U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he will be appointing the U.S. Attorney from Delaware, David Weiss, as special counsel in the ongoing investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden.
Weiss was nominated in 2017 by then-President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate in 2018.
Weiss launched an investigation into Hunter Biden beginning in 2019, and has led to two federal misdemeanor charges on tax crimes and a felony gun possession charge, the subject of a plea deal which fell through in July.
Hunter Biden’s defense team and prosecutors reach an impasse when Biden’s lawyers indicated they believed the plea deal would settle all charges against Hunter, even future charges, but the judge expressed concern that the investigation into the president’s son was ongoing.
“As I said before, Mr. Weiss would be permitted to continue his investigation, take any investigative steps he wanted, and make the decision whether to prosecute in any district,” Attorney General Garland said.
“Mr. Weiss has told Congress that he has been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including the responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges, and for making decisions necessary for to preserve the integrity of any prosecution, consistent with federal law, the principles of federal prosecution, and departmental policies,” Garland said.
Garland said that on Tuesday of this week, Weiss advised him that his investigation had reached a stage where he should continue his work as a special council.
“Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel,” Garland said.
The special counsel status means that Weiss will not be under day-to-day supervision of the Justice Department, and at the conclusion of his work he will provide a report to Garland informing him of his prosecutorial decisions.
“As with each special counsel who has served since I have taken office, I am committed to making as much of his report public as possible, consistent with legal requirements and department police,” Garland said.
“The appointment of Mr. Weiss reinforces for the American people the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” he added.
The Republican-led House Oversight Committee, which has been conducting its own investigations into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings, released a statement following the attorney general’s announcement.
“The [Department of Justice] is attempting a Biden family coverup,” the statement read.
“Moments ago, AG Garland announced he is designating U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss as special counsel for the Biden criminal investigation. This is part of the DOJ’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of our 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 statement continued.
“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,” the Committee said. “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.”
The House Oversight Committee reaffirmed that they will continue following the “Biden family’s money trail” and interviewing witness to determine “whether foreign actors targeted the Bidens, President Biden is compromised and corrupt, and our national security is threatened.”
Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said Friday on X (formerly Twitter) that “Something’s not right” about the appointment.
“First, David Weiss said he didn’t have the power he needed and wanted special counsel status. Then he said he had all the power he needs,” Rep. Jordan said.
“Now, he gets special counsel status because he didn’t really have the power he needs? Something’s not right,” he said.