Hunter Biden case, Republicans clash in Congress with Attorney General

2023-09-20 21:25:16, Kosova & Bota CNA

Hunter Biden case, Republicans clash in Congress with Attorney General

Attorney General Merrick Garland sat down with his staunchest critics as House Republicans used a hearing to question him over allegations that he is using the Justice Department for political purposes.

It marked the first time in two years that Mr. Garland has appeared before the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing comes at an unprecedented time for the Justice Department as it navigates two high-profile cases, one against former President Donald Trump and another against President Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

Republicans on the committee, led by Jim Jordan, once head of the Judiciary Committee, charged that the Justice Department is protecting the Biden family, putting President Biden's opponent, former President Donald Trump, at the center of the investigation.

"One investigation is protecting President Biden, another is attacking President Trump," Mr. Jordan said.

Mr. Garland defended the Department of Justice, an agency of about 115,000 employees, at a time when political and physical threats against its agents and their families are increasing.

"Our job is not to take orders from the President, Congress, or anyone else, as to who or what to investigate," the attorney general said.

Democrats said they plan to act as "sort of a truth squad" against Republican "disinformation" and their own defense of Mr. Trump, who is leading the race within his own party to challenge Mr. Biden in the presidential election. next year. They say Democrats are trying to shift attention away from the legal challenges facing the former president and put the spotlight on President Biden in a negative light.

"I'm going to use this opportunity to point out how much this hurts the justice system and how once again Republicans are willing to undermine our institutions to protect their presidential nominee," Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff said. the Associated Press news agency.

Mr. Garland's testimony comes just a week after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced the launch of an investigation to determine whether there are grounds for impeachment against President Joe Biden, with particular attention being paid to the actions of the Department of Justice. Justice on the case against Mr. Hunter Biden.

The White House has dismissed the investigation as baseless, while Hunter Biden's legal team has taken a more offensive role against Republican critics. On Monday, Hunter Biden filed a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), alleging that two employees who claimed to have interfered with his case released personal information related to his taxes without authorization.

Republicans claim that the Justice Department, both during President Trump's administration and President Biden's administration, has failed to fully investigate allegations against Hunter Biden, from his work as a board member of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma to his declaration taxes in California and Washington.

"I am not the President's lawyer. I'm not even the congressional prosecutor. The Department of Justice works for the American people," stated Mr. Garland.

The investigation into Mr. Hunter Biden has been led by David Weiss, the Delaware State Attorney appointed by Mr. Trump.

Last month Mr. Garland gave Mr. Weiss the status of Special Counsel in the case against Mr. Hunter Biden, expanding his authority to conduct investigations and report on their findings.

He oversees the investigations on a daily basis, while another Special Prosecutor, Jack Smith, is in charge of the investigations against Mr. Trump, even though Mr. Garland, in the capacity of the Attorney General, has the final say in both cases./ VOA

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