In a Friday news dump, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he’s appointed U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, David Weiss, as special counsel in the probe of Hunter Biden. “I have concluded,” Garland claimed, “that it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel.”
Which makes zero sense.
Wasn’t Weiss already responsible for the “ongoing investigation” of President Joe Biden’s son “as well as for any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation?” For years now, Garland claimed that Weiss had ultimate authority to investigate charges against Hunter or any other criminality related to the Biden family business. Yet he didn’t do anything.
Politico, for example, explains that a special counsel appointment is bad news for Hunter because a “request for a change of venue would not have been possible without Garland’s special counsel designation, which now gives Weiss the latitude to file charges outside of Delaware.” But in a June press conference, Garland reiterated that Weiss could prosecute Hunter in “any way he wanted to” and anywhere he wanted to. Weiss himself claimed that he had “never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.”
Again, why would Weiss be bestowed with special powers he already possesses?
Was the naming of special counsel hastened by the revelation that when Biden Inc. received big payouts from foreigners, Vice President Joe was — by complete happenstance, no doubt — also having dinners with the beneficiaries? Or was it the revelation that Joe allegedly got on the phone at least 20 times to chit-chat about the weather and whatnot with foreign entities that are putting millions of dollars in the bank accounts of his extended family?
No, it was allegedly due to the Hunter plea deal falling apart. And yet, the DOJ hasn’t even bothered indicting the younger Biden on those charges. What Weiss’s new designation might allow him to do, however, is avoid fully testifying in front of the House Judiciary Committee next month about an open investigation and his own role in it.
We’ll see. Whatever the case, if the new inquiry into the Bidens were either impartial or serious, Weiss would not be the special counsel.
First off, as Andrew McCarthy and others have pointed out, legally, a special counsel should not only be a person with a “reputation for integrity and impartial decisionmaking” but a person who isn’t working for the administration. As the relevant part of the special counsel law explicitly says: “The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.”
Then again, whether Weiss’s appointment is legal or not, the entire idea of a special counsel – and I’m no fan, in general — is to conduct an independent investigation when cases are hampered by conflicts of interest. Garland’s move only engenders more distrust.
Weiss has already slow-walked the investigation to ensure the statute of limitations had lapsed on Hunter’s most egregious tax and FARA charges.
Weiss signed off on an unprecedented plea deal that would have granted Hunter immunity for charges related to guns, taxes, and who knows what else, ensuring that the president also avoided scrutiny. The wide-ranging arrangement was so ridiculous that Judge Maryellen Noreika nixed it.
Weiss’s public contentions regarding his role, in that case, have been contradicted by credible IRS whistleblowers. They testified under oath that the prosecutor told them he asked to be appointed special counsel at least twice and that he sought to bring federal charges against Hunter in California and DC but was turned consistently turned down by Biden’s DOJ.
Each of these incidents should disqualify Weiss from being named special counsel. And yet here we are. Not exactly surprising, I guess, considering the DOJ’s mission seems to be protecting the Bidens.