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Hunter Biden prosecutor sought special charging status in 2022 but didn't get it, Jim Jordan says

House Judiciary Committee chairman accuses DOJ of changing stories, says David Weiss' interview with Congress corroborates IRS whistleblowers.

Published: November 7, 2023 4:24pm

Updated: November 7, 2023 6:29pm

Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss has told Congress he sought special authority from the Justice Department in 2022 to file tax charges against Hunter Biden in other jurisdictions but was never granted it, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan disclosed Tuesday.

Jordan told reporters after a closed-door interview with Weiss that the prosecutor's acknowledgement to lawmakers  that he sought "special attorney" powers in the Biden case amounted to a new change in the DOJ's story and corroborated allegations made earlier this year by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.

"He said Weiss maintains: I would have always been able to get it if I had to ask for it. But then his answer was: I asked for it and wasn't given it," Jordan said at an impromptu news conference in the House O'Neill building after finishing the interview with Weiss.

The whistleblowers told Congress earlier this year that Weiss told them at an October 2022 meeting with prosecutors that he sought "special counsel" authority to charge Hunter Biden with tax evasion charges in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles and was turned down.

Weiss subsequently wrote letters to Congress suggesting the agents were mistaken and that he always had the power to bring charges anywhere he wanted.

He recently was named a full special counsel in October, but not until the statute of limitations on serious felony tax charges against Hunter Biden had expired.

In Tuesday's interview with the Judiciary Committee, Weiss told Jordan he had in fact requested what is known as "special attorney" status in spring 2022 that would have allowed him to bring charges in another jurisdiction without needing the approval of the local U.S. Attorney, Jordan said.

DOJ rules create two paths for empowering a special prosecutor. One is a "special attorney" that empowers the prosecutor to bring charges in districts outside their home state. The other is a "special counsel" that also allows charging in any geographic district but brings additional budget and supervision independence plus the potential to write a final report, like Robert Mueller did as the special prosecutor in the Russia collusion probe.

Jordan said Weiss confirmed he sought "special attorney" status in spring 2022 even before he went to two Biden appointees – U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, in Washington D.C., and and U.S. Attorney Miguel Estrada, in Los Angeles – who declined to partner with him on charging Hunter Biden with felony tax evasion in their jurisdictions. 

Jordan didn't identify by name the DOJ official who declined Weiss the permission but said he or she had the rank of principal assistant deputy attorney general.

"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 explained. "So that goes to the heart of the matter. He requested it, it was not given that request and he never had that authority throughout the time. And yet he pretends that somehow he did have that."

DOJ officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

In an interview Tuesday night with the Just the News, No. Noise television show, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said the information from Weiss fits of pattern of consistency from the whistleblowers and changing stories from the Biden administration during his impeachment inquiry.

"Well, I'm not surprised, There have been so many lies by President Biden, by his administration, by the deep state actors who were supposed to be the ones to prevent this type of Vegas influence-peddling operation by our leaders at the highest level," Comer said.

"The whistleblowers continue to be spot on in everything they said. ... Not only do you have a massive crime by the Biden family, you also have a massive coverup. And you know, I think the deposition today was valuable information as we move forward," he added.

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