The federal prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden’s potential tax law violations and sketchy business dealings overseas last summer decided to keep the public in the dark about the probe until after the 2020 presidential election to avoid impacting the race’s outcome, Politico revealed Friday.
According to the news outlet, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials led by David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in the Biden family’s home state of Delaware, delayed the Hunter probe last summer, postponing their pursuit of search warrants and issuing grand jury subpoenas.
[Weiss] decided to delay taking any actions that were likely to make the existence of the Hunter Biden probe public. Concerns about affecting the presidential election loomed large when Weiss entertained arguments about advancing the probe, according to the person involved in the discussions. No matter what he did, the decision was sure to come under scrutiny for signs of politicization.
Weiss ultimately sided with DOJ colleagues who convinced him it was best to err on the side of caution and wait to advance the probe until after the presidential race.
“They advised [Weiss] to avoid taking any actions that could alert the public to the existence of the case in the middle of a presidential election,” Politico noted.
The U.S. attorney ignored other officials involved in the case who wanted to move forward with the investigation last summer despite the presidential race.
Politico conceded that advancing the Hunter probe amid the presidential election may have benefitted former President Donald Trump’s campaign, noting:
Weiss’s decision to avoid revealing the investigation in a highly charged political atmosphere — a move that might have boosted Donald Trump’s campaign, even at the cost of politicizing the probe — was consistent with his sober-minded approach to his job, said people familiar with Weiss’s career. But so too, they said, is the fact that the probe continues, with most expecting that Weiss will not drop the case until making a full assessment of Hunter Biden’s culpability.
Weiss continues to serve as Delaware’s U.S. attorney under Biden, a sensitive DOJ position that will allow him to decide how to handle the probe into the president’s son.
Former President Donald Trump appointed Weiss to the U.S. attorney position in 2017 at the recommendation of Delaware’s two Democrat senators.
By 2018, the attorney’s office began investigating Hunter in response to various leads, including some linked to his business dealings with business associates from China.
Initially, investigators sought to go after the president’s son over money laundering and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
However, the criminal investigation evolved into examining possible tax law violations and Hunter’s shady business transactions overseas, Politico learned from an unnamed source.
After Joe secured his election victory, Hunter announced on December 9 that he was under a federal investigation for tax issues, insisting he is innocent.
The existence of the Hunter probe came to light weeks before the election amid the controversy over incriminating files found in a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter.
According to the newspaper, one email suggested Joe lied about not knowing of his son’s shady business dealings abroad. Tony Bobulinski, Hunter’s former business partner, made similar accusations after the Post‘s exposé.
Some Republicans have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to protect Weiss’s investigation from the Biden administration influence.
Citing an anonymous source last December, when Hunter announced he was the target of a federal investigation, CNN acknowledged the probe had resumed after a hiatus during the elections, adding:
Federal prosecutors in Delaware, working with the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, are taking overt steps such as issuing subpoenas and seeking interviews, the person with knowledge said.
Activity in the investigation had gone covert in recent months due to Justice Department guidelines prohibiting overt actions that could affect an election, the person said.
The FBI reportedly expressed counterintelligence concerns with some of the business transactions Hunter made with officials from China, a U.S. strategic rival.
President Joe Biden has vowed not to interfere in the DOJ’s probe into his son.