Public interest group pressing DOJ for transparency on issue related to Hunter Biden
"The Biden Administration's constant refrain is that it is the most transparent in history and Attorney General Garland sings the praises of transparency and accessibility."
The departure of a top Justice Department official highlights the dangers of a lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest, says the public interest watchdog group Protect the Public's Trust (PPT).
The group issued a warning on Tuesday about the risks to the public's trust in government, citing a lack of transparency in the case of Nicholas McQuaid, who was appointed by President Biden to serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division. It was recently reported that McQuaid is returning to his old law firm Latham & Watkins at which former colleague Christopher Clark, with whom he represented at least one client, was hired by Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden.
PPT filed a transparency lawsuit against the DOJ last July for "the agency's refusal to comply with requests for records regarding waivers to federal ethics laws and potential conflicts of interest among high-level staff," among which is the case of McQuaid.
According to a 2021 report in the Washington Examiner, "DOJ hinted in February 2021 that McQuaid may have recused himself from the Hunter Biden case but did not say so directly." PPT wants to see the actual recusal. They believe it would be among the documents responsive to their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request at the heart of their lawsuit.
"The Biden Administration's constant refrain is that it is the most transparent in history and Attorney General Garland sings the praises of transparency and accessibility," stated Michael Chamberlain, Director of Protect the Public's Trust. "But where the rubber meets the road, even when DOJ could douse claims about bias and conflicts in his own agency with some transparency, Justice falls far short of what the public deserves. Yet, at the same time, they wonder why the American public's trust in its government is on a downward spiral."
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