A third IRS official is on the record saying that the Department of Justice blocked U.S. Attorney David Weiss of Delaware from bringing charges against Hunter Biden, further suggesting that Weiss did not have the "ultimate authority" to do so prior to being elevated to special counsel.
IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf laid out how Weiss was stymied by the DOJ's Tax Division as well as federal prosecutors in other jurisdictions in 2022.
Batdorf told the House Ways and Means Committee on Sept. 12 that he was "frustrated" by DOJ's refusal to approve tax charges for 2014 and 2015 to be brought against Biden despite the evidence, according to reports by the Washington Examiner and Politico.
Both outlets obtained a transcript of the interview.
Batdorf said Weiss was not getting cooperation from federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and California. Weiss needed the cooperation, given that the charges would need to be filed in either state, where Biden was living at the time of not paying his taxes.
Further, Batdorf said the DOJ Tax Division overruled Weiss and IRS officials over bringing charges against Biden.
"DOJ Tax would have to authorize charges prior to David Weiss recommending an indictment or prosecution," Batdorf told the House panel. "So, I mean, my understanding is that, I mean, he can't make that decision without DOJ Tax authorization."
However, Weiss told House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in a letter dated June 7 that he had "ultimate authority" to bring charges against Biden.
Even Attorney General Merrick Garland told the House Judiciary on Wednesday that Weiss then had the authority to overrule the Tax Division.
"Most of the time, but not when the attorney general has granted authority to a U.S. attorney to do what he thinks is best," Garland said, when asked if DOJ Tax could stop Weiss from proceeding.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Central District of California told Politico that Weiss didn't need the cooperation of federal prosecutors there.
However, prior to becoming special counsel, Batdorf said that would have been tricky for Weiss.
"Can he and his team prosecute in central California without the help of the U.S. attorney's office, without knowing judges out there? Could he and his team do that?" Batdorf asked when addressing the House panel.
Batdorf also said that IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley was removed from the Biden case at the urging of Weiss in December. While Batdorf framed the parting as fallout from the tensions of disagreements, Shapley's attorneys have accused Weiss and the DOJ of retaliation.
It was Shapley and fellow whistleblower Joe Ziegler who testified in July that the Justice Department effectively obstructed and minimized its criminal investigation into Biden's tax crimes.
They said that when they recommended felony and misdemeanor charges to Weiss, the charges were "slow-walked" by DOJ, allowing the statute of limitations to expire and setting up the ill-fated plea deal on a misdemeanor. That plea deal has since been rescinded after judicial scrutiny.
Batdorf described Shapley as a "fantastic agent" and a "bulldog" during his interview.
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.