(The Daily Signal) — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday named David Weiss — the same prosecutor who made a court-rejected plea agreement with first son Hunter Biden — as the special counsel in the tax probe.
Garland said on Tuesday that Weiss, the U.S. attorney for the district of Delaware, asked him to be special counsel in the case.
“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 told reporters on Friday. “This appointment confirms my commitment to provide Mr. Weiss all the resources he requests. It also reaffirms Mr. Weiss has the authority he needs to conduct a thorough investigation and to continue to take the steps he deems appropriate independently.”
The Weiss appointment doesn’t increase confidence in the handling of the case, said Charles Stimson, deputy director for the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“Just when you thought the Justice Department’s handling of the Hunter Biden case couldn’t appear more corrupt, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced today that he was appointing Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to be ‘special counsel’ in the Hunter Biden matter,” Stimson told The Daily Signal in an email. “This is the same Weiss who gave Hunter Biden the sweetheart deal. The same Weiss who slow walked the tax case against Hunter, and allowed the tolling agreement with Biden’s attorneys to expire, thus making it impossible to charge him for failing to pay his taxes in 2014 and 2015.”
The appointment comes the same week that the House Oversight and Accountability Committee released bank records showing family members of President Joe Biden have raked in at least $20 million from foreign individuals and entities.
“This move by Attorney General Garland is part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family cover-up 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,” House Oversight and Accountability Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement.
Comer has previously said he opposed the appointment of any special counsel or special prosecutor, fearing it would slow down the investigation.
“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,” Comer continued. “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.”
IRS whistleblowers previously testified to the oversight panel, as well as to the House Ways and Means Committee, that Weiss sought special counsel status to investigate Hunter Biden in other jurisdictions, including Washington, D.C., and California. The same IRS whistleblowers also alleged the Weiss team tipped off Hunter Biden to search warrants, allowed statutes of limitations to run out, and negotiated felonies down to misdemeanors.
“If they wanted somebody to look into, the Justice Department should have looked to someone not tainted by whistleblower allegations,” John Malcolm, director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “This appointment is not going to address any allegations of political interference from Main Justice [the leadership of the Department of Justice], and it is not going to take care of the allegations of a shoddy investigation.”
MSNBC commentator Steve Benen argued that Republicans were calling for a special prosecutor, and now that a U.S. attorney appointed by Donald Trump has been named to the role, Republicans are still complaining.
Democrats in Congress did not seem eager to weigh in. But in the past, several Democrats were quick to note, Trump nominated Weiss as U.S. attorney. Still Delaware’s two Democratic senators also supported him at the time.
According to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Weiss was aware of an FBI form that alleged then-Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden each took a $5 million bribe from an executive with Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that employed the younger Biden as a board member.
This is the second special counsel named to investigate a matter related to Joe Biden. In January, Garland named former U.S. Attorney for Maryland Robert Hur to investigate the president’s possession of classified documents during the time he was out of office.