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DOJ’s Special Counsel Appointment ‘Could Keep Republicans At Bay’

DOJ’s Special Counsel Appointment ‘Could Keep Republicans At Bay’

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of U.S. Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel to the investigation into Hunter Biden could keep Republicans investigating Joe Biden’s son “at bay,” CNN host Dana Bash claimed.

Bash and the “Inside Politics” panel discussed on Friday how Garland’s appointment of Weiss as special counsel would effectively block Republicans on the House Oversight Committee from compelling Weiss to testify in September.

White House reporter Priscilla Alvarez began by saying Weiss’ special counsel appointment would likely fuel House Republicans’ investigation into Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter’s foreign business dealings.

“But again, this is a White House that is facing increasing pressure when it comes to the president’s son, Hunter Biden. Republicans have slammed the president over all of these legal proceedings and also so much has flirted with a potential impeachment inquiry,” she said.

“Now when that has come up, the White House stance has been that it is baseless, that the focus should be in Congress on the American people. But all of this to say that that criticism is ramping up. This will likely fuel Republicans and what they have to say about Hunter Biden and these ongoing legal proceedings.”

But Bash had a different take: that Weiss’ appointment as special counsel now grants him powers to withold information from Congress.

“She says it could fuel the Republicans, but the other way to look at it is that it could keep Republicans at bay, because now that you do have a special counsel, which a lot of Republicans were calling for, A,” Bash said.

“And B, I can’t remember if it was a Paula or one of our other reporters make – maybe you guys are making this point – that while the special counsel is doing his work he can’t- he’s unlikely to talk to Congress, and it’s unlikely for them to get the information that they’re working toward.”

CNN White House corresponent Laura Barrón-López agreed with Bash’s assessment, claiming that Weiss, who had stated he was willing to testify before Congress in September, may not have to testify anymore.

“And that’s what’s so interesting,” she said, “is that prior to this announcement, the Justice Department was saying that Weiss was prepared to testify to Congress as early as September, as soon as they came back from their August recess, that the Justice Department said that they wanted to do that specifically because of the assertions that Republican lawmakers were making about his authority to conduct his wide investigation into Hunter Biden and that he wanted to directly address that as soon as he could, assuming that they had a deal that would have gone forward with Hunter Biden’s lawyers that fell apart.”

“But we were still expecting him to potentially testify to Congress when they came back. Now, as you said, Dana, that’s probably not going to happen for quite some time as he has these new authorities,” she added.

Constitutional scholar and registered Democrat Jonathan Turley came to the same conclusion, noting that Garland’s move to appoint Weiss as special counsel delays accountability to Congress.

“The immediate effect of this belated appointment will be to insulate Weiss and the Department from Congress as it prepares to interview Weiss and members of his team,” Turley wrote Saturday.

“As it stands, Garland has virtually ensured that Congress will pursue an impeachment inquiry as the only body seriously investigating the scandal,” he added.

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