Senate Republicans seek special counsel authority for prosecutor in Hunter Biden criminal probe

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  • More than 30 Senate Republicans asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to hand over the federal prosecutor who is investigating Hunter Biden’s “special counsel protection and authority.”
  • The group, which includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, wrote that the move is warranted because the criminal investigation involves President Joe Biden’s son.
  • If Garland honors the request, it could give Republicans and Democrats in Congress insight into the basis of any future decisions to prosecute Hunter Biden.

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More than 30 Senate Republicans Asked Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday to give “special counsel protection and authorization” to the federal prosecutor who has been investigating Hunter Biden for several years.

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The group, which includes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, wrote in a letter to Garland that the move is warranted because the criminal investigation involves President Joe Biden’s son. He also argued that it would “avoid the appearance of the unreasonable”.

The letter argued that granting special counsel authorization to US Attorney David Weiss for Delaware “would provide additional assurance to the American people that the Hunter Biden investigation is free of political influence.”

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If Garland honors the request, it could give Republicans and Democrats in Congress insight into the basis of any future decisions by Weiss to sue Hunter Biden. If Weiss is not granted special counsel status, lawmakers cannot get that justification.

Granting this status to Weiss would also force Garland to explain any disagreements to Congress, including a recommendation to charge Hunter Biden, with the action Weiss proposed during the investigation.

Former President Donald Trump and his GOP allies have cited Biden’s son and his business dealings in attacks against the president over the years.

Hunter Biden revealed the existence of a criminal investigation in late 2020, shortly after his father was elected president. He said he was informed that Weiss was looking into his “tax matters”.

Hunter said at the time, “I take this matter very seriously, but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I have handled my cases in a legal and proper manner, including through professional tax advisors.” including the benefit of

In their letter to Garland, Republican senators wrote, “There is no way to know the full scope of the investigation, but evidence is mounting that Hunter Biden committed a number of federal crimes, including but not limited to tax fraud, money laundering.” Laundering, and foreign-lobbying violations.”

Hunter Biden has not been charged with any of those crimes, and it is unclear whether he will ever be charged.

An Arkansas woman who had Hunter Biden’s child testified before a federal grand jury in Delaware earlier this year as part of a criminal investigation, her attorney told CNBC in March. Lawyer Clint Lancaster also said that the woman had handed over a significant amount of her financial records to federal investigators.

Lancaster said of Biden at the time, “I expect him to be charged.” “Based on what I saw in their financial records, I would be surprised if they are not charged.”

Weiss’s office declined to comment when asked about the GOP senators’ letter to Garland, and whether he had sought the position of special counsel.

The Justice Department, which leads Garland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hunter Biden’s criminal defense attorney, Christopher Clark, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump appointed Weiss as the top federal prosecutor in President Biden’s home state. Unlike other US attorneys appointed by Trump, and to continue the investigation when President Biden took office, Weiss was allowed to remain in his job.

Under federal law, the attorney general may appoint a special counsel when the investigation or prosecution of a person by the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the Department of Justice “would present a conflict of interest to the department or other exceptional circumstances.”

A spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, one of the signatories to the letter to Garland, said in an email to CNBC that if the attorney general complied with the letter’s request, Weiss would receive “the protection and rights of a special counsel.” , as [Trump’s Attorney General William] Barr with US Attorney John Durham.”

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Barr appointed Durham as special counsel to investigate the origins of the DOJ’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian individuals.

Special counsel can act like US attorneys and file criminal charges during investigations.

But they are also required by law to give them to the Attorney General. A confidential report explaining why they chose or refused to prosecute someone.

The attorney general is also required by law to notify the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate and House judiciary committees with an explanation for any appointment of a special counsel, and similarly, with the removal of a special counsel.

The law states that when a special counsel concludes an investigation, the attorney general must notify the same members of Congress “with a description and explanation (if any) of the instances in which the attorney general concluded that the The proposed action was so unfair or unwarranted under established departmental practices that it should not be pursued.”

The law also states that the attorney general can determine that the public release of a special counsel’s report “would be in the public interest.”

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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