- Top Dept. of Justice hired from law firm reportedly working on Hunter Biden defense
- Dept. of Justice declined to answer specific questions about potential conflicts of interest
- The official, Nicholas McQuaid, may have recused himself (but it's unclear)
- Sen. Grassley on senate floor explaining alleged DOJ coverup of the Hunter Biden investigation (video and transcript below)
The Department of Justice appears to have sidestepped questions posed by Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) about possible conflicts of interest involving Hunter Biden, one of President Biden's sons.
In a letter, the Republican senators expressed concern about the Biden administration's recent hiring of Nicholas McQuaid as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Criminal Division.
McQuaid worked at Latham & Watkins, the law firm Hunter Biden reportedly hired shortly before President Biden's inauguration to handle a federal criminal investigation involving Hunter. Another attorney at the firm, Christopher Clark, reportedly represents Hunter.
McQuaid began as Acting Assistant Attorney General on January 20, 2021.
In there letter, the senators wrote Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson:
According to recent news reports, the Biden administration hired Nicholas McQuaid as Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division on January 20, 2021. Mr. McQuaid was employed at Latham &Watkins until January 20, 2021, and worked with Christopher Clark, who Hunter Biden reportedly hired to work on his federal criminal case a month before President Biden’s inauguration.Senators Grassley and Johnson letter to AG Monty Wilkinson dated 2/3/21
The senators posed several questions about McQuaid's access to the Biden investigation and potential conflicts of interest:
- What steps has the Department taken to ensure that Mr. McQuaid’s reported connection to Hunter Biden’s attorney does not cause conflicts of interest with the Department’s ongoing criminal investigation involving Hunter Biden? Please explain.
- Please describe what role, if any, Mr. McQuaid has or had in the Hunter Biden investigation, either as a government employee or prior to departing Latham & Watkins.
- Does Mr. McQuaid have access to the Department’s Hunter Biden case file? If so, please explain why and whether Mr. McQuaid has accessed the file.
- Please provide all records of communications between and among Department officials relating to access to the Hunter Biden case.
- Has Mr. McQuaid communicated with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware? If so, when and what was discussed?
- Has Mr. McQuaid communicated with Christopher Clark since he became Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division? If so, when and what was discussed?
- Has Mr. McQuaid communicated with any Department ethics officials with respect to the Hunter Biden case? If so, when and what was discussed?
Acting Assistant Attorney General Helaine Greenfeld responded to the Senators' inquiry without answering the questions.
Instead, Greenfeld said that McQuaid had "signed the Ethics Pledge" and "is screened and recused from matters in which he has a financial interest or a personal business relationship, including matters involving his former law firm."
The response seems to imply, without stating explicitly, that McQuaid is recused from any investigation involving Hunter Biden.
Read an excerpt from the Department of Justice response below:
Below, watch Sen. Grassley "Explaining the Democratic Cover-up of the Hunter Biden Investigation" on the Senate floor on Dec. 14, 2020. Transcript follows.
For over a year, Senator Johnson and I investigated the Biden family’s financial dealings. For over a year, the liberal media and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle falsely said we were peddling Russian disinformation. They ginned up any story they could to falsely portray our investigation in an effort to delegitimize its findings. Even my colleague, Senator Wyden, whom I’ve worked with on many bipartisan investigations, said the following: “This disinformation also became the basis of the Johnson-Grassley investigation. The political nature of this investigation has been clear all along. Bottom line: the Johnson-Grassley investigation is baseless. It is laundering Russian propaganda for circulation in the U.S.” It seems the liberal media and the Democrats have a nervous tick. Any time a Republican gets close to the truth and is about to serve justice, the other side yells “Russian disinformation!” That’s a load of garbage. As I’ve said on this floor several times before, our report was rooted in information from U.S. government agencies and a left-aligned U.S. lobby shop that represented a corrupt Ukrainian gas company. And by now, the American people know that it’s really the Democrats and liberal media that are connected to Russian disinformation. See the Steele Dossier. It was infected with Russian disinformation and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign. The liberal media and those on the other side of the aisle were scared of the facts. They were scared that the American people would see the Biden family’s deep and extensive links to foreign governments, including the communist Chinese government. And once we publicly issued our findings, those same liberal outlets said the report repackaged old material and that there was nothing new to it. They went into full Joe Biden protection mode. And they didn’t even try to hide it. One Washington Post columnist said: “Even after accepting disinformation from Russian agents, Johnson and Grassley couldn't come up with anything new or interesting on Hunter Biden.” Politico ran a story with this headline: “GOP Senators’ anti-Biden report repackages old claims.” And NPR said about the New York Post Hunter Biden stories: “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.” Look at what Twitter and Facebook did to the Hunter Biden news. Simply said, they interfered in the election and gave the Biden campaign a multi-million dollar in-kind donation courtesy of their blatant and unforgiveable censorship. My fellow Americans, let us never forget what Twitter and Facebook did during the 2020 election. Fast forward to today, now it’s confirmed that Hunter Biden is under criminal investigation reportedly for his taxes and financial dealings – the very fact pattern that we described in our report. It shouldn’t take Hunter Biden to confirm that he’s under criminal investigation before the main stream press gets permission to report the news. It’s a complete outrage at the way the liberal media used its power to cover up facts relating to Hunter Biden and the Biden family yet ran story after story with false information about the Russia investigation into Trump and the credibility of the Steele Dossier. The recent news also shows that our report was not “baseless” and it didn’t “repackage old claims.” Quite the opposite. It was well-founded, ahead of the curve and right on the money – in more ways than one. Our report teed up the facts, but the mainstream press never stepped up to the plate. Some of the nation’s supposedly leading press outlets with teams of investigative reporters were scooped by Congress. Now they are scrambling to chase the story they ignored. It didn’t have to be this way. We already did much of the heavy lifting before issuing our report. The report made public information that hadn’t been known before. For example, it showed the following: Hunter Biden and his associates and family members were connected to Chinese nationals and Chinese companies linked with the communist party and People’s Liberation Army. This includes CEFC China Energy Company Limited and its subsidiaries. Records show that a company linked to the communist regime sent Hunter Biden’s law firm millions of dollars. Other records show that Hunter Biden opened a line of credit with a Chinese national linked to the communist regime and funded it with approximately $100,000. Then he, James Biden and Sara Biden went on an extravagant global spending spree. Still other records show that Hunter Biden, via his law firm, also sent over a million dollars to James Biden’s consulting firm, the Lion Hall Group. These transfers began less than one week after CEFC sent $5 million to a company called Hudson West III, a company linked to CEFC and Chinese nationals associated with the communist regime, which then sent money to Hunter Biden’s law firm. When the bank contacted Sara Biden, who was associated with the firm’s bank account, she refused to answer their questions and provide additional documentation. According to records we have on file, the bank submitted the account for closure. Senator Johnson and I recently issued a supplemental to our report that showed Hunter Biden’s close business associate, Rob Walker, received $6 million from a Chinese company linked to the communist regime. There’s yet another link in the chain from the Biden family and their associates to the Chinese government. The report also showed that State Department officials believed that Hunter Biden’s Burisma board membership created the perception of a conflict of interest and “was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” Secretary of State Kerry publicly denied knowing of Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. We acquired evidence showing that he did, in fact, know about that role. In December 2015, instead of following U.S. objectives of confronting oligarchs, Vice President Biden’s staff advised him to avoid commenting on Burisma’s oligarch and instead say, “I’m not going to get into naming names or accusing individuals.” Joe Biden was running an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine and he pulled his punches while his son was on the board of Burisma. Based on witness testimony, Burisma’s owner allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general to shut the case against him. When he allegedly paid that bribe, Hunter Biden was on the board.These examples are just a sampling from the report and the tip of the iceberg with respect to the Biden family’s troubled ties to governments adverse to U.S. interests. These associations, and the millions of dollars that passed between and among Hunter Biden, James Biden and others, create criminal financial, counterintelligence and extortion concerns. That’s why I’ve since written to the Justice Department about the risk that Hunter and James Biden essentially served as agents of the communist Chinese government for purposes of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. After Hunter Biden publicly confirmed he was under criminal investigation, liberal news outlets reported on concerns that his financial associations could create criminal financial and counterintelligence problems. That’s what we said in September 2020 and we were roundly criticized for it. And just over the weekend, a new email was made public that reportedly says Joe Biden and his brother were “office mates” with the very same Chinese nationals we wrote about in our report.Those same individuals were the ones with links to the communist regime and it’s military. Based on all the facts known to date, Joe Biden has a lot of explaining to do. I’ve run many oversight operations and investigations during the course of my career. I’m interested in the facts, in the evidence, in the truth. I learned a lesson long ago when I first started my oversight focus and that is: no matter how difficult the media or the other side of the aisle makes it to find the facts – never give up, keep working hard. The American taxpayer deserves nothing less. That’s the attitude and approach I’ve had my entire career and it’s what I will take with me as I continue to look into the Biden family matters and as I move back to lead the Senate Judiciary Committee.Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dec. 2020