I recently wrote a column entitled “Who is Lying? Merrick Garland or the Whistleblowers?” after the allegations of IRS whistleblowers and the categorical denial of Attorney General Merrick Garland on the Hunter Biden investigation. I noted that it would not be a difficult question to answer given the highly specific account of the whistleblowers of meetings, including witnesses. Now the New York Times has confirmed one of the key allegations. While the newspaper buried the major fact in the 21st paragraph of the story, it confirmed that U.S. Attorney David Weiss did attempt to bring additional charges in California and D.C. but was blocked.
Many have observed that the placement of the disclosure in the Times is a classic example of “burying the lede.” If this were Bill Barr, the confirmation of the story would have been a banner headline. Instead, the confirmation is found in with the baggage 21 cars down the train. That is where you will find this bombshell:
“But 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.”
If the New York Times is confirming that the “episode” was the repeated blocking of Weiss, Garland stands contradicted in statements that he has made for months, including just days ago. Garland appeared irate at the suggestion that Weiss was denied any opportunity to bring charges anywhere:
“As I said at the outset, Mr. Weiss, who was appointed by President Trump as the U.S Attorney in Delaware and assigned this matter during the previous administration, would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to… I don’t know how it would be possible for anybody to block him from bringing a prosecution, given that he has this authority.”
He also denied the allegation that Weiss asked for special counsel status.
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.