DOJ Appoints Special Counsel to Hunter Biden Case. Just a Cheap Trick or Real Effort to Win Back Trust? – After a failed plea deal for Hunter Biden and likely much political pressure, Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as special counsel in the ongoing probe of the president’s son.
Weiss, who has led the investigation into Hunter since 2019, will be responsible for the ongoing investigation of Hunter “as well as for any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation,” the Justice Department said in a statement. Weiss asked to be appointed special counsel on Tuesday and Garland agreed it was “in the public interest” to do so, the attorney general said.
According to Garland, Weiss stated that “his investigation had reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel and he asked to be so appointed.”
Garland cited “extraordinary circumstances” as justification for his decision but did not elaborate on what those were.
He continued, “Mr. Weiss has the authority he needs to conduct a thorough investigation and to continue to take the steps he deems appropriate independently based only on the facts and the law.”
Weiss was nominated by then-President Donald Trump in 2017 and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate in 2018.
For a Department of Justice that has come under staunch criticism for acting as a prosecutor for the Biden Administration, this is a politically savvy strategy.
No doubt, the recent findings and threats of subpoenas for the Biden family from the House Oversight and Accountability Committee added pressure for Garland to act.
Hunter Biden and Regaining Public Trust
Garland affirmed the department’s attempt to regain public trust by declaring the appointment “reinforces for the American people the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
The move may return some credibility to the bureaucratic department and confidence to voters, although the extent to which it is completely independent is still questionable.
Even Mike Pence, a contender for the Republican ticket and outspoken opponent of former president Donald Trump as it pertains to his behavior on January 6, claims that Americans have lost faith in the Department of Justice and its ability to apply the law fairly.
In an interview with CNN last month, before Trump’s third indictment he surmised, “I think one more indictment against the former president will only contribute to that sense among the American people and as I said, I would rather that these issues and the judgment about his conduct on January 6 be left to the American people and the upcoming primaries, and I’ll leave it at that.”
American’s Declining Trust
According to a Fox News poll conducted earlier this year, confidence in all U.S. institutions including the FBI, Supreme Court, and Congress has been on a steady decline since 2017 and is now reaching record lows.
However, the Department of Justice received special attention and for the first time the poll asked about confidence in the DOJ. Responses were split: 51% have confidence, while 49% do not.
Most Democrats (73%) have confidence in the DOJ, while majorities of Republicans (67%) and independents (60%) don’t.
With regards to both Joe Biden and Donald Trump potential wrongdoings, many see politics playing a role in the accusations but suspect legitimate claims as well.
For both Biden and Trump, 55% feel the DOJ’s actions are motivated by partisan politics, including majorities of Republicans and independents. More than half of Democrats think the DOJ is playing it straight in both instances.
This is the rift Garland is likely trying to repair knowing that without those Republicans that are tired of Trump, as well as independents, no Democrat has a chance of returning to the White House given Biden’s weak performance.
However, Republicans in the House are skeptical, to say the least.
They say Garland’s move is the latest in the “Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup,” according to Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chair of the House Oversight Committee who’s been investigating the Biden family’s business dealings.
“The Biden Justice Department is trying to stonewall congressional oversight as we have presented evidence to the American people about the Biden family’s corruption,” Comer said.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, also ripped the appointment despite previously calling for a special counsel.
“David Weiss can’t be trusted and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption. Weiss has already signed off on a sweetheart plea deal that was so awful and unfair that a federal judge rejected it,” said his spokesperson, Russell Dye.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., echoed Comer and Jordan, tweeting, “This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption. If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a Special Counsel?”
Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19FortyFive.com. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
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