Special Counsel David Weiss told the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that he was not “blocked” or “prevented from pursuing charges” against Hunter Biden in his years-long probe, while maintaining that “political considerations played no part” in his decision-making.
Weiss appeared for a voluntary and “unprecedented” transcribed interview transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday morning in an effort to address “misunderstandings about the scope” of his “authority to decide where, when, and whether to bring charges.”
In a statement after his hours-long testimony, Weiss said to the best of his knowledge, he is “the first Special Counsel to testify before the submission of the Special Counsel report.”
U.S. Attorney David Charles Weiss(Department of Justice)
“I have done so out of respect for the committee’s oversight responsibilities and to respond to questions raised about the scope of my authority,” Weiss said.
Weiss stressed that he is “in the midst of conducting an ongoing investigation and prosecution,” and said he was “limited as to what I can say at this point.” Weiss did, though, say that at the conclusion of his work, he will prepare a report and “will be able to share more information at that time.”
U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David C. Weiss.(Fox News screenshot)
Weiss said that during his transcribed interview, he was “prepared to address misunderstandings about the scope of my authority to decide where, when, and whether to bring charges in this matter.”
Weiss vowed, however, not to answer questions “that could jeopardize the ongoing litigation, our investigations, or the rights of defendants or other individuals involved in these matters.”
“I am, and have been, the decision-maker on this case,” Weiss said. “I do not, however, make these decisions in a vacuum. I am bound by federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and DOJ guidelines.”
United States President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, exits in J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Delaware, United States on July 26, 2023.(Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Weiss stressed that, as a result, “there are processes that I must adhere to in making investigative and charging decisions.”
“These processes did not interfere with my decision-making authority,” Weiss said. “At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice.”
Weiss also stressed that he “did not request Special Counsel status until August 2023.”
“When I made that request, it was promptly granted,” Weiss said.
Whistleblowers had alleged Weiss previously requested special counsel status and was denied. Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped Weiss in August to serve as special counsel with jurisdiction over the Biden investigation and any other issues that have come up, or may come up, related to that probe.
Weiss has been leading the Biden investigation since 2018.
Attorney General Merrick Garland(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
“Throughout this investigation, the career prosecutors on my team and I have made decisions based on the facts and the law,” Weiss said. “Political considerations played no part in our decision-making.”
Weiss said that his team’s “analysis has been moored to the principles of federal prosecution, and going forward, my team and I will continue to abide by the same principles as we try to bring this matter to a just conclusion.”
Weiss’ interview comes after a number of current and former Justice Department officials related to the Hunter Biden probe have testified voluntarily on the matter behind closed-doors at the committee, led by Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler alleged that politics impacted prosecutorial decisions throughout the probe with regard to search warrants, decisions regarding lines of questioning during interviews of specific individuals, and more. Shapley also alleged that Weiss did not have “ultimate authority” to pursue charges against the president’s son, and instead needed approval from Main Justice in Washington — something DOJ officials have confirmed in their voluntary transcribed interviews before the committee.
Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley (L) and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler are sworn-in as they testify during a House Oversight Committee hearing related to the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Tax Division Stuart Goldberg participated in a transcribed interview before the House Judiciary Committee last month. Fox News Digital reviewed a copy of the transcript of Goldberg’s interview, in which he said Weiss needed approval from his unit at the Justice Department before bringing charges in the Hunter Biden probe. Goldberg did say, however, that a prosecutor could appeal his division’s decision if they disagreed.
Shapley also alleged that Weiss was considering bringing charges against Hunter Biden in California but said the U.S. attorney there chose not to partner with him for prosecution. The charges were never filed.
Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, told the House Judiciary Committee during his transcribed interview last month that he did, in fact, decline to partner with Weiss in bringing charges against Hunter Biden in his district. Estrada, though, did offer Weiss “administrative support.”
In his first move as special counsel, Weiss charged Biden with making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm; making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer; and one count of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee leaves the Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
The president’s son pleaded not guilty to all charges last month.
Weiss’ interview comes amid House Republicans’ impeachment inquiry against President Biden. The impeachment inquiry is being led by Jordan, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo.
Brooke Singman is a Fox News Digital politics reporter. You can reach her at [email protected] or @BrookeSingman on Twitter.