Republican Senators Want Special Status for U.S. Attorney Hunter Biden

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

A large group of Republican senators have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to grant “special adviser” status to the Delaware federal prosecutor who oversees a long-running investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

In a letter signed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Texas Senator John Cornyn and more than 30 other GOP members, the senators asked Garland to name Delaware Attorney David Weiss as special attorney, a status normally reserved for promoters brought in from outside. the Department of Justice to investigate matters involving an incumbent administration.

Trump-appointed Weiss oversees an investigation into whether Hunter Biden has committed any criminal violations of US tax or lobbying laws. The young Biden has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime, but some Republican senators have claimed he has not been charged with misconduct within the Federal Bureau of Investigation by supporters committed to protecting Democrats.

Republicans have a long history of demanding protected investigations of Democratic presidents. One such investigation, overseen by former independent attorney Kenneth Starr, resulted in the impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton in late 1998.

During Donald Trump’s first year in the White House, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller under DoJ Special Council regulations to investigate whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia’s efforts. to interfere in the 2016 election under the Trump administration. side. The move was necessary because then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had refused to participate in the investigation because he had been an adviser to the Trump campaign.

Republicans in Congress — and Trump — bristled at the idea that the then-president could be investigated by anyone. They often call for equivalent investigations into various controversies and cite the need to balance Mueller’s two-year investigation of the Trump campaign with an equivalent investigation of the Democrats.

Sessions’ successor as attorney general, William Barr, granted that wish in late 2020 when he named former Connecticut attorney John Durham as special adviser to investigate the origins of the Mueller investigation. While Durham has achieved popular hero status among Trump supporters, he has not uncovered the myriad of serious crimes the former president accused Democrats of committing before and during the Mueller investigation.

The Republican senators who signed the letter to Garland would like the attorney general to grant Weiss the same status, which would prevent him from being fired and would require that Congress be informed if Garland refuses to act on any of her recommendations. Weiss. , although Weiss has been a part of the DoJ since the Trump administration and was allowed to remain in office by Biden to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

“Under Justice Department regulations and federal law, you have the power to provide special authorities and protections to US Attorney Weiss,” they wrote. “Given that the investigation involves the President’s son, we believe it is important to provide U.S. Attorney Weiss with special authorities and protections to enable him to investigate an appropriate scope of potentially criminal conduct, avoid the appearance of impropriety, and provide additional reassurance to the people. American that the Hunter Biden investigation is free from political influence.”

Garland is unlikely to make such an appointment, given DOJ rules that require special attorneys to be appointed from outside the Department of Justice.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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