigator—I think it’s just ripe for abuse.”

Green’s three Democratic colleagues echoed the general concern about the potential for abuse. In a statement, Williams said that Santos “is not worthy of serving in the House” and “will likely be convicted of the crimes of which he was accused.”

“This is the People’s House—and although the House Ethics Committee findings were damning, the people of New York’s Third Congressional District should decide who represents them,” Williams continued. “I’ll always side on giving power to the voters.”

In a statement, Jackson explained that he was worried by the precedent set by Santos’s removal, despite the Long Island Republican’s “reprehensible” behavior. Although he has been indicted on several federal charges and was accused of fraud and misuse of campaign funds in a scathing House Ethics Committee report, Santos has not been convicted of any crime. The two previous members in the modern era expelled by their peers were found guilty of their crimes beforehand.

“At a time when Congress has shredded norms and reached new levels of dysfunction, we must protect this [institution] and the constitutional right to due process,” Jackson said. “Former Congressman Santos deserves his day in court and to be judged by a jury of his peers. That day is coming, and until then, he deserves the presumption of innocence.”

The four dissenters were consistent in their opposition: In a previous unsuccessful vote to expel Santos at the beginning of November, Green and Jackson voted “present,” and Scott and Williams voted against.

In a statement after the November vote, Scott explained: “In 2002, I voted to expel Rep. James Traficant but that was after he was found guilty in a court of law.”

“For the sake of the institution, we must stop the cheapening of the censure and expulsion processes for political expediency and get back to the process that we already have in place to appropriately deal with these matters,” Scott continued.

All the Things That Went Wrong for Ron DeSantis in His Latest Debate Failure

If the Florida governor thought going toe-to-toe with Gavin Newsom would revive his flagging presidential campaign, he’d better think again.

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Thursday night’s biggest loser was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who spent the better part of Fox’s “Great Red vs. Blue State” publicity stunt being thoroughly humiliated by California Governor Gavin Newsom in an all-out shitshow that did, at one point, reference poop.

The cage match between these two governors, which will perhaps be remembered as the apotheosis of “Debate Me, Bro!” culture, was a lopsided affair, pitting one man who is running for president (badly) against another who is not running for president and thus has far less at stake. The back-and-forth between the two men mainly consisted of Newsom taking big shots at DeSantis and his lackluster presidential platform, leaving DeSantis with scant material to lob back in the direction of his Golden State rival.

“We have one thing in common: Neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” Newsom quipped early on in the debate.

Over the span of 90 minutes, the California Democrat slammed the presidential hopeful for flip-flopping on policy stances, curtailing LGBTQ+ rights, and loosening gun laws in Florida following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre, the deadliest mass shooting at a high school in U.S. history.

In one particularly embarrassing exchange, Newsom dogged DeSantis over his decision to employ a radical book ban in the Sunshine State, during which the conservative’s anxious head-shaking and drooping expression made it abundantly clear that he was just as unprepared to debate a liberal politician as he has thus far proven to be when debating his fellow conservatives.

“What you’re doing is using education as a sword for your cultural purge,” Newsom said. “I don’t like the way you demean people, I don’t like the way you demean the LGBTQ community,” Newsom added.

Even at moments when DeSantis seemed to believe he had the upper hand, he did not. During one heated exchange over Florida’s response to the pandemic, Newsom reminded DeSantis that the state had employed quarantines and checkpoints to curtail the spread of the virus.

“You followed science, you followed Fauci,” Newsom said, referring to the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci.

“That’s not true,” DeSantis insisted.

It probably wasn’t supposed to go like this. The GOP hopeful had been handed all the ingredients to make Thursday night a home run for his campaign. Yet despite boosts from host Sean Hannity on the largest conservative network in the country, who at one point tried and failed to peg Newsom for including what DeSantis claimed was “pornography” in the California school curriculum, DeSantis only managed to make himself a hair feistier than his background appearances during GOP debates illustrated.

In a debate that was supposed to pose comparisons between the policy choices made by red states and blue states, DeSantis spent a considerable amount of energy on the intramural politics of the Democratic Party, accusing Newsom of running a “shadow campaign” behind President Joe Biden’s back. When he took the opportunity to pivot back to policy, DeSantis’s big swing involved a bit of prop comedy in the form of an illustrated map of San Francisco that purported to detail precisely where human feces had been spotted around the city—a charge that made even Newsom laugh.

If the Florida governor thought the prime-time special, which served as a meager sideshow to the presidential race that he’s actually a part of, could help his tanking popularity among American voters, then these calculations may have been off. Newsom used the stage to take repeated shots at DeSantis’s diminished presidential prospects.

“You are trolling folks and trying to play political games so you can out-Trump Trump,” Newsom said. “How is that going for you, Ron? You are down 41 points in your own home state.”

DeSantis has lagged far behind in the GOP primaries he was anticipated to be a heavy contender in, trailing more than 47 percentage points in national averages behind Donald Trump, whose strategy of outright avoiding public debates has proved exceedingly effective among Republican voters.

Hours after the debate, Trump took to Truth Social to blast his hamstrung rival, sharing a parody of the event that he dubbed the “battle of loserville.” The former president’s campaign also took note of the embarrassing spectacle, issuing a statement that compared the governor to a crackhead on a “12 inch step stool.”

“Ron DeSanctimonious is acting more like a thirsty, third-rate OnlyFans wannabe model than an actual presidential candidate,” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said. “Instead of actually campaigning and trying to turn around his dismal poll numbers, DeSanctus is now so desperate for attention that he’s debating a Grade A loser like Gavin Newsom.”

So Long and Farewell to the Most Entertaining Person in Congress

George Santos has officially entered his “Expelled From the House of Representatives” era.

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"Ecce homo." —Pontius Pilate

Representative George Santos was officially expelled from Congress on Friday, making him only the sixth member ever given the boot.

The House voted 311–114 to remove Santos, a rare bipartisan vote. The state of New York must now hold a special election to replace him.

Santos left the chamber before the vote was finished. When asked for a reaction after his expulsion was made official, he told reporters, “It’s over. What reaction?”

The New York Republican had survived a previous expulsion vote at the beginning of November. Representatives voted 179–213 against the resolution to remove Santos (with 19 members voting “present”). Multiple Democrats said they wanted to see the result of an Ethics Committee investigation into Santos before taking a move as extreme as expulsion.

The report was released just two weeks later, and it was a bombshell. “The evidence uncovered by the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) revealed that Representative George Santos cannot be trusted,” the report stated. “At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles.”

Santos repeatedly used his campaign to solicit donations, only to use that money for personal expenses, including buying designer goods and makeup, getting cosmetic procedures, and “smaller purchases at OnlyFans.”

Although he was only in Congress for 11 months, Santos managed to become one of the most controversial figures on Capitol Hill. A year ago, it was revealed that Santos had fabricated the bulk of his professional and educational résumé.

In addition to misusing campaign funds and lying about his employment history, Santos has falsely claimed that his grandparents were Holocaust survivors, his mother died in the 9/11 attacks, and four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. He also lied about founding an animal rescue charity and producing the disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Santos has been federally charged with 23 counts of various types of financial fraud. He pleaded not guilty to the initial 13 in May, and he has denied the additional 10 that were filed in October in a superseding indictment. Earlier this year, he also agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud so he could avoid prosecution.

Honestly, he really fit in well with his fellow Republicans. And now his bright light has been extinguished.

We Regret to Inform You That Mike Johnson Is at It Again

The day may come when someone doesn’t uncover some weird, antisocial thing the Republican speaker once wrote or said, but today is not that day.

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At this point, the shocking thing about House Speaker Mike Johnson is not his extremist views but how brazenly he’s flaunted them.

Here’s the latest: Johnson wrote the foreword for the book The Revivalist Manifesto, which was written by far-right Louisiana politics blogger Scott McKay, CNN reported Friday. Johnson and McKay have collaborated before: The lawmaker has written numerous pieces for McKay’s blog. The book in question was published in 2021, and the following year, Johnson promoted it heavily on social media and on his podcast.

The book is a cavalcade of homophobia, classism, widely debunked conspiracy theories, and weird falsehoods, all of which Johnson has described as a “valuable and timely contribution” to public discourse.

McKay “has managed here to articulate well what millions of conscientious, freedom-loving Americans are sensing,” Johnson said in the foreword.

What are they sensing? Well for starters, the book pushes multiple conspiracy theories, including the “Pizzagate” conspiracy that promotes the idea that prominent Democrats were running a child sex trafficking ring partly through a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. Pizzagate has fueled a spiraling array of other conspiracy theories and myths; its most direct ideological successor is QAnon.

McKay’s tome also repeats the falsehood that the Democratic National Committee’s emails were not hacked in 2016 but rather leaked by staffer Seth Rich, whose later death in an attempted robbery fueled further conspiracy theories alleging he was murdered in a hit ordered by Democratic Party officials. This became a popular right-wing conspiracy, and Rich’s parents sued Fox News for publishing a story linking Rich’s death to these myths. The Rich family settled with Fox in 2020.

Elsewhere in the book, McKay claims climate change is just “hysteria” and says it is not linked to carbon dioxide emissions. He also says that the Biden administration is letting undocumented immigrants in to create more Democratic voters.

McKay implies that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was linked to sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. He also repeatedly insults Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, calling him “openly, and obnoxiously, gay.” Elsewhere in the book, McKay defends podcaster Joe Rogan for using the n-word and says poor voters are “unsophisticated and susceptible to government dependency.”

In addition to writing the book’s foreword, Johnson promoted the book repeatedly on his social media accounts in 2022. He also had McKay on an episode of the podcast Johnson hosts with his wife. During the episode, Johnson said McKay was a “dear friend” and that the book “really could make some waves.”

At this point, it really should come as no surprise that Johnson espouses such far-right beliefs. The man flies a Christian nationalist flag outside his office and regularly speaks at right-wing events. His new chief of staff spent the last year working for an organization that supports conversion therapy.

Johnson has cited the “great replacement theory,” the far-right theory that white people are being replaced by nonwhite immigrants, and he has blamed the fall of Rome on LGBTQ people. (Johnson, it must be said, has range.)

The most shocking thing about all of this is that Republicans didn’t check to see who exactly Johnson was before they decided to make him the new, weird face of their party.

Planet Earth Keeps Shattering the Most Terrible Record of All

On the bright side, this was probably the coolest year of the rest of your lives.

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte speaks during day one of the COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai on December 1, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Well, it’s official: 2023 was the hottest year on record, but cheer up, it will likely pale in comparison to the heat waves in years to come, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization.

The last year was hotter than both 2020 and 2016, the previous hottest years on record, with a mean surface temperature 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than preindustrial levels. The report’s release coincides with COP28, the United Nations–hosted climate change summit in Dubai, in an effort to inform negotiations among the 198 countries that are both in attendance at the conference and stuck together on a rapidly warming planet. It’s unlikely, however, December’s temperatures will impact this year’s ranking—according to the report, which noted that 2023 is “virtually certain” to be the “warmest year in the 174-year observational record.”

“We are living through climate collapse in real time,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told a crowd of delegates at the conference on Thursday, according to The Guardian.

“This year has seen communities around the world pounded by fires, floods, and searing temperature—and the impact is devastating,” he added. “Record global heating should send shivers down the spines of world leaders. And it should trigger them to act.”

Some of the worst heat was felt across Southern Europe and North Africa in July, thanks to a grueling combination of climate change, an El Niño warming the Pacific Ocean, and what was referred to as a “heat dome” across the Mediterranean—a high-pressure zone that acts like a lid on a pot, trapping hot air inside.

Climate scientists say that climate change, fueled by greenhouse gas emissions, will continue to result in more frequent, severe, and dangerous heat waves, reported Al Jazeera.

“These are more than just statistics,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a statement. “Extreme weather is destroying lives and livelihoods on a daily basis—underlining the imperative need to ensure that everyone is protected by early warning services. We cannot return to the climate of the 20th century, but we must act now to limit the risks of an increasingly inhospitable climate in this and coming centuries.”

With rising global temperatures also came an alarming and record-breaking drop-off in the Antarctic ice shelf, which recorded a loss of one million square kilometers in its maximum end-of-winter extent—an area larger than France and Germany combined.

“We have the roadmap to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5C and avoid the worst of climate chaos,” said Guterres. “But we need leaders to fire the starting gun at Cop28 on a race to keep the 1.5C limit alive, by committing to triple renewables and double energy efficiency, and committing to phase out fossil fuels, with a clear timeframe aligned to the 1.5C limit.”

OK, we’ll check back in a year to see how everyone’s doing.

George Santos Is Going Out Swinging

As the clock ticks down to his possible expulsion, the New York congressman is going on a scorched-earth campaign.

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With his expulsion looking more likely by the hour, Representative George Santos has apparently decided that he won’t be going down alone.

The House introduced a resolution Thursday to expel the serial fabulist from Congress. As lawmakers debated the motion, Santos ended up trading barbs with his fellow freshman representative, Ohio Republican Max Miller.

“I myself have been a victim of George Santos, as well as other members of Congress in terms of defrauding through public donations, receiving an ethics complaint from the FEC which I had to spend tens of thousands to defend myself,” Miller said.

“You, sir, are a crook,” he said, addressing Santos directly.

Santos quickly asked that Miller’s comment be stricken from the record; he was just as quickly denied. Santos then accused his colleague of “hypocrisy.”

“My colleague wants to come up here, call me a crook,” Santos said. “The same colleague who’s accused of being a woman beater. Are we really going to ignore the facts that we all have pasts, and we all have the media coming out against us on a daily basis?”

Santos was referring to allegations made against Miller by former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. Grisham and Miller dated while they were both working as aides to former President Donald Trump.

In 2021, Grisham alleged that Miller physically abused her on the day they broke up. Miller, who was running for Congress at the time, sued her for defamation in response (a trick he may have picked up from his former boss).

Grisham’s accusation is worthy of investigation, and Miller should be held accountable if her claims are found to be true. None of this is an affirmative case for why Santos should get a pass, as Santos seems to imply he should, just because one of his accusers also has had accusations made against him.

Santos seems unusually determined to air everyone’s dirty laundry on his way out. During a three-hour-long X (formerly Twitter) space last week, he accused his Republican colleagues of alcoholism and cheating on their spouses with lobbyists.

On Thursday, Santos also introduced a motion to expel Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman for pulling a fire alarm in a House office building ahead of a key vote. The resolution is privileged, meaning lawmakers have two legislative days to act on the measure—unless Santos is expelled first, nullifying it.

The American People Want to Give Peace a Chance

Public polling is steadily moving toward consensus support for cease-fires in Gaza and Ukraine.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Almost 50 years after the end of the Vietnam conflict, Americans are still crying out for love, not war. A new Economist/YouGov poll suggests that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of cease-fires in both of the two major U.S.-backed conflicts—Ukraine and Palestine.

In regards to Ukraine, 68 percent of American respondents said they supported a cease-fire between the Eastern European state and Russia, while just 8 percent of respondents answered that they did not support a cease-fire.

A similar number supported a cease-fire in the Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and Hamas, with 65 percent of respondents supporting a cease-fire, while 16 percent said that they didn’t support the peace—the latter number is down nearly half from a Reuters/Ipsos poll that found 32 percent of Americans disagreed with a potential cease-fire earlier this month, before a truce was on the menu.

When it came down to counting dollars and cents, poll results were divided. Thirty-two percent of American respondents said that the current level of aid to Israel should continue, while 23 percent said they want less. An additional 21 percent, which primarily skewed Republican, responded that they wanted to see more aid directed to the U.S. ally, according to the Economist/YouGov poll.

Democrats, meanwhile, were more likely to back supplemental aid to Ukraine, with 35 percent of Democratic respondents in favor of increasing aid. Republican respondents voted in line with their government representatives who are actively working to curtail America’s next aid package to the Eastern European country, with 44 percent of Republican respondents saying they would be in favor of decreasing Ukrainian military aid.

Israel and Hamas originally agreed to a four-day cessation in hostilities on November 24; this cease-fire has been extended several times since as the two sides negotiate. So far, 104 Israeli hostages, including 24 foreign nationals, have been freed. In exchange, Israel has released more than 200 Palestinian prisoners, all of whom were women and teenagers, according to a report from The Washington Post, which estimated that 143 hostages still remain in Gaza.

To date, the conflict has claimed the lives of nearly 15,000 Palestinians—most of them women and children—since Hamas’s sudden attack on Israel on October 7, when 1,200 Israelis were killed.

Trump’s 48-Hour Manic Rant Had Immediate Consequences

The former president covered a lot of ground during his recent posting binge, most of it is insane.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Fucked around; found out

The GOP’s presidential front-runner had himself a bit of an unhinged social media binge over the last couple of days, using Truth Social to air his scattered grievances, attack the wife of the judge overseeing his New York bank fraud trial, and take a wild left turn by claiming sudden allyship with the broader Black Lives Matter movement.

Kicking off the rapid-fire onslaught of posts late Tuesday, Trump called MSNBC’s coverage of the Republican Party “illegal activity,” adding that the “so-called ‘government’ should come down hard” on the news outlet and “make them pay.”

Then the former president revived an old gripe that “Obamacare sucks”—thus reopening the possibility that his campaign will renew the call to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act that has dogged the GOP since that law’s inception. Less than 20 minutes later, he redirected his attention to the sexual assault allegations made against him by columnist E. Jean Carroll, spewing comments eerily similar to the ones that have already lost him two defamation cases brought by the writer, in which he claimed that the allegations were a “made up fairytale” that was “funded by political operatives” to interfere with the 2020 presidential election results.

Over the ensuing hours, Trump also warned that the indictments against him had opened up “pandora’s box,” which he followed by snubbing his Koch-backed GOP opponent Nikki Haley as “a very weak and ineffective Birdbrain.”

In yet another post, Trump said he had done “more for Black people than any other President,” including Lincoln. He also confused the support of Mark Fisher, the founder of Black Lives Matter Incorporated, for that of the larger, national movement, despite statements front and center on BLM INC.’s web page that they’re not affiliated with “any other Black Lives Matter Movement.”

But the pièce de résistance of Trump’s 48-hour digital diatribe was a string of attacks on the wife of the judge overseeing his business fraud trial, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, whose gag order on Trump had been repealed. In five separate posts, Trump uplifted a conspiracy theory that Dawn Engoron and her husband were inherently biased in his case and that Mrs. Engoron had attacked Trump and other “white male politicians” online.

“Judge Engoron’s Trump Hating wife, together with his very disturbed and angry law clerk, have taken over control of the New York State Witch Hunt Trial aimed at me, my family, and the Republican Party,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

In a statement to Newsweek, Engoron denied ownership of the account and any of its content.

“I do not have a Twitter account. This is not me. I have not posted any anti-Trump messages,” she told the outlet.

That may have been enough to convince a New York appeals court that Trump wasn’t capable of playing nice without his recently stayed gag order, which the four-judge panel dutifully reinstated on Thursday, in an attempt to halt the verbal onslaught against the judge, his court staff and, apparently, his family.

Democratic Rep Has an Immodest Proposal for James Comer

Let’s just say that New York lawmaker Dan Goldman has laid the weakness of the GOP’s case against Hunter Biden very, very bare.

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New York Representative Dan Goldman

A Democratic congressman has come up with a way for Hunter Biden to lay himself bare in front of Congress that might hopefully appease House Oversight Chair James Comer.

On Tuesday, the president’s son offered, via his lawyer, to testify in a public House Oversight Committee hearing—part of an aggressive new defense strategy that his legal team has decided to adopt. Comer, who has spearheaded the probe into the Bidens’ supposed criminal wrongdoing, rejected the offer almost immediately. He said Biden must first sit for a private deposition before he can testify publicly.

Representative Daniel Goldman on Thursday countered Comer’s admonitions with a more, shall we say, stripped-down argument.

“Let me get this straight,” Goldman tweeted at Comer at half-past-midnight. “You welcomed nude photos of Hunter Biden in a public hearing but you won’t welcome the testimony of Hunter Biden in a public hearing.”

“If Hunter testified in the nude, would you then let him appear for a public hearing?”

Goldman is referring to a House Oversight Committee hearing in July, which featured two IRS agents and their accusations that the Justice Department had dragged its feet on investigating Biden for tax fraud. The hearing—like the entire investigation—produced zero actual evidence of wrongdoing.

Instead, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene tried to claim that Hunter Biden had engaged in sex trafficking and had listed payments to sex workers as a tax write-off. To support her argument, she held up poster-size prints of Biden’s nude photos, which she later also posted on X (then called Twitter) and shared in her email newsletter.

Comer did not intercede with Greene during the hearing and has yet to condemn her for using that venue to stage this weird stunt. Instead, the official Oversight Republicans’ Twitter account got in on the dissemination of the nudes game, sharing Greene’s tweet, which included a video clip of her holding up the photos.

Ranking Oversight Member Jamie Raskin tore into Comer for his refusal to either stop Greene or reprimand her after the fact.

“These pictures were displayed across America for purely voyeuristic, sensationalistic, and sadistic purposes,” Raskin said in a letter to Comer a week after the hearing. “Our Committee, which was once chaired by heroes of the public interest like Henry Waxman and Elijah Cummings, is rapidly being reduced to the level of a 1970s-era dime store peep show.”

Biden also hit back at Greene: His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, filed an ethics complaint against her in July, sending a letter to the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics asking that Greene be investigated and penalized for her “outrageous, undignified conduct.” The office does not appear to have opened an investigation into the matter.