Trump reportedly asked his lawyer if he could personally appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden before leaving office

trump thanksgiving
President Trump is seen at the White House on November 26, 2020.

  • 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.

Read more: Trump announces Attorney General William 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, 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.

Read the full story at the AP »

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Attorney General William Barr is reportedly brushing off Trump’s attacks over Hunter Biden investigation as a ‘deposed king ranting’

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US Attorney General Bill Barr speaks during a press conference in Chicago on September 9, 2020.

  • Trump has shared calls to fire Attorney General William Barr and reportedly held a meeting to discuss firing him.
  • Barr “cannot be intimidated” by Trump and thinks the president’s attacks are a “deposed king ranting,” a source told CNN.
  • The relationship between Trump and Barr is reportedly like a “cold war.”
  • Barr has considering leaving his post before January 20, according to The New York Times.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Trump has recently focused his energy on attacking Attorney General William Barr, calling him a “big disappointment” in a retweet of a message that suggested Barr should be fired immediately.

The president also discussed firing the top lawyer in a Friday morning meeting, according to CNN. He’s reportedly furious over reports that Barr kept the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes under wraps during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

But Barr “cannot be intimidated” by Trump, a source close to the AG told CNN.

In a tweet, Trump wrote: “Why didn’t Bill Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the Election, about Hunter Biden. Joe was lying on the debate stage that nothing was wrong, or going on – Press confirmed. Big disadvantage for Republicans at the polls!”

The public feud between Barr and Trump as being like a “cold war,” the source told CNN. Barr is, reportedly, “not someone who takes bullying and turns the other cheek.”

Seemingly unbothered, the source disclosed that “none of this matters –  it’s the deposed king ranting. Irrelevant to the course of justice and to Trump’s election loss.”

This isn’t the first time that Barr and Trump have clashed. At the start of the month, the AG defied Trump by stating that the Department of Justice and FBI had not found any evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

While Trump is said to be weighing up whether to dismiss Barr just a month before his term is up, Barr is also considered to be considering making an early departure.

Barr has contemplated leaving his post before January 20, according to The New York Times.

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