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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan confirmed earlier this week that Delaware US Attorney David Weiss told his panel he was denied “special attorney” status as he investigated criminal allegations involving now-first son Hunter Biden.
During his testimony on Tuesday, however, Weiss insisted that his decision-making was not impeded after he “initially requested special attorney status in spring 2022 from the Justice Department’s principal assistant deputy attorney general, but was not granted it,” the New York Post reported, citing the Ohio Republican.
“When he was specifically asked, ‘Did you ever request special attorney authority under Section 515?’ Mr. Weiss’ response was, ‘Yes, in the spring of 2022,’” Jordan told reporters, according to The Post.
“He won’t answer a lot of questions,” Jordan added, while describing Weiss’s responses as inconsistent.
“He maintains, ‘Oh I would have always been able to get it if I had asked for it.’ But then his answer was, ‘I asked for it and wasn’t given it,’” Jordan said.
The Post adds:
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley contacted Congress in April to allege a coverup in the Hunter Biden case, which Shapley supervised for more than three years. Shapley said that Weiss told investigators at an October 2022 meeting that he lacked ultimate decision-making authority, contrary to Attorney General Merrick Garland’s under-oath claims to Congress.
Jason Foster, founder of Empower Oversight, an organization that represents Shapley, tweeted on Tuesday: “So who denied Weiss special attorney charging authority, for what reason, and why didn’t he and Garland just say so when Congress asked? It went down just as IRS whistleblowers described.”
Weiss was granted special counsel status in August after a plea bargain involving probation only for Hunter Biden fell apart under scrutiny from the federal judge presiding over the case. In prepared remarks before Jordan’s committee, Weiss — a Trump administration holdover who was recommended for his Delaware post by the state’s two senators, both of whom are Joe Biden allies — claimed that his decision-making was never impeded by the Justice Department.
“I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,” claimed Weiss. “I do not, however, make these decisions in a vacuum. I am bound by federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and DOJ guidelines. As a result there are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions,” the statement added.
“These processes did not interfere with my decision-making 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.”
The Daily Wire reported earlier this week as well that Weiss told lawmakers that he requested but never received special attorney authority that would have given him the power to bring charges against Hunter outside of his jurisdiction in Delaware last year without having to partner with the local U.S. attorney, a top congressional investigator said.
Jordan said that statement, which belies how Weiss “pretends that somehow he did have that” authority, was “the key takeaway” from the transcribed interview the special counsel did on Tuesday after negotiations with the Department of Justice.
“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 said, according to a post to the X platform by House Judiciary Republicans.
The Daily Wire added:
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.