ADistrict Gen. Merrick Garland will be in the hot seat this week facing serious questions over the historic indictments against President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and former President Donald Trump.
Garland will appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, where committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said the “two big issues” will be the fairness of the prosecutions led by special counsel David Weiss and Jack Smith , both named by Garland.
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“I think the main issues will be David Weiss and this (Hunter Biden) investigation,” Jordan told the Washington Examiner in an interview. “I think there will definitely be questions – what we’ll see he’ll probably try not to answer, but there will also be questions about Jack Smith.”
The president said he was prepared for Garland to decline to provide substantive answers, referencing the Justice Department’s long-standing position that it does not release nonpublic information about ongoing investigations.
Weiss, the lead prosecutor in the Hunter Biden case, became a top Republican target after two IRS criminal investigators involved in the case reported to Congress in the spring that the department had “made slow progress” in the case. case and that U.S. attorneys in Washington, D.C. and California had blocked Weiss from filing charges against Biden in those jurisdictions.
Jordan also took issue with Weiss, who led the case for about four years, being named special counsel, a position typically reserved for a prosecutor working outside the department.
“One of the themes the country is seeing is that David Weiss was appointed special counsel, the same guy who for four and a half years tried to make this all go away,” Jordan said. “Every witness we spoke to told us how frustrated they were with the pace of this investigation, how slow it was, how there was no real urgency to try to do in their minds, so you have David Weiss, the special advisor here apparently to protect Joe Biden.”
The president added of Smith, the prosecutor who brought two historic indictments against Trump this year: “And of course you have Jack Smith, who is attacking President Trump. So, I think those questions, those will be two big questions. issues about which there will be questions.
In addition to Garland’s testimony — the attorney general typically attends an annual hearing as part of the committee’s standard oversight obligations — Jordan expects to question Weiss after the DOJ promised the prosecutor would testify in September or October.
“They’ve committed to doing it. I mean, they said he would come and testify before the Judiciary Committee, so we expect that to happen either…later this month or early in the next month,” Jordan said.
Although the Justice Department has not rescinded its offer for Weiss to testify since he gained elevated special counsel authority, the department indicated in a letter after his appointment in August that the “right time “more appropriate” for Weiss or anyone else to testify in an “ongoing criminal investigation” occurs after the case is closed.
Jordan said he was particularly interested in questioning Weiss about whether he had “full authority” in the matter after receiving what Jordan called conflicting letters from Weiss on the matter.
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“Well, man, what is it? It can’t be both. It can’t be total authority – you’re Tarzan, you can beat your chest and determine when, where and if , and then also on the other hand, ‘Oh, but it’s limited to Delaware,'” Jordan explained. “That’s why we expect him to come and testify. He’s committed to doing so. We expect him to be there.”
The committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), did not respond to a request for comment.