Wilmington, Delaware – President-elect Joe Biden’s transition from historic challenges to power has become even more complicated.
A federal investigation into the finances of Biden’s son Hunter threatens to embolden Republican lawmakers, who have already shown little willingness to work with the next president or even acknowledge his clear victory in last month’s election. Without a doubt, it will complicate the confirmation hearings in the Senate of the secretary of justice that Biden names and who could end up leading the investigation into the son of the new president.
All of this raises the prospect of further dysfunction in a capital struggling to tackle the nation’s most urgent crises, such as a pandemic that leaves a daily death toll comparable to the devastation of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Republicans, particularly those with presidential aspirations in 2024, have made it clear that they will pressure Biden on that issue.RELATED
“Joe Biden must commit today that he will cooperate with the federal investigation and answer all questions under oath,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, said Tuesday, “and that if he is sworn in as president, no federal investigator or prosecutor will work on the criminal case against Hunter Biden will be removed from office. “
Hunter Biden has long been a source of concern to his father’s campaign team and was the target of repeated unsubstantiated accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies. But news of the probe released Wednesday, and an investigation into some of Hunter Biden’s business with China and other transactions, took most of his father’s associates by surprise.
The president-elect did not make public appearances Thursday and was continuing the process of forming a cabinet. But the investigation threatens to destabilize a transition that has prioritized a methodical announcement by members of his government, collaborators and policy objectives of the White House, all with the aim of guaranteeing inertia when he assumes the presidency and can address in immediate problems related to a sprawling pandemic and a reeling economy.
More importantly, the investigation puts the spotlight on one of Biden’s most important appointments: his attorney general.
Alabama Senator Doug Jones and federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland have emerged as the top contenders for the job, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press this week. But the dynamics could change, because the person who is selected to head the Department of Justice will be thoroughly investigated due to the slightest perception of loyalty to the president-elect and lack of objectivity in the Hunter Biden investigation.