Attorney General Merrick Garland pushed back Wednesday against GOP accusations that the Justice Department’s plea agreement with Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, reflects a double standard of preferential treatment for Democrats.
Garland was pressed during a news conference in Sweden to address accusations from Republican lawmakers that Hunter Biden merely received a “slap on the wrist” while former President Donald Trump was criminally indicted.
Garland rejected the idea, pointing to the fact that the US attorney in Delaware tasked with investigating Biden’s son was appointed under the Trump administration.
“As I said from the moment of my appointment as attorney general, I would leave this matter in the hands of the United States attorney who was appointed by the previous president, and assigned to this matter by the previous administration, that he would be given full authority to decide the matter as he decided was appropriate,” Garland said. “And that’s what he’s done.”
The attorney general said that any further questions to “explain” the plea agreement should be directed to the US attorney in Delaware.
Garland’s remarks come after David Weiss, the US attorney overseeing the Biden criminal probe, told House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jim Jordan in a letter that he had full autonomy over any decision making on the case.
“I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges and for making decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution, consistent with federal law, the Principles of Federal Prosecution, and Departmental regulations,” Weiss wrote in the letter.
House and Senate Republicans aggressively criticized the plea deal between the Department of Justice and Biden after it was announced on Tuesday, arguing that the charges brought against the president’s son exemplify what they describe as the weaponization of the Justice Department.
The allegation that the DOJ has been politicized against conservatives has been central to how House Republicans approach both their congressional investigations and their defense of Trump – though there is scant evidence backing up most of their claims and legal experts from across the spectrum have said the Trump indictment is well-founded.
Source : CNN