‘X’ Marks the Spot

“Xavier Becerra spent his career attacking pro-life Americans and tried to force crisis pregnancy centers to advertise abortions. He’s been a disaster in California and he is unqualified to lead HHS. I’ll be voting no, and Becerra should be rejected by the Senate.” That was Senator Tom Cotton on Joe Biden’s designated head of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Arkansas Republican was not alone. 

“The single best thing to be said about Joe Biden nominating Xavier Becerra to become his Health and Human Services secretary,” wrote Tiana Lowe of the Washington Examiner, “is that it immediately takes the Californian out of the running to fill Kamala Harris’s Senate seat.” It has escaped notice that Becerra could have been a contender for a much more important seat. 

“Becerra has clearly demonstrated his willingness to be Clinton’s running mate,” NBC reported in June, 2016. “He’s the highest-ranking Latino in the House of Representatives and has been a reliable Clinton ally.” Becerra failed to get the nod, and after the election the high-ranking Democrat left Congress to run for attorney general in California. That downward move has something to do with a shadowy character named Imran Awan. 

Of all the IT people in all the IT firms in all the world, when House Democrats led by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) had to find a firm for the House, they thought the Pakistan-born Imran Awan was the best man for the job. Sometimes working from Pakistan, Awan and his family team accessed the computers of some 40 Democrats, including those on the intelligence and foreign affairs committees. Without their consent, Awan and his team stashed the data on a server controlled by Xavier Becerra, chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Capitol Police wanted a copy of the server but, according to the House inspector general, the one Awan produced turned out to be a fake. In February 2017, Awan and his IT squad were booted off the House computer network. By that time, Xavier Becerra had fled back to sanctuary in California where Governor Jerry Brown made him state attorney general. Becerra had nothing to say about the IT intrigue, but he did compile evidence that he has been a disaster for California. 

When not filing lawsuits against the Trump Administration, Becerra sued car dealerships for false advertising. On the other hand, a killing spree of 19 murders and “medieval-style violence,” by the Salvadoran MS-13 gang in Los Angeles drew no special attention from the state. The gang imposed a “reign of terror” with at least 14 murders in Mendota, but as in Los Angeles, federal officials conducted the action against the violent gang.

Becerra showed up for the press conference held by U.S. Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski but made it clear he was not concerned with the gang’s “status.” Becerra supports California’s sanctuary laws that protect even violent criminals from deportation. One of them, Paulo Virgen Mendoza, also known as Gustavo Arriaga, gunned down Newman, California, police officer Ronil “Ron” Singh, a legal immigrant from Fiji, on December 26, 2018. 

Becerra and Governor Gavin Newsom failed to show up at Singh’s funeral and neither official cited the case as an example of “gun violence.” For his part, Becerra also got protection from federal judge Tanya S. Chutkan, the Obama appointee who prolonged Imran Awan’s bank-fraud trial long enough that the case did not become a factor in the 2018 election that kept Becerra in the attorney general’s office. 

After the November 3 election, Becerra appeared on Newsom’s list of possible replacements for Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s pick for vice president and a former California attorney general—thanks, in part, to voter fraud. Another contender is secretary of state Alex Padilla, in charge of the “motor voter” program that automatically registers illegal aliens to vote, even though the DMV claims it never happens. (It does.) This year, they all got mail-in ballots courtesy of Newsom’s emergency COVID-19 order. 

As Newsom pondered the Harris replacement, her former boyfriend and Democrat queenmaker Willie Brown urged Newsom to appoint himself to fill the seat. While Newsom thinks it over, Joe Biden taps Becerra for HHS. From Joe’s point of view, the pick makes good sense. 

If Biden is not the least impressive person ever to run for president it’s hard to imagine who might be. So it makes sense that his pick for HHS is an incompetent Clinton crony with little regard for innocent life and the rule of law. If they fail to hold the Senate, Republicans will be unable to give Becerra the boot. On the other hand, the GOP could make the confirmation hearing a must-see. 

“You had control of the server where Imran Awan stashed information he lifted from Democrat computers,” some Republican could ask. “What happened to that server and the information on it? The FBI doesn’t seem to know.” 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images