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It’s under me Column on the hill on the expiring grand jury in Delaware and reports that the Hunter Biden investigation is at a “critical stage.” TThese long questions could have been avoided If Attorney General Merrick Garland had responded to the new disclosure by appointing a special counsel. In 2021, emails and laptop recordings raised questions about whether President Joe Biden could have benefited from some of these deals, and how his initial denial of knowledge appeared patently false. The failure to appoint a special counsel in this case is a textbook example of why such appointments are necessary to avoid such doubts about the scope or independence of the investigation.

Here is the column:

the astronaut Aldrin again He once said that the secret to his success was “timing…I’m glad I was in the right place at the right time.” This is the determining factor Hunter Biden Life: No matter what the alleged crime or corruption, he escaped responsibility, often out of sheer political courage.

Now, according to various media outlets, time may be running out for Hunter, and the federal investigation has entered a “critical stageHowever, timing could still work in Hunter’s favor.

Hunter has always had impeccable timing and, like Blanche Dubois,It always depended on the kindness of strangersAfter his father became a powerful U.S. senator, he went to law school with a long line of influencers eager to help him and his family. After graduation, Hunter took a high-paying job at MBNA, a bank holding company. . Key credit card rule support Under the pressure of his father in the Senate.

Later, Hunter though Complete lack of credibility. His father, however, was a critical advocate for Amtrak in the Senate.

When his father became vice president, Hunter and his uncle apparently cashed in on a long line of foreign entities seeking influence with his father. Millions of dollars were given to Hunter Even though, as He has admittedHe was addicted to crack and alcohol at the time -[d]Drinking a liter of vodka a day by yourself in a room [which] It’s totally, totally debilitating’ and ‘smoking around the clock’.

When Hunter’s debauchery and dealings became public knowledge, thanks to the laptop he left at the repair shop, time was right for him again. It happened right before the 2020 presidential election and the media imposed A Virtual blackout in coverage; 51 intelligence experts wrote a letter rejecting the laptop as Most likely “Russian disinformation”. US Attorney David Weiss, Investigating Hunter’s transactions under the appointment of the then Attorney General William Barr, The grand jury suspended its investigation for months To avoid accusations of election interference.

Now, the jury deadlock last month has created a new timeline in the Hunter saga. A grand jury has reportedly been looking at a variety of possible criminal charges stemming from Hunter’s reported involvement with questionable foreign figures. China, Russia, Ukraine and other countries.

While it is unclear whether there were any indictments, some of the crimes appear indisputable based on the evidence known. For example, Biden appears Clearly lied on the federal form obtaining weapons by denying drug use; So is he It appears to have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. And there are obvious tax charges that could be filed even if he paid the back taxes after the investigation began.

However, some of the most serious allegations of corruption relate to the alleged influence and acquisition of millions by foreign figures. Not only is it reported that more than 150 suspicious activity reports (SARs) were recorded, but those millions seemed to have evaporated. According to reports, his dealings involve a series of powerful figures, including his father, uncle, and… Children of other known families.

However again the issue of “timing” and Familiar concerns From “Sensitivities of the election year

A long-standing Justice Department policy instructs prosecutors to exercise caution in “timing charges or open investigative actions close to the time of a primary or general election.” Accordingly, some observers have done so refused Prosecutor Weiss should not indict Hunter before the midterm elections because it could hurt Democratic candidates. This could explain the lack of publication of any indictments after the grand jury was dismissed.

But using the policy to seal or delay any indictment could raise the same concerns about the politicization of prosecutions.

The protected period under the Justice Policy is variously stated as 60 or 90 days. This grand jury term expired outside of both terms. Additionally, the policy does not prohibit filings during that period. The law prohibits prosecutors from using “the timing of criminal investigations or charges to influence any election, or to give advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.” It is the expiration of the grand jury, not any sinister motive, that drives the program.

The most obvious problem with this argument is that neither President Biden nor his son are running in the November election. This policy is not meant to be a political diversion from the parlor game “Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon.” The indictment in Delaware will be three counts of each Democratic candidate: (1) Hunter is Joe Biden’s son, (2) Joe Biden The president is a Democrat and (3) candidates are running as Democrats.

Using such a tense relationship can itself be a political act. If the Justice Department can refrain from prosecuting even tangentially political elements, it can protect political allies from facing criminal charges before voters.

Of course, if there are sealed indictments, the delay will not stop the final prosecution. However, that time could still work in Hunter’s favor. He did not have to deal with a special counsel, who would normally prepare a comprehensive report. It has been around for a long time A decisive basis for the appointment of a special adviser In this case, given the direct reference to President Biden as a potential beneficiary of Hunter’s deals. With the case being handed over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, such a report is unlikely, and only limited information will be disclosed with any indictment.

More importantly, if an indictment is limited to the limited charges, not a broader conspiracy, Hunter could plead guilty to receive a more favorable sentence and avoid a trial and release of additional information. A plea could also provide practical protection for future sessions of Congress: The case would be closed before Republicans can regain control of one or both houses of Congress, and the Justice Department could avoid further charges. . Indeed, the grand jury’s expiring without a public indictment fueled concerns that Biden’s Justice Department might cut a generous plea deal with the president’s son.

Conversely, if the U.S. attorney presents evidence to a new grand jury, it could take months and extend beyond the midterm elections. This poses considerable risk to the Biden administration and Hunter himself, as Weiss may make good use of this extra time.

Weiss does not appear to be critical of any alleged influence witnesses, including President Biden. Presidents can be subpoenaed before a grand jury or otherwise impeached by investigators. For example, during his presidency, President Clinton was famously forced to testify in a legal case. If Weiss is going to investigate transactions involving money in the hands of the “Big Man,” as Hunter is said to refer to his father, it looks like this is the man who should be on the witness list.

It’s unclear what, if anything, Weiss discovered about the Bidens — but, perhaps for the first time, time will tell.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

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