During a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, panel member Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) raised wide-reaching questions about Hunter Biden, a now infamous son of the current president. Republicans have obsessed over trying to tie the older Biden to Hunter’s ostensibly corrupt business activities worldwide.
Gaetz asked Garland even about art from Hunter that has been sold. Separate from the question of whether there is anything to these concerns, it’s rich for a Republican from Trump’s corner to suddenly act concerned about keeping up appearances amid the transfer of wealth! Should we expect Gaetz to suddenly start expressing worry about Ivanka’s trademarks and the billions in Saudi money that backed Jared’s post-White House investment business?
“How can you guarantee that the people buying that art aren’t doing so to gain favor with the president?” Gaetz asked.
“The job of the Justice Department is to investigate criminal allegations,” Garland said, after which Gaetz predictably interrupted to suggest that circumstances of the younger Biden’s foray into art looked “weird.” Thankfully, prosecutions in the United States are not generally based upon something simply looking “weird,” whatever that means. Garland consistently emphasized in his answers that the Justice Department acts independently of mere circumstance, and he also discussed — again — some of the specifics of the federal investigations of Hunter Biden, which Republicans have loudly alleged have been victim to what’s basically political interference.
Asked about the supposed possibility that Hunter Biden was continuing to engage in corrupt acts, Garland was deferential towards U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Delaware prosecutor whose tenure originates with former President Donald Trump and who now leads the Hunter investigations. “I’m going to say again that all these matters are within the purview of Mr. Weiss,” Garland replied. “I have not interfered with them, and I do not intend to interfere with them.” The procedures have been protected, the attorney general argued Wednesday.