President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he had “NOTHING to do” with any potential prosecution of President-elect Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
In a tweet, Trump said he was not involved in any criminal probe into the family.
I have NOTHING to do with the potential prosecution of Hunter Biden, or the Biden family. It is just more Fake News. Actually, I find it very sad to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2020
His tweet came just one day after Jeffrey Rosen, the incoming acting attorney general, declined to say in an interview with the Reuters news agency whether he would appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden and his foreign business dealings.
Rosen, who is set to take over when William Barr steps down on December 23, told Reuters in an interview at the Justice Department that he would continue “to do things on the merits and to do things on the basis of the law and the facts. That’s how I thought about it from the beginning and that’s how I’ll think about it through the end.”
Rosen declined to say if he had spoken to Trump since he was tapped.
Trump is considering pushing to have a special counsel appointed to advance a federal tax investigation into Hunter Biden, setting up a potential showdown with Rosen.
Trump — angry that Barr did not publicly announce the continuing, two-year investigation into Hunter Biden — has consulted on the matter with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, White House counsel Pat Cipollone and outside allies, according to several Trump administration officials and Republicans close to the White House who spoke to The Associated Press news agency on the condition of anonymity to discuss private matters.
Trump is still weighing his options, considering whether to pressure Rosen to make the special counsel appointment or, if needed, to replace the acting attorney general with someone more likely to carry out his wishes. He has even asked his team of lawyers, including personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, to look into whether the president has the power to appoint a special counsel himself.
Beyond appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the younger Biden, the sources said Trump is interested in having another special counsel appointed to look into his own baseless claims of election fraud.
A key question will be whether Rosen can stand up to presidential pressure — and potentially withering attacks — in the waning weeks of the Trump administration. If not, Rosen could be cast aside in favour of others more willing to do Trump’s bidding.
Believing that a special counsel probe could wound a Biden administration before it even begins, Trump aides have urged the president to push for one, which would make it so the investigation cannot be easily stopped by the incoming president. No firm decision has been made.
On December 9, Hunter Biden disclosed his tax affairs were under investigation by the US attorney for the District of Delaware.
Hunter Biden has long been the subject of Republican attacks.
Trump and his allies have often raised questions about potential conflicts of interest from his position on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma at the time his father was vice president to Democratic President Barack Obama, and also called for an investigation into his efforts to raise capital for a Chinese fund.