CNN's Jake Tapper suggests IRS whistleblowers may have been right after 'odd' Weiss appointment

Weiss had faced considerable backlash for a plea deal reached last month between the DOJ and the first son, which was rejected by the judge overseeing the case.

Published: August 12, 2023 1:27pm

Updated: August 12, 2023 1:34pm

CNN anchor Jake Tapper appeared to agree with much of the skepticism over Friday’s naming of David Weiss as special counsel in the ongoing investigation into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, when Tapper acknowledged that some of the concerns “have merit.”

Weiss had faced considerable backlash for a plea deal reached last month between the Department of Justice and the first son, which was rejected by the judge overseeing the case.

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement that Garland's announcement was "part of the Justice Department’s efforts to attempt a Biden family coverup in light of [House Oversight Republicans'] mounting evidence of President Biden’s role in his family’s schemes selling ‘the brand’ for millions of dollars to foreign nationals," reported Fox News.  

"I think there are some legitimate questions about this whole situation," Tapper said on "CNN News Central." "First of all, I do think it’s fair to question why would U.S. Attorney Weiss be appointed to special counsel. Usually, a special counsel is an outside attorney. Now, it has happened before. Durham came from inside, and the attorney general has the right to do that, but it is odd."

Tapper also asked why they would stick with the person who was responsible for the "colossal failure" of the rejected plea deal, and cited questions over the original deal being "strong enough."

These questions arise as the Justice Department’s and Weiss’ explanations of the decisions and authority that went into the plea deal were questioned for their logic and consistency.  

IRS whistleblowers had stated in congressional testimony that U.S. Attorney Weiss had made different claims privately than he did publicly about his power to charge Hunter Biden in jurisdictions outside of Delaware.

"The Justice Department and Weiss denied what the whistleblowers were saying, but this move makes it seem as though, well, maybe the whistleblowers were right. Maybe what they were alleging is true, and he didn’t have the ability to charge whatever he wanted to charge, and now he does. So I do have a lot of questions about that, and I do think some of the political questions being raised by Republicans have merit," Tapper said.

One of the IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley, said Weiss alleged in front of multiple witnesses that he was told by the DOJ he could not bring charges against Hunter in California and Washington, D.C., a claim that Attorney General Merrick Garland denied.  

The reason that Tapper’s comments on Friday are considered newsworthy is that such views, critical of the Biden family or Biden administration, are so rare on CNN or elsewhere in the mainstream media. Also, just the day before Tapper had interviewed Rep. Comer, and said his committee’s finding Biden family members had received over $20 million from shady foreign entities was "sleazy" but not criminal.

"So let's pause it for the sake of argument that Hunter Biden is sleazy and the president's relatives tried to profit off the Biden family brand, something CNN has reported on, what's new in this memo?" Tapper said in the interview before repeatedly saying he saw "no evidence" that President Biden did anything wrong.

Comer warned during the interview that multiple agencies appeared to be blocking the progress of the investigation.

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