Senior Justice Department officials are in “ongoing discussions” about whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden after former Attorney General Bill Barr said it was unnecessary, Fox News reports.
Barr, who officially stepped down on Wednesday, told reporters earlier this week that he had “not seen a reason” to appoint a special counsel to investigate President-elect Joe Biden’s son.
"I think to the extent that there's an investigation, I think that it's being handled responsibly and professionally," Barr said Monday. "To this point I have not seen a reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave."
But a source told Fox News that it remains an “open discussion” inside the department.
"It is an ongoing discussion," the source said. "No decisions have been made either way."
Another source told the outlet that some top DOJ officials believe a special counsel is “warranted.”
"It was passed to deal with a potential conflict of interest of the attorney general or the president of the United States," the source said. "A president-elect coming in, where his appointed attorneys will be investigating his son? That’s textbook conflict."
Joe Biden vowed to stay out of it:
Biden earlier this week vowed that he would not interfere with the investigation into his son.
"No, no. I guarantee you I’m going to do what I said," Biden said. "The attorney general of the United States of America is not the president's lawyer. I will appoint someone I expect to enforce the law as the law is written, not guided by me."
Incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden "will not be discussing an investigation of his son with any attorney general candidates."
"He will not be discussing it with anyone he is considering for the role and he will not be discussing it with a future attorney general," she told Fox News. "It will be up to the purview of a future attorney general in his administration to determine how to handle any investigation."
Hunter facing multiple probes:
Hunter Biden said earlier this month that he recently learned his taxes were under investigation by the US Attorney in Delaware before news outlets reported that he was also under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York.
The investigation began as early as 2018, partly due to suspicious activity reports regarding funds from China and other foreign nations, the outlet reported.
Trump has repeatedly called for a special counsel to investigate Biden and complained that Barr did not reveal the investigation prior to the election.