House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wants to know why U.S Attorney David Weiss, the prosecutor who struck a plea deal with Hunter Biden, is denying requests on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s behalf.
In a May 25 letter (pdf) to Garland, Jordan had requested documents and communications related to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) alleged retaliation against IRS whistleblowers investigating Biden.
In reply, Jordan received a letter from Weiss declining to accommodate his requests—a fact the congressman described as “unusual” in his June 22 response.
“The Committee’s May 25 letter was addressed to Attorney General Garland because it sought documents in possession of the broader Department of Justice, not solely the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware,” Jordan wrote. “We reiterate those requests to the Department and expect to receive the responsive material promptly.”
Adding to his initial requests, Jordan asked that Weiss provide a list of all those who assisted in drafting his June 7 letter, as well as the names of the people who “instructed” him to sign and send it and who forwarded him the committee’s letter.
The congressman also requested the details of any conversations or communications Weiss had with Garland pertaining to the committee’s letter.
In his June 7 letter, Weiss wrote that Jordan’s letter had been forwarded to him with a request that he respond on behalf of the Justice Department.
Noting that Jordan’s inquiry appeared to relate to an investigation in his district, Weiss wrote, “If my assumption is correct, I want to make clear that, as the Attorney General has stated, I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges and for making decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution, consistent with federal law, the Principles of Federal Prosecution, and Departmental regulations.”
Citing the need to keep his investigation “separate from the sphere of politics,” the attorney said that Jordan and his committee were seeking confidential information and that his work would be “seriously prejudiced” if he were to accommodate their requests.
“Throughout my tenure as U.S. Attorney, my decisions have been made—and with respect to the matter must be made—without reference to political considerations,” Weiss said.
Jordan, however, noted in his reply that the committee did not ask for information about Weiss’ investigation but rather the Justice Department’s treatment of a protected whistleblower.
“Here, the Committee’s focus is not interested in ‘where, when, and whether’ the Department will prosecute or decline to prosecute a particular person,” he wrote, “but rather in understanding whether the Department is faithfully adhering to whistleblower protection laws, and, if not, whether Congress must consider legislative reforms.”
Concluding that the Justice Department has “no legitimate basis” to refuse his requests, Jordan gave Weiss until 5 p.m. ET on July 6 to provide all the requested documents and information.
Jordan’s letter coincided with the House Ways and Means Committee’s public release of the sworn testimony of two IRS whistleblowers involved in the probe of Hunter Biden’s taxes.
Following a party-line vote on June 22, the Republican-led committee released the redacted documents, revealing the individuals’ claims of witnessing privileged treatment for Biden, Justice Department interference, and retaliation for voicing their concerns.
In a statement, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) said the whistleblowers’ testimony served as evidence of an uneven playing field that benefits the wealthy and politically connected.
“The preferential treatment Hunter Biden received would never have been granted to ordinary Americans,” said Smith, charging that the Justice Department intervened to protect the president’s son.
“The testimony shows tactics used by the Justice Department to delay the investigation long enough to reach the statute of limitations, evidence they divulged sensitive actions by the investigative team to Biden’s attorneys, and denied requests by the U.S. Attorney to bring charges against Biden,” he noted.
The House Republicans released the whistleblowers’ testimony just days after learning of Hunter Biden’s agreement to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for willful failure to pay his taxes. The two charges each carry a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.
The president’s son also agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program to avoid conviction for his unlawful possession of a firearm while using or addicted to a controlled substance. The felony offense typically carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
According to Weiss, the investigation remains ongoing. Republicans, however, have blasted the bargain as a “sweetheart deal” that effectively lets Hunter Biden off the hook for his wrongdoing.
“Looks like Hunter received a sweetheart deal and is not facing any charges on the massive corruption allegations,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “If Hunter was not connected to the elite DC class he would have been put in jail a long time ago.”
Likewise, on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump likened the deal to a “traffic ticket,” adding, “Our system is BROKEN!”
President Joe Biden, on the other hand, has remained tight-lipped on the situation.
During a meeting last week with artificial intelligence experts, he responded to reporters’ questions about his son with a brief statement: “I’m very proud of my son.”
From The Epoch Times