Washington, Aug 11 (EFE).- The United States attorney general announced Friday that the federal prosecutor investigating the business dealings of Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, has been given the status of special counsel.
“I’m here today to announce the appointment of David Weiss as a special counsel consistent with the Department of Justice regulations governing such matters. In keeping with those regulations, I have today notified the designated members of each House of Congress of the appointment,” Merrick Garland told a news conference in Washington.
Weiss is the US attorney in Delaware, the Bidens’ home state, and has been investigating Hunter since 2019.
“On Tuesday of this week, Mr. Weiss advised me that 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,” Garland said.
“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,” the attorney general said.
The announcement comes weeks after US District Judge Maryellen Noreika balked at accepting a plea agreement between Weiss’ office and lawyers representing 53-year-old Hunter.
“These agreements are not straightforward and they contain atypical provisions,” she said.
The agreement called for Biden to avoid jail time by pleading guilty to tax evasion and successfully completing a diversion program to address drug and gun charges.
Noreika gave prosecutors and Biden’s attorneys 30 days to get back to her with clarifications, but the two sides said this week that they were at an impasse.
“Consistent with the special counsel regulations, at the conclusion of Mr. Weiss’ work, he will provide me with a report,” Garland said. “As with each special counsel who has served since I have taken office, I am committed to making as much of his report public as possible.”
Weiss was appointed US attorney for Delaware in 2018 by then-President Donald Trump, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Despite three criminal indictments, Trump is favored to win the Republican nomination, setting up a rematch against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
While the White House declined to comment on the latest development in Hunter Biden’s case, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung issued a statement denouncing the Department of Justice for having protected “Crooked Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the entire Biden Crime Family” for decades.
The chairman of the Oversight Committee of the House of Representatives, which has been conducting its own investigation of Hunter Biden’s activities during his father’s 2009-2017 tenure as vice president, took a similar view of Friday’s announcement.
“This move by Attorney General Garland is part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family cover-up in light of the House Oversight 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,” Kentucky Republican Rep. James Comer said.