Notre équipe a repéré un texte sur le web dont le thème est «la justice».
Le titre troublant (Garland denies Hunter probe obstacles, won’t say if he’s talked with Weiss) est parlant.
Présenté sous le nom «d’anonymat
», le rédacteur est positivement connu.
La date de publication est 2023-09-20 09:47:00.
Attorney General Merrick Garland insisted to lawmakers Wednesday that the Hunter Biden investigation never faced obstacles from President Biden’s Justice Department — but refused to say whether he’s spoken to special counsel David Weiss or anyone else about the sprawling probe.
Under questioning from Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, the AG repeatedly claimed he had stuck to his vow before the Senate not to get involved in the five-year-old investigation of the first son for potential violations of anti-corruption, tax, lobbying and weapons laws.
“Can you tell us about any briefings or discussions you personally have had with Mr. Weiss regarding any and all federal investigations of Hunter Biden?” asked Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.).
“I will say it again, I promised the Senate I would not interfere with Mr. Weiss,” Garland said.
“Under oath today, your testimony is that you have not had any discussions with Mr. Weiss about this matter?” Johnson pressed.
“Under oath, my testimony today is, I promised the Senate I would not intrude into this investigation,” the AG responded. “I do not intend to discuss internal Justice Department deliberations, whether or not I had them.”
“Oh, OK,” a visibly irritated Johnson responded. “So your testimony today is, you’re not going to tell us whether you’ve had discussions with Mr. Weiss.”
“My testimony today is that I told the committee that I would not interfere,” Garland said.
Moments earlier, Johnson asked Garland whether he had spoken with any FBI officials about the case.
“I don’t recollect the answer to that question,” Garland answered after pausing for several seconds. “But the FBI works for the Justice Department.”
“I’m sorry,” Johnson jumped in. “You don’t recollect whether you’ve talked to anybody at FBI headquarters about an investigation into the president’s son?”
“I don’t believe that I did,” Garland backtracked.
Republicans have scrutinized the DOJ after two IRS whistleblowers testified earlier this year that political appointees interfered in the probe, declining to charge Hunter, 53, in both Washington, DC, and Southern California.
IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley and IRS special agent Joseph Ziegler also alleged that they were blocked from taking certain investigative steps, including examining Joe Biden’s links to his son and brother’s overseas business interests.
The pair also alleged Weiss had said in October 2022 that he did not have the ultimate authority over what charges to bring against Hunter and where to charge him — contradicting Garland’s testimony under oath.
Shapley and Ziegler further claimed Weiss had been denied special counsel authority at least once before Garland invested him with those powers on Aug. 11.
Garland took a veiled swipe at the IRS agents during Wednesday’s hearing for having made their disclosures to Congress.
“The whistleblowers gave us testimony about serious misconduct at the Justice Department in regards to the preferential treatment afforded Hunter Biden. Has your office requested an investigation into that?” Johnson asked Garland.
“There are well-known processes for how whistleblowers make their claims. I am a strong proponent of whistleblowers and a strong defender,” Garland said.
“We have an Inspector General’s Office; we have an Office of Professional Responsibility,” the AG added. “That is the way in which complaints from whistleblowers should be and are appropriately handled.”
Attorneys for Shapley have said he raised his complaints with internal watchdogs from the Justice and Treasury departments before going to lawmakers. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed on July 19 that Shapley had “disclosed information” to his office.
Garland and Weiss have denied Shapley’s contention that the US attorney lacked authority to bring charges against the first son, with Weiss claiming DOJ officials had told him he could file charges anywhere he wished.
“I’m not going to get into the internal deliberations of the department,” the AG told Johnson when he asked who had given Weiss that guarantee. “I made clear that Mr. Weiss would have the authority to bring cases that he thought were appropriate.”
Garland added that there was “nothing cumbersome about the process” of investigating the first son, prompting Johnson to ask whether he thought the IRS whistleblowers and FBI agents who spoke to Congress were lying.
“Their description of the process as cumbersome is an opinion,” Garland stated. “Not a fact.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wasted no time raking Garland over the coals, accusing the AG of overseeing a double standard in the Justice Department’s treatment of President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Jordan rattled off a list of grievances in his opening statement — including the “sweetheart” Hunter Biden plea deal that fell apart in July, special counsel Jack Smith’s twin probes “attacking President Trump,” the FBI’s scrutiny of traditionalist Catholics, and more.
“Four out of five Americans believe there are now two standards of justice in our great country,” Jordan remarked at one point to the AG.
Ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) was quick to fire back in his opening remarks, telling Jordan: “Just about every assertion you made in your opening statement has been completely refuted by witnesses who have testified before this committee.”
When his turn to speak came, Garland acknowledged the public scrutiny of the DOJ, before warning that “singling out individual career public servants who are just doing their jobs is dangerous.”
“We will not be intimidated,” he added. “We will do our jobs, free from outside influence, and we will not back down from defending our democracy.”
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