(Dec. 17) It would be tremendously inappropriate for President Trump to force the naming of a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, son of the president-elect. However, it might be advisable for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell jointly to ask the acting attorney general to do so — or to take some other step to ensure that the current investigation into Biden’s son remains uncorrupted.

It’s not that career employees can’t do the job. As noted, Hunter Biden is already under Justice Department investigation. From all appearances, he deserves to be investigated. His international business dealings, especially in China, have been ethically questionable for years. Also, completely apart from legalities, the web of his dealings and those of his uncle Jim should somehow be unwound, because, otherwise, they could put stress on the nation’s diplomatic interests.

Either way, now that Hunter’s father is going to be president, public confidence in the legitimacy and thoroughness of the investigation surely would increase if it were shielded from interference by President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming political appointees. Appearances are important. If Hunter Biden is exonerated, it should not look as if he is skating because his father wanted a cover-up.

On the other hand, it also shouldn’t look as if prosecution is occurring just because Trump personally picked an Inspector Javert to target him. Nor, of course, would that be fair to Hunter Biden himself, nor would it serve the public interest. That’s why nothing would ever justify Trump making the demand for a special counsel, which he is reportedly close to doing.

Any special counsel appointed due to Trump’s prodding will not be seen as independent but as tainted. A Trump-appointed special counsel investigation would be painted by the Democrats and a compliant media as a political witch hunt.

[The full column is here.]


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