A former prosecutor joining CNN criticized U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s handling of the Hunter Biden probe after appointing a special counsel to investigate the first son.
Garland announced the appointment of David Weiss as the special counsel after the first son’s plea deal related to a gun charge and tax misdemeanors fell apart. Whistleblowers from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had accused the attorney general of politically intervening to protect Hunter from criminal charges.
Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu, who joined the panel on CNN’s “Inside Politics,” said Garland appointed the special counsel because he fears looking political if he takes no action.
“To me, this is a debacle for the Justice Department,” former federal prosecutor Shan Wu said. “They have had years to investigate this case … things go wrong in the courtroom, it shouldn’t have gone wrong in this case. I mean, the defense had an interest in keeping this case a little ambiguous as anything else happening because they want their deal. Prosecution had no interest in keeping it ambiguous, they should’ve made this very clear, at least for themselves, what the plan was.”
“Garland, again, looks like he is just buffeted it by political whims,” he continued. “He is so worried about looking political. If [David] Weiss says, ‘now make me a special counsel,’ he says ‘yes, yes, I’ll do that.’ He should’ve had better control to begin with because when Weiss was not a special counsel, he was in the chain of command of justice, now he’s making him a special counsel. He could’ve just said no. And this obviously implies, maybe it doesn’t mean to imply it, that the conflict that’s coming up now maybe extends to the president.”
He said the case had not been “well managed” and Garland’s current reaction has only made things worse. (RELATED: ‘It Takes A Lot Of Guts’: Poppy Harlow Acknowledges IRS Whistleblower’s Bravery For Testifying Against Hunter Biden)
The first son appeared in court on July 26 to address his initial plea deal made with Weiss for the gun and tax charges. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges in exchange for serving no jail time, but the plea deal fell apart after Judge Maryellen Noreika refused to sign off over the prosecution and defense teams’ disagreements on the scope of immunity.
Two IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that Garland and the DOJ lied about promises not to politically intervene in the Hunter Biden probe. The whistleblowers said the FBI knew of the existence of Hunter’s laptop since as early as 2019, and that the agency withheld information relating to Hunter’s criminal wrongdoing and President Joe Biden’s alleged involvement with his son’s foreign business dealings.
Ziegler also told the House Weaponization Committee during a July 19 hearing the DOJ blocked the team from investigating a July 30, 2017, WhatsApp message allegedly sent from Hunter to a Chinese business official. He also said the Biden family made approximately $17 million from foreign business interests in China, Romania and Ukraine.