Did the Biden administration solicit foreign interference in the midterm elections?
Back in July, Joe Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, the leader of a nation he once pledged to make a "pariah" owing to its "human rights" record.
Democrats had urged Biden to confront Prince Salman over his alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
But Biden was desperate.
After waging war on energy in the U.S. by shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline a few days after being inaugurated, and restricting drilling and fracking on U.S. soil, Biden was in Saudi Arabia to plead with Prince Salman and OPEC to increase the production of oil to combat the energy crisis. Saudi Arabia is the de facto leader of OPEC+.
In a bid to be cordial, Biden even shared a fist bump with Prince Salman.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that desperate Biden administration officials urged Saudi Arabia to delay the OPEC+ vote to cut oil production until the group's next meeting.
When will the next meeting occur?
In December — i.e., after the midterm elections.
It was also revealed that U.S. officials cautioned the Saudi government that cutting oil production would weaken Washington's already strained relationship with the Kingdom.
But none of these threats and pleadings worked.
The kingdom and its OPEC+ allies announced a massive cut to oil production by 2 million barrels per day.
This cut has caused a spike in the price of crude oil, and a further rise in U.S. gas prices is expected to follow.
The U.S. consumer, who is already suffering under crippling inflation, will struggle further.
How did the White House respond? As they do with all their adversaries — they accused the Saudis of being pro-Russia.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed that OPEC+ had "aligned their energy policy with Russia's war aims and against the American people."
The Saudi authorities released a statement rejected the Biden administration's claims.
They insisted that cuts to oil production were made through a "consensus among member states," and it was "based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining a balance of supply and demand in the oil markets," as well as an aim to limit "volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers."
The Saudis also rebuffed the White House's claim that they were siding with Russia.
The ministry warned that "any attempts to distort the facts about the Kingdom's position regarding the crisis in Ukraine are unfortunate, and will not change the Kingdom's principled position."
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the statements issued about the Kingdom following the OPEC+ decision. pic.twitter.com/Bo7JVPDzFo— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) October 12, 2022
This is a stern and public rebuke of Biden.
When Biden was inaugurated, the D.C. experts had claimed that the adults were back in the room and there would be smooth sailing both nationally and internationally.
It has been a little less than two years, and the rebukes, insults, and open displays of contempt and hostility have been coming from all over.
French president Emmanuel Macron recently rebuked Biden following Biden's reckless claim that the West was facing an impending "nuclear Armageddon."
Macron was also furious with Biden when Australia scuttled its submarine deal with France in order to buy submarines with U.S. and British technology instead.
Biden was forced to apologize to Macron in public, claiming he was unaware that France wasn't informed long before that the deal had failed.
Early in September, North Korea declared itself to be a nuclear weapons state, despite Biden's warning to do all in his power to stop them. North Korea recently fired two ballistic missiles at Japan and followed that with many other missiles after Kamala Harris visited South Korea.
Iran's government officials refused to meet directly with their American counterparts as they negotiate for the U.S. to return to a nuclear agreement between the two countries; instead, they talk through intermediaries in Vienna. Iran's president even ruled out a meeting with Biden.
Back to Biden's request to OPEC+.
It appears Biden didn't ask the OPEC+ to not cut production of oil, but instead to merely postpone the drastic cut until after the midterms.
He wasn't concerned about regular the hardships Americans would suffer at gas stations. He was more focused on the elections.
The administration officials were smart enough not to explicitly mention the midterm elections, but the goal behind the request for postponement of the vote to cut production was perfectly obvious.
A leader looking for a long-term solution to any problem would not even consider political or electoral ramifications. He would work with allies to find a long-term solution.
Biden didn't attempt to alleviate the harm done due to high gas prices; he merely wanted to postpone it.
Can this not be regarded as Biden's attempt to work with a foreign power to meddle with the results of the midterm elections?
Back in 2019, the Democrat-controlled House impeached President Trump on allegations that he withheld military aid to compel Ukrainian president Zelensky to launch an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden.
The Democrats also alleged that Trump withheld a White House meeting that Zelensky desperately sought.
The Bidens are known to have engaged in shady business dealings in Ukraine. Ukrainian government officials are known to be very corrupt. As president, Trump was right to ask the Ukrainians to investigate a corrupt politician and a man who could be president who was possibly compromised by adversarial foreign powers.
The Democrats claimed that it was Trump's efforts to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election while withholding vital military aid.
Military aid to a foreign nation is never unconditional. Trump was right to hold the aid as leverage to initiate and expedite an investigation that was in the U.S.'s interest.
The Biden administration recently withheld $130 million of military aid to Egypt over human rights abuses.
Zelensky, whom the Democrats have begun to unconditionally adore, himself has said that he wasn't pressured by Trump to investigate Biden.
But facts didn't matter, because the impeachment wasn't based on principle. The goal was to sully Trump's record and hurt him politically. It was about putting the prefix "impeached" before his name.
Based on the standards set during Trump's first impeachment, Biden most certainly sought interference in the midterm elections.
After winning the House and the Senate, the GOP must initiate proceedings to impeach Biden on grounds that his administration solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election.
In fact, there is no need to wait for the midterm results.
This could be an issue for the midterms. GOP leaders could go on every conservative media outlet to make a lot of noise about the Biden administration's scandalous request to OPEC+ to postpone cuts to oil production until after the midterms.
As always, the big question remains: will the Republicans rise up to these challenges?
No harm in hoping!
Image: Monica Showalter via Flickr.