Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed the appointment of U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel in the ongoing investigation involving Hunter Biden, the president’s son.
Weiss, already in charge of the investigation and based in Delaware, sought the special counsel position earlier this week.
The Justice Department mentioned that Weiss will handle the current investigation of Hunter Biden and “any related issues that may arise from it.” Garland voiced his support for the appointment, emphasizing that it serves the public’s interest.
The announcement was made just as Weiss’s team disclosed in a court document that negotiations regarding Hunter Biden’s tax and firearm-related charges had stalled, indicating a potential trial in either California or Washington, D.C.
Weiss was appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2017 and received approval from a GOP-majority Senate in 2018.
Garland expressed that this appointment underlines the Justice Department’s dedication to “independence and accountability” in crucial matters.
Previously, Hunter Biden had consented to plead guilty to minor charges related to tax discrepancies.
However, during a court appearance, confusion regarding an unrelated firearm charge caused the plea deal to unravel.
Though Hunter Biden’s legal team believed the plea would resolve all accusations against him, the prosecution suggested other inquiries persisted. Post the hearing, negotiations remained stagnant, leading prosecutors to state that a trial was essential.
An inside source relayed to NBC News that the White House hadn’t been informed about the special counsel’s appointment in advance.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the House Judiciary Committee’s chair, criticized the appointment, despite earlier calls for a special counsel. Jordan’s spokesperson, Russell Dye, expressed skepticism about Weiss’s intentions, referencing a past plea agreement that was rejected by a federal judge.
Since Garland assumed the role of Attorney General in 2021, he has appointed two other special counsels. In November 2022, Jack Smith was assigned to oversee two probes related to former President Donald Trump, resulting in two indictments against Trump for different charges.
Earlier in the year, Robert Hur was tasked with examining classified documents discovered in President Biden’s quarters, dated back to his vice-presidential tenure.
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