North Carolina Republican Rep. Dan Bishop severely tested Attorney General Merrick Garland’s patience Wednesday as the two battled over who it was that decided when it was time for David Weiss to be appointed Special Counsel to investigate Hunter Biden,
And under what circumstances the statutes of limitations were allowed to expire on more serious charges President Joe Biden’s son could have faced.
At the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, Garland faced repeated critical questioning from Republicans over the handling of investigations related to the President and his son.
Republicans are launching an impeachment inquiry that is related in large part to issues of money and influence-peddling alleged against both Bidens.
Rep. Bishop spent upwards of five minutes grilling the Attorney General on two points specifically: who made the determination some weeks ago that it was time to empower Weiss as special counsel,
And whether or not Garland was aware of the circumstances behind investigators and prosecutors allowing the statutes of limitations to expire on more serious charges that the younger Biden could have faced but now won’t.
At one point, after Bishop had rephrased the same question several times attempting to get a particular response, Garland lost his patience.
After Garland said that the investigators were “fully aware” of all “relevant law,” Bishop snippily remarked, “I’m not asking for the excuses. I’m asking whether you’re aware of that fact, sir.”
Equally irritable, Garland replied, “I’m going to say again. I’m going to say again, and again, if necessary. I did not interfere with did not investigate, did not make determinations.”
“Everybody in the country now knows, who’s paying attention to this, that the Justice Department permitted statutes of limitations to expire,” said Bishop.
“Every lawyer who’s ever practiced understands the implications of allowing statutes of limitations to expire. Do you not even know as you sit here whether it occurred or not?”
“Prosecutors make appropriate determinations on their own. In this case, I left it to Mr. Weiss whether to bring charges or not,” Garland replied.
“That would include whether to let the statute of limitations expire or not, whether there was sufficient evidence to bring a case that was subject to the statute of limitations or not, whether there were better cases to bring or not.”
The sparks were also flying between the Republican and Democrat members of the committee themselves, not just the witnesses at the contentious, blockbuster hearing.