A third IRS witness has shared evidence of obstruction in the Hunter Biden investigation with Congress.
IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf told the House Ways and Means committee that David Weiss was blocked from bringing tax charges against the first son despite plenty of evidence, the Washington Examiner reported.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has long insisted that Weiss has enjoyed full independence.
Weiss also denied being stymied after IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler blew the whistle on political interference in the probe.
But Batdorf claims that the Department of Justice's Tax Division was against bringing charges at a meeting with Weiss last June.
“DOJ Tax would have to authorize charges before David Weiss recommending an indictment or prosecution,” Batdorf said. “So, I mean, my understanding is that, I mean, he can’t make that decision without DOJ Tax authorization."
“I was frustrated,” he said. “[Weiss] was probably a little frustrated … because he now had to make some decisions on what he was going to do.”
Batdorf also said Hunter's lawyers were given ample opportunities to avoid charges.
That fits the general picture that has emerged so far of incredible reluctance to prosecute at the DOJ. Weiss reportedly had no desire to charge Hunter at all, initially, and the first son nearly received a generous plea deal that unraveled in court.
Weiss' investigation was basically at a standstill between October of last year and May, Batdorf said.
"David Weiss made his decision to go forward in May. I’m not sure what drove that decision,” Batdorf said.
Shapley and Ziegler have taken credit for pushing Weiss to move forward after they went public with their concerns.
The agents claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf blocked a search of Joe Biden's guest house before the 2020 election because of "optics" and told investigators not to ask about "the big guy."
Coincidentally, Wolf was removed from the probe in May, Batdorf said, around the time the whistleblowers came forward.
Batdorf also said that Weiss had Shapley removed from the case in December after he began raising concerns about bias, but Batdorf did not tell Shapley about the decision until May because it was unclear until that point whether Weiss would proceed.
Weiss was appointed as Special Counsel by AG Garland after Hunter's infamous sweetheart plea deal unraveled in July.
Republicans remain skeptical of Weiss, given his role in the plea deal, and they have questioned his failure to bring charges relating to Hunter's notorious business dealings after he was recently indicted for a gun crime.
Hunter reportedly had a mugshot taken in July, but it mysteriously hasn't been released. Despite the clear evidence of bias, Attorney General Garland vehemently denied accusations of a double standard before Congress this week.
Weiss is also making an effort to foster public trust - insisting that Hunter show up to his upcoming arraignment in person in order to allay concerns about special treatment.
But it may be too little, too late to repair the damage.