Emails Reveal David Weiss May Have Breached DOJ Policy with Letters to Congress

David Weiss, the Delaware U.S. Attorney and special counsel handling the Hunter Biden case, seemed to breach Department of Justice (DOJ) policy when he corresponded with Congress regarding Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to internal emails.

In May 2022, the DOJ explicitly directed Weiss not to engage in Congressional inquiries about the Hunter Biden case, instructing him to defer to the DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA). These internal DOJ emails, obtained by the Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project and initially reported by The Federalist, provide evidence of this directive.

“Consistent with my conversation with [redacted] last night, we are supposed to forward this and any other correspondence to OLA. Per DOJ policy, only OLA can respond on behalf of the Department to a request from the legislative branch,” Shannon Hanson, an official in the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office, emailed Weiss on May 25, 2022.

“David: I would like to forward this to [redacted]. If you would also want us to respond as an office, letting the Senators know that we have forwarded the information to OLA, I recommend we do so through [redacted] cced here. Please let me know how you wish to proceed,” she added.

“Please forward to [redacted]. I would like to respond to the Senators and say something to the effect that [redacted],” Weiss responded.

These internal discussions revolved around a letter dated May 9, 2022, from Republican Senators Grassley of Iowa and Johnson of Wisconsin. In their letter, they raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest involving Nicholas McQuaid, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, in the Hunter Biden investigation. The DOJ’s Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) replied to Grassley and Johnson on June 9, 2022, stating that the DOJ would not provide additional information.

Subsequently, on July 7, 2022, Senators Grassley and Johnson sent another letter to the DOJ regarding a story in the Washington Examiner that reported on payments made by Hunter Biden to escorts linked to Russia.

“OLA will take the lead on drafting a response for the Department. If/when I see a draft, I will share it with you,” an official from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys wrote on July 8, 2022, to the Delaware U.S. Attorneys office.

The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project acquired these emails via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and some parts of their content have been partially blacked out or redacted.

“Everything about this case, starting from the FBI turning a blind eye to obvious criminal leads all the way to Garland’s misleading of Congress and the sweetheart plea deal points to complete politicization,” Heritage Oversight Project Director Mike Howell said in a statement to the Daily Caller.

“I agree with Americans who have historic levels of distrust in these institutions, they don’t deserve our trust,” Howell added. The Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office and the DOJ did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Previously, The Daily Caller had highlighted an email discovered by Heritage Oversight, which revealed that Weiss had circulated a column critical of Attorney General Garland’s Congressional testimony in April 2022. The Federalist also reported on the initial set of emails obtained by Heritage Oversight.

Following the release of IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler’s testimony by the House Ways and Means Committee in late June, Weiss proceeded to send multiple letters to Congress. In one such July letter addressed to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Weiss contested Shapley’s claim that his charging authority was restricted before his special attorney appointment.

This letter appeared to contradict a late June letter Weiss had sent to Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, in which he stated that his charging authority was geographically limited.

Shapley, during his testimony before the Ways and Means Committee in May, recounted that at an October 7, 2022, meeting, Weiss indicated that he lacked ultimate charging authority. This was reportedly due to the lack of cooperation from Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who was appointed by President Biden.

Furthermore, Shapley claimed that Weiss mentioned being denied special counsel authority by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the aftermath of Graves’ decision. Notably, Graves also testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday regarding his involvement in the Hunter Biden case.

An FBI agent involved in the Hunter Biden case, along with another IRS official, have supported Shapley’s testimony regarding Graves and Estrada’s uncooperative stance. Additionally, The New York Times independently verified Estrada’s choice not to cooperate. On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee released a substantial collection of documents that further validate the testimony provided by Shapley and Ziegler.

During his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on September 20, Garland stated that prosecutors had the option to decline collaboration with Weiss when it came to charging Hunter Biden. Garland further mentioned that Weiss had the possibility to seek additional authority under section 515 to pursue charges against Hunter Biden beyond his own district. Subsequently, on September 22, the Department of Justice (DOJ) informed the House Judiciary Committee that Weiss would be allowed to provide testimony.