Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) floated a possible impeachment inquiry into Attorney General Merrick Garland over alleged political bias and “weaponization” of the Department of Justice, with the push fueled by an IRS whistleblower’s claims about tax crime investigations into Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son.
“We need to get to the facts, and that includes reconciling these clear disparities. U.S. Attorney David Weiss must provide answers to the House Judiciary Committee,” McCarthy said in a said in tweet Sunday.
“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 expressing interest in impeaching Garland is a notable departure from how he has handled calls from Republicans to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden. McCarthy has previously vowed any impeachment proceedings would not be political, and said he would allow committees to investigate before moving toward impeachment.
Last week, Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee released testimony from two IRS whistleblowers — agent Gary Shapley, and another unnamed agent — who were involved in investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes. They alleged that prosecutors slow-walked the case against Hunter Biden.
That investigation, led by Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, resulted in Hunter Biden reaching a deal to plead guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay income tax, and reaching an agreement to enter a pretrial diversion program relating to unlawful possession of a weapon.
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Garland last week shot down the suggestion that Hunter Biden was treated with a more leniency due to his relation to President Biden.
“As I said from the moment of my appointment as attorney general, I would leave this matter in the hands of the United States attorney — who was appointed by the previous president and assigned to this matter by the previous administration — that he would be given full authority to decide the matter as he decided was appropriate, and that’s what he’s done,” Garland said.
Garland also defended the integrity of the Justice Department more broadly.
“Some have chosen to attack the integrity of the Justice Department … by claiming we do not treat like cases alike. This constitutes an attack on an institution that is essential to American democracy and essential to the safety of the American people,” Garland said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
McCarthy’s interest in impeaching Garland also follows years of GOP claims that the Department of Justice is unfairly targeting conservatives, fueled in part by the special counsel investigation into former President Trump’s campaign and Russian influence in the 2016 election. Republicans set up a select subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee to probe what they call the “weaponization” of the federal government.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) filed articles of impeachment against Garland in May. The motion had six co-sponsors.