Merrick Garland accused of perjury over Hunter Biden investigation
Attorney General Merrick Garland maintains his commitment to an unbiased investigation into Hunter Biden, despite whistleblower claims that he interfered in the case.
In April 2022, Garland assured Congress there would be no political or improper interference in the investigation. However, a whistleblower has since come forward alleging that politics are "improperly infecting decisions" in the probe.
The whistleblower, an agent from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who supervised the probe of Hunter Biden for three years, informed Congress on April 19 about "preferential treatment" in the case and false testimony to Congress by an official later identified as Garland.
The whistleblower's letter, signed by attorney Mark Lytle, disclosed significant information after reporting to the general of the Treasury and Justice Department's inspectors.
The letter claimed that the protected disclosures contradicted sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee, involved failure to mitigate apparent conflicts of interest in the case's ultimate disposition, and detailed examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly influencing decisions and protocols.
When asked about the whistleblower's allegations during a press conference on Tuesday, Garland stood by his previous testimony, reaffirming that the Hunter Biden investigation had not been subject to political interference.
He referred reporters to the attorney for the District of Delaware, who is leading the investigation into the contents found on Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop.
Reactions from Capitol Hill
Members of both political parties have expressed concern over the whistleblower's claims. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), stated that all whistleblower statements should be examined seriously and closely.
Republican Rep. James Comer (KY-01), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Hunter Biden had been involved in "deceptive, shady business schemes" and has earned millions from foreign adversaries like China.
Meanwhile, the White House has dismissed the claims, referencing the independence of the Department of Justice and the president's respect for the rule of law.
Hunter Biden Investigation Background
The Hunter Biden probe began in 2018 and is being led by U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, a Trump administration holdover who was recommended for his position in 2017 by Delaware's two Democratic senators.
Weiss has been reviewing four possible charges against Hunter Biden, including two misdemeanor counts of failing to file taxes, a felony count of evading taxes related to a business expense, and a charge of lying about his drug use on a federal gun purchase form.
As reported by NBC News, there has been "growing frustration" within the FBI over Weiss's failure to bring charges after the bureau concluded most of its work last year.
It remains uncertain whether authorities are still considering charges against Hunter for money laundering and failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Similar Cases and Republican Investigation
In 2018, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to five years in prison for Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) violations related to his work in Ukraine and two and a half years for other charges, including tax and bank fraud and witness tampering.
Hunter Biden faces FARA allegations concerning his work for Ukrainian gas company Burisma, which paid him up to $1 million annually. He confirmed that he was under investigation for tax fraud shortly after his father won the 2020 election.
In the ongoing investigations into Hunter Biden, Republicans on the Oversight Committee have examined IRS documents and Suspicious Activity Reports that they argue demonstrate corruption and influence peddling within the Biden family. According to these claims, at least 12 family members have benefited from the alleged misconduct.