Jan. 6 committee precedent could be a boon for Republicans in Hunter Biden probe
Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Just the News that Garland's appointment of U.S. Attorney David Weiss to special counsel will strengthen the congressional investigation of Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings
The precedent set by the House Jan. 6th Select Committee in obtaining relevant documents as evidence against former President Donald Trump and issuing subpoenas for their investigation could be a boon for Republicans in the congressional probe into the Biden family's overseas business dealings.
The Jan. 6 panel demonstrated that it could conduct oversight and gain access to evidence and witnesses even as the Justice Department conducted a sprawling criminal probe into the same figures and issues, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Just the News he plans to ride those precedents.
"They set a lot of precedent during that Jan. 6 committee that I think they're gonna regret with respect to this Biden investigation," he told the Just the News, No Noise television show.
Comer and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan are currently investigating President Joe Biden's possible involvement in Hunter's foreign business deals. Biden has repeatedly said he had no knowledge or involvement with his son's businesses, but documents and testimony given to the committee call those denials into question.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, to special counsel on Friday. Weiss has been leading the investigation since 2019.
Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz told Just the News that making Weiss a special counsel will strengthen the congressional investigation into the extent of Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings.
"I think it should increase the power of Congress to look into this," he said during an interview on Friday. "I think it shows that there is still room for more investigation, and that Congress can play an important role in getting to the bottom of that."
He noted that Congress has a "constitutional power to check and balance the executive and so the fact that there's an ongoing investigation should not be an absolute barrier for Congress to do its job."
Dershowitz said that Congress can insist on "subpoenaing prosecutors and then if they refuse, they can be held in contempt and it could go to the courts and we'll see how the courts decide it."
He told Just the News that Weiss becoming special counsel could turn out to be a sign that he's pursuing more serious charges against Hunter.
"This could be a big deal, this change, because it's not the fact that he's special counsel, it's the fact that he's moving the case to the Central District of California, dropping the original plea bargain. It suggests that maybe he's focusing on more serious matters, we just don't know. And I guess we'll find out," he said. "I think it would have been better if a separate independent counsel were appointed, not be a U.S. Attorney from Delaware, but we'll see where this goes."
Dershowitz argued that the appointment of Weiss as special counsel "seems to be in violation of Justice Department regulations that require that the person be outside of the government."
Reacting to Weiss' appointment, Comer said it's "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."
Dershowitz was asked for his response to Comer and other Republicans arguing that Garland's move at this time could point to a cover-up attempt.
"I think reasonable people could see that and therefore the appearance of justice is not satisfied by this," he said. "The appearance of justice would be satisfied by appointing an absolutely distinguished, unquestioned outsider, somebody who's not in the government, somebody who had nothing to do with this investigation previously; that would have been the better course for purposes of making sure the appearance of justice was satisfied."
He also addressed the potential reasoning behind Garland's decision to elevate Weiss as opposed to someone new to special counsel.
"I think he wants to be seen as allowing the investigation to proceed to its natural conclusion but he's not prepared to take the giant step of appointing a new prosecutor now. Appointing a new prosecutor would also delay the process," he said. "There's some argument that it should be pursued by the same person who has the institutional memory and the history. There are arguments both ways."
Just the News asked Dershowitz about whether the way the House Jan. 6 Select Committee investigation was carried out could help the House GOP in their Hunter Biden probe.
"I think they should go forward and they should insist on their constitutional right to check the executive branch but I'm sure the prosecutors will say, 'no, we're not going to allow our people to disclose an ongoing investigation' and that's going to end up in court," he said.