US Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed David Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, as a special counsel, granting him increased investigative autonomy. The decision comes after a federal judge rejected a plea deal for Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, which would have allowed him to avoid jail time on tax and gun charges. The appointment of a special counsel suggests that the probe into Hunter Biden may intensify and potentially go to trial.
On Friday, Garland announced his decision to appoint David Weiss, the US attorney for the district of Delaware, as a special counsel. Weiss had earlier indicated in a court filing that negotiations for a revised plea agreement with Hunter Biden had reached an “impasse,” indicating that the case may proceed to trial. Garland stated that Weiss had requested to be appointed as a special counsel in the case due to the stage his investigation had reached. After considering the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the case, Garland determined that it was in the public interest to appoint Weiss as a special counsel.
The appointment of a special counsel allows Weiss to have more independence and make prosecutorial decisions without day-to-day supervision from the Department of Justice (DOJ). Garland emphasized that Weiss would be guided solely by the facts and the law in making these decisions. This move aims to ensure that the investigation proceeds expeditiously and maintains public trust in the impartiality of the judicial process.
The decision to appoint Weiss as a special counsel comes at a critical juncture in the investigation, as Hunter Biden, the son of the president, has been accused of running an influence-peddling operation from which his father purportedly profited. Additionally, with Joe Biden seeking re-election, the probe carries significant political implications. Notably, the Biden administration has already indicted former President Donald Trump in two separate cases, making Trump the first ex-president in US history to face criminal charges. This has resulted in allegations of politically motivated prosecutions by Trump, who has suggested that Biden’s administration is targeting him to prevent him from running in the 2024 election.
The appointment of Weiss as a special counsel has been a contentious issue. Two IRS whistleblowers testified before Congress in June, stating that the DOJ had twice denied requests to grant special counsel status to Weiss. Furthermore, one of the whistleblowers alleged that Weiss had been prevented from bringing charges against Hunter Biden in Southern California and Washington for crimes committed in those jurisdictions.
The rejection of Hunter Biden’s plea deal by US District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika last month played a significant role in the decision to appoint Weiss as a special counsel. The plea deal had included provision for immunity from prosecution for other possible crimes. However, Weiss informed the judge that his investigation could uncover additional charges, prompting Hunter Biden’s lawyer to declare the agreement “null and void.”
The appointment of Weiss as a special counsel comes amidst ongoing allegations of misconduct and corruption involving the Biden family. Republican lawmakers have accused the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden preferential treatment while prosecuting Trump for politically motivated reasons. As a result, a US House committee is currently investigating allegations of solicitation of overseas bribes by the Biden family.
In conclusion, the appointment of David Weiss as a special counsel in the investigation of Hunter Biden’s criminal charges marks a significant development in the case. The decision grants Weiss increased independence and investigative autonomy, potentially leading to further charges and even a trial. The appointment aims to ensure that the investigation proceeds impartially and efficiently, considering the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the case. As the investigation continues, it unfolds against the backdrop of political tensions and allegations of misconduct involving the Biden family.