GOP senators press Delaware U.S. attorney on potential conflicts, favoritism in Hunter Biden probe

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson ask specifically about recusal for Nicholas McQuaid, acting head of the Justice Department's criminal division. The official previously worked with Hunter Biden's criminal attorney.

Published: May 10, 2022 1:46pm

Updated: May 10, 2022 8:22pm

GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wisc.) are asking the Justice Department to disclose what steps the agency has taken to prevent interference with the investigation into Hunter Biden's taxes and overseas business dealings.

Grassley and Johnson, the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, respectively, made the request Tuesday in a letter to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who is leading the investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of President Biden.

Hunter Biden acknowledged on Dec. 9, 2020 that the Justice Department was investigating his tax affairs. However, the matter has reportedly developed into a grand jury gathering evidence in a wider-ranging examination of his international business dealings.

The Grassley-Johnson letter raises concerns about any involvement of the DOJ's Nicholas McQuaid in the Hunter Biden case.

McQuaid is now the department's principal deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division. Prior to being named the acting head of the criminal division on the day President Biden was inaugurated, McQuaid worked with Hunter Biden's criminal attorney, which raises questions about whether he should be recused because of a potential conflict of interest, according to the letter.

Grassley and Johnson say they have already addressed the McQuaid issue with Attorney General Merrick Garland but have yet to receive a clear answer.

The lawmakers also express their misgivings about a possible home-field advantage for the powerful Biden clan in Delaware, where the investigation is based.

"To be clear, we are unaware of any information that would call into question your ability to lead this investigation," the senators reassure Weiss. "Yet, Delaware is the Bidens' home state and Hunter Biden has acknowledged his connections with state officials in the past. In March 2018, Hunter Biden told his Chinese business partners, 'I will bring suit in the Chancery Court in Delaware — which as you know is my home state and I am privileged to have worked with and know every judge in the chancery court.' This statement raises questions about the Bidens' possible undue influence over judicial officers in the Delaware Court of Chancery and raises concerns that his asserted influence extends beyond the Court of Chancery."

Hunter Biden's overseas business deals, often pursued while his father was vice president, came under intense scrutiny during his father's presidential campaign in 2020 with public exposure of records from Hunter Biden's laptop, left abandoned at a Delaware computer repair shop — even as Biden-friendly mainstream media outlets shunned the story and social media giants purged reporting about it from their networks.

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