CNN legal analyst Elie Honig blasted the DOJ on Monday for making an “unholy mess” of the Hunter Biden probe.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to continue the investigation into Hunter Biden. Weiss’ appointment came after IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley alleged that Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys blocked Weiss from charging the president’s son in D.C. and the Central District of California, a claim Weiss has denied. Shapley also testified that Weiss told a group of law enforcement officials he was “[n]ot the deciding person on whether charges are filed” in the Hunter Biden investigation. Weiss also denies that allegation.
CNN’s Poppy Harlow noted the report from The New York Times (NYT) alleging that Weiss didn’t prosecute Hunter to the fullest extent.
“‘Earlier this year, ‘The Times’ found Mr. Weiss appeared willing to forego any prosecution of Hunter Biden at all and his office came close to agreeing to the end of an investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges. But around the spring, around the time a pair of IRS officials on the case accused the Justice Department of hand-springing the investigation, Mr. Weiss suddenly demanded Mr. Biden pled guilty to committing tax offenses.’ What is the takeaway for everyone this morning?”
“The takeaway is the DOJ made an unholy mess of this Hunter Biden whole situation,” Honig said. “And I fault David Weiss, who I’ve spoken positively about on this show, given his long service as a U.S. attorney, but if you look at that reporting, first he was willing to let this thing go altogether. Political pressure ramped up, he backtracks and says, ‘We’re going to need to take misdemeanor pleas.’ Then they go into court, ready to take misdemeanor pleas, more pressure, more testimony from the IRS, now this deal falls apart, and then he says, ‘now I need to be called special counsel, I need expanded powers.'”
But it seems like all of this is only happening in a reactionary posture. It seems like he’s now twice tried to make this case go away cheaply, twice been called out on it, and twice backtracked, only in response to the whistle-blowers,” Honig said.
Honig then went on to say that the whistleblowers raised some great questions during their testimony. (RELATED: The Media Keeps Calling David Weiss ‘Trump-Appointed.’ Here’s Why That’s Misleading)
“They have claimed that there were certain investigative avenues that were cut off. That was prematurely stopped. ‘No, you can’t go down that road.; Normally as a prosecutor, you’re supposed to be able to investigate whatever you need. What have they been doing for five years? I can’t even begin to answer.”
Hunter Biden, look, we learned during that brief court appearance that he had failed to pay over $1 million in taxes owed. To get a misdemeanor when you get over $1 million in taxes, yes, he paid later, that’s a decent deal for a defendant, I don’t weep for Hunter Biden,” Honig said.