Government shutdown: Trump and Hunter Biden special counsel investigations would continue

Jack Smith
Special counsel Jack Smith speaks to reporters Friday, June 9, 2023, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Government shutdown: Trump and Hunter Biden special counsel investigations would continue

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Special counsel Jack Smith’s dual prosecutions of former President Donald Trump will continue through a government shutdown, as will the ongoing special counsel investigations into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Special counsel expenses are funded through the “permanent, indefinite appropriation for independent counsels,” according to a Department of Justice report released this year.


Former President Donald Trump has called on Congress to “defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government,” calling the Sept. 30 government funding deadline “the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots.”

The DOJ is, however, prepared to continue its operations in the event of a shutdown, which appears likely as of the time of this publishing.

The GOP-led House has passed a fraction of the appropriations bills needed to fund the government, and even those are dead on arrival in the Senate. No short-term funding solutions have gained enough support in the House either, with hours left until the new fiscal year begins.

The DOJ’s contingency plan shows that a majority of the department’s employees, more than 90,000 of them, will continue to work, and more than 6,000 of them will continue to be paid “at least initially.”

The federal judiciary said it is “prepared to use carryover funds and fees to keep the courts running for several weeks. Once that funding is exhausted, however, the federal courts face serious disruptions,” according to a notice on a circuit court website.

Special counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump on federal charges in Florida related to his handling of classified documents, as well as in Washington, D.C., related to his allegedly illegal attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Trials in the cases are currently set to begin in May and March of next year, respectively.

Special Counsel David Weiss has brought charges against Hunter Biden related to a gun incident in 2018, and he is expected to bring additional tax charges against the first son based on a now-defunct plea agreement Weiss filed this summer.


Weiss, who has drawn criticism from Republicans for not bringing harsher charges against the president’s son, has been leading the investigation into him since 2019 and was appointed special counsel in August. He has maintained that the investigation is ongoing.

Special Counsel Robert Hur is quietly continuing to investigate Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, as well, and the status of that case remains unknown.

© 2023 Washington Examiner
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