Attorney General Merrick Garland rejected suggestions that a special prosecutor should take over the investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings during a Tuesday appearance in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Delaware U.S. District Attorney David Weiss is leading the investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings and tax handling. Weiss is the only U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump to remain in office. Incoming presidents often request the resignations of prosecutors appointed by their predecessors. (RELATED: Barr Appoints Special Counsel To Continue Investigation Into Origins Of Trump-Russia Probe)
“I’m quite comfortable with the U.S. Attorney for that district continuing in the role that he’s playing,” Garland told Republican Indiana Sen. Mike Braun of Weiss’ handling of the case.
Garland agreed that any involvement from the White House in urging the Department of Justice to end Weiss’ investigation into Hunter Biden would be inappropriate.
“I’d like for you to tell me, or answer this question, if you would. Would you think it would be appropriate for the president of the United States to call you into the Oval Office and tell you that his son didn’t break the law, regarding this matter?” Republican Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty asked.
“Absolutely not and the president has not done that, and the president has committed not to interfere, not only in that investigation but any other kind of investigation,” Garland responded.
Hagerty noted public comments from senior White House officials, Chief of Staff Ron Klain and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, both of whom have cast doubt on the idea that Hunter Biden broke any laws.
“The president has already told his subordinates; clearly, these are people that he can fire at will, that he and his family did nothing wrong. How can the American people be confident that his administration is conducting a serious investigation?” the senator asked.
“Because we put the investigation in the hands of a Trump appointee from the previous administration, who’s the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware. And because you have me as the Attorney General, who is committed to the independence of the Justice Department from any influence from the White House in criminal matters,” Garland responded.
Garland also pushed back on Hagerty’s claim that the appointment of a special counsel would insulate the investigation from political tampering.
“Special counsels are also employees of the Justice Department. We don’t have an independent counsel statute anymore. Both the Democrats and the Republicans experimented with this. I think, probably in the end neither side liked it, and I think that’s why we ended up with the law not being reauthorized. But in any event, the special counsel is also an employee of the Justice Department,” he explained.
Garland declined to say whether or not Justice Department officials considered appointing an independent counsel.
The younger Biden is currently facing a wide-ranging investigation into his overseas business practices, which include energy deals with a Chinese government-backed firm and his legal representation of a politician who he dubbed “the fucking spy chief of China.” Biden held a 10% stake in a Chinese state-controlled equity firm as recently as January 2021.