The FBI agent overseeing the investigation of Hunter Biden disputed whistleblower claims that the prosecutor in charge of the probe was stymied by the Justice Department, he told lawmakers. The younger Biden is facing criminal charges for alleged tax and gun violations after the collapse of a plea deal in July. GOP lawmakers have claimed that Hunter Biden’s alleged wrongdoing extends to efforts to use his father’s name and influence to get lucrative business deals overseas. While no concrete evidence has surfaced to support such theories, the Republican claims are a key element of the impeachment inquiry of the president that the House launched Tuesday, reports the Washington Post. In addition, Republicans pointed to allegations by two IRS whistleblowers that the Justice Department stymied aspects of the Hunter Biden probe.
The FBI interview with lawmakers pushed back on some of those claims, including that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss told investigators he did not have authority to bring certain criminal charges against the president’s son. Thomas Sobocinski, who manages the FBI team, did agred with the IRS whistleblowers that Weiss had moved slowly in making a charging decision. Weiss was appointed as the top federal prosecutor in Delaware during the Trump administration. Attorney General Merrick Garland kept Weiss on so he could continue the probe and pledged to give him full decision-making authority. After the plea deal collapsed in July amid a dispute between Weiss’s office and Hunter Biden’s lawyers over whether it gave the younger Biden immunity from additional charges, Weiss asked Garland to make him a special counsel, which gives him a greater degree of independence and allows him to seek indictments in jurisdictions outside Delaware.