Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he is appointing U.S. Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation. Weiss will continue leading an investigation into President Joe Biden's son.
The appointment gives Weiss more autonomy over the investigation into Hunter Biden's business dealings. Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax crimes last month, but that plea agreement with prosecutors unraveled when the judge raised concerns about the deal.
"This appointment confirms my commitment to provide Mr. Weiss all the resources he requests," Garland said. "It also reaffirms that 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."
On Friday, the Department of Justice issued a filing saying that it now expects Hunter Biden's case to go to trial. The DOJ said that it has engaged in plea negotiations with Biden's defense but is at an impasse.
Given the charges were originally slated to be tried in Delaware, Weiss' appointment as special counsel gives him the ability to file charges anywhere in the U.S. The DOJ's latest filing suggests that Weiss could press charges against Biden in federal district courts in either Washington, D.C., or the Central District of California.
Special counsels are appointed when the attorney general determines that a criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and would present a conflict of interest for the DOJ. Special counsel was previously appointed by Garland to lead investigations into how President Biden handled classified documents after leaving the vice presidency. Garland also appointed a special counsel to lead multiple investigations of former President Donald Trump.
"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, consistent with legal requirements and department policy," Garland said.
The appointment comes a week after House Republicans released a transcript of testimony given by Hunter Biden's business associate Devon Archer.
Although Archer shot down allegations of bribery or that then-Vice President Biden had any involvement in Hunter Biden's business dealings, his testimony claimed that Hunter Biden peddled influence and a family "brand."
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