So much for “ultimate authority.”
Delaware US Attorney David Weiss exploded that fallacy when he slipped out a late Friday letter to the House Judiciary Committee, hoping to bury the bad news on the eve of the holiday weekend.
Added to the limp, over-long missive to Congress a few hours earlier from Hunter Biden’s fabled lawyer Abbe Lowell, whose big complaint was about a breach of the “spirit of the law,” it was not a good day for the Biden protection unit.
With Hunter Biden’s former “best friend in business” Devon Archer slated to testify this month before he goes to jail with nothing much left to lose, and other as-yet-unidentified whistleblowers emerging with more explosive evidence in coming weeks, a Houdini act by the Biden gang seems unlikely, even with the power of the White House, a complicit media and the best lawyers money can buy.
The legalese in Weiss’ Friday night letter was just cover for his ultimate admission on the second page that IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley was correct when he described sly obstruction from senior DOJ officials, which killed the five-year tax probe into the president’s son.
Weiss admits that he did not have the power to charge in the districts where Hunter allegedly evaded taxes and that the only way to override the refusals of the Biden-appointed US attorneys in Washington, DC, and the Central District of California to charge Hunter was with special powers granted by Attorney General Merrick Garland that he did not have.
Weiss admits in his letter, “my charging authority is geographically limited to my home district,” and that, if he needs to charge in another district, he must ask the relevant US attorney “if it wants to partner on the case.”
This is not hypothetical.
Weiss told his investigative team that US Attorney Matthew Graves in Washington, DC, declined to allow charges against Hunter for the 2014 and 2015 tax years, and US Attorney Martin Estrada in California declined for the 2016–2019 tax years, according to Shapley’s testimony, given under threat of prosecution for perjury.
None of those charges were ever laid.
After the refusals by Graves and Estrada, without Weiss being granted special powers by Garland, “for all intents and purposes, the case was dead,” Shapley testified of the five-year tax probe of Hunter he had supervised.
Despite the obvious historical fact that Hunter never was charged in DC or California, Weiss continues with his convoluted hypothetical in his Friday night letter, explaining the next step “if” the relevant US attorneys refused to “partner” with him to bring charges: “If not, I may request Special Attorney status from the Attorney General pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 515. Here I have been assured that, if necessary, I would be granted § 515 Authority in the District of Columbia, the Central District of California, or any other district.”
Note that Weiss says he “may request.” Not that he “did request.”
And when he says he “would be” granted special powers to bring charges in other districts “if necessary,” he is employing a grammatical structure known as “Future Unreal Conditional,” which is used to talk about imaginary situations in the future.
He is not talking about a situation that occurred in the past.
In other words, Weiss did not have full authority, and the only way to get it was to ask Garland for special powers, something he might do in the future.
But, as he well knows, there is no future for these charges against Hunter.
He has a sweetheart plea deal that wipes the slate clean and will be signed off on July 26.
The most serious charges in the Hunter Biden case were dead in the water because Weiss did not have the authority to bring them. Let alone “ultimate authority.”
Shapley testified about a “red-line” meeting of the investigative team in Delaware on Oct. 7, 2022, at which Weiss dropped the “earth-shattering news that … Graves would not allow him to charge in his district [and] that he subsequently asked for special counsel authority from Main DOJ at that time and was denied that authority. … Weiss stated that he is not the deciding person on whether charges are filed.”
At least four other witnesses were present for Weiss’ remarks, which were memorialized by Shapley in an email endorsed by a supervisor who was present.
Weiss told the team that the government would not be bringing the most serious charges against Hunter, and the ones most risky to his father, for the 2014-2015 tax years.
The statute of limitations would expire the following month.
Shapley soon discovered that Estrada also had declined to bring charges for the 2016-2019 years in California.
Hunter — and Joe — were home free.
Now comes the messy business of covering up the cover-up.
Either Weiss lied to his team on Oct. 7, or Garland lied to Congress.
Garland, under oath on March 1, told Congress that Weiss “has full authority to … bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that.”
Weiss, in a letter to Congress on June 7, backed Garland, saying he had “been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges.”
Note he did not say “full authority.”
Playing with definitions
Three House committees have written to more than a dozen witnesses, including Weiss, to get them to explain the discrepancies.
There probably are several lawyerly methods they will use to weasel out of suggestions they lied.
The definition of “ultimate authority” is one.
Ultimate means the final stage of a process, so Weiss could technically claim to have “ultimate authority” even if he never completed the stages along that process, like getting special status from Garland to overrule Estrada and Graves.
It’s different from “complete” or “full” authority.
Another weasel stunt is the distinction between “special counsel” and “special attorney.”
At a press conference after Shapley’s testimony was released, Garland was asked if Weiss’ request for “special counsel” powers was refused.
He answered narrowly: “It was not. The only person with the 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.”
But Weiss’ Friday night letter didn’t mention “special counsel,” only “special attorney status.”
Special attorney status confers a less broad set of powers that still would have allowed him to charge outside his home district of Delaware.
So there you can see that Garland answered truthfully exactly the question he was asked.
On Oct. 5, just two days before that “red-line” meeting, when Weiss blew up the case against Hunter, Joe Biden was in a triumphal mood he seemed unable to conceal when he met with Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy.
The president was caught on a hot mic boasting, “No one f–ks with a Biden.”
Time will tell if he is right.
Read the full article here