The Legal Beat
Joe Biden’s Great-Great-Grandfather Knifed A Guy During The Civil War, So… IMPEACH!!! By Jonathan Turley
Posted on Monday February 26, 2024
The last time GW Law’s Jonathan Turley claimed to have slam dunk proof of Joe Biden’s criminal political corruption empire, he was waving around emails about Joe Biden selling the office of the vice president in 2018… when Mike Pence was the vice president and Joe Biden was unemployed. Somehow it took the New York Post editors a whole 36 hours to fact check “who was vice president in 2018?” Crackerjack news operation over there!
Now Turley’s back with another smoking gun that Joe Biden is a dirty, dirty criminal. And that gun is a century-and-a-half-old knife.
A historian recently discovered that Joe Biden’s great-great-grandfather, Moses J. Robinette, was accused and found guilty of attempted murder. The case followed a strikingly familiar pattern.
Familar? Turley is, clearly, confused. It was Hillary Clinton who murdered Vince Foster — get your batshit conspiracy theories straight, Jonathan!
Also, how would this be relevant?
The Bidens swim in scandal with the ease and agility of a bottlenose dolphin. From his own plagiarism scandal to his brother’s role in killing a man to his son’s various federal crimes, Bidens have long been a wonder in Washington.
It turns out that it may be something of a family trait acquired through generations of natural selection.
That’s not how evolution works.
Turley has clumsily tried to backtrack from this statement, adding to the comedy.
Notably, after this column ran the usual suspects are gathering around a “readers added context” that briefly appeared (before being taken down by Twitter). It suggested that I was arguing in the column that the Bidens are genetically prone to crime in discussing Biden’s great-great-grandfather’s conviction for attempted murder. (The “trait” was actually a reference to their ability to deal with scandal, not criminality itself). It takes an utter lack of sense of humor to interpret the reference to natural selection in managing legal controversies as a literal argument a genetic preposition toward crime.
Keep digging, you’re doing great!
I don’t think, “Look, I wasn’t saying he’s genetically criminal, just that he’s genetically good at getting out of all the crimes that he commits because his family is always committing crimes” is doing the work Turley’s hoping it will. “Natural selection in managing legal controversies” is just pure wackjob gold. He could’ve just said, “I didn’t mean it literally” and left it at that, but we’re so happy he didn’t.
The problem for Turley on this point is that great-great-grandfather story isn’t a “scandal” at all — it’s an attempted murder case and a self-defense claim!
He may say that he didn’t literally mean to imply that Biden is genetically predisposed to crime, but there’s not really any other explanation for trying to compare a murder trial to ripping off some speeches by Neil Kinnock. Turley’s just grasping at some way to make the Bidens look like the Corleones and since the evidence doesn’t support anything more than “his recovering addict son illegally owned a gun,” Turley’s gone back 150 years to find anything to paint Biden with criminality.
This also isn’t about having a “sense of humor.” If Turley wanted to make a joke, he could’ve just pointed out that Joe Biden’s so old that Moses is his great-great-grandfather. He’d have laughed. We’d have laughed. Sean Hannity would’ve hit a rim shot. And we all would’ve moved on with our day.
The saddest part of Turley’s latest salvo is that this ancestral story isn’t even a particularly illuminating story on its own merits. Biden’s great-great-grandfather worked for the Union Army during the Civil War and got into a fight with another contractor who confronted the presidential forefather for “bad mouthing him to a female cook.” During the ensuing fight, Moses Robinette pulled a knife and cut the other guy, earning an attempted murder charge.
Robinette argued a lack of intent to commit murder, insisting “I had no malice towards Mr. Alexander before or since. He grabbed me and possibly might have injured me seriously had I not resorted to the means that I did.”
The argument would make Abby Lowell blush, since there was no evidence that Alexander had even been armed. Robinette was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to two years’ incarceration at hard labor.
“Make Abbe Lowell blush”? That’s a bog standard self-defense argument.
Turley is certainly familiar with self-defense arguments since he COULD NOT SHUT UP about how George Zimmerman had a good case to actually kill Trayvon Martin — who also had never been armed — because the child merely approached Zimmerman.
Zimmerman can cite the tape for his statement that he believed that Martin had something in his waistband and appeared on drugs. He can also cite his contemporary description of Martin approaching him.
Turley’s also been quick to point out in the past that common law didn’t carry a duty to retreat and that folks were free to use lethal force if they felt threatened. But apparently when it comes to Biden’s forefather in the 1860s, such a defense would “make Abbe Lowell blush.”
Back during the Civil War (when Biden was 12 — ba-dum-tss), Robinette’s supporters pleaded his case all the way up to President Lincoln seeking a pardon.
Their final argument was the one quintessentially Bidenesque. They told Lincoln that he was a political ally who was “ardent, and Influential… in opposing Traitors and their schemes to destroy the Government.” (It appears, even back then, the Bidens were union men.)
It worked. Lincoln was known for leniency in pardons, and he signed a “Pardon for unexecuted part of punishment. A. Lincoln.” on Sept. 1. 1864. Robinette was a free man.
It’s telling that Turley interprets this as claiming to be a “political ally” as opposed to citing meritorious service in defense of the country. There’s nothing untoward about citing someone’s service record in a sentencing memo or pardon request. I guess Turley just sees the Civil War as a political dispute between Lincoln’s cronies and everyone else.
Nikki Haley does need a friend these days.
If that is not enough, political allies are rallying to his side to stop any corruption investigation while calling his detractors “traitors” and “Putin lovers.”
So now we get to the real reason Turley likes this comparison. The Confederates were the Putin stand-ins — misunderstood romantics scurrilously branded as “traitors” just because they both actively sought to undermine the United States government.
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) went so far as to declare that anyone now looking into the Biden corruption scandal is by definition “a knowing asset of Russian intelligence” and “acting as an agent of Vladimir Putin.”
It is, of course, perfectly absurd.
Credit where credit is due, Turley is correct about this. Because while Jonathan Turley is 100 percent a Russian intelligence asset acting as an agent of Putin, it’s absurd to ascribe the word “knowledge” to anything Turley says these days.
Before Joe, James and Hunter, There Was Great-Great-Grandpa Moses [Jonathan Turley]
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.