Attorney General Merrick Garland faced an intense grilling on Capitol Hill over a variety of topics on Wednesday, one of them being the viability of the Hunter Biden investigation.
Critics have long alleged the Department of Justice has politicized the FBI, compromising its impartiality, and have worried the trend will impact the probe into Hunter’s foreign business transactions.
Despite the concerns, Garland insisted during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the investigation will remain untouched from political influence.
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But former Assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker was not convinced.
He accused Garland of being a “surrogate” for the Biden White House during “Fox & Friends First” on Thursday, dismissing the attorney general’s pledge.
“Merrick Garland knows what he’s supposed to do. He’s the surrogate for the administration… he’s proven that,” Swecker told Ashley Strohmier and Todd Piro.
“So it’s just a wink and a nod… He can pledge that he won’t interfere all he wants, but there is no reason why the U.S. attorney in Delaware should be sitting on this case for well over a year.”
“It’s very clear to me, as someone who ran the criminal division of the FBI and was a former prosecutor before I went in the FBI, that they have the evidence,” he continued. “Whatever evidence they have, they’re just sitting on it, and they’re delaying the decision.”
Garland’s critics have been quick to note that he has not yet appointed a special counsel on the Hunter Biden probe, as the case remains in the hands of Delaware U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss.
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Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, pressed him on what would happen if Weiss needed to pursue the case against Biden outside his Delaware jurisdiction.
The attorney general assured the senator that Weiss would have “full authority” to make an outside referral.
However, Grassley said if that is the case, the probe may not be insulated from partisan influence after all if a judge, appointed by the president, is responsible for approving potential charges.
“If Weiss, the U.S. attorney there in Delaware, must seek permission from a Biden-appointed U.S. attorney to bring charges, then the Hunter Biden criminal investigation isn’t insulated from political interference as you have publicly proclaimed,” Grassley said during the hearing.
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Despite Garland vowing to allow an independent Hunter Biden investigation, Swecker sounded the alarm the Justice Department’s broader trend of what he called “political” targeting.
“He could not explain why the might and power of the Justice Department under his supervision only seems to fall on people who are on the right wing of the political spectrum who have conservative ideology,” Swecker said. “I was looking for answers to those questions, and what I saw were dodges and passing the buck over to the agents that did it, it wasn’t me.”
“I think he’s probably the poorest leader, the weakest attorney general I have seen in my 40 years in this business,” he continued.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation since 2018 for potential tax and foreign lobbying violations related to his overseas business ventures.
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He is facing both federal and congressional investigations after suspicious activity reports (SARs) were flagged, allegedly related to money funneled from China and other countries.
Separately, the president is also facing a special counsel over his alleged mishandling of classified material. They are the first president-son duo to be under separate investigations at the same time.
Fox News’ Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.