The U.S. Attorney in Delaware has the “full authority” to bring criminal charges against President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in another jurisdiction, Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers on Wednesday.
David Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for Delaware, has been investigating Hunter Biden for potential tax crimes and influence peddling since 2018.
Justice Department regulations bar U.S. attorneys from bringing charges outside their jurisdiction. In such cases, the prosecuting attorney would need either to get permission from that jurisdiction’s U.S. attorney or to hand off the case to them altogether.
However, Mr. Garland told lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mr. Weiss has been authorized to bring charges against Hunter Biden in another jurisdiction or state, if he deems it necessary.
“The U.S. attorney has been advised that he has full authority to make those kind of referrals that you are talking about and to bring cases in other jurisdictions if he feels it’s necessary. And I will assure that if he does, he will be able to do that,” Mr. Garland testified.
When pressed on whether Mr. Weiss would have to hand off the Hunter Biden probe to another jurisdiction if he brought charges, Mr. Garland assured lawmakers that Mr. Weiss’ authority over the case would not change.
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Mr. Garland said he would personally authorize Mr. Weiss to bring the charges, if he thought charges in another jurisdiction were warranted.
“I would then have to authorize it and permit it to be brought in another jurisdiction and that is what I promised I would do,” he said.
Hunter Biden has repeatedly said he is cooperating with investigators and remains “100%” certain that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing.
Mr. Biden has insisted that he has never discussed his son’s foreign business dealings, and there is no indication that Mr. Weiss’s probe involves the president. The White House has repeatedly sought to distance the president from the probe.