U.S. Attorney from Delaware David Weiss questioned Justice Department officials about requests for information from Congress regarding his five-year investigation into Hunter Biden and questioned statements signed by the prosecutor himself that he had the “ultimate authority” to prosecute the first son to raise.
Weiss’ office exchanged emails with the DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs and the Office of Legal Counsel about how to respond to questions from House Republicans about the case, it said receive emails by the conservative Heritage Foundation and viewed by The Post Monday.
The heavily redacted news shows that Justice Department officials have offered to let Weiss “take the lead” in drafting responses to Republican lawmakers who have raised Hunter’s case.
For example, on May 9, 2022, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Weiss asking about the Hunter investigation, prompting a back-and-forth between the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) and Weiss’ office.
“I’ll send that along now [redacted]. Is there anything else you would like me to share or ask you?” Assistant US Attorney Shannon Hanson Weiss said in a message dated June 2, 2022.
“I don’t think it matters. Does it?” Weiss replied.
Later that same day, Hanson confirmed that OLA was “working on it.”
When Weiss asked Hanson for an update on the draft a few days later, she said nothing had been broadcast.
“Not to my knowledge,” she said in an email dated June 7, 2022, adding that the chief justice knew the Delaware office “wanted to pre-review the draft letter.”
“Joe Gaeta just responded that they are working on an answer,” Hanson said in another email the same day, referring to the then assistant attorney general overseeing OLA.
On June 9, 2022, the OLA informed Grassley and Johnson that it could not comment on an ongoing investigation due to Department of Justice policy.
Additional emails in June and July 2022 show that Weiss confirmed to his team that he would “not respond” to the Republican letter until he had apparently received feedback from the Justice Department.
On July 8, 2022, Grassley and Johnson sent a follow-up request that was also denied by OLA, which said in an email to Weiss’ office the same day that it would “take the lead in drafting a response for the ministry.” .
Multiple emails also indicate that prosecutors in Weiss’ office shared news articles on the status of the investigation, including a December 7, 2020 Post report on Rep. Ken Buck (Republican, Colorado) in which then-Attorney General Bill Barr is asked to appoint a special counsel. On August 11, Garland appointed Weiss to the position despite Justice Department regulations requiring a special counsel to come from outside the government.
Heritage’s Oversight Project, which sued the DOJ to obtain the messages under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, alleges that they misrepresented Weiss’ testimony in a June 7, 2023 letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee Jim Jordan (R-) would have undermined. Ohio) that he was given “ultimate authority” to press charges in the case.
“It’s insane that we needed a court order to produce a few documents after months of the Justice Department throwing all sorts of hurdles, at taxpayer expense of course,” Oversight Project director Mike Howell told The Post. “They hadn’t even turned those documents over to Congress, which asked for them at the same time we did.”
“Now we know why they fought against the release: the claims of Weiss’ independence were a sham,” he added. “Garland’s political lobbyists controlled Congressional communications with the Hill, while the Hill thought they were hearing from Weiss himself.”
The disclosures were first reported by The Federalist.
After the first court-ordered disclosures last Friday, the Oversight Project expects further redacted documents as part of its file request. The next batch is expected by October 31st.
Weiss angered Republicans in Congress earlier this year when he took the lead and responded to a letter Jordan sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland about Weiss’ authority, further suggesting coordination between the two.
In a letter dated June 30, 2023, Weiss went further, saying that his earlier reply to Jordan was “drafted up” by his office — although the newly released emails raise questions about who might actually have authored the letter.
A spokeswoman for Weiss’ office declined to comment.