Watch: Merrick Garland Denies David Weiss Asked for Special Counsel Powers to Investigate Hunter Biden

Attorney Merrick Garland denied allegations that U.S. Attorney of Delaware David Weiss had asked for special counsel authority to investigate Hunter Biden during a Friday press conference.

“He was never told no. I’m saying, he was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own,” Garland responded to a reporter’s question on the allegations made by an IRS whistleblower, whose testimony to Congress was released on Thursday.

“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 never told no. I’m saying he was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own,” he continued.

“The only person with authority to make somebody a special counsel or refuse to make somebody a special counsel is the Attorney General. Mr. Weiss never made that request to me.”

IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent Gary A. Shapley Jr. told Congress that Garland rejected a request from Weiss to appoint a special counsel after the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia refused to prosecute Hunter Biden there. Specifically, Shapley said:

From March 2022 through October 7th, 2022, I was under the impression that, based on AG Garland’s testimony before Congress and statements by U.S. Attorney Weiss and prosecutors, that they were still deciding whether to charge 2014 and 2015 tax violations.

However, I would later be told by United States Attorney Weiss that the D.C. U.S. Attorney would not allow U.S. Attorney Weiss to charge those years in his district. This resulted in United States Attorney Weiss requesting special counsel authority from Main DOJ to charge in the District of Columbia. I don’t know if he asked before or after the Attorney General’s April 26th, 2022, statement, but Weiss said his request for that authority was denied and that he was told to follow DOJ’s process.

That process meant no charges would ever be brought in the District of Columbia, where the statute of limitations on the 2014 and ’15 charges would eventually expire. The years in question included foreign income from Burisma and a scheme to evade his income taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon. There were also potential FARA issues relating to 2014 and 2015. The purposeful exclusion of the 2014 and 2015 years sanitized the most substantive criminal conduct and concealed material facts.

Asked by a reporter why he did not appoint a special counsel, Garland did not directly answer the question.

“Weiss had, in fact, more authority than a special counsel would have had — he had and he has complete authority as I said, to bring a case anywhere he wants in his discretion,” he said.

Garland also said he supports Weiss testifying on the IRS whistleblowers’ allegations.

“I would support Mr. Weiss explaining or testifying on these matters when he deems appropriate,” he said.

House Ways and Means Republicans released the transcripts on Thursday, days after Hunter Biden agreed to a plea deal where he plead guilty to two federal tax violations and one gun violation but avoided any jail time. It is unclear whether the plea deal includes the myriad other allegations of criminal wrongdoing by Hunter and other family members — perhaps even then-Vice President Joe Biden — involving business endeavors with foreign partners.

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