Raskin says the Hunter Biden process is “bumpy” but argues lawmakers should stay out of it


Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said Sunday that the process for hiring a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s youngest son, has been “bumpy” and it appears Hunter Biden has done “illegal and wrong things” .

But Raskin said federal prosecutors should be allowed to continue their work unimpeded by politics.

“David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware nominated by Donald Trump, can make the decisions about what to charge, where to charge, and when to charge,” said Jonathan Karl, co-anchor of “This Week.” “. “And with the plea agreement he had apparently reached with Hunter Biden broken down, he now wants to make sure he has the power to bring charges anywhere he wants.”

The change to the petition’s status was detailed in court filings by prosecutors on Friday, the same day that Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was upgrading Weiss to special counsel.

Weiss, who has overseen the investigation into Hunter Biden for nearly five years, asked on Tuesday to become special counsel, which would give him more independence and new powers.

Hunter Biden has pleaded not guilty to the tax charges.

“From my point of view, the rule of law and the justice system work themselves the way they do, and it’s obviously bumpy and this side or that side doesn’t necessarily favor that course of events,” Raskin said Sunday. . “But our job, I think, as politicians is to allow the justice system to run its course.”

Raskin said Weiss’s being a special advisor would not functionally change the way he works: “To me, it seems to formalize what was basically understanding from the start.”

When asked by Carl what he thinks has changed for Wes and Garland, Raskin points to issues with his plea bargain with Hunter Biden. He also said there had been undue political pressure on Weiss.

Hunter Biden had originally agreed to plead guilty to failing to pay taxes on income he earned in 2017 and 2018. In return, prosecutors had recommended probation. Hunter Biden would also have agreed to a pre-trial diversion on a separate gun charge, with the charge dropped if he met certain conditions.

But the agreement with plaintiffs was delayed by a judge after a hearing in Delaware late last month, in which the judge questioned some of the terms.

Prosecutors said in their filings on Friday that they are in a “stalemate” with Hunter Biden’s attorneys over any potential deal.

PHOTO: Rep. Jamie Raskin, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on July 19, 2023.

Representative Jamie Raskin, the ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., on July 19, 2023.

Bloomberg via Getty Images, FILE

“I don’t know what factors go into calculus to set it [Weiss as special counsel] Obviously, there had to be some public interest reason for this. The physical change in circumstances that I can discern is simply the breakdown of the recognition agreement, Raskin said Sunday. He needed to prosecute the case. And certainly, there was political pressure on her, which I don’t approve of. I think it is not our duty as politicians to try to second guess and try to micromanage.”

Leading congressional Republicans, some of whom had previously called for Weiss to become a special counsel, then sharply criticized the development.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy wrote in a social media post that Weiss may not be “reliable” because of his role in Hunter Biden’s previous confirmation agreement.

On “This Week,” Raskin hits back at his fellow conservatives by arguing that they are hypocrites.

You could also just say: “How could Kevin McCarthy, who told Donald Trump that his people were the ones who stormed his office and the Capitol, was wrong, but turned around after a week or two to be flattered again? Donald Trump trusts any of this?” This is why there is a justice system. Let’s just let them do their thing,” Raskin said.

Republicans have increasingly focused on Hunter Biden, including his controversial past overseas business, which they contend is at least suggestive of influence peddling by the larger Biden family while Joe Biden was in office.

The White House has repeatedly denied this, saying there is no evidence that Joe Biden is involved or is involved in Hunter Biden’s business.

Pushed by Carl on “This Week,” Raskin acknowledged he was “concerned” about how Hunter Biden might capitalize on his family name, but then referred to the behavior of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner during the Trump administration.

“They didn’t put a gauntlet on Joe Biden as president,” Raskin said of the Republicans. “They couldn’t show any criminal corruption on his part.” “What they have is Hunter Biden. And we all saw… that this guy was a drug addict who did a lot of really illegal and wrong things. And we said, let the justice system take its course.”

ABC News’ Lucien Brueggemann contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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