During his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland slyly admitted that U.S. Attorney David Weiss did not have full charging authority during his investigation into Hunter Biden. This contradicts Garland’s previous claims that Weiss had all the authority he needed to charge President Joe Biden’s son with various crimes.
Chairman Jim Jordan called out Garland’s inconsistency, pointing out that Weiss had been turned down by a U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia when he wanted to bring charges there. Garland initially claimed that no one had the authority to turn Weiss down, but then admitted that U.S. attorneys could refuse to partner with him.
Garland’s admission undermines his previous assertions that Weiss had complete autonomy in the investigation. Despite this, Garland still insisted that Weiss had full authority to conduct the investigation as he wished. However, Weiss’s lack of jurisdiction was confirmed when Garland appointed him as special counsel, granting him the authority to charge Hunter Biden outside of Delaware.
Throughout the hearing, Garland tried to portray himself as hands-off, but Republicans saw through his facade when he refused to disclose whether he had any communications with Weiss about the case. He also claimed he couldn’t remember if he discussed the investigation with anyone at the FBI. Legal scholar Jonathan Turley noted that Garland should be able to answer these questions, as previous attorneys general have confirmed subjects even in conversations with the President.
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