President Biden’s Justice Department has asked special counsel David Weiss to “follow the process” after requesting special authorization in the Hunter Biden investigation.
The U.S. attorney for Delaware, however, insisted in his voluntary testimony before the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week that he had finally obtained the authority to bring charges against the 53-year-old first son in California and Washington, DC – jurisdictions that refused to partner with Weiss – should he “choose to do so.”
Weiss told the committee that he first “raised the idea” of obtaining a special prosecutor authority – called a 515 authority – with top DOJ officials Bradley Weinsheimer and John Carlin in the spring of 2022, according to a transcript of Weiss’ testimony reviewed by The Post.
“I brought up the idea of a 515 authority at that time because I had been dealing with the investigation for some time,” he said. “And, as I said, they suggested going through the usual process and contacting DC to see if DC would be interested in joining or otherwise participating in the investigation.”
“This was not granted. They said, follow the process. I followed the process,” Weiss later clarified.
The process involved contacting DC U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves and California U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada and getting them to partner with him to investigate and potentially bring charges against Hunter Biden for alleged tax crimes committed between 2014 and 2015, when the first son served in the House of Representatives. board of directors of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.
“He was — you know, he was receptive,” Weiss said of his first call with Graves.
“I know the teams met, but ultimately I learned from my team that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia had decided not to join the case as a partner or co-counsel” , he added.
After Graves refused to partner with him, Weiss told the committee he contacted the Justice Department again.
“John Carlin said at that time, ‘Look, if you decide to prosecute in Washington, you have the authority to do so, and you have the authority – under Section 515, to bring any charges that you deem appropriate,” Weiss said, noting, “In my next conversation with Carlin and Weinsheimer, I requested the 515 authority.”
Weiss, however, refused to explain why he did not advance the accusations against Hunter Biden in Washington DC.
The special prosecutor’s efforts to partner with the U.S. attorney’s office in California also failed.
“I had a brief conversation with U.S. Attorney (Martin) Estrada. It was October 22, and Mr. Estrada informed me that his office had refused to participate with us or join us in this matter,” Weiss told the committee.
Weiss confirmed that the statute of limitations for Hunter Biden’s alleged crimes from 2014 to 2015 had expired, and the prosecutor said he would explain why they were allowed to expire in a future report on his investigation.
“I will address this in the report, but even if the statute of limitations has expired and even if no complaint will be filed, if there were to be a tax lawsuit pending, there is no reason to believe that the evidence relating to background records from years, or witnesses involved in previous years, would not be part of this litigation,” he said.
Weiss, who was granted special counsel status by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August after a plea deal with Hunter Biden collapsed in a Delaware courtroom, insisted he does not had not finished investigating the first son, even though Delaware District Judge Maryellen Noreika accepted the terms of the plea agreement – which would have allowed Hunter Biden to participate in a diversion program before the trial instead of facing misdemeanor gun charges and pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges.
“Our efforts were unsuccessful,” Weiss said of the state of the investigation at the time the plea deal was derailed in July.
Weiss would not discuss several aspects of the Hunter Biden case, the personnel handling the case or anything associated with the investigation during his testimony.
“He’s not going to answer a lot of questions,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan said Wednesday of Weiss’ testimony, also describing Weiss as inconsistent.
“He maintains, ‘Oh, I still could have gotten it if I had asked for it.’ But then his response was, ‘I asked for it and I didn’t get it,'” Jordan said.
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley contacted Congress in April to allege a cover-up in the Hunter Biden affair, which Shapley oversaw for more than three years. Shapley said Weiss told investigators during an October 2022 meeting that he did not have ultimate decision-making authority, contrary to Garland’s sworn assertions to Congress.
Shapley, backed by another IRS agent, Joseph Ziegler, alleged numerous irregularities in the first son’s investigation into approximately $2 million in unpaid taxes from 2014 to 2019.