Garland was pressed on the matter during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, with Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty demanding to know if he had been briefed on the investigation. The attorney general said it is headed by David Weiss, the US attorney in Wilmington, Delaware.
“I’m aware of that, but he reports to you,” Hagerty replied.
“He is overseeing the investigation and I am not at liberty to speak about the internal deliberations of the Justice Department, but he is in charge of that investigation,” Garland said. “There will be no interference of any political or improper kind.”
Hunter Biden has not been charged with any crime and has denied any wrongdoing. President Joe Biden is not being investigated as part of the probe into his son’s business activities, previously briefed sources told CNN.
Hagerty asked Garland if he thought it would be appropriate for the president to ever call him in the Oval Office to tell him his son didn’t break the law.
“Absolutely not. And the president has not done that. And the president is committed to not interfering, not only in that investigation but in any other type of investigation,” Garland said.
The senator then questioned how the “American people (can) be sure that the (Biden) administration is conducting a serious investigation” into his own son, to which Garland responded, “Because we put the investigation in the hands of a Trump appointee from the previous administration.”
“And because they have me as attorney general committed to the independence of the Justice Department from any White House influence in criminal matters,” he said.
Garland was also pressed by both Hagerty and Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana on whether there should be a special counsel in the Justice Department overseeing the Biden investigation, a question the attorney general largely avoided answering directly.
“The question of whether they have a special counsel is an internal decision within the department, so I don’t want to pass judgment one way or the other. But I feel quite comfortable with the United States Attorney. for that district to continue in the role that it’s playing,” he said.
Activity in the investigation has been on and off for years, with coronavirus disruptions and pauses around the 2020 election, and in some cases, investigators haven’t followed up for months after initially contacting potential witnesses.
CNN reported in March that in recent months, investigative activity in the probe has intensified along with discussions among Justice Department officials about the strength of the case and whether more work is needed before seeking a decision on potential charges. , according to people briefed on the case. matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.