Hearings for president Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee, former federal Judge Merrick Garland, will launch Monday while the Justice Department conducts three separate investigations into the Biden family.
In Delaware, the U.S. attorney’s office is operating a probe of Hunter Biden’s tax affairs, while the securities fraud unit in the Southern District of New York conducts a broader investigation into the younger Biden’s finances, which feature a wide array of relationships with corrupt foreign businesses, according to Politico. In Pennsylvania, federal prosecutors are examining Joe Biden’s brother, James, over a series of hospital deals.
Whether Garland will refrain from protecting the Biden family from scrutiny is poised to be a primary line of questioning from Republican senators as the nominee finally takes the hot seat.
Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck wrote a letter last week urging Garland commit to keeping Delaware U.S. attorney David Weiss in place. Weiss was the sole exception to Biden’s request for U.S. attorneys appointed under President Donald Trump to step down this month.
“Americans have a right to know whether Mr. Biden’s reported ties to foreign governments will make him the subject of black mail attempts or other nefarious efforts to undermine U.S. national security or otherwise improperly influence American foreign policy,” Buck wrote. “This investigation must be transparent and impartial.”
Buck’s concerns were echoed by Republican lawmakers prepared to question Garland this week, including Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Americans deserve to know that this investigation will not be hampered in any way by the change in administrations, and the attorney general nominee should make this point clear,” a spokesperson for Grassley told Fox News. “You can expect that Sen. Grassley will be asking about his role in this investigation.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, another top Republican on the committee, has also indicated Garland will be pressed on the issue, as well as over the department probe run by Special Counsel John Durham investigating the origins of the Russia hoax peddled endlessly by Democrats and their allies in legacy media.
“It is very likely the topic is raised,” a Graham spokesperson told Fox News earlier this month after the senator demanded Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson “refrain from interfering” with Durham’s work and the probes of Biden’s family.
Garland’s refusal to recuse himself from politically adverse investigations at the Justice Department would be a sharp break from the president’s pledge for independence for the agency to carry out its work free of administrative intimidation.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s decision to keep Durham and Weiss on board while requesting the resignations of 56 other department attorneys appointed by Trump was “made in order to fulfill his promise of maintaining independence.”
A Garland refusal to recuse would also put the new attorney general at odds with how Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions allowed the Russia probe conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to run unfettered at the behest of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill who bought the narrative, including North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr.