Republican lawmaker says Weiss special counsel appointment illegal

August 20, 2023

The recent promotion by Attorney General Merrick Garland of U.S. Attorney David Weiss to special counsel status in the Hunter Biden probe has prompted all sorts of questions and controversy that show no signs of abating anytime soon, as Breitbart reports, and Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) is among those calling foul.

Setting aside the obvious questions surrounding the propriety of naming Weiss as special counsel investigating the president's son given his prior role in a years-long probe that ended with a generous – albeit ill-fated – plea agreement, there are other, technical legal grounds for objections now being raised.

Sitting down with Mobile radio station FM Talk 106.5, Palmer – who also serves as House Republican Policy chair – indicated his belief that Weiss himself ought to be probed for possible obstruction of justice and should not have been granted special counsel status.

In Palmer's view, recent IRS whistleblower revelations suggest that Weiss was directly involved in hindering the agency's investigation of the first son and should therefore be disqualified from further participation and perhaps even be subjected to formal sanctions for misconduct.

Not only that, Palmer cites the special counsel statute itself in support of the contention that Garland's appointment of Weiss was unlawful in and of itself.

Speaking to the station's show host, Palmer said, “But here's the interesting thing, Jeff – first of all, the special counsel law is pretty plain, and the special counsel should come from outside the federal government.”

“Apparently, Merrick Garland didn't read it because David Weiss is a U.S. attorney. Not only is he a U.S. attorney, but he's the guy that I think we should be investigating for obstruction of justice,” Palmer added.

The congressman continued, “If you recall, when we had the IRS investigators in, the whistleblowers, I asked Gary Shapley, who was the supervisor overseeing that investigation of Hunter Biden, were they denied access to the FBI's form 1023, which was very clear about what was going on with the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma.”

“He said he was denied. He did not have access. I asked him if there were other materials or documents that would have been critical to their investigation that he was denied. He said, 'Yes sir, the laptop,' and there were other documents,” Palmer said.

The lawmaker concluded, “That's David Weiss, and Weiss denied access to these documents to the investigators to the point that the statute of limitations expired. I actually think we should be investigating David Weiss for obstruction.”

Palmer is not alone in his stance that Weiss' appointment is illegal, as Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has argued the very same point in recent days, as Daily Wire reports.

In Dershowitz's estimation, the problem is clear in that §600.3(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations – titled “Qualifications of the Special Counsel” – states that anyone in the role must be “selected from outside the United States government.”

“This requirement is the law,” Dershowitz began in a Substack article outlining his position.

The noted legal scholar and frequent Fox News contributor went on, “There are good reasons for this requirement. Special counsel if supposed to be independent of the current government, not an employee who serves as U.S. Attorney for Delaware and can be fired from that job by the president. He is supposed to look at the evidence through the eyes of an outsider,” and that is something few who have paid attention in recent months and years believe Weiss can do.

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