The ongoing investigation into President Joe Biden’s son does not need a special counsel, according to a top Biden appointee.
Hunter Biden has been the subject of a Justice Department investigation that has been described as focused on Hunter Biden’s tax and financial affairs. Lunden Roberts, by whom Hunter Biden had a child, testified earlier this year as part of that probe. Hunter Biden disclosed the existence of the investigation in 2020, and ABC reported last month that the probe had “intensified.”
Although the president has said he was never involved in or aware of Hunter Biden’s business dealings, a report last week indicated one of Hunter Biden’s business partners had a White House meeting with Joe Biden when he was vice president.
With that as the backdrop, Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked Tuesday during Senate Appropriations Committee hearing whether there was a need for a special counsel, according to Fox News.
Garland said David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware “is supervising the investigation.”
“I’m not at liberty to talk about internal Justice Department deliberations, but he is in charge of that investigation. There will not be interference of any political or improper kind,” he said.
Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee sought more details about who was supervising Weiss, only to be told by Garland that Weiss “is the supervisor of this investigation and, you know, the normal processes of the department occur. But he is the supervisor of this investigation.”
Hagerty asked how Americans could believe the Justice Department would conduct a “serious investigation” when so many top officials have publicly supported the president.
“Because we put the investigation in the hands of a Trump appointee from the previous administration, who is the United States attorney for the district of Delaware,” Garland said “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 and criminal matters.”
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Hagerty was not impressed, citing an “obvious conflict of interest,” and asked Garland what would trigger the appointment of a special counsel.
“I think this is a fact and law question in each case, determining it and depending upon how cases go forward and the question of whether the Justice Department, with its normal processes, should continue,” Garland said. “I think our internal deliberations have to stay within the department.”
During the hearing, Hagerty summarized the information that has emerged concerning Hunter Biden’s activities, according to the New York Post.
“There are emails and photographs that show that President Biden, while he was vice president, met several of Hunter Biden’s business associates, including a Burisma executive — that’s the energy company that paid Hunter Biden a million dollars per year to sit on its board — and the Russian billionaire who paid Hunter’s firm $3.5 million around the same time. All of this is while President Biden was running portions of the United States foreign policy, including Ukraine,” Hagerty said.
“There’s evidence that Hunter Biden paid for Joe Biden’s living expenses while he was vice president. A Hunter Biden email from 2010 entitled ‘JRB bills’ — Joe R. Biden bills — discusses paying for the upkeep of Joe Biden’s large lakefront home [and there is] another 2010 email from a Biden confidant to Hunter Biden saying, ‘your dad just called me he could use some positive news about his future earnings potential,’” he said.
Hagerty said he believes Joe Biden acted improperly.
“Hunter Biden’s business partner made nine visits to the White House between 2009 and 2013 and met with Joe Biden in the West Wing while Joe Biden was vice president. And we have a text message from Hunter Biden to his daughter stating that don’t worry, unlike pop — meaning Joe Biden — I won’t make you give me half your salary. So it seems President Biden was serving as vice president and running U.S. foreign policy at the same time that his son Hunter Biden was raking in money from shady foreign business deals. And this was money that was being diverted to benefit Vice President Biden.”