Congressional Republicans have for months repeatedly written to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland demanding he appoint a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, the president’s son, over his business dealings.
Some even demanded that a specific man be named to lead the inquiry: David C. Weiss, the Trump-appointed Delaware U.S. attorney who has long investigated the case.
But on Friday, after Mr. Garland elevated Mr. Weiss to special counsel status, Republicans in Congress reacted publicly not with triumph, but with outrage. “David Weiss can’t be trusted and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden family’s corruption,” Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
The reaction was a notable political development, one that underscored both how Mr. Weiss, a Republican, has fallen in conservative circles, and how deeply it has become ingrained in the G.O.P. to oppose the Justice Department at every turn.
“The reality is this appointment is meant to distract from, and slow down, our investigations,” said Representative Jason Smith, Republican of Missouri and chairman of Ways and Means, one of three congressional committees looking into the Biden family’s finances.
But in interviews, away from social media and television appearances, the reaction of many Republicans to Mr. Weiss’s appointment was more nuanced. Privately, some in the G.O.P. were chalking up the development as a victory. [Continue reading…]