I admit it. I hate Attorney General Merrick Garland so much I can barely stand to hear him speak.
But there’s a reason for my strong feelings. We can’t trust a word he says. And on Tuesday, The New York Times confirmed it.
Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee released the transcribed interviews of two IRS whistleblowers who worked on the Hunter Biden case. The testimonies of IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley Jr. and an anonymous whistleblower who was part of his team, bolster the widely-held belief that U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss, appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2018, was blocked by DOJ prosecutors at several turns during his five year investigation into the first son.
In particular, Shapley and his anonymous colleague alleged that, during a 2022 meeting, Weiss said he had sought to charge Hunter Biden in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles, California, and that both requests had been rebuffed by DOJ prosecutors. Weiss also allegedly claimed he had asked to be granted special counsel status, but had been turned down.
Contrary to Shapley’s testimony, in a June 7 letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee, Weiss wrote that he had been “granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges” against Hunter Biden.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Garland strongly denied Shapley’s claims.
As I said at the outset, Mr. Weiss, who was appointed by President Trump as the U.S. attorney in Delaware and assigned this matter during the previous administration, would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to. Mr. Weiss has since sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee confirming that he had that authority.
I don’t know how it would be possible for anybody to block him from bringing a prosecution, given that he has this authority.
He was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own behalf.
In an article titled “Competing Accounts of Justice Dept.’s Handling of Hunter Biden Case,” the Times reported it had independently confirmed that Weiss did indeed make those claims.
But in mid-2022, Mr. Weiss reached out to the top federal prosecutor in Washington, Matthew Graves, to ask his office to pursue charges and was rebuffed, according to Mr. Shapley’s testimony. A similar request to prosecutors in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles, was also rejected, Mr. Shapley testified. A second former I.R.S. official, who has not been identified, told House Republicans the same story. That episode was confirmed independently to The New York Times by a person with knowledge of the situation.
Unsurprisingly, Fox News noted that you had to read to the 21st paragraph of the Times’ article to find this information.
In a March Senate hearing, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) questioned Garland quite forcefully about the autonomy – or the lack thereof – of Weiss’ investigation. Grassley asked the attorney general if Weiss had “sought the permission of another U.S. Attorney’s Office, such as in the District of Columbia or in California, to bring charges? If so, was it denied?”
Grassley told Garland, “If the Delaware U.S. Attorney must seek permission from a Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney to bring charges, the Hunter Biden criminal investigation isn’t insulated from political interference as you’ve publicly proclaimed.”
In the video below, Garland assured lawmakers that Weiss had operated with complete autonomy.
The whistleblowers’ testimony – and the Times’ confirmation of Weiss’ remarks in a 2022 internal meeting – call Garland’s veracity into serious question.