A top prosecutor appointed by Biden confirmed a whistleblower’s claim that he declined to prosecute Hunter Biden for tax crimes, but bizarrely blamed “resource constraints” as the main reason for his decision.
DailyMail.com reviewed the transcript of a closed House Judiciary Committee interview with U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada for the Central District of California.
Estrada’s interview comes after IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testified under oath that Hunter Biden received “special treatment” in the investigation into his financial dealings.
He is the top prosecutor who the whistleblowers supposedly should have filed tax fraud charges against Hunter, but didn’t.
Asked why he did not file charges against the president’s son, Estrada told congressional investigators that he lacked staff.
“I was down 40 [assistant U.S. attorneys] AUSAs back then, so we were very tight on cash. We tried to hire as many people as possible and had very limited resources. And every attorney you assign to a case means you can’t handle another case,” he said, according to the Oct. 24 transcript.
Estrada detailed a phone call he had in October 2022 with David Weiss – the lead investigator on Hunter Biden’s gun and tax crimes. He was appointed special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland in August after the whistleblowers came forward.
Martin Estrada is an American lawyer who has served as the United States Attorney for the Central District of California since September 2022
The House Judiciary Committee is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio
During the call, Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware, asked Estrada to cooperate with him on Hunter’s case – which he declined.
“And when I told him the situation, it seemed like we weren’t consulting together, and he didn’t follow up when I told him the situation, but he expressed his appreciation when I offered administrative support,” Estrada said on Tuesday to members and staff.
He went on to say that while he declined to prosecute the case, he felt it would be “immaterial” whether Weiss ultimately pressed charges – which he had not originally done.
Estrada also claimed he “never” took steps to stop Weiss from filing charges against Hunter in California.
Weiss charged Hunter last month with three felonies related to lying on a federal gun application form while under the influence of drugs. He faces up to 25 years in prison and has pleaded not guilty.
The new not guilty plea comes after what Republicans called a “sweetheart” plea deal that would have ensured Joe Biden’s son would avoid prison time collapsed this summer.
Republicans, including House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, have pointed to discrepancies between Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney Weiss’ public statements on the Hunter Biden case, pointing to who had “full authority,” the president’s son to accuse.
Estrada told investigators that he disagreed with the portrayal that Weiss had the “ultimate authority” to file charges in each county – before he was appointed special counsel.
‘I thought [Weiss] “When he was U.S. attorney, he had the authority to prosecute anywhere he wanted,” Estrada said.
But when pressed further for the exact definition of ultimate authority, he backtracked, calling the term “vague.”
Estrada also said that only the attorney general has the “ultimate authority” over the entire Justice Department.
Whistleblowers Ziegler and Shapley also testified that Weiss asked DC U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves to file charges against the president’s son for “tax crimes and misdemeanors.”
But after Graves refused, Weiss dropped the possible felony charges and struck a deal with the president’s son that included no prison time. Hunter is expected to appear in court on Wednesday for the agreement to be formally announced.
“I saw US Attorney [David] “Weiss told a room full of senior FBI and IRS executives on October 7, 2022 that he was not the deciding person on whether charges were filed,” Shapley said, contradicting Weiss’ previous public statements.
“If Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss had followed DOJ policy as he outlined in his recent letter, Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax offense, not just a tax offense,” Ziegler said.
“We must treat every taxpayer equally under the law.”
Graves has denied allegations that he contributed to undue political interference during the federal investigation into Hunter Biden.
According to a transcript reviewed by DailyMail.com, Graves said he was “surprised” by the whistleblowers’ claim that his office blocked a request by Weiss to press charges against Hunter.
The allegations were “not consistent with my recollection,” Graves told congressional investigators on Oct. 3.
US Attorney Weiss will be questioned behind closed doors in Congress on November 7th
Hunter Biden went on trial in September and pleaded not guilty to three counts of lying on a federal gun application form while under the influence
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan will question Weiss behind closed doors in November
Weiss also sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee seeking to clarify his role in the investigation, insisting that he actually had “final authority” in the criminal gun and tax case against the president’s son.
He explained that his charging authority as U.S. attorney for Delaware is normally “geographically limited to that district” – but said Attorney General Merrick Garland has promised to grant him special prosecutor status to bring charges anywhere.
However, Garland said that Weiss was free to “make the decision to prosecute in any manner and in any district in which he wishes.”
The DOJ attempted to clarify the discrepancies in the letter to Jordan.
“While testimony must be appropriately limited at this early stage to protect the ongoing matter and important confidentiality interests, the Department recognizes your stated interest in addressing, in the short term, aspects of this matter, such as the authority and jurisdiction of U.S. Attorneys Knows to press charges everywhere.” He thinks it’s appropriate.’
Stuart Goldberg of the Tax Department is also expected to meet with House Judiciary Committee staff this week.
DailyMail.com also confirmed last week that Delaware US Attorney David Weiss will be questioned behind closed doors in Congress on November 7.