Earlier today, Special Counsel David Weiss sat for a closed-door, transcribed interview with the MAGA House Judiciary Committee. Today’s testimony only revealed what we all already knew – Weiss clearly had full decision-making authority when deciding to pursue charges against Hunter Biden with no interference from the Department of Justice whatsoever. MAGA Republicans are focused on their political partisan stunts rather than addressing the issues keeping working families up at night like health care and the cost of living.
In September, Judiciary Republicans called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to testify in a hearing over the Justice Department’s Hunter Biden probe. When the hearing turned up no new facts to support Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan’s baseless claims, he hypocritically issued subpoenas to IRS officials and FBI special agents months ago in an effort to attack Weiss’ investigation – even though Jordan is a well-known subpoena dodger. But even that backfired when at least six other witnesses brought in for questioning debunked their allegations once again. These questions have already been asked and answered, to no avail. MAGA Republicans are just desperate to distract from their utter failure to govern. This testimony is only the latest House GOP distraction, further proving that Republicans would rather push baseless attacks against President Biden than address the real issues Americans are facing.
The New York Times: Special Counsel Rebuts Claims of Favoritism Toward Hunter Biden. “‘To my knowledge, I am the first special counsel to testify before the submission of the special counsel report,’ Mr. Weiss said. ‘I have done so out of respect for the committee’s oversight responsibilities and to respond to questions raised about the scope of my authority.’ […] ‘He made it very clear that he was following the protocols for the Department of Justice, which is that he first asked the districts that had venue if they would partner with him on this case,’ said Representative Dan Goldman, Democrat of New York, who emerged from the interview after about an hour to speak with reporters. Mr. Weiss sharply contradicted claims by an I.R.S. investigator who told House investigators that Mr. Weiss had been blocked from fully pursuing the inquiry. […] ‘I am, and have been, the decision maker on this case,’ he said during his testimony on Tuesday, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. ‘There are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions. These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority. At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States attorneys, the tax division or anyone else at the Department of Justice.” [The New York Times, 11/7/23]
Fox News: Special Counsel Weiss Tells Lawmakers Politics ‘played No Part’ In Hunter Biden Probe. “Special Counsel David Weiss told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that he was not ‘blocked’ or ‘prevented from pursuing charges’ against Hunter Biden in his years-long probe, and he maintained that ‘political considerations played no part’ in his decision-making. Weiss appeared for a voluntary and ‘unprecedented’ transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning to address ‘misunderstandings about the scope’ of his ‘authority to decide where, when and whether to bring charges.’ […] Weiss said that during his transcribed interview he was ‘prepared to address misunderstandings about the scope of my authority to decide where, when and whether to bring charges in this matter.’ However, he also said he would not answer questions ‘that could jeopardize the ongoing litigation, our investigations, or the rights of defendants or other individuals involved in these matters.’ ‘I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,’ Weiss said. ‘I do not, however, make these decisions in a vacuum. I am bound by federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and DOJ guidelines.” [Fox News, 11/7/23]
CNBC: Hunter Biden Prosecutor Tells House Panel He Is ‘The Decision-Maker On This Case’. “‘Throughout this investigation, the career prosecutors on my team and I have made decisions based on the facts and the law,’ Weiss said. ‘Political considerations played no part in our decision-making. Our analysis has been moored to the principles of federal prosecution, and going forward, my team and I will continue to abide by the same principles as we try to bring this matter to a just conclusion Weiss also told the panel that he was ‘promptly granted’ special counsel status from Garland after he requested it in August. That status gives Weiss authority to lodge criminal charges in the case outside of Delaware. Democrats have scoffed at their GOP colleagues’ focus on Hunter Biden and on the criminal probe, arguing it is driven by a desire to harm President Biden politically. Reps. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., and Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said Republican members of the Judiciary Committee were asking misleading and repetitive questions of Weiss, according to NBC News. Scanlon called the hearing ‘a farce,’ and ‘an absolute waste of time.’” [CNBC, 11/7/23]
The Washington Post: Hunter Biden Prosecutor David Weiss Says Justice Officials Never Blocked Him. “David Weiss, the federal prosecutor tapped to serve as special counsel investigating Hunter Biden, testified Tuesday behind closed doors to a House committee, telling lawmakers that he has had full authority over the case and has not been overruled at any point by other Justice Department officials. It is highly unusual for the Justice Department to make a special counsel available for questioning by Congress before an investigation is complete. […] The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) said Weiss was a ‘strong witness’ but called the session with him a ‘waste of time.’ No transcript of the session was released Tuesday. Nadler said Weiss ‘was very clear that no one told him what to prosecute and what not to prosecute. He made all those decisions himself, and he said that before. And I mean, [Republicans] tried to get him to say anything, but they just go over and over and over again the same thing.’” [The Washington Post, 11/7/23]
USAToday: DOJ Special Counsel Tells Congress Politics Played No Role In Hunter Biden Investigation. “Justice Department special counsel David Weiss told a House committee on Tuesday nobody is thwarting his investigation of Hunter Biden and politics plays no role in it. He was emphatic assuring committee members that only he is ‘the decision-maker.’… ‘I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,’ Weiss said. ‘At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice.’” [USAToday, 11/7/23]
Mediaite: David Weiss Rejects Claims the DOJ Meddled With His Hunter Biden Probe: I Am ‘The Decision-Maker On This Case’. “Special Counsel David Weiss declared authority over his own probe into Hunter Biden, pushing back on claims that his investigation was impeded by the Justice Department. ‘Throughout this investigation, the career prosecutors on my team and I have made decisions based on the facts and the law. Political considerations played no part in our decision-making. Our analysis has been moored to the principles of federal prosecution, and going forward, my team and I will continue to abide by the same principles as we try to bring this matter to a just conclusion.’” [Mediaite, 11/7/23]
The Messenger: Top Hunter Biden Prosecutor Claims No Interference in His Probe. “‘At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation,’ Weiss said in his opening statement to lawmakers. Weiss’s investigation into Hunter Biden, which has yielded charges for both federal gun and tax crimes, has been under the House GOP’s microscope… But Weiss’s insistence on Tuesday that he had ultimate charging authority — which he had already said publicly — further poured cold water on the GOP’s line of inquiry into the Hunter Biden investigation. Despite Weiss’s claim that he was never blocked in the investigation, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee who led the questioning, argued there were still inconsistencies in the federal investigator’s testimony.” [The Messenger, 11/7/23]
Raw Story: Lawmaker whacks GOP for pushing ‘misleading reports’ on Hunter Biden prosecutor testimony. “Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) left a House Judiciary Committee hearing with special counsel David Weiss and claimed that no one should believe any ‘misleading reports’ from his Republican colleagues about what unfolded… ‘He has not and will not discuss any aspects of the investigation. You will hear very misleading reports from the Republicans based on their questioning, which either just fundamentally doesn’t understand how the department works or worse,’ Pergram wrote of Goldman’s comments.” [Raw Story, 11/7/23]
Harry Litman (LA Times Senior legal affairs columnist): Groundhog Day: David Weiss, in a closed-door interview w/ Republican members, once again tells them there was no pressure from the White House for the Hunter Biden plea bargain, and that he was the decision maker and at no time was blocked. [Harry Litman, Twitter, 11/7/23]
Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY): “What he very clearly said, which was obvious in his letters, is that if he ever needed any additional authority than what he had as the US Attorney in Delaware, he was assured from the Department of Justice that he would have that authority.” [Max Cohen (Punchbowl News), Twitter, 11/7/23]
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) reportedly called the interview a “farce,” telling reporters: “It’s been an absolute waste of time, which is why I’m gonna go back and do some constituent call time.” [Max Cohen (Punchbowl News), Twitter, 11/7/23]
Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD): “All of this stuff is inappropriate. The committee shouldn’t be getting involved in any of these cases while prosecutions are ongoing.” [Rebecca Beitsch (The Hill), 11/7/23]