Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is giving the U.S Attorney’s Office in Delaware until July 21 to answer questions about why information about a “criminal bribery scheme” involving President Joe Biden wasn’t pursued in the federal investigation of his son, Hunter Biden.
Grassley’s letter brings up Assistant U.S. Attorney for Delaware Lesley Wolf’s actions, based on an IRS whistleblower’s testimony to a House committee. The whistleblower said Wolf, who along with her husband has contributed to Democrat campaigns, blocked avenues of inquiry in the Hunter Biden investigation.
In his letter to Wolf’s boss, U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss, the Iowa Republican wants to know why information provided to federal prosecutors by IRS investigators wasn’t included in the Biden probe.
Based on information provided to my office from individuals aware of the meeting October 23, 2020, Justice Department and FBI special agents from the Pittsburgh field office briefed Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, one of your top prosecutors, and FBI special agents from the Baltimore field office with respect to contents of the FBI-generated FD-1023 [form] involving a criminal bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and Hunter Biden. However, the meeting did not include any IRS agents.
Grassley is referring to the FD-1023 form in which an FBI confidential informant says that a Burisma executive paid a $5 million bribe each to Biden and his son when the former was President Barack Obama’s vice president.
The Iowa Republican goes on to tell Weiss:
In addition, based on information provided to my office, potentially hundreds of Justice Department and FBI officials have had access to the FD-1023 at issue, which begs the question that I’ve been asking since the start of my oversight in this matter: What steps have the Justice Department and FBI taken to investigate the allegations? You, Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, and [FBI] Director [Christopher] Wray have failed to answer.
Weiss, as U.S. attorney for Delaware, recently reached a plea agreement with Hunter Biden in which the president’s son, who is 53, avoids prison by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and gets probation for lying on a gun purchase form.
Shortly after Weiss struck the deal, the House Ways and Means Committee released transcripts of the testimonies of two IRS whistleblowers who alleged that Wolf, Weiss’ deputy, blocked further lanes of inquiry despite evidence provided by IRS investigators.
“As you are aware, IRS whistleblowers have affirmed that AUSA [Assistant U.S. Attorney] Wolf prevented investigators from seeking information about Joe Biden’s involvement in Hunter Biden’s criminal business arrangements,” Grassley says in the letter to Weiss says, adding:
AUSA Wolf admitted that ‘more than enough probable cause’ had been achieved for a physical search warrant at Joe Biden’s guest house but prevented it from happening due to ‘optics’; AUSA Wolf prevented investigators from searching Hunter Biden’s storage unit; AUSA Wolf called Hunter Biden’s defense counsel informing him of the interest in the storage unit. Did AUSA Wolf take similar proactive measures to frustrate any investigation into the FD-1023?
IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley, a supervisory agent, testified to the House committee that at a September 2020 meeting, Wolf said there was “more than enough probable cause for the physical search warrant there [at the Biden storage unit], but the question was whether the juice was worth the squeeze.”
Shapley also told the committee investigators at one point that Weiss agreed there was enough evidence to get a search warrant to search Hunter Biden’s storage unit, but Wolf objected, and notified Hunter Biden’s defense counsel. She told him about the storage unit, “once again ruining our chance to get to evidence before [it is] destroyed, manipulated, or concealed,” Shapley said.
In 2022, Lesley Wolf donated $250 to Democrat Jack Shapiro’s gubernatorial campaign, according to Open Secrets, which tracks money in politics. Her husband donated 11 times to Obama’s reelection campaign in 2011 and 2012, in contributions between $50 and $200. However, she previously clerked for U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, a Republican.
In a related development, Weiss sent a letter late Monday to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Weiss, an appointee of Donald Trump who was held over by the Biden administration to conduct the Hunter Biden probe, insisted that his investigation didn’t face interference from the Justice Department.
Weiss writes to Graham:
I wish to make one point clear: In this case, I have not requested special counsel designation pursuant to [federal law]. Rather, I had discussions with departmental officials regarding potential appointment under 28 U.S.C. § 515, which would have allowed me to file charges in a district outside my own without the partnership of the local U.S. attorney.
I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary. And this assurance came months before the October 7, 2022, meeting referenced throughout the [IRS] whistleblowers’ allegations. In this case, I’ve followed the process outlined in my June 30 letter and have never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.
CBS News first reported Sunday on Grassley’s separate letter to Weiss. Grassley’s office confirmed the details of the letter Monday.
In the letter, Grassley asks Weiss whether Wolf took any “proactive measure to frustrate any investigation into the FD-1023” filed with the FBI alleging bribery of the senior Biden.
“Why were IRS agents not included in the October 2020 briefing?” the senator asks.
Grassley also asks Weiss: “Are you aware of any steps AUSA Wolf and the Baltimore field office took to investigate the information within the FD-1023 before and after October 2020 briefing? If so, what steps were taken and when? If not, why not?”
Finally, the Iowa Republican asks Weiss: “Have you taken any steps to recover the alleged audio recordings and related evidence referenced in the FD-1023? If not, why?”
This report was updated within a few hours of publication to include the contents of Weiss’ letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham.
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