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Outgoing Attorney General William Barr said Monday he saw “no reason” to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.
Barr, in his final press conference before leaving the Trump administration, assured reporters that the investigation into Biden’s business dealings with foreign associates is “being handled responsibly and professionally.”
“I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel, and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” he said.
His announcement is sure to disappoint President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress who have been pushing for the appointment of special counsels to investigate President-elect Joe Biden’s son. Trump reportedly has repeatedly asked for an independent investigator to be appointed so that the next president could not interfere with the investigation of his family’s business deals.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) endorsed the idea last week, speaking to reporters about the issue.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “Let me say this, if you believe a special counsel is needed to look at the Trump rule regarding Russia, how can you say there is no need for special counsel regarding Hunter Biden?”
Continuing, he said, “It’s not just the allegation of tax evasion, which is being looked at, and he’s presumed innocent, but it’s his business dealings, emails about setting up an office and [giving] the keys to the Vice President Joe Biden … I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but how far integrated into the Ukraine economy did Hunter Biden get?”
The president-elect said last Thursday he’s not worried about the investigation or the allegations of corruption surrounding Hunter Biden.
“We have great confidence in our son,” the elder Biden told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show.”
Hunter Biden is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for tax issues and other financial transactions with Chinese business associates. Biden recently revealed that the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware has opened an investigation into his tax affairs, releasing a statement about the matter. According to the Associated Press, the investigation began in 2018, before Biden’s father declared his candidacy for president, but the Justice Department did not disclose the existence of the investigation until now because of a policy against doing so during an election year.
Despite the policy, in October, Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s James Rosen reported the existence of an FBI investigation into Hunter Biden and his associates, focusing on allegations of money-laundering. The report was covered by conservative media, but at the time largely ignored in the mainstream press.