The federal prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes hit back at Republican claims that the Justice Department had blocked the probe.
The president’s much-embattled son agreed to a plea deal in June that will see him plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges of tax evasion and participate in a pretrial program for a gun offense. Hunter will avoid jail time under the deal, which was negotiated with Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss and has infuriated Republicans.
Shortly before the deal was struck, an IRS agent accused Weiss—a Trump appointee—and Justice Department officials of dragging their feet on investigating Hunter Biden. In particular, the agent, Gary Shapley, alleged Weiss said in October that Weiss did not have final say on whether charges would be filed.
Shapley also claims Weiss said he had been blocked from pursuing charges in D.C.—where Hunter supposedly committed his most serious crimes—and that the Justice Department would not grant him special counsel status, which would have let him bring charges outside his jurisdiction. Republicans have jumped on Shapley’s claims as proof that the Hunter Biden investigation did not go far enough.
Weiss hit back at those claims Monday evening in a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham. “To clarify an apparent misperception and to avoid future confusion, I wish to make one point clear: in this case, I have not requested Special Counsel designation,” Weiss wrote.
He explained that he would have been granted that status “if it proved necessary,” although he did not say who ultimately decided that it did not. Weiss also said he had “never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.”
Weiss had previously smacked down Shapley’s claims in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan. Republicans have seized on Shapley’s accusations as part of their sprawling and evidence-less investigations into the Biden family’s alleged corruption.