The U.S. Attorney’s office prosecuting Hunter Biden on gun and tax crimes was allegedly briefed about much more serious allegations in October 2020, and now Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is demanding to know what steps were taken to investigate the matter.
In a letter to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, Sen. Grassley said that his office had learned that Department of Justice and FBI officials from the Pittsburgh Field Office had briefed Assistant U.S. Attorney for Delaware Lesley Wolf and agents from the Baltimore Field Office about the FBI-generated FD1023 form alleging a criminal bribery scheme involving Joe and Hunter Biden.
A whistleblower made legally protected disclosures to Grassley’s office in May regarding the bribery document, and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) quickly issued a subpoena to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding immediate access to the form.
After stonewalling the Committee for weeks, Wray finally allowed Comer and Ranking Member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) to view the file last month in a SCIF on Capitol Hill.
The FBI FD-1023 memo, created in 2020, contains information taken from a trusted FBI informant about an arrangement involving an exchange of money for policy decisions while Joe Biden was vice president.
The confidential human source allegedly told the FBI that a Burisma executive had spoken with him to “get advice on the best way to go forward” in 2015 and 2016 to gain U.S. oil rights and be involved with a U.S. oil company. The whistleblower said Joe and Hunter Biden had received $5 million each in what was described as a “pay to play” scheme.
The Burisma executive allegedly has 17 phone recordings of his conversations with Joe and Hunter that he has kept as an “insurance policy” in case he got “in a tight spot.”
The Ukrainian, who allegedly referred to Hunter Biden as “dumb,” reportedly told the confidential source that Burisma had to “pay the Bidens” because Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin was investigating Burisma, and that it would be difficult to enter the U.S. oil market in the midst of that investigation.
Grassley noted in his letter to Weiss that the October 2020 meeting to discuss the FD1023 form alleging this bribery scheme “did not include any IRS agents.”
The Iowa Republican demanded to know if the serious allegations laid out in the document were ever acted upon.
“Based on information provided to my office, potentially hundreds of Justice Department and FBI officials have had access to the FD-1023 at issue, which begs the question that I’ve been asking since the start of my oversight in this matter: what steps have the Justice Department and FBI taken to investigate the allegations?” Grassley wrote. “You, Attorney General Garland, and Director Wray have failed to answer.”
The senator also pointed out that according to recent IRS whistleblower disclosures, AUSA Wolf had obstructed the investigation into Hunter Biden’s shady business dealings in numerous ways.
As you are aware, IRS whistleblowers have affirmed that AUSA Wolf prevented investigators from seeking information about Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s criminal business arrangements; AUSA Wolf frustrated investigative efforts to question Rob Walker about Joe Biden; AUSA Wolf admitted that “more than enough probable cause” had been achieved for a physical search warrant at Joe Biden’s guest house but prevented it from happening due to “optics”; AUSA Wolf prevented investigators from searching Hunter Biden’s storage unit; AUSA Wolf called Hunter Biden’s defense counsel informing him of the interest in
the storage unit.
“Did AUSA Wolf take similar proactive measures to frustrate any investigation into the FD-1023?” Grassley demanded.
The senator argued that “in light of AUSA Wolf’s alleged questionable and obstructive conduct” during the course of Weiss’ investigation, “clarification” with respect to their involvement with the FD-1023 form was in order.
1. When did you become aware of the October 2020 briefing provided by Justice Department and FBI officials to AUSA Wolf and the FBI Baltimore Field Office?
2. Are you aware of any steps AUSA Wolf and the Baltimore Field Office took to investigate the information within the FD-1023 before and after the October 2020 briefing? If so, what steps were taken and when? If not, why not?
3. Why were IRS agents not included in the October 2020 briefing?
4. Does the scope of your alleged “ongoing investigation” include criminal bribery with respect to the alleged criminal scheme between a foreign national and then-Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden? If not, why not?
5. Have you taken any steps to recover the alleged audio recordings and related evidence referenced in the FD-1023? If not, why not?
6. When were you assured that you would be granted § 515 Authority in the District of Columbia, the Central District of California, or any other district where charges could be brought in the Hunter Biden matter? Have you requested that specific authority yet? If not, why not? If so, when, where and was the request satisfied?
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley told lawmakers that he was present during an October 7, 2022, meeting with top IRS and FBI officials in which Weiss had indicated he was not the person who would ultimately decide if charges were filed in the Hunter Biden investigation.
Shapely also claimed that Weiss was denied special counsel status.
“I was there, and I witnessed this personally,’ Shapley said during a Fox News interview. He said Weiss began the meeting by saying “he’s not the deciding person whether or not charges are filed or not.”
In a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Weiss revealed Monday that he had not requested special counsel status as part of his years-long investigation.
NEW: US Attorney Weiss letter obtained @cbsnews to @LindseyGrahamSC @SenatorDurbin acknowledges “discussions with Department officials” about whether he had the authority to bring charges outside Delaware in Hunter Biden probe: “I was assured that I would be granted this… pic.twitter.com/3sUcyyqI8g
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) July 10, 2023
“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 pursuant to” the statute for appointing a special counsel, Weiss wrote in the letter.
Weiss was responding to Senator Graham’s letter sent late last month requesting information about the IRS whistleblower allegations that he was denied special counsel status. Graham noted in his letter that whistleblowers had also claimed that Weiss had been prevented from bringing charges in Washington, D.C., and California.
In his letter, Weiss explained that he’d had conversations with unnamed department officials about potentially being granted “special attorney” status, which would have allowed him to bring charges outside of his district.
“I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary. And this assurance came months before the October 7, 2022, meeting referenced throughout the whistleblowers’ allegations,” Weiss said.
“In this case, I’ve … never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction,” Weiss added.
In a statement posted on social media, Shapley’s legal team accused Weiss of changing his story and argued that it should make “no difference whether Weiss requested special counsel or special attorney authority.”
“Under no circumstances should ‘the process’ have included the political appointees of the subject’s father, because Congress and the public had been assured it would not — but it did,” they added.
Statement from IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley's legal team on U.S. Attorney David Weiss's letter today to the Senate Judiciary Committee: "U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s story continues to change. As a practical matter, it makes no difference whether Weiss requested… pic.twitter.com/pucFanTgcx
— Empower Oversight (@EMPOWR_us) July 10, 2023
Last month, Hunter Biden pleaded guilty to just two federal misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes, and entered probation over the gun charge.
A federal judge still needs to sign off on “sweetheart” plea bargain prosecutors brokered with Hunter’s legal team.
U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika of the District of Delaware set a court date of July 26 for Biden to make his initial court appearance related to the plea deal.