Special Counsel Weiss tells lawmakers politics ‘played no part’ in Hunter Biden probe

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Special Counsel David Weiss told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he was not ‘blocked’ or ‘prevented from pursuing charges’ against Hunter Biden in his years-long probe, and he maintained that ‘political considerations played no part’ in his decision-making.

Weiss appeared for a voluntary and ‘unprecedented’ transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning to address ‘misunderstandings about the scope’ of his ‘authority to decide where, when and whether to bring charges.’

In a statement after his hours-long testimony, Weiss said that to the best of his knowledge he is ‘the first Special Counsel to testify before the submission of the Special Counsel report.’

‘I have done so out of respect for the committee’s oversight responsibilities and to respond to questions raised about the scope of my authority,’ Weiss said.

Weiss said he is ‘in the midst of conducting an ongoing investigation and prosecution’ and that he is ‘limited as to what I can say at this point.’ But Weiss also said that at the conclusion of his work he will prepare a report and ‘will be able to share more information at that time.’

Weiss said that during his transcribed interview he was ‘prepared to address misunderstandings about the scope of my authority to decide where, when and whether to bring charges in this matter.’

However, he also said he would not answer questions ‘that could jeopardize the ongoing litigation, our investigations, or the rights of defendants or other individuals involved in these matters.’

‘I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,’ Weiss said. ‘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, he said, ‘there are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions.’

‘These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority,’ Weiss said. ‘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.’

Weiss also noted that he ‘did not request special counsel status until August 2023.’

‘When I made that request, it was promptly granted,’ Weiss said.

Whistleblowers have alleged that Weiss previously requested special counsel status and was denied. Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped Weiss in August to serve as special counsel with jurisdiction over the Biden investigation and any other issues that have come up, or may come up, related to that probe.

Weiss has been leading the Biden investigation since 2018.

‘Throughout this investigation, the career prosecutors on my team and I have made decisions based on the facts and the law,’ Weiss said. ‘Political considerations played no part in our decision-making.’

Weiss said his team’s ‘analysis has been moored to the principles of federal prosecution, and going forward, my team and I will continue to abide by the same principles as we try to bring this matter to a just conclusion.’

Weiss’ interview comes after a number of current and former Justice Department officials related to the Hunter Biden probe have testified voluntarily on the matter behind closed doors at the committee, which is led by Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

But on the matter of requesting special counsel status, Jordan said Weiss had requested it prior to being appointed in August.

‘When he was specifically asked, ‘Did you ever request special attorney authority under Section 515, Mr. Weiss?’ His response was, ‘Yes, in the spring of 2022,’’ Jordan said after Weiss’ interview. ‘So, that goes to the heart of the matter. He requested it, was not given that request – never had that authority throughout the time. And yet he pretends that somehow he did have that.’

Jordan said Weiss would not answer ‘a lot of questions’ but that the ‘key takeaway’ was about ‘the changing story we got from DOJ regarding the authority’ that Weiss had.

Jordan said Weiss’ testimony was ‘entirely consistent’ with what IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley said. Shapley alleged that in October 2022 Weiss said he requested special counsel authority but the ‘DOJ denied his request and told him to follow the process.’

‘So, once again, Shapley and Ziegler’s testimony continues to stand up to every single witness we brought in,’ Jordan said.

IRS whistleblowers Shapley and Joseph Ziegler alleged that politics affected prosecutorial decisions throughout the probe with regard to search warrants, decisions about lines of questioning during interviews of specific people, and more. Shapley also alleged that Weiss did not have ‘ultimate authority’ to pursue charges against the president’s son and instead needed approval from the Justice Department – something that DOJ officials confirmed in their voluntary transcribed interviews before the committee. 

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Tax Division Stuart Goldberg participated in a transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee last month. Fox News Digital reviewed a copy of the transcript of Goldberg’s interview in which he said Weiss needed approval from his unit at the Justice Department before bringing charges in the Hunter Biden probe. Goldberg also said that a prosecutor could appeal his division’s decision if they disagreed.

Shapley further alleged that Weiss was considering bringing charges against Hunter Biden in California but the U.S. attorney there chose not to partner with him for prosecution. The charges were never filed.

Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, told the House Judiciary Committee during his transcribed interview last month that he did, in fact, decline to partner with Weiss in bringing charges against Hunter Biden in his district. Estrada, though, did offer Weiss ‘administrative support.’

In his first move as special counsel, Weiss charged Biden with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

The president’s son pleaded not guilty to all charges last month.

Weiss’ interview comes amid House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry against President Biden. The impeachment inquiry is being led by Jordan, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo.

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