Special counsel David Weiss said he requested but did not receive special attorney powers that would have allowed him to bring charges against Hunter Biden, the son of the president, outside of his jurisdiction in Delaware last year without the partnership of the local U.S. attorney, according to a top congressional investigator.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) told reporters this statement, belying how the prosecutor “pretends that somehow he did have that” authority, was “the key takeaway” from the transcribed interview Weiss did with lawmakers on Tuesday following negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“He won’t answer a lot of questions. But that’s the key takeaway, because this whole deposition was about the changing story we got from DOJ, regarding the authority that he had,” Jordan added, according to a post to X by the House Judiciary GOP.
Jordan also said the testimony is “consistent” with claims made by Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supervisory special agent Gary Shapley, who asserts that Weiss — when he was solely a U.S. attorney from Delaware — told investigators during an October 2022 meeting that he was not the “deciding person” when it came to charges.
The Daily Wire reached out to the DOJ seeking comment on Jordan’s statements about the closed-door deposition, the transcript of which was not immediately released. The agency shared a statement from Weiss to the House Judiciary Committee in which he said “processes” associated with investigative and charging decisions did not “interfere” with his authority.
“At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice,” he testified.
House Judiciary ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Weiss “was very clear that no one told him what to prosecute and what not to prosecute,” according to The Washington Post. “He made all those decisions himself, and he said that before. And I mean, [Republicans] tried to get him to say anything, but they just go over and over and over again the same thing.”
After a plea deal collapsed under scrutiny from a judge, Attorney General Merrick Garland granted Weiss special counsel status in August of this year, giving Weiss broader authority to bring charges outside of his own district — similar to what the special attorney powers allow, but with more oversight provisions. A federal grand jury in Delaware indicted Biden on federal gun charges in September, after which he pleaded not guilty. The first son may also face an indictment on tax evasion charges, which were part of the plea agreement.
But it has been a strenuous process for congressional investigators to glean what had transpired behind the scenes over the years-long investigation.
Shapley, joined by fellow IRS agent Joseph Ziegler in coming forward as a whistleblower, brought forth allegations that the criminal inquiry into Biden that the DOJ slow-walked the inquiry in a way that may have precluded other serious charges due to the statute of limitations.
Amid increasing scrutiny, Weiss went from saying he had the “ultimate authority” to acknowledging discussions with DOJ officials who “assured” him that he would have power to bring charges outside of his district if it proved necessary. In his statement on Tuesday, Weiss stressed, “As I have said previously, I did not request special counsel status until August 2023. When I made that request, it was promptly granted.”
During testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in September, Garland insisted that Weiss always had latitude to bring any charges he saw fit, but the attorney general acknowledged other U.S. attorneys could refuse to partner with Weiss. Indeed, top federal prosecutors from Washington, D.C., and California told House lawmakers in testimony that they declined to do so.
“Once again Shapley and Ziegler’s testimony continues to stand up to every single witness we brought in for an interview,” Jordan said on Tuesday.