AG nominee Merrick Garland to face questions over Hunter Biden probe in hearings

Garland as attorney general would have the power to shut down probe

President Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland will face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a yet-to-be-determined date, but when the day comes he can expect to field questions related to the president's son, Hunter Biden.

Federal prosecutors are investigating the younger Biden, who said in a statement that the probe was related to "tax affairs." Should he become attorney general, Garland would be overseeing the investigation and would have the power to shut it down.

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"Americans deserve to know that this investigation will not be hampered in any way by the change in administrations, and the attorney general nominee should make this point clear," a spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox News. "So yes, you can expect that Sen. Grassley will be asking about his role in this investigation."

Grassley was the chairman of the committee until 2019. Current chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is also expected to bring up the Hunter Biden investigation at Garland’s hearing.

"It is very likely the topic is raised," a spokesperson for Graham told Fox News.

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The investigation was predicated, in part, by Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding suspicious foreign transactions, a government source told Fox News. Another source familiar with the investigation told Fox News that the SARs were regarding funds from "China and other foreign nations."

A Republican-led Senate investigation released in September indicated that Treasury records obtained showed "potential criminal activity" among Hunter Biden's transactions.

Current White House press secretary Jen Psaki told "Fox News Sunday" in December that Biden would not discuss any investigation of Hunter Biden with anyone he was considering to be the next U.S. attorney general.

"He will not be discussing it with anyone he is considering for the role and he will not be discussing it with a future attorney general," Psaki said. "It will be up to the purview of a future attorney general in his administration to determine how to handle any investigation."

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The discussion of the Hunter Biden probe came after Joe Biden had told "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert that he thinks it is "kind of foul play" that an investigation into his son was "used to get to me." Psaki clarified that Joe Biden's use of the phrase "foul play" was in reference to the politicization of the investigation, not the investigation itself.

Even as Republicans signal an interest to press Garland on Hunter Biden, some have already said they will vote to confirm. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, released a statement Monday saying that after a discussion with Garland, he was planning on supporting his nomination barring any new information.

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"Judge Garland's extensive legal experience makes him well-suited to lead the Department of Justice, and I appreciated his commitment to keep politics out of the Justice Department. That is my number one criterion for who should be the next Head of the Department of Justice as Attorney General," Cornyn said. "I think both sides should support a depoliticized Justice Department, and that's what I hope Judge Garland, once confirmed, will deliver."

Fox News' Brooke Singman, Brittany De Lea and The Associated Press contributed to this report.