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AG Garland appoints Hunter Biden investigator David Weiss special counsel

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hunter Biden investigator David Weiss as special counsel on Friday. The appointment comes after a plea agreement for Biden arranged by Weiss fell apart in federal court.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss a special counsel in the Hunter Biden probe, as well as any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation. 

“I’m here today to announce the appointment of David Weiss as a special counsel consistent with the Department of Justice regulations governing such matters. In keeping with those regulations, I have today notified the designated members of each House of Congress of the appointment,” Garland said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Weiss is the federal prosecutor who has investigated the business dealings of Hunter Biden and brought charges against him in Delaware. His appointment as special counsel indicates that, contrary to Hunter’s defense lawyers’ claims, the Justice Department investigation into President Biden’s son is not over.


Garland said Tuesday that Weiss told him that “in his judgment, his investigation has reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel, and he asked to be appointed.”

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“Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel,” Garland said.

A senior Justice Department official said the White House was not informed of Garland’s decision before the announcement. 

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In July, Weiss announced a probation-only plea agreement for Hunter in which he’d plead guilty to tax evasion charges. However, U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika, a Trump appointee, rejected the agreement after expressing several concerns over its provisions.

Republicans had criticized the agreement as a “sweetheart” deal and have pursued their own investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings, with an eye towards impeaching the president. 

Talks between federal prosecutors and Hunter’s defense team subsequently broke down after the government acknowledged he was still under federal investigation.

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Garland confirmed Friday that investigation is still ongoing. In a press release, the Justice Department said Weiss will serve as special counsel “for the ongoing investigation and prosecutions referenced and described in United States v. Robert Hunter Biden, as well as for any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation.”

That language leaves open the possibility that other members of the Biden family, including President Biden, could be part of this investigation. When asked if President Biden is being investigated as part of this probe, a Department of Justice official declined to comment.

House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, blasted Weiss’ appointment in a statement issued through a spokesman. 

“David Weiss can’t be trusted and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption. Weiss has already signed off on a sweetheart plea deal that was so awful and unfair that a federal judge rejected it. We will continue to pursue facts brought to light by brave whistleblowers as well as Weiss’s inconsistent statements to Congress.” said Jordan spokesman Russell Dye.

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., accused the DOJ of attempting to “cover up” the Biden family’s alleged crimes.

“This move by Attorney General Garland is part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of the House Oversight Committee’s mounting evidence of President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals. The Justice Department’s misconduct and politicization in the Biden criminal investigation already allowed the statute of limitations to run with respect to egregious felonies committed by Hunter Biden. Justice Department officials refused to follow evidence that could have led to Joe Biden, tipped off the Biden transition team and Hunter Biden’s lawyers about planned interviews and searches, and attempted to sneakily place Hunter Biden on the path to a sweetheart plea deal,” Comer said. 

He continued: “Let’s be clear what today’s move is really about. The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight as we have presented evidence to the American people about the Biden family’s corruption. The House Oversight Committee will continue to follow the Biden family’s money trail and interview witnesses to determine whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised and corrupt, and our national security is threatened. We will also continue to work with the House Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means to root out misconduct at the Justice Department and hold bad actors accountable for weaponizing law enforcement powers.”

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Weiss’ appointment as special counsel will grant him broad authority to conduct a sweeping investigation of Hunter Biden without interference from the Biden administration. Fox News Legal Editor Kerri Kupec Urbahn, a former spokesperson for Attorney General Wiliam Barr, said Friday the appointment also provides Weiss and Garland “some protection and coverage.” 

“It protects [Weiss] and allows him to keep looking at things,” Urbahn told Fox News. “It also allows Attorney General Garland to create some distance between Main Justice and this investigation as well, which is at a minimum politically expedient for him.” 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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