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AG Garland Appoints Hunter Biden Special Counsel. Aired 12:30- 1p ET

Aired August 11, 2023 - 12:30   ET



DANA BASH, CNN HOST: As I mentioned, well, the attorney general says explicitly, we have here in the supporting documents that this is happening. The special counsel idea of a special counsel is happening because David Weiss, who is now the special counsel, asked for it. Given what happened in that courtroom and frankly, what a mess it was, does it surprise you that he is still in charge of this case?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It does not. Look, anybody who's been an attorney or federal prosecutor has had something blow up with the defense, where you thought you had an agreement going into court, everybody was fine, you shook hands on it, and then you get in there and you sort of misunderstood each other. So that's not that alarming.

Now, step back. Why do you have a special counsel in the first place? And what the law says is that, number one, when somebody has a conflict like, you know, one of the attorneys owns stock or something and the people being investigated, that's not the case here so -- or extraordinary circumstances exist. That's what the law says.

And I think it was a recognition or a finding by Weiss, perhaps others, that the case was now so extraordinary on account of who the person being investigated is and some of the mishegas around it that it was wise to take out of the chain command of the Justice Department. It didn't have to happen, but it did.

BASH: It did. And then the other very important point of this is that because this is a special counsel, this isn't just if somebody is charged, then you are going to know the scope of the charge and what they allegedly did wrong or didn't.

This is going to be a fulsome report about what the investigation looked like, which is important legally but also very important politically because they're going to presumably have information in there that could answer with evidence some of the allegations without evidence mostly that Republicans have out there.

SHAN WU, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think that's about the only good thing that's come out of this decision by Garland. To me, this is a debacle for the Justice Department. They've had years to investigate this case. And Elliot's absolutely right, things go wrong in the courtroom, it shouldn't have gone wrong in this case. I mean, the defense had an interest in keeping it a little bit ambiguous. Is anything else happening because they want their deal? Prosecution had no interest in keeping ambiguous. They should have made this very clear, at least for themselves, what the plan was.

Garland again looks like he is just buffeted by political wins. He's so worried about looking political. If Weiss says now make me special counsel, he says, yes, yes, I'll do that. He should have had better control over this to begin with because when Weiss was not a special counsel, he was in a chain of command at Justice.

Now he's making him a special counsel. He could have just said no. And this obviously implies, maybe doesn't mean to imply it, that the conflict that's coming up now is maybe it extends to the President because the President's son, there is no conflict. Relatives of presidents have been looked before. You don't need a special counsel or independent counsel.

So again, I lay this at Garland's feet. It wasn't well managed and his reaction now makes things even worse.

BASH: Yes. I mean, we should say that certainly the Republicans are going to say that it implies that this has to do with the President. I mean, you would agree we don't have -- there's no evidence of that at all. The only thing that it says is that they're investigating Hunter Biden and they're going to let basically, these are my words, they're going to let the evidence take that investigation where it goes, even if it includes other people.

WU: Yes. The problem is, from a legal standpoint, what are the extraordinary circumstances? The fact that it blew up in court is not an extraordinary circumstance. That's what the problem is.

BASH: Yes.

WU: And the question is what's in there?

BASH: I'm just going to quickly go to Paula Reid. She was there at the Justice Department in the room for the Attorney General's announcement. Paula?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Dana, in addition to being there for the announcement, we've also had the chance to speak to some sources inside Maine Justice. And look, what we've learned is that DOJ is saying that on Tuesday, David Weiss requested special counsel status, though, no one here at the Justice Department can explain why suddenly on Tuesday, after five years of this investigation, he was seeking this particular status.

We now know from our colleagues that there are court filings that suggest that the Justice Department and attorneys for Hunter Biden are at an impasse in terms of the plea deal that was supposed to be finalized a short time ago in court and sort of fell through. So, again, it's unclear on the timing here. It's also unclear how this new designation will impact Weiss's ability to testify before Congress. We know there have been calls for him to testify, but here at DOJ, they cannot tell us how this will impact it, though they do point out to the fact -- point to the fact that previous Special Counsels John Durham, Robert Mueller, they did testify before Congress, but only after submitting their final report.

Here, they're trying to emphasize that this requirement to submit a final report will add a layer of transparency to this obviously highly politically fraught investigation.


They also answered our questions about whether the White House had been informed or Hunter Biden's lawyers. And we're told that the White House was not given a heads up about this and neither were Hunter Biden's attorneys. And so far, between this announcement and now, we have not been able to get Biden's attorneys on the phone for a reaction to this development.

BASH: OK, thank you so much.

Let's go to the White House where Priscilla Alvarez is there with her reporting. Priscilla, I'm guessing you're hearing the same thing from the people in the building behind you that we just heard from Paula that they had no heads up?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. And we have reached out to the White House for comment on this announcement and we haven't heard back yet. But what we have heard repeatedly from this White House when the Justice Department has taken actions, including actions involving the President's son, is that they work independently and that there is often not a notification ahead of time to the White House in terms of what they are going to do. And that is what happened today, according to a Justice Department official who told our colleagues.

Now, I will also note that as these legal proceedings have played out, the White House Secretary has repeatedly said that this is a matter for Hunter Biden's attorneys, often saying that the President supports his son and loves his son, but directing all matters to them in the Justice Department.

And I just want to read to you something that she said in late July as all of this with the plea deal was unfolding. Karine Jean-Pierre said at the time, quote, "Hunter Biden is a private citizen and this was a personal matter for him. As we have said, the President, the First Lady, they love their son and they support him as he continues to rebuild his life".

And I repeat that statement to you because that is likely what we would hear from the White House as they have faced questions about Hunter Biden and these legal proceedings. Again, they were not notified ahead of time of this action by the Justice Department. We have asked them for comment. They have not replied yet.

But again, this is a White House that is facing increasing pressure when it comes to the President's son, Hunter Biden. Republicans have slammed the President over all of these legal proceedings and also so much has flirted with a potential impeachment inquiry.

Now, when that has come up, the White House stance has been that it is baseless that the focus should be in Congress on the American people. But all of this to say that that criticism is ramping up, this will likely fuel Republicans and what they have to say about Hunter Biden and these ongoing legal proceedings.

BASH: OK, Priscilla, thank you so much.

She says it could fuel the Republicans. But the other way to look at it is that it could keep Republicans at bay. Because now that you do have a special counsel, which a lot of Republicans were calling for, A and B, I can't remember if it was Paula or one of our other reporters -- maybe you guys were making this point -- that while the special counsel is doing his work, he can't -- he's unlikely to talk to Congress and it's unlikely for them to get the information that they're working.

LAURA BARRON-LOPEZ, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And that's what's so interesting, is that prior to this announcement, the Justice Department was saying that Weiss was prepared to testify to Congress as early as September, as soon as they came back from their August recess.

That the Justice Department said that they wanted to do that specifically because of the assertions that Republican lawmakers were making about his authority to conduct his wide investigation into Hunter Biden, and that he wanted to directly address that as soon as he could, assuming that they had a deal that would have gone forward with Hunter Biden's lawyers.

That fell apart, but we were still expecting him to potentially testify to Congress when they came back. Now, as you said, Dana, that's probably not going to happen for quite some time as he has these new authorities.

ELI STOKOLS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO: Well, I mean, I think it's just there's so much unknown here about how this is going to play out, how long it's going to take, obviously. Are they expanding the investigation? Is this more of a formality? Is this just something that will enable him to write a final report and keep this away from Congress?

There's some chatter, I think, on the right already about are they trying to keep this out of the, you know, the House Oversight Committee and keep this, you know, if not exactly a DOJ with an independent special counsel? Still not with House Republicans running the show here.

But remains to be seen how long this goes and whether it is wrapped up in a couple of months or, you know, if this expands and metastasizes into something that we're dealing with into next year. I know the White House is not going to talk about it. They're going to continue to refer people to Hunter's attorney. They're going to refer people to the Justice Department now to the Special Counsel's office.

And Joe Biden is going to continue talking about Bidenomics, right? So to the extent that this dominates coverage and that Republicans get riled up and that they want to focus on this and keep making allegations that at this point have not been substantiated with evidence, the White House, maybe it's all they can do, but they say, OK, that's fine. We're going to talk about pocketbook issues that affect real Americans and I think that's where they're going.

WILLIAMS: You know, one point and this is sort of picking up on one Shan said the folly of appointing special counsels to begin with is that the whole enterprise is to take the stink of politics out of the legal system. That when you put a special counsel in, you are taking it out of the chain of command of the Justice Department and politics goes away.


Do you really think now that Republicans or Congress or whomever else are going to now say, everything is perfect and everything is above board --


WILLIAMS: -- simply because David Weiss has this new designation? No, it's still going to be the arguments about conspiracy theories and the deep state fueling all of this. And I just don't know, you know, when Jack Smith was appointed was sort of the same thing. It's you're still going to get the criticisms and so I'm not quite sure what's gained by doing this.

WU: You may as well just have done it years ago.

BASH: Let's go to Capitol Hill and to our Lauren Fox who is talking to Republicans. And I'm guessing will confirm the suspicions of Elliot that Republicans aren't just taking their ball and going home.

LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, we are still awaiting any official reaction, Dana, up here on Capitol Hill. It's recessed. Lawmakers are away from Washington right now. But one thing is clear, the timeline that Republicans have laid out over the last several months for a potential impeachment inquiry has only intensified and those calls are really likely to continue now even after this news.

As your panel is pointing out, this doesn't really quell the suspicions of Republicans likely. In fact, it may just intensify some of them. There is an open question of how this affects potential testimony of David Weiss on Capitol Hill. The expectation was he could come as soon as September. They were trying to work out a potential date for him to testify.

Now there's a question of if you are a special counsel, would you testify before lawmakers on Capitol Hill? The likely answer would be no. So that will only intensify Republicans who say they're trying to get answers and they aren't getting them. We should also just add some of the context of this. Back in the earlier parts of the summer, you had whistleblowers who were alleging that during an October 2022 meeting, David Weiss had told people in the room that he had tried to become a special counsel and that he was denied that distinction.

Now, he later pushed back on those allegations saying they were not true, writing in a letter to Lindsey Graham back in July that he had never asked to be appointed a special counsel. But that is one of the questions that Republicans are going to have. Why is this coming now?

And I just want to note that I think that's important context as we talk about how Republicans on the Hill are going to be thinking and responding to this given the fact that impeachment inquiry is really looming large right now.

BASH: Yes, such an important point and I'm so glad you brought that bit of context in about those IRS so-called whistleblowers saying that David Weiss, until just a few minutes ago, the U.S. attorney and now the special counsel, in charge of this, was saying that he wanted to be special counsel even though he denied it.

Thank you so much, Lauren.

As we continue this discussion, I just want to go back and play some of what the Attorney General said in announcing this new special counsel in the Hunter Biden case.


MERRICK GARLAND, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint him as special counsel. This appointment confirms my commitment to provide Mr. Weiss all the resources he requests. 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 independently, based only on the facts and the law.


BASH: And so going back to when this three-hour court hearing last month ended -- blew up, to use your terms, just ended in a complete mess when they thought they had a plea deal and they didn't. Part of the reason -- actually the reason why it blew up was because the judge didn't want to agree to something that the defense, Hunter Biden's defense team thought meant that he was clear of every other charge on the planet because the prosecution said, no, that's not what we're talking about.

So now that this special counsel has these new powers, then the question is, are they going to go there on questions of alleged illegal lobbying for foreign sources and maybe anything else? I mean, that is, as you were saying, always the political concern of having a special counsel because then they can just be unleashed. But in reality, we just don't know how narrow it's going to be. STOKOLS: You wouldn't think that they are turning this into a special counsel investigation just to wrap it up. You would think that he has expanded powers, he's going to have more resources, that they would broaden this in some way. And that has to be somewhat concerning, at least politically, but also, you know, for the President being concerned about his son and his wellbeing and where this is going legally.

I mean, there was some relief when they thought this was all being wrapped up neatly, that he would plead guilty to the misdemeanors and that it would be all over. Obviously, a misunderstanding there. That was not actually what the other side had agreed to.


But, you know, where this goes, how long this plays out, it's hard to say. And really, in terms of the House side, you know, Kevin McCarthy does not seem to have the support to go with a full-fledged impeachment inquiry. The rationale was the same as what Speaker Pelosi said when they opened the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

It was, well, we need this ability to investigate and launching an impeachment inquiry allows us to go out and pursue all the information. We just have to see where it leads. Kevin McCarthy, I mean, you know, right now does not have the support from the House moderates who are going to determine control of the House next year to go ahead and launch this impeachment inquiry.

Does this change that? Does this give more fuel to that? Or does this say, well, now the special counsel is handling it so we don't need to.

BASH: Well, and the question is, what is the -- it we speak of, right? Because when you talk about an impeachment inquiry, they're not impeaching Hunter Biden.


STOKOLS: Correct.

BASH: They're -- it's an inquiry to impeach the President of the United States. And so far, there is no evidence that the evidence has come out. James Comer, the head of this committee --


BASH: -- just told my colleague Jake Tapper yesterday, pretty much admitted that they don't have evidence to show that Joe Biden did anything wrong.

BARRON-LOPEZ: Comer's said that repeatedly --

BASH: Yes.

BARRON-LOPEZ: -- to Tapper to others that he's like, well, I hope we find evidence, but hasn't said that they actually have the evidence. And so has Kevin McCarthy. He has talked to his conference saying like, well, we don't exactly have something here.

I was just talking to a Republican consultant in a swing state who was like on the politics of all of this and the fact that Republicans may go down this inquiry route, not necessarily an actual vote come the fall. And that Republican consultant in this swing state said, this is not going to add any voters to our coalition.

They aren't hearing any voters talk about this. The voters that they lost that were moderate Republicans or middle of the road independents in 2020 that went over to Biden, they're like, they're not talking about Hunter Biden and they're not interested in this potential impeachment.

BASH: I want to go back to the White House because we do now have a statement. Priscilla?

ALVAREZ: That's right, Dana. Consistent with how they have approached this before. They are taking a no comment strategy. And statement here from White House Spokesman Ian Sams is, quote, "We will refer you to DOJ or to Hunter Biden's personal representative".

So again, they're taking that no comment strategy. They also, a White House official confirms again that the White House did not have any special heads up before Attorney General Garland made this announcement about the special counsel.

We should note that President Biden is here at the White House today. He has had no public events, but he will be heading to Rehoboth Beach later today, which may be an opportunity for reporters to ask him questions about this. But at least for now, Dana, no comment from the White House.

BASH: OK, thank you so much. We are getting comment now from Capitol Hill from Republicans who run the House. Lauren Fox, what are you hearing?

FOX: Yes, we are getting some initial statements, Dana, this one coming from a spokesperson on the House Judiciary Committee who works for Jim Jordan. And in this statement, it's clear that this is not quelling any of those concerns that House Republicans have had.

In the statement, he says, quote, "David Weiss can't be trusted, and this is just a new way to whitewash the Biden's family corruption. Weiss has already signed off on a sweetheart plea deal that was so awful and unfair that a federal judge rejected it. We will continue to pursue facts brought to light by brave whistleblowers, as well as Weiss's inconsistent statements to Congress".

Again, the statement coming from a spokesperson for the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. And it's just important to note, Dana, once again, that House Republicans are looking very seriously when they return in September at opening an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

And based off this statement, obviously, it makes it clear they are not slowing down their investigation. In fact, this is adding fuel to that fire.

BASH: Very interesting, maybe not surprising. Lauren, thank you so much.

Now I want to go to Kara Scannell. Kara, you have the first statement response from Hunter Biden's attorneys. What are they saying?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: Yes, Dana. That's right. We just got a statement from Chris Clark. He is one of the lead criminal attorneys representing Hunter Biden. And in his statement, he says, "The Attorney General made clear what was always the case in terms of the authority of the U.S. attorney's office in Delaware in this matter. Whether in Delaware, Washington, D.C. or anywhere else, we expect a fair resolution on behalf of our client.

This U.S. attorney has diligently been investigating my client for five years, and he had proposed a resolution which we fully intend to pursue in court. It is hard to see why he would have proposed such a resolution if there were other offenses he could have successfully prosecuted, and we are aware of none.

We are confident when all of these maneuverings are at an end. My client will have resolution and will be moving on with his life successfully".


So this statement here suggesting that they still expect that this prosecution will be limited to the tax offenses that Hunter Biden had initially agreed to plead guilty to. Of course, that is just their expectation, their guess, because they don't know where this investigation is going.

Now, also in the court documents, I mean, prosecutors laid out this timeline here, saying that they had given Biden's team until today to say where they stood. Biden's team had asked until Monday and they denied that. And obviously, the special counsel announcement occurred. So it's unclear.

This statement suggests that they still are hoping for some kind of resolution and not expanding, even though that David Weiss is now going to be given special counsel status. That does, though, allow David Weiss to bring a charge in any district, which they're also flagging, not necessarily in Delaware, where the judge had questioned it so fiercely. Dana?

BASH: Thank you for that. Appreciate it, Kara.

You know, one of the things in Chris Clark, Hunter Biden's attorney's statement, which you just heard Kara read, is just a reminder that David Weiss has been working on this for five years. In five years. I'm not a lawyer, but I've sort of covered enough of this. You know, that five years is a really long time.

And, you know, God forbid, we bring humanity into this, but to be, you know, sort of stringing along and to be having a person's life in limbo -- and we're talking about Hunter Biden, and we're talking about his family, and, you know, frankly, the President's family, taking politics aside, if you change the name from Hunter Biden to Joe Smith, you would say, you know what, that's not really fair.

WU: That's right. And those things do happen to people, not just Hunter Biden, that things go on or their repeated investigations, but it is a great stress on them. And that's why I believe that the Attorney General should have made a firmer decision a long time ago.

Five years is enough time. Wrap it up. If you can't wrap it up, you need to tell me what the solution is. This is just a debacle in terms of managing this case.

BASH: Yes, it is clearly something that has been extremely bumpy. Is it wishful thinking, Elliot, that the Hunter Biden legal team thinks that this special counsel investigation is going to stay narrow on issues like the tax charge, not paying his taxes on time, and pretty much nothing else, maybe the diverted gun charge?

WILLIAMS: Yes, I guess the question is, and this is sort of what we've been talking about, what could they uncover that they haven't had ample opportunity to uncover in the last several years? By all accounts, the Justice Department was looking into whatever matters may have arisen and for whatever reason.

Now, look, there's an entire argument in Congress that there's a conspiracy to suppress evidence and so on. Now, I'll be clear though, an argument that the Trump team has been making in the context of his case is that, well, you didn't prosecute me over two and a half years. It all must be.

So, look, investigations take time. They do, and I know this for a fact, but it's hard to see how they just didn't bring something sooner if they had it.

BASH: Well, you -- OK, but on that note, it is just -- when you look at the statute --


BASH: -- or you look at sort of the rules surrounding the powers that the special counsel has, what powers will David Weiss special counsel have that David Weiss U.S. attorney did not have?

WILLIAMS: Other than the fact that he, by law, now can extend into a new presidential administration, that's really the only thing -- you know, and I guess more staff and budget and so on.

BASH: And the report.

WILLIAMS: And the report and he reports to Congress and he also doesn't technically report to the Attorney General. He does in practice, but the Attorney General's not pulling the strings in the same way that he might with a normal prosecutor.

BASH: It has been very interesting to watch the way the White House has been sort of playing this. They want to stay as far away from sort of the Hunter Biden defense as they possibly can, understandably, because they want to make clear that there is a giant, you know, sort of red line that they're not going to cross because they say that they're not interfering. But at what point do you think that that is going to have to change not on the legal strategy, but just on the political strategy here?

STOKOLS: Well, they brought in a spokesman specifically to handle these inquiries, inquiries from House Republicans into oversight matters. And, you know, Ian Sams, that spokesperson, right, they separated. They took that out of the press shop. They have an entirely, you know --

BASH: But he doesn't really say, I mean --

STOKOLS: And he's not saying much.

BASH: -- he isn't saying much.


STOKOLS: Right, he's not saying much at all right now. And the President has said very little about this beyond, I love my son, I'm proud of my son. I think we'll continue to hear that. But when you talk to people close to the President, they will acknowledge that he is concerned about his son.

He's faced addiction, and the President is worried about the impact that this is having on him. And I think his aides at least, and I'm sure he is too, are also concerned about the politics and the potential drip, drip, drip here.


BASH: And when you talk to people close to Hunter Biden, there is frustration that the White House has not done more to defend his son.

BARRON-LOPEZ: They have gone through such pains just really separate themselves out from the Justice Department. And Ian Sams will engage with reporters, that new press person that came on sometime last year or earlier this year, I can't remember the timing, but it was all to, as Elli said, to prepare for this.

And he will engage on Republican attacks around the impeachment inquiry and they will point out that there has been no corroboration or that all the -- that there's no evidence there. But beyond that, they are not commenting whether it's on Hunter Biden or any of the indictments against the former president.

And when you talk to the campaign side now, they also say that they are not touching this. On the campaign politics of it, they don't want to go there at all, you know, even when it is an official campaign event that is separated from the White House, they say to not expect the President to talk about this.

BASH: Yes. I mean, look, it is all extremely complicated. There are a lot of layers of complexity here. So far, the Biden White House, the President himself has leaned on the fact that his son was an addict and did some things that he shouldn't have done or didn't do things that he should have done, like pay his taxes and did some things that he shouldn't have done when it came to some of his business practices.

They're very careful on that. But I presume that we are going to hear more about those alleged problems with business practices as the special counsel's report comes out. And maybe, I mean there could be a situation where they just get all the evidence they have out there and let people decide if there isn't going to be any prosecution on any of it.

WU: Yes, that's exactly the good part of having that report is that public transparency, which you wouldn't have if you were not a special counsel. But before they can ever get to that, they really have to get over this hump, which is more like a mountain like Mount Everest now, of what are they doing with Hunter Biden's plea deal.

If they gave the defense counsel a deadline to respond to it, defense counsel sounds like they are begging to go forward with the plea. And yet now Weiss has been appointed as a special counsel, which maybe signals they're expanding it, maybe he's just wanting to be able to write a report. It's a very mixed message that's being sent to Biden's attorneys as to what comes next and they have to resolve that first.

They can say plea deals off the table. We're going back to the drawing board. We're still looking at things, but they have to make a decision about that.

BASH: Yes, I mean, it does seem like the plea deal is off the table because that's why the special counsel was. You don't think so?

WU: Not -- it could be --

BASH: Yes.

WU: -- but I don't think that's really clear to us from --

BASH: Yes.

WU: -- what we're seeing at the moment. My view of it is going back to Elliot's point about the extraordinary circumstances that AG Garland's relying upon, what's extraordinary? I mean, maybe it's hidden from us, but the plea deal not working out is not an extraordinary circumstance. That's just a person whose plea deal didn't work out. That doesn't justify appointing a special counsel.

BASH: So that's actually a really interesting point. What is the -- when he says extraordinary circumstances, is that just a catch all? Because if you go back to the case and you go back to the plea deal that fell apart, what was it? It was, he didn't pay taxes initially. They were paid like right now, his taxes are fully paid.

And, you know, this gun situation, which was diverted, again, the bigger allegations or it's not even allegations, things that are in the sort of Republican zeitgeist and bloodstream, there -- at least that we've seen, there was no evidence of anything that was illegal, because if that had been, we probably would have seen it so far. I mean --

WILLIAMS: Like most things in American law, it's vague and it just says extraordinary circumstances. Now, the kinds of things you're identifying, Dana, are the sort of the kinds of things it might have been that, number one, it's the son of a president of the United States. Number two --

BASH: Yes.

WILLIAMS: -- it's high profile, whatever else it might be, but there's no guide for what constitutes extraordinary circumstances. And again, in practice, if, OK, fine, if he broke the law, he should go to jail for it. That's how our law works. But if they find that he did not break any laws, that's not going to quell the kinds of criticism that the Justice Department is getting.

And you're going to still see the congressional hearings and the drumbeat about all of the above. So I'm just not sort of quite clear on what anybody gains from any of this.

BASH: What do you think is going on inside the White House right now?

STOKOLS: I think they're having a lot of conversations, trying to figure out how to respond or if to respond or what sort of liabilities there are. But, you know, nobody's out there, I mean, just even pointing out that the now special counsel was a Trump appointee. He's been at this for five years.

You have nobody out there even, you know, just a little bit saying, you know -- I mean, Trump fought everything that was legal in the political realm.

BASH: Yes.

STOKOLS: Tried to inoculate himself that way. This White House complete opposite approach and I don't know if that's going to change --

BASH: There is a lot of frustration inside Hunter Biden's world about that. They don't feel that there are enough people out there, anybody out there defending him as he's getting pummeled. A lot of news.

Thank you so much for taking us through it, all of you. And thank you for joining INSIDE POLITICS. "CNN NEWS CENTRAL" starts right now.