Special Counsel David Weiss says he has always been the sole decision-maker in the Hunter Biden investigation despite not being granted ‘special attorney’ status when he first requested it.
Weiss – the U.S. Attorney for Delaware and lead prosecutor in the federal criminal probe into Hunter – said he was never blocked from bringing charges against the president’s son at any point in his investigation, which began in 2018.
But House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Weiss revealed during a closed-door interview in Congress Tuesday that he sought ‘special attorney’ status in the spring of 2022 and was denied by DOJ.
‘That’s the key takeaway,’ Jordan said to reporters staking out the closed-door meeting. ‘He won’t answer a whole lot of questions.’
‘He requested it, was not given that request and never had that authority throughout the time and yet he pretends that somehow he did have that,’ Jordan continued.
Weiss also disputed whistleblower claims that he was denied ‘special counsel’ status when he asked last year.
David Weiss gave a rare testimony before Congress on Tuesday where he insisted he was the sole decision maker in the Hunter Biden case and disputed claims that he was denied special counsel status last year
Special attorney status would have allowed Weiss to bring charges against Hunter in other states outside of Delaware, his jurisdiction. Special counsel is one step above, giving him the ultimate authority in the case.
I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,’ Weiss insisted Tuesday during rare testimony in Congress behind closed doors.
‘At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation.’
Weiss said he talked with the Department of Justice in the spring of 2022 about being designated ‘special attorney’ – but not ‘special counsel.’
His statements to Congress Tuesday contradicts testimony by a whistleblower on the case.
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley told Congress that DOJ denied Weiss’ request for special counsel status in October 2022.
Weiss disputed the whistleblower account, saying Tuesday that he did not formally request ‘special counsel’ status until August 2023 – almost a year later – which was granted by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Democrats who attended the interview decried it as a waste of time.
‘I think it’s a complete waste of time.Weiss is a very strong witness. Very credible witness,’ top Judiciary Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler told reporters leaving the meeting.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Weiss had been ‘evasive’ and Republicans got ‘almost nothing’ from him.
‘Mr. Weiss was here incarnate, but not particularly in spirit,’ Gaetz said.
Weiss charged Hunter in September with three felony counts related to lying on a federal gun application form while under the influence of drugs. He faces up to 25 years in prison.
Jordan said the ‘key takeaway’ of US Attorney David Weiss’ testimony was that he allegedly asked for special attorney status in spring 2022
The president’s son pleaded not guilty at his initial court hearing. The not guilty plea comes after what Republicans called a ‘sweetheart’ plea deal – that would have seen Joe Biden‘s son avoid jail time – collapsed this summer.
Over the summer, two IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testified under oath that Hunter Biden received ‘special’ treatment in the investigation into his financial dealings led by Weiss.
They said that Hunter’s tax charges should have been a felony, but that political pressures led to the first son’s ‘sweetheart deal’ instead.
Republicans including Jordan have pointed out discrepancies between Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney Weiss’ public statements on the Hunter Biden case and who had ‘full authority’ to charge the president’s son.
Ziegler and Shapley testified that Weiss asked U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves to bring ‘felony and misdemeanor tax’ charges agains the president’s son.
But after Graves refused, Weiss threw out the potential felony charges and struck a plea deal with the president’s son that did not include any jail time. Hunter is expected in court Wednesday for the plea deal to be made official.
‘I watched U.S. Attorney [David] Weiss tell a room full of senior FBI and IRS senior leaders on October 7, 2022, that he was not the deciding person on whether charges were filed,’ Shapley said, contradicting Weiss’ previous public statements.
‘If the Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss followed DOJ policy as he stated in his most recent letter, Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax felony, and not only the tax misdemeanor charge,’ said Ziegler.
‘We need to treat each taxpayer the same under the law.’
Graves has denied allegations that he contributed to improper political interference during the federal investigation into Hunter Biden.