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The US attorney appointed by Trump to investigate Hunter Biden has been elevated to special counsel status following the breakdown of plea negotiations between the Justice Department and the president’s son.
David Weiss, the prosecutor, requested the new authority from Attorney General Merrick Garland due to the collapse of tax and gun charges, which now means a trial is likely.
According to Garland’s announcement on Friday, the ruling grants Weiss more authority than a typical US attorney and puts the country in jeopardy due to three special counsels at the Justice Department currently investigating the current, former, and sitting president.
The criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, which has been a long-standing issue for congressional Republicans, has taken ominous strides towards President Joe Bidian’s White House.
The probe seemed to be nearing its end after a plea bargain was announced in June. In sworn-in agreement, Hunter Biden planned to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and prosecutors would drop he separate gun charge in two years if He refrained from entering the U.S. legal system and passed drug test results.
Federal prosecutors have agreed to recommend probation and not imprisonment for Hunter Biden.
The GOP had criticized the plea deal, saying Weiss treated Hunter Biden unfairly.
The agreement came close to failure during a dramatic three-hour court hearing last month, following scrutiny from the federal judge overseeing the case. District Judge Maryellen Noreika criticized the interconnected arrangements to resolve the tax and gun charges as “difficult,” not straightforward, unusual, and “unprecedented.” She instructed the Justice Department and Hunter Biden’s attorneys to file additional legal briefs to defend the agreement constitutionally.
According to Weiss’ statement on Friday, the talks had not been successful.
Prosecutors stated that the parties had not yet reached a settlement after the hearing, and therefore there was no chance of progress. A trial is now expected.
Weiss was granted additional autonomy from the Justice Department by Garland, as he begins an unprecedented trial against the president’s son and Republicans allege that the department is politically motivated.
A senior Justice Department official stated that the White House and Hunter Biden’s legal team were not informed of the appointment of a special counsel.
Abbe Lowell, the attorney representing Biden, stated on “The Source” that while Weiss’s name may have changed, it was still one of the most comprehensive investigations in American history. He also expressed optimism that the investigation will end with the same outcome as the previous investigation, which involved misdemeanor tax charges and a diversion agreement to clear up the felony gun charge.
The GOP’s opposition to the investigation.
The demand for a special counsel has increased in recent months, with prominent Republicans asserting that Hunter Biden received lenient terms in the plea deal and IRS whistleblowers alleging that Weiss and the Justice Department gave him preferential treatment.
Two IRS agents who worked on the Hunter Biden probe were exposed as whistleblowers, alleging political interference in the investigation.
Weiss had been asked by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to testify before his committee about the Hunter Biden investigation, and he had offered to make a statement in the fall.
According to Jordan’s spokesperson, Russell Dye, Weiss is using a new tactic to cover up the corruption in the Biden family.
James Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was dissatisfied and referred to it as a “Biden family coverup.”
Hunter Biden has been the subject of a five-year investigation by federal prosecutors, who are investigating possible criminal charges including money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying, and other potential crimes.
House Republicans’ distrust of Weiss was evident in Gary Shapley, an IRS veteran and whistleblower, who informed CNN on Friday evening that investigative efforts were hindered during his tenure.
Shapley stated to Collins on “The Source” that the American people must have faith in the investigation’s fairness.
The GOP’s assertion that Weiss gave Hunter Biden preferential treatment was also echoed by Shapley.
DC or California are potential locations for trials.
Weiss and prosecutors requested a judge to dismiss the tax charges filed in Delaware federal court as part of the plea bargain, so that they could potentially bring additional tax cases to court in California or Washington, DC.
Prosecutors claimed that the venue for these crimes and tax related offenses is not in Delaware, but rather in the Central District of California or the District Of Columbia.
The parties had previously agreed that the plea deal would be managed in Delaware federal court. However, prosecutors have since stated that venue is no longer suitable because of the offending plea agreement.
Following the filing, Chris Clark, the attorney representing Hunter Biden, stated that they are seeking a just resolution for their client, regardless of the jurisdictional boundaries.
The US attorney had been researching his client for five years and proposed a resolution that they fully intend to pursue in court.
‘Unusually high points’.
In a brief speech on Friday, Garland acknowledged that the federal criminal investigation of Hunter Biden was subject to “extraordinary circumstances” that led him to grant the top prosecutor in the probe special counsel status.
Weiss was authorized to conduct the ongoing investigation and address any issues that emerged from the investigation, according to Garland’s order.
Hunter Biden case 03:02 sees Video Ad Feedback Garland appoint as special counsel, according to CNN.
A senior Justice Department official stated that Weiss will prepare a report, which the attorney general is expected to release publicly once the investigation is concluded. This has been endorsed by special counsel Robert Mueller and John Durham in recent years.
“I am confident that Mr. Weiss will discharge his duties in a fair and urgent manner, following the highest standards of this department,” Garland stated.
Weiss will continue to hold the position of US attorney for the District of Delaware, according to Garland. He also stated that he will not be monitored by any department official in the special counsel position.
He emphasized that Weiss must adhere to the department’s guidelines, policies, and procedures.
The content of this story has been updated.