The special counsel for Hunter Biden informed Congress, "The issue at hand was not about my power. It was simply about making the choice to proceed."

The special counsel for Hunter Biden informed Congress, “The issue at hand was not about my power. It was simply about making the choice to proceed.”

Capitol Hill - Washington, DC

In Washington, DC on November 7, 2023, Special Counsel David Weiss exits a private meeting with legislators regarding the inquiry into Hunter Biden at the O’Neill House Office Building.

The photograph was taken by Matt McClain for The Washington Post and is available through Getty Images.

Washington — Special Counsel David Weiss — the man charged with leading the federal probe into President Joe Biden’s son Hunter —

informed lawmakers during their inquiry on Tuesday

According to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by CBS News, Weiss claims that officials from the Justice Department guaranteed him the power to press criminal charges against the president’s son in any district he deemed appropriate. However, he ultimately did not seek or obtain final authorization.

Weiss willingly agreed to testify before the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee before submitting his report as special counsel. This is an uncommon action during an ongoing investigation, but he did so in order to clarify any misconceptions about his authority in the Hunter Biden case.

During his closed-door testimony, which was arranged through discussions between Congress and the Justice Department, Weiss stated that he was unable to respond to many inquiries regarding choices that were made during the lengthy investigation into the president’s son. This was due to federal guidelines that prohibit prosecutors from discussing ongoing investigations.

Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, the investigators who had been working on the Hunter Biden case, informed government officials that they suggested prosecuting the president’s son for tax offenses. However, they claimed that Weiss, who did not have the authority to make the final decision on charges, denied their request for special counsel status. They also accused the federal investigation of deliberately delaying the case and giving preferential treatment to Biden.

David Weiss made some truly impactful statements.Shapley

In a previous interview with CBS News, the whistleblower stated that the first thing they learned was that the individual in question does not have the final say in determining whether or not charges will be brought forward. The whistleblower expressed their shock at this revelation.

Weiss has consistently denied Shapley’s assertions and stated that he did not seek the designation of special counsel until August. At that time, the request was quickly approved by Garland.

In response to Shapely’s claim that Weiss stated he was not the ultimate decision maker in the decision to press charges against Hunter Biden, the special counsel clarified to congressional investigators that his statement did not reflect his true beliefs. He also acknowledged the possibility that his words may have been misunderstood.

In October 2022, Shapley took notes during a meeting with members from the FBI and IRS. The notes also mentioned that Weiss informed investigators that the Tax Division of the Justice Department would be involved in the approval process for any charges.

On Tuesday, Weiss was questioned about whether the DOJ Tax is required to give approval for felony charges according to the Justice Manual.

He replied, “Approval from DOJ Tax is necessary for Title 26 charges. We have previously discussed this and I appreciate their involvement in the case. I have never had any concerns about it.”

“I have not disputed the validity of the DOJ Tax. As I have stated previously, I am not making decisions in isolation. There are established procedures in place and other individuals should be involved,” he later stated. “The DOJ Tax has been thorough in their investigation and I appreciate their efforts.”

During his previous testimony, Weiss stated that he was unable to remember any instances where there was a disagreement between himself and the Tax Division, and that the division was satisfied with his decision-making. However, he did mention that future decisions may require approval from officials within the division.

The office of the special counsel is currently examining the possibility of filing tax-related charges against the president’s son in California. In September, Hunter Biden was charged by Weiss with three counts of felony gun charges in Delaware. Biden has pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.

The charges resulted from a failure in talks between Weiss’ group and Biden’s defense team after a sudden collapse of a plea and diversion agreement in July. The special counsel declined to respond to inquiries about the unsuccessful plea deal and the next actions in the investigation when questioned by House investigators, as stated in the transcript.

The ex-IRS agents claimed that Weiss’ department permitted the time limit for pressing charges to run out in regards to accusations against Hunter Biden for not paying taxes in 2014 and 2015 in Washington, D.C.

The special counsel stated that the time limit for legal action has passed, but did not provide any further details. Although no charges will be brought due to the expired statute of limitations, the counsel believes that any potential tax prosecution in the future may still involve evidence and witnesses from previous years.

According to Weiss, a report containing additional details about his team’s decision-making methods will be disclosed at the conclusion of his investigation, as mandated by federal law.

He testified in a similar manner to the letters Weiss had previously written to Congressional investigators earlier this summer. In a letter addressed to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in July, Weiss detailed his conversation with federal officials regarding a potential appointment under Section 515. This would have allowed him to file charges in a different district without the assistance of a local U.S. Attorney. According to Weiss, he was promised this authority if necessary, well before the October 7, 2022 meeting mentioned in the whistleblowers’ claims.

The testimony given in private by House Democrats was largely disregarded as a “joke” and “completely insignificant.”

According to Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Weiss repeatedly claimed that he was solely responsible for all charging decisions and did not receive any guidance or suggestions from others. However, the Republicans continue to revisit the same information and receive the same responses.

In the meantime, members of the Republican committee expressed that Weiss was incapable of providing satisfactory responses to a number of the inquiries presented to him.

“Mr. Weiss was here incarnate, but not particularly in spirit,” Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, said. 

Catherine Herridge