House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) made a sweeping request for more information about the Justice Department’s investigation of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, setting a date for an interview with David Weiss, the special counsel on the matter, while demanding a number of documents related to the ongoing investigation.
Jordan is also asking the Justice Department to turn over a series of documents related to two IRS whistleblowers who claimed the investigation was being mismanaged.
The letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, obtained by The Hill, shows the committee is seeking an Oct. 11 interview with Weiss, who previously said he was willing to speak with the panel.
But it also shows the panel requesting interviews with other top DOJ officials mentioned in testimony by the IRS whistleblowers, including U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves and Lesley Wolf, a deputy to Weiss.
The request comes after the two whistleblowers — IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler — complained the investigation into Hunter Biden was slow-walked, pointing to both Weiss and Wolf as at times hesitant to aggressively pursue the case, which included allegations of several tax crimes.
Shapley also said Graves resisted bringing charges against Biden in D.C. — a claim denied both by his office as well as Weiss’s.
Jordan also asks for a significant volume of documents tied to the ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden, who was indicted just last week on charges related to failing to acknowledge drug use when seeking to buy a weapon. It’s unclear if additional tax charges are forthcoming.
Those documents include a PowerPoint regarding the investigation and any notes or emails related to an Oct. 7 meeting in which Shapley recalled Weiss saying he sought and was denied special counsel status, leaving him unable to pursue charges outside of Delaware.
The letter shows the panel is pulling at new threads about the meeting, including following up on recent testimony provided by FBI agent Thomas Sobocinski, who leads the Baltimore field office and recently told congressional investigators he had no recollection of Weiss claiming he was being blocked from seeking special counsel status.
Sobocinski countered Shapley’s recollection of that meeting, echoing Justice Department staff in saying that Weiss had total authority on the case and could seek and be granted special counsel status at any time.
“My memory of this is that it was a process or a bureaucracy thing he moves through, not a permission or authority issue,” Sobocinski, special agent in charge of the Baltimore Field Office, said in a transcribed interview with the Judiciary Committee.
“Approval means, to me, that’s more like, ‘Hey, I can say no.’ I never thought that anybody was there above David Weiss to say no,” he added.
Jordan also seeks yet more information about the two whistleblowers, asking for any and all documents or communications that reference the two men, their plans to testify before Congress, the Oct. 7 meeting, and Weiss’s authority to bring charges against Biden.
Jordan is zeroing in on those who have disagreed with Shapley’s account, also asking for all communications between Sobocinski, his deputy Ryeshia Holley and Weiss.
Holley also reportedly said she did not recall Weiss saying he was struggling to get special counsel status.
She also said she did not believe politics played a role in the speed of the investigation, another point made by Sobocinski.
Weiss was elevated to special counsel in August, months after Shapley’s May testimony. But the issue remains a focus of the GOP as Garland said Weiss had full authority to bring cases outside his district if desired.
“He has been advised that he should get anything he needs,” Garland said in March.
The Justice Department confirmed receipt of the letter but declined to comment. Weiss’s office also declined to comment.
Updated at 8:47 p.m.
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