Republican lawmakers asked Attorney General William Barr to appoint special counsels to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings—some of which allegedly involved Democratic candidate Joe Biden—and also recent allegations of vote fraud, in order to ensure that any investigations are “free from political interference.”
.@TheJusticeDept must appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Hunter Biden’s conduct and contents of his laptop.
This needs to be investigated free from political interference. No matter who is in the White House.
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) December 7, 2020
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., sent a letter to Barr this week urging him to launch an independent investigation into emails that were obtained from a laptop Hunter Biden dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop.
“This investigation is critical to defending the integrity of our republic and ensuring a potential Biden Administration will not be the subject of undue foreign interference,” Buck wrote, according to Fox News.
“Americans have the right to know whether Mr. Biden’s reported ties to foreign governments will make him the subject of blackmail attempts or other nefarious efforts to undermine U.S. national security or otherwise improperly influence American foreign policy.”
The FBI confiscated the hard drive from the computer-store owner last year, claiming that it was conducting an investigation into the matter as a money-laundering operation.
However, the agency remained silent during President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings, in which the evidence obtained from the laptop may have been exculpatory.
Trump was accused by House Democrats of abusing his office over claims that his pressure on the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens’ involvement with the Burisma energy company was politically motivated.
The laptop’s emails—when released in October—provided additional proof that the Bidens were, themselves, engaged in a series of corrupt quid-pro-quo arrangements during Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president for the Obama administration—thereby justifying Trump’s call to reopen a probe that Biden had pressured Ukrainian officials to drop.
The emails also revealed that Hunter and his business associates brokered deals with Chinese officials and discussed cutting in two men: “Jim” and “the big guy,” which are believed to refer Hunter’s uncle Jim and his father Joe, respectively.
In addition to the scandal surrounding the Bidens’ business deals, Republicans are asking Barr to appoint another special counsel to investigate election fraud and voting irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.
Several states have already certified their election results for Biden, but Trump has insisted that there was enough foul play at work to throw the entire outcome into question.
“Legitimate questions about voter fraud remain unanswered,” Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, joined by 26 other GOP representatives, wrote in a letter to Barr.
“The appointment of a Special Counsel would establish a team of investigators whose sole responsibility is to uncover the truth and provide the certainty America needs,” they said.
Moreover, appointing special counsels would make it more difficult for Biden to exert political pressure on the probes, should he take over as president in January.
And it would take the investigations out of the hands of the FBI, which appears to be slow-walking or avoiding the two issues for its own reasons.
Trust in the agency among conservatives bottomed out following the Russia-collusion conspiracy that top FBI officials helped implement in coordination with the Hillary Clinton campaign to undermine Trump.
But the requests for the new probes come just days after Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to be a special counsel for an investigation into the origins of the Russia hoax.
Barr’s authorization gives Durham broad powers to investigate “whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns,” according to the Justice Department.
That includes any individuals associated with Trump’s campaign or administration, as well as those involved in the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” operation and the subsequent Mueller investigation into Russian collusion.
While many on the Right celebrated the move, some speculated that it could hinder transparency efforts by preventing Trump allies like Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe from releasing any remaining classified documents during the final weeks of Trump’s first term.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.