Former Attorney General Bill Barr said on Thursday that President Joe Biden’s top law enforcement officer should appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation, following revelations by whistleblowers within the FBI that top brass were working to discredit allegations against the first son.
Trump-appointed U.S. prosecutor David Weiss is investigating Hunter and associates for tax violations and lying to law enforcement about illegally purchasing a firearm, CNN reported. Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Security Division, Matthew Olsen, on Thursday confirmed to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in a congressional hearing the agency is investigating Hunter Biden.
The case has been largely under wraps until Monday, when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed “highly credible” allegations of efforts within the FBI and the Justice Department to downplay or dismiss negative information about Hunter Biden. Bill Barr believes the credible allegations are enough for Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel.
“[I]ntervening events, especially recent reports about FBI whistleblowers and the possible reach of the investigation, warrant adding the protections of special counsel status to assure that key decisions are made independently without political ‘favor,’” Barr told the Federalist.
Garland has previously refused to say whether a special counsel should be placed over the investigation to maintain a just probe. But Garland promised not to interfere with the probe. “He is supervising the investigation and I’m not at liberty to talk about internal Justice Department deliberations, but he is in charge of that investigation,” Garland said of Weiss.
A special counsel would provide a degree of separation between Biden’s administration and the probe. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley has said a special counsel should be appointed by Garland to study the Biden family business. Turley noted Joe Biden has denied any wrongdoing by Hunter and may have influenced the ongoing investigation.