A senior Justice Department official told congressional investigators last week that the years-long investigation into first son Hunter Biden received “closer supervision” than most cases — and required high-level approval to bring charges.Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart Goldberg told House Judiciary Committee staff members on Oct. 25 that the Hunter probe was considered a “significant” case and had “closer supervision than other, more run-of-the-mill cases,” according to a copy of his transcribed interview reviewed by The Post.Goldberg’s testimony corroborated key details gleaned from past interviews of officials connected to the investigation of the first son — but Justice Department lawyers stopped the senior official from getting into specifics about an “ongoing” case.Two other DOJ tax officials — Mark Daly and Jack Morgan — have been barred by the department from speaking with the committee.Goldberg said “sensitive” cases like the one involving the president’s son also require an “ultimate sign-off” at his level of the Justice Department — contradicting sworn congressional testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland.The Justice Department man further confirmed previous testimony from IRS whistleblowers that now-special counsel David Weiss, who initiated the Hunter investigation while Delaware’s US attorney, needed the DOJ’s Tax Division to approve charges.IRS supervisory special agent Gary Shapley and special agent Joseph Ziegler testified in July before the House Oversight Committee that US attorneys appointed by President Biden declined to partner with Weiss on the case.Those US attorneys — Matthew Graves of Washington, DC, and Martin Estrada of Los Angeles — have since confirmed the whistleblowers’ account in interviews with the House Judiciary Committee.Shapley and Ziegler also claimed in previous closed-door testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee that the Justice Department ran interference during its sprawling investigation into Hunter Biden’s lucrative foreign business dealings.They alleged that federal prosecutors ignored their recommendation of bringing felony charges against the first son for allegedly ducking $2.2 million in tax payments over six years and discouraged them from pursuing lines of inquiry that would lead to the president.IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf, in a separate interview with the House Judiciary Committee, also confirmed the whistleblowers’ account that DOJ tax officials spoke out against charging Hunter Biden during a June 2022 meeting.Goldberg added in his testimony that if the Tax Division had declined to sign off on felony charges, Weiss would have had to appeal to the deputy attorney general’s office.He recalled that having happened only once in the past three years.Goldberg is the first federal official interviewed by the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee to testify that Weiss would have also needed a so-called “515 letter” to file any charges that Graves and Estrada refused to partner on. The “515 letter” refers to a federal law granting DOJ officials the right to “conduct any kind of legal proceeding, civil or criminal, including grand jury proceedings and proceedings before committing magistrate judges … whether or not he is a resident of the district in which the proceeding is brought.”Both Garland and Weiss have maintained in statements and letters to Congress that the Delaware prosecutor had “ultimate authority” to pursue charges against Hunter Biden.Congressional Republicans have criticized the prosecutor for offering the first son a “sweetheart deal” in June, in which he would have received two years of probation after pleading guilty to tax misdemeanors.On Aug. 11, the attorney general elevated Weiss to special counsel status after the first son’s plea deal on tax and gun charges blew up in federal court on July 26, allowing the Delaware prosecutor to pursue another tax fraud indictment.The following month, Weiss’ office slapped Hunter with three charges of lying about his crack cocaine use on a federal gun purchase form. The first son has pleaded not guilty and will head to trial in 2024.The Delaware prosecutor has thus far declined to bring forward other charges that federal investigators discussed, including violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), bribery, and sex trafficking.House Republicans launched an impeachment inquiry into the president on Sept. 12 to determine whether he abused his office as vice president and benefited from his son’s foreign business entanglements.
01 Kasım 2023 - 21:25
DOJ official said Hunter Biden probe had 'closer supervision,' needed high-level approvals
A senior official at the Justice Department testified that a investigation into Hunter Biden received “closer supervision” than most cases and required high-level approval before charges were broug…
01 Kasım 2023 - 21:25