- President Donald Trump is considering personally appointing a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden in the waning weeks of his presidency, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
- Trump consulted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and others on the possibility of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate Biden, whose business dealings in Ukraine were at the center of the president’s impeachment.
- The report comes on the heels of Trump announcing Monday that outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr will be leaving the Justice Department before Christmas.
- Trump was unhappy with Barr for not publicly announcing a federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes, and later for saying the DOJ and the FBI found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, contradicting baseless conspiracy theories from the president and his allies.
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President Donald Trump asked his lawyer if he could personally appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden in the waning weeks of his presidency, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Trump brought up the matter of appointing a special counsel to investigate the son of President-elect Joe Biden to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and others, Trump officials and Republicans close to the White House told the AP.
The sources also told the AP that Trump is considering appointing a special counsel to investigate his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud.
Representatives from the White House did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
The report comes on the heels of Trump announcement Monday that outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr will be leaving the Justice Department before Christmas. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will be acting attorney general in Barr’s absence.
Trump was unhappy with Barr for not publicly announcing a federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes, according to the AP report. The president was also displeased with Barr, saying that the Justice Department and the FBI didn’t find evidence of widespread voter fraud, contradicting Trump’s election-related conspiracy theories.
Rosen said he was “honored” to fulfill the role as the nation’s top cop and said he “will continue to focus on the implementation of the Department’s key priorities.”
The question remains if the acting attorney general will succumb to the pressure from the president to carry out investigations into his political opponents as Trump enters his final few weeks in office. The president “has even asked his team of lawyers, including personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, to look into whether the president has the power to appoint a special counsel himself,” citing the AP report.
If the probe were to be taken up by the Justice Department under the Trump administration, it would likely be “a more prolonged and complicated investigation” than the current probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes, the AP reported.
The investigation could extend past Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, which would then place the onus upon the incoming administration to keep Rosen or appoint another attorney general. The attorney general reserves the power to terminate special counsel investigations – but only “for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest,” according to the AP.