Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said he will remove the current heads of the Justice Department and FBI if elected to the White House.
During Tuesday’s town hall forum hosted by Sean Hannity of Fox News, Scott was asked about his opinion on the plea deal that Hunter Biden agreed to earlier that day.
Under his deal with the Justice Department, Hunter Biden, who has been under federal investigation since 2018, is able to avoid jail time by pleading guilty to two tax misdemeanors and entering a probation agreement for a felony gun possession charge. Many Republicans criticized the deal as letting Hunter Biden off easy, a stark contrast to the legal treatment former president and Republican 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump has received.
“Sad to say, I don’t believe right now in America that we have equal justice under law or equal application of our laws,” Hannity said in his opening question. “I worry if we don’t have equal justice.”
“We all know this, that the ‘Big Guy’ has some explaining to do, without any question,” Scott replied, referring to what President Joe Biden was called by an executive of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where Hunter Biden was hired to serve on its advisory board from 2014 to 2019 despite having no experience in the energy industry.
“We cannot be the city on the hill if we are not first a nation of law and justice,” he continued. “We cannot fulfill our destiny as America if we do not have the Lady of Justice wearing a blindfold.”
Scott moved on to say that the public should thank Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) for keeping the pressure on the ongoing investigation into the Biden family. Last month, Grassley and Comer demanded that the FBI provide a document detailing what they call a “criminal scheme” involving Joe Biden when he was vice president.
In response to the demand, an FBI official told the senators that the agency would begin the “constitutionally mandated accommodation process,” but did not provide the document or confirm whether it exists, saying that the “mere existence of such a document would establish little beyond the fact that a confidential human source provided information and the FBI recorded it.”
Scott vowed to complete the probe during his presidency, if Grassley and Comer don’t complete it before then.
“If they can’t finish their investigation, President Tim Scott will finish it,” Scott told a cheering audience. “We are going to fire Joe Biden, and then we are going to fire [Attorney General] Merrick Garland and fire [FBI Director] Christoper Wray, and we are going to restore confidence and integrity in our Department of Justice.”
Scott pointed to the Justice Department’s targeting of pro-life activists and the tagging of parents who speak against at school board meetings about their children’s education as a domestic threat in FBI’s database.
“It is unacceptable and un-American to weaponize the Department of Justice against your political opponents,” he said.
Republican Contenders on DOJ
Tim Scott is not the first 2024 Republican nomination contender to promise changes to the Justice Department’s leadership. Last month, during his Twitter-broadcasted presidential campaign announcement, GOP 2024 candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he “would not keep Chris Wray as director of the FBI.”
“There’ll be a new one on day one,” the governor said. “The DOJ and FBI have lost their way.”
“In terms of an attorney general, you need someone that’s got a really strong backbone,” DeSantis added. “You need somebody that knows you’re going in there and you’re taking care of business. The Washington Post is not going to like you, New York Times is not going to like you, you’re going to get attacked by CNN, and you got to wear that as a badge of honor. You can’t try to please polite society because otherwise, you’ll just get captured by the institution itself.”
Meanwhile, candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is advocating for the FBI’s dissolution, arguing that the agency has become too corrupt to be saved.
“That’s the same Edgar J. Hoover FBI that actually wrongfully spied on Martin Luther King [Jr.] that denied him concealed carry permit. That’s the same FBI that today engages in political behaviors often targeted against conservatives,” Ramaswamy said last month at a town hall event hosted by WMUR, an ABC affiliate in New Hampshire.
“We should want a federal law enforcement agency that doesn’t pay attention to politics at all but just enforces the law,” he said. “Build a federal law enforcement apparatus that respects the law instead of making it up, but do it in a way that doesn’t put Americans at risk.”