Jun 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy threatens Garland with impeachment inquiry

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is threatening to open an impeachment inquiry into Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Justice Department's investigation into Hunter Biden.

Why it matters: It's a significant escalation of tensions as congressional Republicans rail against what they argue is a "sweetheart" plea deal for the president's son.

  • Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor counts for not paying taxes in 2017 and 2018.
  • He's also agreed to enter a probationary agreement to a felony charge for owning a gun while being a drug user.

Driving the news: In a tweet on Monday, McCarthy honed in on allegations from an IRS whistleblower who testified that senior DOJ officials interfered in Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss' probe on Hunter Biden's behalf.

  • "If the whistleblowers' allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland's weaponization of DOJ," McCarthy said.
  • He also called for Weiss to "provide answers" to the House Judiciary Committee.

The context: Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) sent Weiss a letter on Thursday asking about a June 7 letter Weiss sent the panel stating he had "ultimate authority" in the Hunter Biden investigation.

  • Gary Shapley, the IRS whistleblower, has claimed that Weiss told several people he lacked the authority to charge Biden outside Delaware and had requested special counsel status.
  • Jordan's letter asks who helped Weiss draft the letter, who instructed him to sign it, and the level of coordination he had with Garland or other DOJ officials.

The other side: Garland said at a press conference on Friday that Weiss was given "complete authority to make all decisions on his own" and "never" requested special counsel status.

The big picture: McCarthy's threat comes as House Republicans carry out a sprawling array of probes into the Biden administration and the alleged "weaponization" of the federal government and federal law enforcement.

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