David Weiss requested it this week; Garland said it was in the public interest.

August 11, 2023, 12:45 PM

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel in his investigation of President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden, Garland announced on Friday.

Weiss asked Garland to be appointed special counsel on Tuesday and Garland said he concluded it was in the public interest after considering the request.

A senior Department of Justice official told reporters that this is the first time Weiss has asked to be appointed special counsel. Weiss himself has said the same before, pushing back on claims by an IRS whistleblower.

“This appointment confirms my commitment to provide Mr. Weiss all the resources he requests,” Garland said. “It also reaffirms that Mr. Weiss has the authority he needs to conduct a thorough investigation and to continue to take the steps he deems appropriate in dependently based only on the facts and the law.”

Garland said Weiss “will continue to have the authority and responsibility that he has previously exercised to oversee the investigation and decide where, when and whether to file charges.”

Prosecutors also wrote in court filings that they intend to drop the misdemeanor tax charges in Delaware and instead bring them in California and Washington, D.C. — the venues where prosecutors say the alleged misconduct occurred.

“Venue for these offenses does not lie in Delaware. Rather, venue for these offenses and any other related tax offenses lies either in the Central District of California or in the District of Columbia. The information was filed in this District because the parties had previously agreed that the Defendant would waive any challenge to venue and plead guilty in this District. However, during the July 26, 2023, hearing that the Court set on this matter, the Defendant pled not guilty. Since that time, the parties have engaged in further plea negotiations but are at an impasse. The Government now believes that the case will not resolve short of a trial,” the filing said.

“Now that the parties are at an impasse, a trial is in order,” they wrote. “Venue must be proper for each count of an indictment.”

ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.