Senior Justice Department officials are in “ongoing discussions” over the appointment of a special lawyer to take over Hunter Biden’s investigation, with some believing it is “guaranteed,” two well-known sources told Fox News on Wednesday.
Attorney General Bill Barr, who resigned last week and had his last day at the Justice Department on Wednesday, said earlier this week that he “saw no reason” to appoint a special attorney to probe the son of President-elect Joe Biden, who is under federal investigation for his “tax affairs”.
BARR SAYS THAT HE HAS ‘NO PLAN’ TO APPOINT SPECIAL COUNCIL TO PERFORM HUNTER BIDEN’S INVESTIGATION
But a well-known source told Fox News on Wednesday that it was an “open discussion”.
“It is an ongoing discussion,” the source told Fox News. “No decision was made anyway.”
Another source told Fox News that some high-level DOJ officials believe a special lawyer is “guaranteed” and cited the special council’s charter.
“It was approved to deal with a potential conflict of interest by the attorney general or the president of the United States,” the source told Fox News. “An elected president coming, where will his appointed lawyers be investigating his son? This is a book conflict.”
President-elect Joe Biden was asked at a news conference on Tuesday whether the question of the federal investigation into Hunter came up with his team and candidates for attorney general.
“No, no. I guarantee that I will do as I say,” replied Biden. “The attorney general of the United States of America is not the president’s attorney. I will appoint someone who I hope will enforce the law as it is written, not guided by me.”
And his new White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said this week that Biden “will not discuss an investigation of his son with any candidate for attorney general”.
“He will not discuss this with anyone considering the role and will not discuss this with a future attorney general,” Psaki told Fox News. “It will be up to a future attorney general in his administration to determine how to conduct any investigation.”
Discussions within the Justice Department take place when Barr leaves office and acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen takes over.
Barr said on Monday that he had no plans to appoint a special lawyer for this investigation before leaving the Department of Justice.
“I think, to the extent that there is an investigation, I think it is being conducted in a responsible and professional manner,” Barr said on Monday of Hunter Biden’s investigation. “So far, I have seen no reason to appoint a special lawyer and I have no plans to do so before I leave.”
Meanwhile, in his first – and only – interview since he was appointed acting attorney general, Rosen told Reuters he would continue “to do things based on merit and based on law and facts”.
“This is how I thought from the beginning and this is how I will think until the end,” Rosen told Reuters last week.
The Justice Department declined to comment.
Republicans, for weeks, demanded that a special lawyer be appointed to continue the federal investigation into Hunter Biden to ensure that it continues until the next Biden government. President Trump was discussing a possible special lawyer for this investigation.
HUNTER BIDEN UNDER FEDERAL INVESTIGATION FOR ‘TAX MATTERS;’ LINKS TO CHINA EMERGEM FUNDS, SOURCES SAY
Hunter Biden confirmed earlier this month that he is under federal investigation for his “tax affairs”.
A well-placed government source told Fox News that Hunter Biden was the subject of a grand jury investigation. According to the source, a “target” means that there is a “high probability that the person has committed a crime”, while a “subject” is someone you “don’t know for sure” has committed a crime.
The source said President-elect Biden is not the subject of any grand jury investigations at this time.
The source also told Fox News that this investigation was based, in part, by Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) on suspicious transactions abroad.
Another source familiar with the investigation told Fox News that the SARs dealt with funds from “China and other foreign nations”.
A Treasury Department official, who did not comment on the investigation, spoke widely about SARs, telling Fox News that SARs are filed by financial institutions “if there is anything out of the ordinary in a specific transaction”.
The official told Fox News that simply registering a SAR does not mean that there was a criminal act or violation of the regulations, but instead signals that a transaction is “out of the ordinary” for the customer. The official noted, however, that a SAR may be part of a money laundering or tax investigation.
The investigation, according to a source familiar with the matter, began in 2018.
The Biden Transition Team declined to comment.