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CNN anchor Jake Tapper exclaimed Friday that the timing of U.S. Attorney David Weiss' special counsel appointment is "very suspicious."
After Attorney General Merrick Garland shocked Washington with the appointment, Tapper and a CNN panel broke down the significance of the development and how it raises more questions than it answers.
Tapper, for example, questioned why the Hunter Biden case now merits a special counsel when, less than two months ago, Weiss was trying to push it across the finish line with a sweetheart plea deal.
"Does he know of stuff that should be in a special counsel investigation that wasn't in that plea deal? I mean, maybe he does, but then why do that plea deal?" Tapper questioned. "It's all very suspicious."
Among the other issues Tapper raised:
- First, why choose Weiss when special counsels are normally non-U.S. government employees?
- Second, why stick with Weiss when his plea deal was recently decimated by a federal judge?
- Third, doesn't the appointment of Weiss as a special counsel confirm what IRS whistleblowers alleged?
"This move makes it seem as though, well, maybe the whistleblowers were right," Tapper explained. "Maybe what they were alleging is true, and he didn't have the ability to charge wherever he wanted to charge, and now he does. So I do have a lot of questions about that. And I do think some of the political questions being raised by Republicans have merit."
In a later panel segment with Tapper, CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates, and reporter Paula Reid, more questions were raised.
Coates, noting that Garland claimed Weiss asked for special counsel powers just last week, asked: "Why now?"
Reid, moreover, questioned whether the motive for the appointment was "to insulate" the Justice Department if the case goes to trial and from House Republicans, who are investigating allegations of corruption involving Hunter Biden and President Joe Biden.
Finally, Tapper asked why Weiss is suddenly interested in prosecuting Hunter Biden for more potential crimes than those he had agreed to just weeks ago.
"Here's another one for you: OK, so I'm David Weiss, once again, play this game with me. I'm special counsel. Just a few weeks ago, I was ready to say, 'Eh, a diversion, a slap on the wrist, a misdemeanor.' Really, it was not a big punishment. And now I want special counsel authority to investigate something that just a few weeks ago I was basically saying this is the most I can prove in a court of law? That doesn't make sense to me either," Tapper said.
"By the way, I'm fully willing to believe there's a lot more to investigate and a lot more to charge him with, but that wasn't his position a few weeks ago," he noted.
Coates agreed the development "lends credence" to the IRS whistleblowers before asking a final question: Why did Weiss say two times that he had full authority to carry out the investigation in any direction that it led, yet now he feels that he needs special counsel authority?
"The whole thing is a disaster for everyone," Reid said to conclude the segment.
'Why now?': Move to appoint special counsel in Hunter Biden case raises questionswww.youtube.com
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Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News