By Zachary Stieber
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is talking of impeaching Attorney General Merrick Garland as a new email contradicts Garland’s testimony regarding the Hunter Biden investigation.
U.S. Attorney David Weiss recently brought several tax charges against Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, resulting in Hunter Biden admitting guilt.
But Weiss told top officials during a meeting in 2022 that he was not the person deciding whether charges would be filed, and that requests for charges to be brought in Washington and California were rejected, IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley has alleged in testimony to Congress.
The allegations were made public on June 22.
Garland, who appointed Weiss, told reporters afterward that the allegations were not true.
Weiss was “permitted to … make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to, and in any district in which he wanted to,” Garland said. “He was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own.”
Following Garland’s comments, an email corroborating Shapley’s testimony was released by the whistleblower’s lawyers.
The email shows IRS official Darrell Waldon, who was also in the 2022 meeting, responding to a summary of the meeting by Shapley.
Shapley wrote that Weiss said he was not the ultimate authority on charging decisions, that Weiss said his request for charges to be brought in Washington was rejected, and that Weiss said his request to receive special counsel authority was turned down by Department of Justice leadership.
“You covered it all,” Waldon wrote. He said he was making a referral to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Garland told Congress in April that Weiss was in charge of the Hunter Biden investigation and that “there will not be interference of any political or improper kind.”
Garland also said more recently that Weiss never asked him to be made special counsel.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Waldon did not respond to requests for comment.
“Either Merrick Garland was not informed and didn’t know what the people under him were doing or he knew about it and lied to Congress about it,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told The Epoch Times.
McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that the disparities between the accounts mean Weiss “must provide answers” to Congress. Garland has said he supports Weiss testifying on the investigation.
“If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland’s weaponization of DOJ,” McCarthy said.
If Garland lied to Congress, that would be potential grounds for impeachment, Spakovsky said.
The email also contradicts Weiss, who recently told the House Judiciary Committee that he was granted “ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges.”
“Gary told the truth, it’s verifiable, and no one has offered a shred of evidence contradicting any of it,” Jason Foster with Empower Oversight, one of the lawyers representing Shapley, said.
Foster and the rest of Shapley’s legal team said that it’s up to Weiss and the Department of Justice to “reconcile the evidence” with the statements from Weiss and Garland.
Weiss, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, is the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware.
A spokesperson for that office declined to comment.
Weiss charged Hunter Biden on June 20 with two misdemeanor tax charges and a felony firearm charge. Hunter Biden plans to plead guilty to the tax charges and is being allowed to enter a diversion process for the felony charge that could lead to it being dismissed.
Probe Took Five Years
The probe into Hunter Biden started in November 2018, according to Shapley.
The IRS agent says he came forward “to shine a light on conduct that I believed was improper and outside the norm of what I have come to know during my 14 years of experience as an IRS criminal investigation agent.”
“Now that the committee has taken the step of releasing my transcript, I believe Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate should come together to examine these facts by interviewing other witnesses and reviewing documents to fully understand what happened during this five-year long investigation,” he added.
The House Ways and Means Committee released transcripts of interviews with Shapley and another IRS whistleblower after a 25–18 vote.
All Republicans on the panel voted to release the transcripts. All Democrats on the panel voted against the release.
Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), a former prosecutor, said the transcripts show “a level of criminality” and that Hunter Biden receiving a plea deal before investigators reviewed all the evidence was “very unusual.”
Weiss told the federal court in Delaware this month that Hunter Biden planned to plead guilty to two violations of a law that forbids intentionally failing to pay taxes.
According to charging documents, Hunter Biden made more than $3 million in 2017 and 2018 and failed to pay more than $200,000 owed in taxes for those years.
Each misdemeanor count carries a penalty of up to one year in prison.
The government is also allowing Hunter Biden to enter a pretrial diversion agreement for the third charge, illegal possession of a gun while being addicted to a controlled substance. A person convicted of the charge can receive up to 10 years in prison.
Christopher Clark, a lawyer representing Hunter Biden, declined to comment.
“The president and first lady love their son and support him as he continues to rebuild his life,” Ian Sams, a White House spokesperson, told news outlets in a statement. “We will have no further comment.”