The federal prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden, the adult son of President Joe Biden, has stated that he was never denied the authority to bring charges in the case, refuting claims made by a whistleblower that the Department of Justice (DOJ) impeded the investigation.
In a letter dated Monday, Delaware's U.S. Attorney David Weiss stated that he has "not requested" special counsel status, which would allow him to file charges outside of his district without partnering with the local U.S. attorney, despite allegations that he was prevented from bringing charges in Washington, D.C., and California, as The Daily Wire reported.
Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, has also refuted that Weiss requested special counsel powers.
Weiss, a Trump appointee, stated further that he had discussions with DOJ officials regarding a "potential" appointment under a section of the U.S. Code pertaining to special counsel and was "assured" that he would be granted this authority "if it proved necessary."
This "assurance," the prosecutor added, was provided prior to a meeting on October 7, 2022, at which IRS supervisory special agent Gary Shapley, a whistleblower in this case, claims Weiss announced that he had been denied special counsel status. A second IRS official provided legislators with a similar second-hand account of this meeting.
NEW: US Attorney Weiss letter obtained @cbsnews to @LindseyGrahamSC @SenatorDurbin acknowledges “discussions with Department officials” about whether he had the authority to bring charges outside Delaware in Hunter Biden probe: “I was assured that I would be granted this… pic.twitter.com/3sUcyyqI8g
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) July 10, 2023
Shapley, who claims that his entire team was abruptly removed from the Hunter Biden investigation after he disclosed information to Congress, responded to the letter with a terse statement from his legal team.
“U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s story continues to change,” the legal team said. “As a practical matter, it makes no difference whether Weiss requested special counsel or special attorney authority.
"Under no circumstances should ‘the process’ have included the political appointees of the subject’s father, because Congress and the public had been assured it would not — but it did.”
Miranda Devine, a columnist for the New York Post who frequently writes about Hunter Biden, also expressed skepticism regarding the letter.
“Weiss is throwing smoke by parsing ‘Special Counsel’ v ‘Special Attorney’ (28 USC S15). The point is not the title but the similar powers it confers, and he admits here that he did not have it, only an assurance that he could get it,” Devine said in a tweet.
The years-long investigation into 53-year-old Hunter Biden has thus far resulted in a plea agreement for tax and gun violations that could keep him out of prison if approved by a judge.
Weiss addressed his letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who had requested information in response to allegations that the DOJ was potentially dragging its feet on the Hunter Biden investigation for political reasons. Weiss asserted he has "never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction."
The prosecutor also stated that he was unable to respond to inquiries regarding allegations of a bribery conspiracy contained in an FBI FD-1023 form due to "an ongoing investigation."
Weiss responded to another letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) at the end of last month, stating that he had been granted "ultimate authority" in the Hunter Biden case. Moreover, Weiss denied that the DOJ retaliated against IRS officials who disclosed protected information to Congress.