U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland should have found a new attorney — preferably one with clear conservative credentials and a solid resume as a prosecutor — for special counsel status in the investigation of the president’s son, Hunter Biden.
While we acknowledge many Republican lawmakers had in the past said U.S. Attorney David Weiss would be an acceptable choice, those statements were also made before Weiss offered a plea agreement in the case — a plea agreement that has fueled speculation and a perception that Hunter Biden is receiving special treatment.
Garland’s decision, reported by the Associated Press, will almost certainly do nothing to reassure American voters who suspect special treatment is at hand.
The White House and supportive Democrats should recognize that this is a particularly thorny matter, as it involves a firearms violation. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, noted the incongruity.
“Democrats are crying and complaining all the time about wanting more gun laws yet they won’t even enforce the gun laws that exist,” Christie said, according to USA Today. “Hunter Biden should have been charged under those gun laws.”
This is beyond a fair point — it’s such an obvious point that both the political operatives in the White House and upper echelons of the Democratic Party should have anticipated it and the Justice Department should have been prepared for how, unaddressed, it can erode faith in the department’s even-handedness.
Selecting a special counsel whose record of clear-eyed criticism of his or her Democratic colleagues would have been the best and most effective way of addressing these perceptions.