‘This Thing Stinks’: GOP Pans Special Counsel Appointed to Investigate Hunter Biden
The appointment of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden seems like a “Biden family coverup” designed to thwart genuine investigations, stonewall Congress, and “whitewash” the results before the 2024 presidential election, said outraged Republicans Friday. One Republican congressman said, “I don’t trust him as far as I can throw the dome off the Capitol.”
The Biden administration’s Justice Department announced Friday afternoon that it had appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware as special counsel to investigate the president’s son. Weiss, who has carried out the DOJ’s investigation into Hunter Biden for more than four years, allowed the most serious tax evasion charges to slip past the statute of limitations before hammering out a plea bargain so lenient a federal judge questioned whether it was constitutional.
“This thing stinks,” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, told “Washington Watch” guest host and former Congressman Jody Hice shortly after the announcement. “I smell a trap.”
“I don’t trust him as far as I can throw the dome off the Capitol,” said Burchett.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said that on Tuesday that Weiss approached him and said, “in his judgment, his investigation has reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel, and he asked to be so appointed.” The appointment could delay a resolution on the Hunter Biden legal case and hold up Weiss’s anticipated testimony before the House Judiciary Committee next month, a former federal prosecutor told CBS News Catherine Herridge.
Republicans slammed the appointment, saying it would shield the First Family from legal accountability. “This is part of the DOJ’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of our committee’s mounting evidence of President Joe Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals,” said Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. “Let’s be clear what today’s move is really about. The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight.”
Some leaders questioned whether Weiss was truly committed to the investigation. “I have some question about Weiss doing it,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Fox News on Friday. Weiss “never did anything with the [FD-]1023 document that I got released, so you just wonder how thorough” Weiss’s investigation is going to be.
“This move raises clear concerns that the administration is once again running cover” for the Bidens, said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.). The appointment “only happened because congressional Republicans have exposed the two-tiered judicial system.”
The appointment of a sitting U.S. Attorney as special counsel appears to violate the federal statute governing the matter. The Code of Federal Regulations (28 CFR § 600.3) states, “The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government.” Not only did Garland pick Weiss, a Biden administration employee, but he announced, “Mr. Weiss will also continue to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware.” The statute, however, cannot be enforced.
House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) called Weiss’s continued involved in the investigation “outrageous” and vowed the House Republican majority “will continue using our full constitutional authority and subpoena power to investigate Hunter Biden’s corruption and any ties to Joe Biden himself.”
Functionally, the elevation of Weiss to special counsel may slow congressional Republicans’ investigations. Hice drew on his own experience as a congressman from Georgia, noting, “Over and over and over while I was on Oversight, if there was a [federal] investigation, then the FBI would say, ‘We can’t talk about that because it’s under current investigation.’ So, it’s used as a smokescreen.”
David Weiss “can’t be trusted, and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption,” said the Republican leadership of the House Judiciary Committee. “We expect DOJ to fully cooperate with our investigation, including not interfering with the 11 transcribed interviews we have requested and David Weiss upholding his commitment to testify,” added the group. “We have not heard anything from the DOJ indicating it is no longer willing to do so.”
The announcement comes just days after the House Oversight committee released damning new figures that double the amount of money foreign sources are known to have paid the Biden family through an interlocking group of shell companies. The committee released records showing the Bidens and their business associates received $20 million from overseas connections in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. The report documented payments, including:
- $3.5 million in February 2014 from Russian oligarch Yelena Baturina to the shell company Rosemont Seneca Thornton. Of that, $2.5 million went to the Bidens and $1 million went to Biden associate Devon Archer. The Obama-Biden administration did not sanction Baturina, even as it cracked down on others in Vladimir Putin’s orbit;
- $1 million from Burisma Holdings’ corporate secretary Vadym Pozharsky to Hunter Biden, agreed to in spring 2014; and
- $142,300 — “the exact price of Biden’s sportscar” — from Kenes Rakishev of Kazakhstan, a close associate of that nation’s prime minister, in April 2014.
The Bidens structured a corrupt, foreign influence-peddling operation to “generate revenue for the Biden crime family,” Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) told Hice on Thursday, while evading the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
“There’s tons of smoke coming out of the Hunter Biden investigation. And quite frankly, the question begs itself: How big is the fire from which all this smoke ascends?” asked Hice.
“The bank records that Representative Jamie Comer has been able to acquire show the trail of corruption leads directly to the White House door,” Rosendale told Hice.
Comer had announced on Thursday that he would invite President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, to testify — and, if they refused, he would issue a subpoena to both men.
As special counsel, Weiss immediately moved to vacate the charges lodged against Hunter Biden. “Biden’s DOJ wants to dismiss the charges against Hunter, supposedly to refile them elsewhere, no doubt before some liberal judge who will rubber-stamp a sweetheart deal,” said Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). “Remember, when Biden’s DOJ and Hunter’s lawyers meet, they’re not negotiating. They’re conspiring.”
As a result, House investigators promise to probe and punish the president with everything up to and including impeachment. “President Trump makes a telephone call to [Urkrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky and says, ‘If you don’t clean up your corruption, we’re not going to continue to send you aid,’” and gets impeached, noted Rosendale. “Joe Biden calls up Zelensky and says, ‘If you don't drop an investigation against my son, then you’re not going to get aid.’”
“Equal justice under the law can’t be a slogan,” said Rosendale. “It’s got to be a reality.”
Some consider impeachment too good for Biden. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, if Biden is found guilty of trading favors for foreign donations, “he should go to jail. He should share a cell with Hunter for corrupting the government of the United States.”
Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.