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Tipsheet

What AG Garland Did Might Earn Him an Impeachment Hearing

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

We knew there was trouble brewing in May. CBS News aired IRS agent Gary Shapley, a 14-year veteran, who was part of the task force investigating Hunter Biden’s tax evasion charges. He alleges pervasive interference from the Justice Department. That task force was quietly dissolved as the Durham Report was released, finally exposing the FBI for executing a baseless investigation into former President Donald Trump and the conspiracy theory that he was a Kremlin agent. Hunter later took a cupcake plea deal, where he’d plead guilty to tax evasion and gun charges and not spend a day in jail. 

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Yet, there’s palace intrigue oozing from this story, especially since the Department of Justice tried to spin the story. The FD-1023 report, where the FBI’s confidential informant revealed details of a bribery scheme involving the Biden family and Burisma Holdings, was finally turned over to Congress. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was the first to pitch the manufactured narrative that the criminal probe into Hunter Biden was nixed by then-Attorney General Barr, that Rudy Giuliani brought up the allegations, and that the reason the investigation ceased was that there was no evidence of felonious behavior.  Not true. Barr referred the matter to US Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss; the allegations predated Giuliani being anywhere near this investigation if he was at all. Barr didn’t shut down the probe. 

It was later determined that Weiss wanted to charge Hunter but was blocked twice, even trying to obtain a special counsel designation. That, too, was turned down. And while the Left probably dismissed this whole matter as right-wing tin foil material, The New York Times did us a solid. Take it easy, they’re not getting a gold star, and this article doesn’t absolve their past sins, but they did confirm that Weiss was prevented from charging Hunter. It only takes 21 paragraphs to get to that part, but it’s there (via NYT): 

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Mr. Garland, addressing reporters on Friday, forcefully denied Mr. Shapley’s claims. Mr. Weiss said in a letter to Congress this month that he had not been constrained in pursuing the investigation. Mr. Weiss said in the letter, dated June 7, that he had been “granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.” He has yet to face more specific questions from House Republicans in the wake of Mr. Shapley’s testimony. 

White House officials dismissed Mr. McCarthy’s impeachment threat as a “distraction.” And Hunter Biden’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that Mr. Shapley has broken federal laws that keep grand jury material secret. Mr. Shapley’s lawyer, Mark D. Lytle, said his client “has legally protected rights to blow the whistle.” 

[…] 

…in mid-2022, Mr. Weiss reached out to the top federal prosecutor in Washington, Matthew Graves, to ask his office to pursue charges and was rebuffed, according to Mr. Shapley’s testimony. 

A similar request to prosecutors in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles, was also rejected, Mr. Shapley testified. A second former I.R.S. official, who has not been identified, told House Republicans the same story. That episode was confirmed independently to The New York Times by a person with knowledge of the situation. 

And Merrick Garland has said on the record that Mr. Weiss had the ability to charge anyone. That was a lie. Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University Law School professor, has more

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I am not sure what is worse: that Garland was clueless or duplicitous. Despite my support for his nomination, Garland has not been a success at Justice. Indeed, from the start, he seemed to shrink from view. 

There is also a danger of willful blindness on the part of Garland in avoiding such knowledge as underlings undermined Weiss. We simply do not know, but we need to know. 

In speaking with people at Justice, Garland does not appear to be a hands-on manager in the model of Bill Barr. While he cannot be called a figurehead, he is certainly not someone who conveys operational or active control of the department. 

If Weiss was refused the ability to charge in two other jurisdictions, the key question is whether he did in fact ask for special counsel status. If so, Garland could be facing serious consequences, even an impeachment effort. 

The coverage by the New York Times suggests that the media may be forced to cover this story albeit reluctantly. For Democratic members, it is now becoming even more embarrassing. Democrats unanimously opposed the release of the recent evidence and have opposed efforts to investigate the Biden corruption scandal. 

What is clear is that Congress now has ample basis to pursue these answers fully and aggressively. With both potential criminal and impeachable questions, the authority of Congress is at its apex in using subpoenas to get to the bottom of this scandal. 

Meanwhile, the White House, who thought the sweetheart Hunter plea deal, would diffuse the situation, have once again miscalculated because that’s not the whole story. There are still bribery allegations and now corruption and political engineering at the Justice Department, not that some of us didn’t know already. This man was someone the Democrats lauded as a Supreme Court nominee that was beyond reproach. I think not. Republicans should go deeper and, if need be, impeach the man.

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