Attorney General Barr won't appoint special counsel for Hunter Biden investigation, undercutting Trump

  • Attorney General William Barr said he would not appoint a special counsel to take over the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden
  • Barr's statement undercuts President Donald Trump, who has mulled pushing for a special counsel.
  • Hunter Biden has said the U.S. attorney in Delaware is investigating his taxes.

Outgoing Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he would not appoint a special counsel to take over the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden, undercutting President Donald Trump yet again.

Trump has mulled pushing the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel for the probe, which is focused on Hunter Biden's taxes, and which is currently being handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware.

Appointing a special counsel is seen as one means to prevent Joe Biden or other officials in his administration from exerting any pressure on the U.S. attorney's office to go easy on Hunter Biden.

But Barr said such a move is not necessary.

"To the extent that there's an investigation, I think that it's being handled responsibly and professionally within the department," Barr said at a press conference, two days before his resignation from the Department of Justice takes effect.

"And to this point I have no seen reason to appoint a special counsel, and I see no reason to do so before I leave," Barr said. "If I thought a special counsel was the right tool, I would name one, but I haven't."

Barr also said that he hopes the Biden administration will handle the Hunter Biden probe "responsibly."

Joe Biden has said that he will not interfere in the decision making of federal prosecutors.

Barr submitted his resignation last week after infuriating Trump by contradicting the president's claim that he lost the presidential election to Joe Biden as a result of massive ballot fraud.

Barr had said in an interview with the Associated Press that the DOJ had not seen any evidence to warrant reversing Biden's election.

On Monday, Barr said he was commenting in that interview on whether there was systemic or broad-based voting fraud.

"I stand by that statement," he said.

Hunter Biden, a lawyer and businessman, said two weeks ago that he was the focus of an investigation by the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Delware, his home state.

Both Hunter Biden and his father have said Hunter did nothing wrong.

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