Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., defended Hunter Biden’s attendance at a state dinner where Attorney General Merrick Garland was present, the same week he reached a plea agreement over federal charges.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Minnesota Democrat claimed one thing had nothing to do with the other.
“You know, I think as the president explained, that’s his son. That’s a separate thing,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the comments after the president’s son pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax last week. He also agreed to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement regarding a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
Hunter was then spotted at a Thursday White House state dinner held in honor of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Garland, who leads the Justice Department, and Klobuchar were also in attendance.
“That decision was made by an independent prosecutor who is a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney who had 10 years of experience,” Klobuchar said about the case. “Well-respected Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he was a registered Republican. He looked at the facts and evidence and made that decision.”
“And by the way, if that’s what the Republicans want to run on in the coming election, good luck, because the president is going to be able to run on the strength of his work in bringing 13 million jobs back to America,” Klobuchar continued.
Host Chuck Todd proceeded to press the senator on “the perception issue” Hunter Biden’s attendance posed, asking if she wished the “perception were different.”
“You always wish there were different perceptions, but that’s not reality. Reality is whether or not someone is going to be able to get their insulin. And the president has made changes,” Klobuchar responded. “Reality is whether someone has a job. Reality is when they can go visit their grandma again in an assisted living. Those are people’s realities. Not who is sitting where at a state dinner.”
So far, Garland has faced a barrage of questions following Hunter Biden’s deal and likely lack of prison time. Top House and Senate Republicans have since lambasted the deal as well as the attorney general.
“It’s no coincidence that less than a week after President Trump is arraigned by the DOJ, Hunter Biden is pleading guilty to a sweetheart deal with no jail time,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News Digital in a statement at the time. “The DOJ is going for the low-hanging fruit by charging Hunter Biden with a gun felony and two tax misdemeanors, after years of slow walking their investigation.”
“America has 2 million people incarcerated right now,” Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., told Fox News Digital. “We have six thousand jails. We could have found a place for Hunter. But the truth is, nobody really cares about Hunter Biden. Hunter was a rookie influence peddler and a troubled young man selling access to his dad. He’s a part of the Biden crime family, but he’s not the Big Guy, he wasn’t the VP, and he’s not the inaugurated president.”
Former President Trump also slammed the plea agreement, telling Fox News Digital shortly after the deal was announced that it amounted to “a traffic ticket.”
“It is a disgrace to the system, it is a disgrace to America, it is a very unfair situation, it is prosecutorial misconduct, and it is election interference – all wrapped up into one,” Trump said.
President Biden has since come out in support of Hunter, telling a reporter, “I’m very proud of my son,” following a discussion on artificial intelligence in San Francisco Tuesday.
On Friday, Garland denied whistleblower allegations that the Justice Department, FBI and IRS interfered with U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ investigation of Hunter Biden, saying Weiss has “complete authority to make all decisions on his own behalf.”
Hunter Biden is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Delaware on July 26.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, David Spunt, Timothy H.J. Nerozzi, Jessica Chasmar, Chris Pandolfo, and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.