AG Garland: President Biden Has Not Interfered With Son's Fraud Investigation Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Tuesday, 26 April 2022 03:26 PM
Attorney General Merrick Garland defended President Joe Biden on Tuesday, saying the commander-in-chief has not interfered with a federal tax fraud investigation involving his son, Hunter Biden.
At a Senate subcommittee hearing, Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn. pressed Garland about various reports speculating that President Biden "was involved with" his son's overseas business dealings.
"Do you have any reason to dispute the evidence that indicates that President Biden was involved with and using money from Hunter Biden's business deals?" asked Hagerty.
Garland declined to answer whether he or any senior DOJ official had been briefed on the ongoing probe into Hunter Biden's business dealings with foreign officials through the years, saying the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware — a Trump-era appointee — was handling the investigation "unsupervised."
Garland also said a special counsel wouldn't be needed for the investigation.
"There will not be interference of any political or improper kind," Garland said during his sworn testimony.
Later on, Hagerty asked Garland, "Would it be appropriate for the president to call you into the Oval Office and tell you that his son didn't break the law regarding this matter?"
To which, Garland sternly answered, "Absolutely not! … The president has not done that. The president has committed not to interfere, not only in that investigation but any kind of — …"
Hagerty then reportedly cut Garland off to highlight recent instances in which the president's advisers defended Hunter Biden publicly.
The examples include:
- White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared on ABC's "This Week" program just two days after a federal grand jury reportedly heard testimony about Hunter Biden's cash flow, while serving on the board of Ukraine energy company Burisma. Klain said: "Of course the president's confident that his son didn't break the law."
- Also, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a media question from Monday, inquiring about a New York Post report of a Hunter Biden business associate (Eric Schwerin, the former president of Hunter Biden's investment firm Rosemont Seneca) visiting the White House 19 separate times from 2009-13.
The potential relevance here: President Biden has previously stated he has "never spoken" to Hunter Biden, or any of his financial partners, about outside business deals.
Later in the Senate hearing, Hagerty asked Garland whether Americans "can be confident that this administration is conducting a serious investigation?"
Garland answered in the affirmative, adding, "Because you have me as the attorney general, who is committed to the independence of the Justice Department from any influence from the White House in criminal matters."
Emails from Hunter Biden's laptop reportedly indicate Schwerin had access to Joe Biden's personal finances, including being involved with the elder Biden's taxes and discussing the then-vice president's financial future with him.
In 2019, the FBI seized control of a Hunter Biden laptop left in a Delaware-based repair shop. The contents of the laptop have yet to be released to the public, in full; but last month, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., successfully included the hard-drive components of Hunter Biden's captured laptop into the Congressional Record.
The current Hunter Biden probe has since been expanded to possible acts of money laundering and the violation of lobbying laws, according to reports. Last week, the Washington Post confirmed that in 2017 and 2018, Hunter Biden and the president's brother, James Biden, controlled $4.8 million in payments from a Chinese energy conglomerate.
Earlier in April, a witness in the Hunter Biden grand jury proceedings was asked about Biden's deal with CEFC China Energy Co., along with the identity of "the big guy" during sworn testimony in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a New York Post report.
Citing the Post report, a source familiar with the grand jury's work says the question had been posed after the witness was shown a piece of evidence, which included the cryptic query of "10 held by H for the big guy?"
The line of grand-jury questioning follows up a separate New York Post report from October 2020, when James Gilliar, a former business partner to Hunter Biden, outlined the proposed percentage distribution of equity in a company that was created as a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.
At his 2020 impeachment trial, then-President Donald Trump's defense team cited Obama-era visitor logs that indicated Biden met with his son's business partner Devon Archer, April 16, 2014 — around the time Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where he reportedly earned $1 million per year.
At the time, then-VP Joe Biden led U.S. policy toward Ukraine.
Citing the New York Post report, documents and a photo indicated that Joe Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son's associates — including Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi, a trio of Kazakhs and the Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov.
A Senate report from 2020 uncovered that, in 2014, Baturina paid $3.5 million to a firm linked to Hunter Biden.