U.S. District Attorney David Weiss has been appointed as Special Counsel in the case of Hunter Biden.
Weiss made the request to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The appointment comes after a plea deal for the son of the president fell apart under questioning from a Delaware U.S. District Court judge with the final say.
A court filing indicates that the U.S. District Attorney’s office does not believe a plea deal can be worked out and cited the need to try any case in the jurisdiction where the actions took place. The special counsel designation gives Weiss the ability to work in any jurisdiction.
Biden’s defense team and the U.S. District Attorney’s office have clashed over whether Hunter Biden could be charged with additional offenses.
He had earlier agreed to a deal with no prison time on income tax and drug charges related to the possession of a gun while an addict.
Weiss, who was appointed to the post by former President Donald Trump, has taken heat from House Republicans for what they see as a “slap on the wrist” plea deal.
Biden defenders claim that if taxes are repaid, federal prison sentences are rare, with the drug charge usually leading to the defendant entering a special program rather than prison.
The current case does not appear to be related to the controversy over the alleged contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop reportedly dropped off at a Wilmington computer repair shop. Lawsuits have been filed by both sides in that case.
House Republicans have been focusing on Biden’s efforts to be part of deals in Delaware and elsewhere and have looked for business ties between Hunter and his father.
Garland announced Weiss will deal with the current cases well as for any other matters that arose or may arise from that investigation.
“On Tuesday of this week, Mr. Weiss advised me that in his judgment, his investigation has reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a Special Counsel, and he asked to be so appointed,” said Garland stated. “Upon considering his request, as well as the extraordinary circumstances relating to this matter, I have concluded it is in the public interest to appoint him as Special Counsel. This appointment confirms my commitment to provide Mr. Weiss all the resources he requests. 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.”
Garland sadd, “As Special Counsel, he will continue to have the authority and responsibility that he has exercised previously to oversee the investigation and decide where, when, and whether to file charges. The Special Counsel will not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the Department, but he must comply with the regulations, procedures, and policies of the Department … Today’s announcement affords the prosecutors, agents, and analysts working on this matter the ability to proceed with their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law … I am confident that Mr. Weiss will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent matter, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department.”
Weiss comes with a law and corporate background that includes a stint in the U.S. Attorney’s office, working as a corporate attorney and in serving as an executive for a Wilmington-based national business services and accounting firm.