Republicans Subpoena 4 Officials Who Witnessed Alleged Politicization of Hunter Biden Probe

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
August 22, 2023

House Republicans issued subpoenas to two IRS agents and two FBI special agents alleged to have attended or been briefed on a meeting where prosecutor David Weiss discussed the extent of his authority to pursue charges against Hunter Biden.

Reps. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) and Jason Smith (R., Mo.), chairmen of the House Judiciary Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, respectively, subpoenaed the officials for their participation in an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting where the Department of Justice's probe into the first son was reportedly discussed.

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley said that during the meeting, Weiss, who is now special counsel in the Biden investigation, said he was "not the deciding person on whether charges ares filed" against the first son. Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland, however, have said Weiss had total prosecutorial discretion.

The subpoenaed officials are IRS director of field operations Michael Batdorf, IRS special agent in charge Darrell Waldon, FBI special agent in charge Thomas Sobocinski, and FBI assistant special agent in charge Ryeshia Holley. According to Shapley, all the officials attended the meeting except for Batdorf, whom Shapley sent an email recounting the details of the meeting.

"Our Committees, along with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, have sought these interviews since IRS whistleblowers came forward with concerning allegations of political interference in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign influence peddling and tax evasion," the Republicans said in a statement.

They added that they are seeking understanding on "how the President’s son received special treatment from federal prosecutors and who was the ultimate decision maker in the case."

The development comes after the Washington Post reported that Weiss worked with President Joe Biden's son Beau. Weiss also reportedly was set to drop the investigation without charging Hunter Biden before Shapley and another IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler came forward, alleging the investigation into the first son was sabotaged by the Justice Department.

After years of probing Hunter Biden over alleged tax and gun crimes, Weiss "appeared willing to forgo any prosecution of Mr. Biden at all, and his office came close to agreeing to end the investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges," the New York Times reported.

After the whistleblowers testified before Congress that the DOJ shielded Hunter Biden and his father from scrutiny, Weiss and his deputy Lesley Wolf changed their tune, deciding the first son should plead guilty to tax charges.

The subpoenas are part of a larger House investigation into a plea deal Hunter struck with the DOJ this summer that ultimately fell apart. House Republicans launched the probe last month with a letter to Garland seeking more details on the approval process of the deal.

The deal would have seen the first son avoid prison time and win broad immunity from further prosecution in exchange for pleading guilty to misdemeanor tax crimes.

Federal judge Maryellen Noreika last month rejected that plea dealtaking issue with the broad immunity the first son would have won. She told prosecutors and Biden's legal team to craft a new one. She said the original deal was "not standard" and "different from what I normally see."

Published under: Hunter Biden