Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) says she would support appointing a special counsel to investigate the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“The Department of Justice MUST do the right thing. Appoint a special counsel on Hunter Biden NOW!” she wrote in a Dec. 24 tweet.
Top Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), want the attorney general to task a special counsel with an investigation of Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Delaware, but there are concerns that if his father wins the White House, the probe might face political interference. A special counsel would ease those concerns but not extinguish them.
Joe Biden’s team and an adviser, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Conn.), have said the elder Biden wouldn’t interfere with the investigation into his son, who isn’t charged with any wrongdoing.
The probe centers on “tax affairs,” Hunter Biden said in a statement earlier this month released by his father’s campaign. The investigation reportedly includes looking at the younger Biden’s dealings with China.
Hunter Biden conducted business in China, Ukraine, and elsewhere while his father was vice president from 2009 to 2017. He had numerous ties to people linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Moscow, an oversight report showed last month.
Former Attorney General William Barr, who stepped down on Dec. 23, said Dec. 21 that he didn’t plan to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.
“To the extent that there’s an investigation, I think that it’s being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” Barr said at an unrelated press conference.
Graham pushed back, writing on Twitter that his concern is that “the scope of the Delaware investigation is limited to tax fraud and will not be a thorough review of Hunter Biden’s extensive business dealings with foreign nations.”
“The question for the country is: To what extent did Hunter Biden and his family have problematic business dealings with China, Russia, and other nations which could impact the Biden administration’s foreign policy?” he said.
The position of attorney general was inherited by Jeffrey Rosen, who hasn’t addressed the matter.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, wrote in an op-ed on Dec. 26 that the case for appointing a special counsel includes the “clear conflicts” that are present for Joe Biden.
“In addition, Biden has stated repeatedly for more than a year that ‘no one has suggested my son did anything wrong.’ That clearly is not true; many people agree that Hunter Biden was engaged in raw influence-peddling on a global scale. That may not be a crime but it certainly is ethically wrong,” Turley wrote.
On the other hand, the case against appointing a special counsel rests on whether the current U.S. attorney for Delaware is kept in his position; most new administrations fire U.S. attorneys.
“The biggest issue is that influence-peddling is legal. It is the favorite form of corruption in Washington. While you cannot give a politician like Biden an envelope of money, you can give his son or other relatives millions in dubious contracts, gifts, and loans,” Turley said.
“The special counsel regulations involve ‘an investigation or prosecution’ only into criminal acts. The Justice Department does not investigate politicians’ unethical conduct or simple lying. Otherwise, it would have little time to do anything else.”