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Tipsheet

Garland Gives Interesting Answer When Asked Whether He Said 'No' to Charging Hunter Biden

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to accusations leveled by IRS whistleblowers who claimed the Biden DOJ denied attempts by the U.S. attorney in Delaware investigating Hunter Biden to bring charges against the president's son in 2022. 

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Garland was announcing federal charges against Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and arrests of fentanyl manufacturing executives on Friday when the topic quickly changed as Biden's AG was asked about the whistleblowers' accusations revealed by the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. 

"As I said at the outset, Mr. Weiss was appointed by President Trump as the U.S. attorney in Delaware and assigned this matter during the previous administration," Garland reminded. He reiterated his previous statement that Weiss "would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to."

The whistleblowers' testimony released by the Ways and Means Committee, however, directly contradicts what Garland stated. 

"Mr. Weiss has since sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee confirming that he had that authority," Garland said. "I don't know how it would be possible for anybody to block him from bringing a prosecution given that he has this authority." 

When asked whether Weiss was ever told "no," Garland wouldn't answer specifically. Instead of a firm denial of ever telling the U.S. attorney investigating Hunter Biden "no" when an attempt to charge the first kid was made, the AG responded: "I'm saying he was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own." 

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That is, Garland refused to say whether Weiss was told he couldn't bring charges. 

Garland was also asked about, but denied, that Weiss had asked for special counsel status as the whistleblowers told the Ways and Means Committee. "The only person with authority to make somebody a special counsel, or refuse to make somebody a special counsel, is the attorney general," Garland said. "Mr. Weiss never made that request to me."

It's worth noting that, as of Friday afternoon, attempts to contact Weiss' office were returned with "no comment," according to other outlets' reporting. Still, Garland said Friday that he "would support Mr. Weiss explaining or testifying on these matters."

According to Garland, "Mr. Weiss had, in fact, more authority than a special counsel would have had," and the AG reiterated again that Weiss "had and has complete authority to bring a case anywhere he wants in his discretion."

Responding to a question about concerns regarding the politicization of federal law enforcement — the DOJ, FBI, et al. — Garland acknowledged the fact that "some have chosen to attack the integrity of the Justice Department and its components and its employees by claiming that we do not treat like cases alike."

Garland said such criticism — including of the FBI for refusing to turn over unclassified reports to the House Oversight Committee relating to allegations that President Biden was previously engaged in a criminal bribery scheme — "constitutes an attack on an institution that is essential to American democracy and essential to the safety of the American people."

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"Nothing could be further from the truth," Garland insisted. "You've all heard me say many times that we make our cases based on the facts and the law — these are not just words, these are what we live by, they are the foundation of the way we make these decisions," he said. "The agents of the FBI as well as the DEA, the ATF, our Deputy U.S. Marshals, every day — often at great personal risk — protect the American people and secure its safety," Garland continued. "Our cases are based on their work. I could not be more proud to work with them." 

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