Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday rejected claims that the Justice Department interfered in the yearslong criminal probe into Hunter Biden, saying that the United States attorney in Delaware, a Trump appointee, had “complete authority” over the investigation.
In congressional testimony publicly released on Thursday, two IRS whistleblowers who worked on the probe alleged to lawmakers that the president’s son had been given preferential treatment by the Justice Department.
The whistleblowers made several explosive allegations, including that the IRS had recommended far more serious charges for the president’s son, that US Attorney in Delaware David Weiss was blocked from bringing charges in other states and that Garland denied a request from Weiss to be named as a special counsel.
Hunter Biden has since agreed to plead guilty next month to two tax misdemeanors and struck a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve a felony gun charge. His attorney, Chris Clark, on Friday said “any suggestion the investigation was not thorough, or cut corners, or cut my client any slack, is preposterous and deeply irresponsible.”
When pushed on the allegations during a news conference Friday, Garland said that Weiss was “permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to.”
“I don’t know how it would be possible for anybody to block him from bringing a prosecution, given that he has this authority,” Garland said.
Garland rejected any claim that he would not appoint Weiss as a special counsel, stating that “Mr. Weiss never made that request to me.”
“Mr. Weiss had, in fact, more authority than a special counsel would have,” Garland added. “He had and has complete authority, as I said, to bring a case anywhere he wants in his discretion.”
Additionally, Garland said he would “support Mr. Weiss explaining or testifying” about the allegations raised by the whistleblowers “when he deems it appropriate.”