President Joe Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves declined to partner with Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss on potentially charging Hunter Biden in D.C. for alleged tax offenses committed in 2014-15, Graves testified to the House Judiciary Committee.
Graves testified before the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 3, where he said his office decided against cooperating with Weiss when he approached Graves about charging Hunter Biden in D.C., according to a transcript of Graves’ testimony reviewed by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Will Seek To Dismiss Federal Gun Charges Based On Terms Of Failed Plea Deal, Court Filing Shows)
“Yes. To the best of my recollection, in late February or early March of 2022, then-U.S.Attorney Weiss, now Special Counsel Weiss, called me directly,” Graves testified, according to the transcript. “To my recollection, he said that he had a case where there was a component of that case that he had deemed he wanted to bring in the District of Columbia.”
“So, at a high level, without getting into the case specifics, my recollection was generally…asking him whether he was just looking for the kind of normal administrative support that any U.S. attorney would need if they were going to come and bring a case in another jurisdiction or have their people bring a case in another jurisdiction, or whether he was asking for us to join the investigation,” Graves recalled.
Graves testified that Weiss requested administrative support “at a minimum” and said they could discuss “further joining” at a later date. After his call with Weiss, Graves relayed the information to the head of the Criminal Division and asked if prosecutors from the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office could get a briefing on the case.
“My understanding at a high level is, there was some interaction with the AUSAs in Delaware. They got some case-related or investigation-related material. I don’t know specifically who the individuals were that they interacted with or what materials they reviewed or gathered,” Graves said. He confirmed he did not review the specific case materials.
Graves met with multiple officials from his office on March 19, 2022, to make a decision on whether to partner with Weiss on the Hunter Biden case.
“And you decided not to join their investigation” one committee member stated.
“That is correct,” Graves said, according to the transcript. “So I unfortunately cannot get into the why without getting into the case specifics of an ongoing investigation.”
Graves clarified he did not follow up with Weiss after the March 19, 2022, meeting about providing administrative support. He said his conversation with Weiss could have gone differently if he’d never floated the possibility of “joining” the Hunter Biden case.
Graves further said it was “exceedingly rare” for one U.S. attorney’s office to partner with another during an ongoing case.
“When our office, in general, decides to join with another Department of Justice component, that’s usually done at the beginning of an investigation. It’s exceedingly rare for an ongoing investigation for someone to join as a partner afterwards,” Graves said, according to his testimony.
“I’m telling you, just in general, it would be difficult to find a single prosecution where there are two U.S. attorneys operating in one of their jurisdictions,” he added.
Graves said Weiss could have followed two paths to potentially charge Hunter Biden in D.C., either sending assistant U.S. attorneys (AUSAs) to the District or handing off the case to the D.C. U.S. attorney.
“The two tracks, in my mind, are the AUSAs from the other jurisdiction just come in and handle everything themselves…or the other jurisdiction just transfers the case to us and then we prosecute it…I can’t think of a situation where it’s the hybrid model that you just…described, where it’s two offices joining,” Graves testified.
“I’m hearing it, is, he is most focused on getting his charges brought by his people in the District. I am the one that introduces the idea of, ‘Hey, can we maybe join up with this?’ And he says, We can discuss that.'” Graves said his office evaluated whether it should join the case by using a “rare hybrid model” in the period between Weiss’ phone call and the decision not to partner on the Hunter Biden investigation.
Joe Biden nominated Graves to his position and he took office in November 2021, Graves’ official bio says. Graves told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a questionnaire that he is a Democrat and conducted unpaid policy work for Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign when he was a private sector attorney.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show Graves donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign when he worked in the private sector. (RELATED: FBI, DOJ Officials Were ‘Openly Mocking’ Congressional Inquiries Into Hunter Biden Investigation, Memo Alleges)
Graves refused to partner with Weiss for potentially charging Hunter Biden for alleged tax offenses in D.C. related to Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified to the Ways and Means Committee. Hunter Biden served on Burisma’s board from 2014 to 2019, where he received $80,000 a month from the company despite his lack of experience in Ukraine and the energy sector, bank records released by the House Oversight Committee show.
Graves’ decision allowed the statute of limitations to expire for Hunter Biden’s conduct from 2014-15, when he allegedly dodged taxes on Burisma income, according to Shapley and IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler. Both IRS whistleblowers have accused the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden special treatment during its investigation into his taxes and firearms possession.
Shapley also testified about an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting where Weiss allegedly said he did not have final charging authority on the Hunter Biden case. Shapley testified Weiss said during the meeting that he requested special counsel authority and was denied following Graves’ decision not to cooperate.
The IRS whistleblower’s attorneys have released an email and handwritten notes from Oct. 7, 2022, documenting Shapley’s account of the meeting. Weiss denied Shapley’s accusations in a July letter written to Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
An FBI agent on the Hunter Biden case and an IRS official testified that Graves and Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California E. Martin Estrada refused to cooperate with Weiss on potentially charging Hunter Biden. The New York Times independently confirmed Estrada’s decision.
Attorney General Merrick Garland testified to the House Judiciary Committee in September and said the U.S. attorneys “could refuse to partner” with Weiss on the Hunter Biden case. Garland followed up by saying Weiss could have requested additional authority under section 515 and that he would have been granted it.
Garland appointed Weiss special counsel in August to continue the Hunter Biden investigation after the younger Biden’s guilty plea agreement fell apart in court. Hunter Biden was expected to plead guilty in July to two tax misdemeanors and finalize a pretrial diversion agreement for a felony gun charge.
Hunter Biden’s guilty plea agreement collapsed after Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned an immunity provision in his pretrial diversion agreement, resulting in a dispute between Biden’s defense counsel and the DOJ. The younger Biden ended up pleading not guilty to the two tax offenses.
Weiss filed a motion in August to dismiss Biden’s tax charges in Delaware to potentially charge him in D.C. or the Central District of California. Noreika granted Weiss’ motion and dismissed the tax charges without prejudice.
Hunter Biden was indicted in September on three federal gun charges related to his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver while he allegedly battling an addiction to illicit drugs. He pleaded not guilty to the gun charges at an Oct. 3 arraignment. His attorneys said in a Thursday court filing he will seek to have the indictment dismissed based on the terms of the pretrial diversion agreement.
The House Ways and Means Committee released a trove of documents Sept. 27 substantiating Shapley and Ziegler’s accusations. The Ways and Means, Judiciary and Oversight committees are investigating the IRS whistleblower testimony alongside the Oversight Committee’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.
Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.