Outgoing Attorney General William Barr said he saw no reason or has “no plan” to appoint a special counsel to oversee either investigation related to President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, or to look into President Trump’s claims of election fraud that occurred during the 2020 presidential election.
Barr appeared in his final press conference before he is set to leave office this Wednesday, telling reporters the current investigations into Hunter’s financial dealings are “being handled responsibly and professionally” by federal prosecutors, led by David Weiss in Delaware.
“I think that to the extent that there is an investigation, I think that it is being handled responsibly and professionally currently within the department, and to this point, I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave,” Barr said in response to a question about whether he would name a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.
Through his father’s tax-funded transition team communications, Biden informed the media that he is under federal investigation for his “tax affairs” dealings. The federal probe has been ongoing since 2018, but it was only revealed this month when Barr worked overtime to conceal the info from the public during the 2020 presidential election.
Republican lawmakers since October have urged Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter business dealing after the New York Post bombshell report. The calls have intensified over concerns the Biden administration would seek to shut down any probes into Hunter, making it harder for Biden to shut them down.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reiterate calls last week for a special counsel to investigate Hunter’s taxes and finances, as well as to see if any crimes were committed during his time serving on the board of Burisma and to see if any conflict occurred with his business dealings conducted with the Chinese government.
“I am absolutely calling on a special counsel to look at all things Hunter Biden to see if he presents a conflict for the Biden administration regarding his business dealings in Ukraine, which is overrun with Russian agents, and any activity he had with the Chinese government,” Graham told reporters in the Capitol last Wednesday.
Barr also said he wasn’t going to tap a special counsel to examine the president’s claims of widespread fraud that occurred in the presidential election. According to the New York Times, Trump was reported on Friday to have discussed the possibility of naming Sidney Powell, the former attorney for retired Gen. Mike Flynn, as a special counsel to investigate claims of voter fraud.
“If I thought a special counsel at this stage was the right tool and was appropriate I would name one, but I haven’t and I’m not going to,” Barr said.
Barr told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this month that the Justice Department had not found evidence of widespread fraud that would change the outcome of the election.
“Let me just say that, you know, there are frauds unfortunately in most elections. I think we’re too tolerant of it and I’m sure there was fraud in this election but I was commenting on the extent to which we had looked at suggestions or allegations of systemic or broad-based fraud that would affect the outcome of the election and I already spoke to that and I stand by that statement,” Barr told reporters, referring to the remarks he made in the AP interview.