US Justice Dept Appoints Special Counsel To Probe Biden’s Son

The US Justice Department expanded its probe against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter on Friday, appointing a special counsel amid suspicions of tax evasion and illegal offshore business dealings.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss, who has been investigating Hunter Biden on low-level tax and weapons allegations since 2019.

The announcement came as Weiss informed a federal court in Delaware that a plea agreement reached with Biden in June was no longer valid, implying that he may seek to pursue criminal tax charges against the president’s son in other countries.

Garland said Weiss, who was originally appointed as a federal prosecutor by Joe Biden’s political rival Donald Trump, had requested special counsel status to be able to pursue his probe more widely.

“Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel,” Garland said.

Deals in China, Ukraine 

The move comes as Joe Biden is campaigning for reelection, potentially against ex-President Trump, who is being investigated by another Justice Department special counsel, Jack Smith.

Republicans have targeted Hunter Biden’s business connections in an attempt to undermine the Democratic incumbent’s standing 15 months before the election.

Garland gave no hints about the scope of Weiss’ enlarged investigation, merely saying that his appointment as special counsel “reaffirms” the independence and authority of his investigation.

Hunter Biden is being investigated in Congress for commercial transactions he made in China, Ukraine, and abroad during and after his father’s tenure as Vice President from 2009 to 2017.

A former business associate told Congress recently that Hunter had gotten his father involved in telephone calls with his foreign partners several times.

Republicans allege Joe Biden used his political position to help his son — a claim the president denies.

Hunter Biden is also believed to be facing possible prosecution for acting as an unregistered foreign agent, in relation to some of his offshore business deals.

Broken plea deal 

Until recently, Weiss’ probe has been limited to low-level allegations that Hunter Biden, 53, failed to pay taxes on millions of dollars in income and unlawfully purchased a handgun.

Biden erred at a period when he was heavily using narcotics, according to a preliminary plea agreement, and he has subsequently paid the back taxes and fines.

Weiss agreed to Biden receiving probation on two tax offenses and attending a firearms therapy and rehabilitation program.

On July 26, however, the agreement came apart after Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned why the gun allegation was included in a tax case, as well as whether the agreement protected Biden against future accusations, something Biden had believed but Weiss rejected.

Biden then entered a not guilty plea, and the two sides were expected to work out a new agreement.

But on Friday, Weiss said those talks had reached an impasse, cancelled the deal and indicated that he would file felony tax charges in other venues.

What remained unclear is whether he would pursue other charges on top of those already known.

Republicans say DOJ protecting Biden 

There was no comment from the White House on Weiss’s elevation to special counsel.

In a social media post, a Trump spokesperson alleged that the Biden family had been “protected by the Justice Department for decades.”

“There is overwhelming evidence and credible testimony detailing their wrongdoing of lying to the American people and selling out the country to foreign enemies for the Biden Cartel’s own financial gain,” the spokesperson said, without offering evidence.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy indicated that the Congressional probe of Hunter Biden will continue.

“This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption,” he said on social media.

It was unclear if Weiss would adhere to his promise to testify on his Biden probe to the House Judiciary Committee in the coming weeks now that he has been named a special counsel.

In a statement, the committee’s Republican majority said they expect Weiss to uphold his commitment.

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