A letter from Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to a Republican lawmaker is raising more questions than answers.
In a Monday letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., obtained by The Federalist, Weiss was still not clear about whether he sought certain authority under a federal statute to adequately prosecute Hunter Biden. Weiss’s communication came in response to a June 28 letter Graham sent the Delaware U.S. attorney seeking clarity on whether Weiss has been denied special counsel authority and shot down in his attempts to bring charges against the Biden son in D.C. and California — allegations made by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers that were substantiated by a contemporaneous email.
Weiss’s letter also came one day after Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent an inquiry to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office to probe whistleblower allegations made against one of Weiss’s deputies. Whistleblowers from the IRS claimed Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf repeatedly obstructed the federal investigation into Hunter Biden.
“As you are aware, IRS whistleblowers have affirmed that AUSA Wolf prevented investigators from seeking information about Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s criminal business arrangements,” Grassley wrote, adding that Wolf “frustrated investigative efforts.”
According to IRS whistleblowers, Delaware federal prosecutors concealed the FD-1023 form housed by the FBI, which alleged a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme between the president and foreign businessmen, from the federal tax agency. Former Attorney General Bill Barr confirmed that his Justice Department had referred the document to the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office.
“On October 23, 2020, Justice Department and FBI Special Agents from the Pittsburgh Field Office briefed Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, one of your top prosecutors, and FBI Special Agents from the Baltimore Field Office with respect to the contents of the FBI-generated FD-1023,” Grassley wrote to Weiss. “The meeting did not include any IRS agents.”
Grassley specifically asked whether Weiss had ever sought federal authority under U.S. Code Section 515 to independently bring charges against Hunter Biden outside his own Delaware district.
“When were you assured that you would be granted § 515 Authority in the District of Columbia, the Central District of California, or any other district where charges could be brought in the Hunter Biden manner?” Grassley asked. “Have you requested that specific authority yet? If not, why not? If so, when, where and was the request satisfied?”
In a letter to Graham on Monday, however, Weiss was ambiguous.
“To clarify an apparent misperception and to avoid future confusion, I wish to make one point clear: in this case, I have not requested Special Counsel designation pursuant to 28 CFR § 600 et seq,” says the letter obtained by The Federalist. “Rather, I had discussions with Departmental officials regarding potential appointment under 28 U.S.C. § 515, which would have allowed me to file charges in a district outside my own without the partnership of the local U.S. Attorney. I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary.”
But who decided whether it was necessary? Weiss didn’t say. Nor did Weiss answer whether he actually requested 515 authority. If that was up to someone else, such as Attorney General Merrick Garland, for example, that would contradict the Biden DOJ’s claim that the Hunter Biden probe is an independent investigation.
Weiss also did not address whether he told supervisors in the case that he was not the final decision maker, as the whistleblowers alleged. Weiss also left answered whether he sought assistance from U.S. attorneys in California or New York. The fact that Weiss still has not denied making statements attributed to him by the whistleblowers speaks volumes and suggests he is wordsmithing his answers.
Did Weiss lie to staff throughout the process? Was it Weiss’s decision to avoid filing felony charges?
A letter from Weiss to the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month suggests Garland lied to Congress when claiming the Delaware U.S. attorney “has full authority” to charge Hunter Biden wherever appropriate.
“If venue for a case lies elsewhere, common Departmental practice is to contact the United States Attorney’s Office for the district in question and determine whether it wants to partner on the case,” Weiss wrote. “If not, I may request Special Attorney status from the Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 51.”
His letter finished by stating he was “assured that, if necessary after the above process,” such authority would be granted “in the District of Columbia, the Central District of California, or any other district where charges could be brought in this manner.”
But why didn’t Weiss file charges in D.C. or California?
In June, news broke that Hunter Biden accepted a plea deal with federal prosecutors limited to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a felony count of illegal firearm possession. The latter charge will be dropped following 24 months of sobriety. IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley claims, however, that “the most substantive felony charges were left off the table.”
“We weren’t allowed to ask questions about ‘dad,'” Shapley added in an interview with Fox News. “We weren’t allowed to ask about ‘the big guy.'”
Given that the extremely weak plea deal was struck based on evidence gathered by the IRS, whose investigation was repeatedly hampered by DOJ officials, the former head of the DOJ tax division called on the presiding judge to strike the agreement.
“The Justice Department’s alleged foot-dragging and refusal to permit IRS special agents to follow the evidence allowed the statutes of limitations for 2014 and 2015 to expire, notwithstanding that Mr. Biden’s defense counsel had, according to [whistleblower Gary] Shapley, agreed to more than one extension,” wrote Eileen O’Connor in The Wall Street Journal. “Far worse, Mr. Garland’s failure to designate Mr. Weiss a special counsel essentially guaranteed that Mr. Biden wouldn’t be prosecuted for any of his alleged tax crimes.”
IRS whistleblowers have reportedly faced agency retaliation for their testimony to congressional lawmakers. Grassley wrote a letter with GOP lawmakers from both chambers to the Office of Special Counsel last week demanding a probe into whistleblower claims of retribution over lawfully protected testimony.
“The importance of protecting whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation and informing whistleblowers about their rights under the law cannot be understated,” Republicans wrote. “After all, it is the law. Accordingly, we request that you immediately investigate all allegations of retaliation against these IRS whistleblowers.”