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Biden-Appointed Prosecutor Ignored Potential Conflict Of Interest In Hunter Biden Case, Testimony Shows

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves does not believe he had a conflict of interest by playing a role in the Hunter Biden investigation.

Graves testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Oct. 3 and rejected the notion that his appointment by President Biden, work on Biden’s presidential campaign and donations to Biden posed a conflict of interest with his role in the Hunter Biden case, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Biden-Appointed Prosecutor Refused To Cooperate On Potentially Charging Hunter Biden, Testimony Confirms)

Graves clarified that he was on an unpaid committee role for the Biden campaign and donated money to the campaign. He downplayed his communications with the Biden campaign when he took on the unpaid policy role.

“So I knew someone who had some affiliation to the campaign; said that I was interested in criminal justice issues. I got put on this committee, and my responsibilities, being on this committee, consisted of receiving emails from the committee that anybody basically, almost anybody who contributed. I had no direct interaction … or in direct interaction with anybody on the campaign,” Graves said.

Graves also worked for a law firm that provided support for John Kerry’s 2004 Democratic presidential campaign and he took time off from college to work for one of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, he testified. He further disclosed work for a Republican state senator.

“But you understand the perception problem. You’re an appointee of President Biden, and, here, you’ve been asked to weigh in on a prosecution involving his son. I mean, certainly, there’s an obvious perceived — at least the perceived conflict of interest, correct?” a committee staffer asked him.

“I don’t see it that way,” Graves responded.

“So you don’t believe you should’ve recused yourself?” the staffer asked as a follow up.

“No,” Graves said.

Later in Graves’ testimony, he gave similar responses to questions about the potential conflict of interest posed by his support for Joe Biden.

“So, hypothetically, let’s say you did have a conflict of interest. You ran it through that process…and it was determined that, in fact, you did have a conflict of interest. Who would then be the decision-maker in your office?…Who would you defer to?” a committee staffer asked Graves.

“[I]t would typically become—the Principal Assistant United States Attorney would be the final decision-maker. And if she had a conflict like me, then it would go…to one of our division chiefs,” he replied.

“And did you ever contemplate deferring this matter to her?”

“No,” Graves said.

“Why not?”

“Because there was no conflict of interest and no reason for me to do so,” Graves insisted.

Graves took office in November 2021 after he was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate in October 2021, his official bio states. Federal Election Commission (FEC) records confirm he donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign when he worked in the private sector, the Daily Caller reported in June.

Graves previously spoke about his work for the Biden campaign and his support for the Democratic party during a Senate Judiciary Committee questionnaire related to his nomination for D.C. U.S. Attorney.

“I am a member of the Democratic Party,” Graves stated. “I was a member of the domestic policy committee for the Biden Campaign from May 2020 through the election; that role did not progress beyond receiving periodic email updates from the committee. The role was unpaid,” he added.

Graves and Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California E. Martin Estrada were accused by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley of refusing to partner with Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss on potentially charging Hunter Biden. The New York Times independently confirmed Shapley’s testimony about Estrada refusing to cooperate with Weiss.

An FBI agent on the Hunter Biden case and an IRS official who worked with Shapley testified that Graves and Estrada declined to partner with Weiss on charging Hunter Biden.

Shapley and IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler testified to the House Ways and Means Committee that Graves allowed the statute of limitations to expire for potential tax offenses Hunter Biden allegedly committed in connection with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden was paid more than $80,000 per month for his work on Burisma’s board from 2014-19, despite having no prior experience in the energy sector or Ukrainian affairs, according to bank records released in August by the House Oversight Committee.

Graves confirmed during his testimony that he did not cooperate with Weiss on potentially charging Hunter Biden in his district. In addition, Graves testified that Weiss required approval from the Department of Justice (DOJ) tax division for charging Hunter Biden for alleged tax offenses. (RELATED: David Weiss Needed Outside ‘Approval’ To Bring Tax Charges Against Hunter Biden, US Attorney Testifies)

Attorney General Merrick Garland testified before the House Judiciary Committee in September and told lawmakers the U.S. Attorneys “could refuse to partner” with Weiss on the Hunter Biden case. Garland repeatedly asserted during his testimony that Weiss could have requested additional charging authority under section 515 and he would have been granted it.

Weiss denied Shapley’s accusations in a July letter to Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. In the letter, Weiss said he was never blocked from charging Hunter Biden in any jurisdiction.

Garland appointed Weiss as special counsel in August to continue the Hunter Biden case after his guilty plea fell apart and the IRS whistleblowers accused the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden special treatment.

Weiss filed a motion in August to withdraw Hunter Biden’s two tax misdemeanors in Delaware to potentially charge him in D.C. or the Central District of California. Delaware U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika granted Weiss’ motion and the tax charges against Biden were dismissed.

Hunter Biden was indicted in September on three federal gun charges tied to his October 2018 purchase of a firearm while he was allegedly addicted to crack cocaine. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at an Oct. 3 arraignment and he will seek to have the indictment dismissed.

Hunter Biden is suing the IRS for what his lawsuit argues are illegal disclosures by Shapley and Ziegler. The House Ways and Means Committee released a trove of documents in late September substantiating the whistleblower testimony.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.