An FBI lawyer has asked an agent who investigated Hunter Biden to avoid answering questions from the House Oversight Committee, as news of the criminal investigation into First Son continues to leak.
The committee is investigating whether officials looking into Biden’s tax affairs and drug use on gun permits gave the 53-year-old preferential treatment.
FBI counsel Jason Jones sent a letter to the agents – whose names have been redacted – on Sunday, hours before they were scheduled to testify before the committee, asking them to avoid questions about ‘ongoing investigative activity.’
‘The Department expects that you will decline to answer questions seeking non-public information covered by one or more elements of executive privilege or other important privacy interests, particularly discussions of law enforcement matters or information on ongoing investigative activities,’ he wrote.
He told the agent to ‘refer such questions to the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs instead.’
An FBI lawyer asked an agent investigating Hunter Biden to avoid answering questions from the House Oversight Committee because of leaks about the investigation into First Son.
FBI Counsel Jason Jones sent a letter to the agents – whose names have been redacted – on Sunday hours before they were to testify before the committee.
It comes after two IRS whistleblowers — one anonymous, the other named Gary Shapley — said in recent days that Hunter Biden was treated more leniently than ordinary Americans.
Jones said that postponing the answers would ‘give the department full opportunity to consider specific questions and possible accommodations that may meet the committee’s legitimate need for information while protecting the executive branch’s privacy interests.’
An FBI lawyer described the investigation as “ongoing” and confirmed that Biden’s legal team had been told in advance about an interview in December 2020.
He added that the Congress wanted him to respond to the allegations ‘specifically’ and deferred.
“Department officials, including those who have left the department, are obligated to protect non-public information they learn in the course of their work,” Jones continued. ‘Such information may be subject to a variety of privileges, including law enforcement, deliberative process, attorney work product, and attorney-client privilege and privacy interests.’
‘These are called authorization letters and are standard practice,’ an FBI spokesman said in a statement.
On Monday, the committee said in a lengthy tweet that an FBI agent who worked on the case agreed with Shapley that Hunter was given favorable treatment.
The committee tweeted, ‘The agent’s testimony is harrowing and reveals the lengths to which DOJ is willing to go to cover for the Bidens.’
The special agent, who worked in the FBI’s Wilmington field office, told committee staff in a transcribed interview Monday that the Biden transition team was notified the night before Hunter Biden’s planned interview.
The committee is looking into whether officials probing Biden’s tax affairs and his lies about drug use on gun permits gave the 53-year-old preferential treatment.
Jones told the agent to ‘refer such questions to the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs instead.’
Hunter Biden, seen on July 4, is being investigated over his tax affairs and a gun permit, where he claims he has not used drugs.
‘This was not originally planned by career agents, which frustrated their investigative efforts as people found out who they didn’t need to know,’ the committee said.
Democrats quickly dismissed the agent’s claims, saying it was normal for the FBI and DOJ to disagree about how to proceed with an investigation.
Shapley and his colleagues said there was a pattern of “slow-paced investigative action” and delayed enforcement action in the months leading up to the 2020 election, when Joe Biden won.
It is not clear whether the conflicts they describe amount to internal disagreements about how to proceed with the investigation or patterns of intervention and preferential treatment.
Department policy has long warned prosecutors to exercise caution in bringing cases with potential political interference during elections, so as not to influence the outcome.
Shapley is set to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
Shapley already told the House Ways and Means Committee that U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has overseen the Hunter Biden investigation for years, said he would not make a final decision on the charges.
Weiss, according to Shapley, also said he was denied special counsel authority.
But Weiss denied Shapley’s claims, saying he was given free rein to do what he wanted and never sought special counsel powers.
Gary Shapley claims Hunter Biden was given preferential treatment by the Justice Department when they investigated tax fraud and gun permit crimes.
James Comer, a Republican representative from Kentucky, chairs the House Oversight Committee
The House Oversight Committee, led by Republican James Comer of Kentucky, said the FBI agent’s testimony was shocking.
They said the Biden transition team was given advance warning that Hunter was going to interview Biden about his tax affairs and gun charges, and that Hunter then refused to talk to them.
He was charged with possessing a handgun, a Colt Cobra .38 Special, for 11 days in October 2018, even though he was a drug user.
Last month Hunter agreed to a plea deal on both separate charges and will appear in court later this month.
“Today, our committee staff conducted a transcribed interview with the FBI’s Wilmington office and the former FBI Supervisory Special Agent assigned to the Biden criminal investigation,” the committee tweeted.
‘Agents have confirmed key pieces of testimony from IRS whistleblowers, including that both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about planned Hunter Biden interviews.
‘In fact, on the day of Hunter Biden’s interview, federal agents were told to stand by and not approach Hunter Biden—they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators were unable to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation.
‘The former FBI Supervisory Special Agent told committee investigators that he was never asked to wait outside to contact the subject of the investigation.
‘The agent’s testimony is disturbing and reveals the lengths to which the DOJ was willing to go to cover for the Bidens. The Oversight Committee, along with @JudiciaryGOP and @WaysandMeansGOP will continue to seek the answers, transparency and accountability the American people demand and deserve.’
Joe Biden is seen with his son Hunter on June 24. When asked about Hunter, the president always said he was proud of him.
A Democrat source told Newstimesuk.com that the FBI agent’s complaint was neither surprising nor revealing, as FBI agents often disagree with DOJ decisions.
‘Based on a decade of experience with the Delaware US Attorney’s Office, FBI agents have never known Assistant US Attorneys or US Attorney Weiss to allow any political considerations to influence their prosecutorial decisions,’ the source said.
‘The FBI agent acknowledged that it is routine for FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors to disagree on investigative steps and charging decisions, and in his 20-year career, he has seen it happen often.
“The FBI agent disclosed that in determining whether to seek a warrant, DOJ policy requires prosecutors to consider additional considerations other than whether there is probable cause to execute certain search warrants involving political figures, attorneys, or to increase election year sensitivity.”
Joe Biden, asked about his son, repeatedly replied that he was proud of him and his efforts to overcome his drug addiction.
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