A second FBI official testified before the House Judiciary Committee Monday that Special Counsel David Weiss’s authority to investigate Hunter Biden was thwarted after U.S. attorneys in Washington, D.C. and California blocked him from bringing charges last year.
The witness, a female assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, was accompanied during the interview by a Department of Justice lawyer and an FBI lawyer who frequently interrupted to prevent her from divulging “unauthorized” information, according to the Washington Examiner, who obtained the 180-page interview transcript.
Government whistleblowers have testified that Weiss was prevented from bringing charges in Washington, D.C., and California, last year.
Committee staff asked the agent a question about Weiss’s charging authority at the time of a key Oct. 7, 2022, meeting, when according to IRS Supervisory Agent Gary Shapley’s handwritten notes, Weiss told senior investigators that he had tried to be appointed special counsel unsuccessfully and would not be able to bring criminal charges against Hunter Biden for failing to pay taxes on his 2014-15 income.
“Weiss requested Special Counsel status in D.C. Main DOJ said ‘no.’ Follow the process,” Shapley wrote. “Weiss stated—He is not the deciding person,” Shapley’s notes also say. “Not going to charge 14/15.”
“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.
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.
According to the interview transcript, the FBI agent told committee staff: “I’m aware that obviously charging discussions were happening, and, yes, there was a difference in the venue for some of those charges.”
She added that Weiss had to pursue other Department of Justice “processes” after the Washington, D.C., and California offices refused to “partner” with his investigation.
“I remember learning at some point in the investigation that Mr. Weiss would have to go through his other processes because the U.S. Attorney’s Offices had, I guess, in that sense, using that terminology, wasn’t going to partner,” she said. Throughout the interview, the agent alleged that communication was a problem in the case, according to the transcript.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Sobocinksi, the agent’s boss in the Baltimore office, gave similar testimony to the committee last week.
After testifying that Weiss seemed to have all of the charging authority he needed, Sobocinski acknowledged that the then-Delaware U.S. Attorney had to go through an “administrative process” that “definitely seemed very cumbersome.”
According to the interview transcript, the assistant special agent was stopped multiple times by the DOJ and FBI attorneys, who warned about the DOJ’s “long-standing policy of not divulging information about ongoing investigations.”
“It’s obvious DOJ hasn’t been square with us,” wrote House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on X, Thursday.
Last month, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Weiss to serve as special counsel investigating the Biden family’s business schemes after the “sweetheart plea deal” he brought against Hunter Biden fell apart under a judge’s scrutiny.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced on Tuesday that House Republicans were launching an impeachment inquiry into Biden based on mounting evidence that he was involved with his son’s corrupt business schemes while serving as vice president.
Late Wednesday, Biden brushed off the GOP’s impeachment inquiry, saying “The best I can tell is they want to impeach me because they want to shut down the government.”