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1 Jul 2023
Sara Murray

NextImg:US attorney investigating Hunter Biden defends probe in letter to House Judiciary panel | CNN Politics

CNN  — 

David Weiss, the US attorney in Delaware overseeing the criminal probe into Hunter Biden, has pushed back on claims that he had been unable to bring charges against President Joe Biden’s son in certain areas and reiterated that he had ultimate authority over the investigation, in a letter obtained by CNN.

Two IRS agents raised several concerns with Congress over how the Hunter Biden probe was handled, including claims that US attorneys in two districts – Washington, DC, and the Central District of California – would not seek indictments. One of the agents, IRS veteran Gary Shapley, also alleged that Attorney General Merrick Garland was untruthful when he told Congress that Weiss had full authority over the investigation.

“As the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, my charging authority is geographically limited to my home district. If venue for a case lies elsewhere, common Departmental practice is to contact the United States Attorney’s Office for the district in question and determine whether it wants to partner on the case. If not, I may request Special Attorney status from the Attorney General,” Weiss wrote to the House Judiciary Committee on Friday.

Weiss added that he had been assured he would have been granted that authority in “any other district where charges could be brought in this matter.”

Hunter Biden’s plea agreement to two misdemeanor tax charges was ultimately filed in Weiss’ jurisdiction in Delaware.

The letter from Weiss comes as congressional Republicans ramp up pressure on the Justice Department to respond to claims from the two IRS agents that there was political interference in the Hunter Biden probe. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently suggested the House chamber could open an impeachment inquiry into Garland over the IRS agents’ allegations.

Last month, Garland also said that Weiss was free “to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to.”

But Tristan Leavitt, one of the attorneys for Shapley, took to Twitter early Saturday to say that the latest letter from Weiss “confirms exactly what Gary Shapley told Congress: Weiss did not have ‘full authority’ to bring charges, but had to ‘partner’ with relevant U.S. Attorney.”

The IRS agents have also said that they were retaliated against for sharing their concerns with Congress, a claim Weiss disputed in his new letter.

Weiss added that he would not provide the committee with additional information about the Hunter Biden case while it is being prosecuted. Hunter Biden is set to formally plead guilty in federal court in Delaware on July 26.

“At this juncture, I am required to protect confidential law enforcement information and deliberative communications related to the case,” Weiss wrote to the committee. “Thus, I will not provide specific information related to the Hunter Biden investigation at this time.”