Why AG Garland's Reluctance to Tap Special Counsel in Hunter Biden's Case Backfires on Joe
09:47 GMT 30.04.2022 (Updated: 12:10 GMT 08.08.2022)
The more Joe Biden's Justice Department fights against appointing a special counsel in Hunter Biden's case, the more it increases suspicion that the president’s hands may not be clean, noted ex-US federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy in a 28 April op-ed.
America's conservatives are increasingly calling on the US Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to oversee a tax and business probe into President Joe Biden's son Hunter which began as early as 2018.
On 8 April, 95 House Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that he name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.
"It is increasingly clear that Hunter Biden took advantage of his father's position as vice president to develop business relationships with clients in Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan," the letter says. "Additionally, it is clear from emails secured from Hunter Biden's laptop that he used a cash gift from a Ukrainian Natural Gas company, Burisma, of which he was a board member, to pay off personal tax liabilities. Finally, Hunter Biden likely facilitated lobbying for foreign entities through third-party channels without registering for the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)."
Nevertheless, AG Garland on 26 April dismissed the need to appoint a special counsel during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee. According to Garland, Americans should have confidence in the impartiality of the investigation into Hunter Biden because, first, it has been conducted by a Donald Trump appointee, US Attorney David Weiss; and, second, "because you have me [Merrick Garland] as the attorney general who is committed to the independence of the Justice Department from any influence from the White House and criminal matters."
However, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy does not think
that AG Garland's arguments sound convincing enough. David Weiss is a career prosecutor, not a Trump ally: before being tapped by Trump he was picked by Barack Obama as interim US attorney, McCarthy remarks. On the other hand, "trust in Garland is not the issue", writes the former prosecutor.
"The undeniable facts are that (a) there is a bulletproof case for the appointment of a special counsel under regulations that are supposed to bind the Justice Department, and (b) if the shoe were on the other foot, there is no way Democrats would indulge the pleas of a Republican attorney general… that a Republican president’s Justice Department be trusted to investigate the Republican president’s family without political interference," McCarthy highlights.
According to McCarthy, Garland does the Bidens no favour by dodging a special counsel appointment, since it would only trigger further concerns and suspicions among Americans. What's more, the lawyer notes, the Hunter Biden case is not limited to the First Son's alleged misdeeds: millions of dollars were allegedly poured into the Biden family, not just in Hunter's pocket. Furthermore, it was the name of Joe Biden that opened the doors for his son and ensured the money flow.
"It is also apparent that Joe Biden could not have been a mere spectator to all this," the former federal prosecutor notes, citing Hunter's former business associate Tony Bobulinski, who confirmed that Joe did have knowledge of his son's deals. "The American public needs to know whether foreign sources could have influenced Joe Biden's policies and whether there was a potential for blackmail."
"The attorney general is supposed to appoint a special counsel when there are grounds for a criminal investigation that 'would present a conflict of interest for the [Justice] Department,' and when the appointment of a special counsel 'would be in the public interest'," writes McCarthy, insisting that both factors are at play in Hunter Biden's case.
McCarthy's op-ed was preceded by a series of revelations concerning the Bidens in the mainstream press. More than a year after The New York Post dropped a bombshell about Hunter's abandoned laptop and a trove of materials allegedly implicating the Bidens, The New York Times acknowledged that the device and the damning documents were authentic. For their part, the Washington Post and CNN shed light on the probe into Hunter Biden. Moreover, the Daily Mail released evidence apparently confirming the First Son's involvement in funding controversial Ukrainian biolabs' research
of highly dangerous pathogens.
In addition to that, White House logs indicate that then Vice President Joe Biden could have met on multiple occasions with his son's business partners, including "Fran" Person
and Eric Schwerin
, despite Joe's repeated claims that he knew nothing about his son's deals. In October 2020, the New York Post cited an email by Ukrainian firm Burisma board adviser Vadym Pozharsky who thanked the younger Biden in April 2015 for arranging a meeting with his father. As evidence of apparent conflict of interest, cronyism and influence-peddling is continuing to pile up, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Fox News on 10 April that it is quite possible that Hunter Biden will be indicted