Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco are taking a hands-off approach in the Hunter Biden investigation and leaving charging decisions up to David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, tasked with leading the probe, Fox News has learned.
Garland and Monaco are briefed periodically on the status of the investigation into President Biden’s son. Hunter Biden has been under federal investigation since 2018.
The investigation is now being conducted by Weiss, a prosecutor appointed by former President Donald Trump.
Fox News first reported in July that the probe had reached a ‘critical stage,’ and that federal prosecutors were weighing whether to charge Hunter Biden with various tax and foreign lobbying violations, false statements and more.
A source close to investigators told Fox News that there is a growing frustration that it is taking so long for a decision to be made in Delaware on whether to bring charges against Hunter Biden.
Fox News reported in July that the federal grand jury looking into Hunter Biden’s business dealings wrapped up its latest term in June and expired. A source, at the time, said no charges had been filed.
However, a former senior Justice Department official told Fox News Thursday that the government does not need to have an active grand jury in order to file charges as part of a plea agreement.
That official also told Fox News that renewed focus on the investigation, especially by the media, suggests a disposition, or resolution, may be ‘imminent’ in advance of a possible Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.
A spokesperson for Weiss declined to comment on whether a new grand jury has been empaneled.
Fox News reported in July that Weiss and Justice Department officials were looking into whether to charge Hunter Biden with various tax violations and, more seriously, possible foreign lobbying violations. The source, at the time, said Hunter Biden could face possible false statements charges.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that a possible false statement charge could be related to whether he lied during a gun purchase in 2018.
Fox News first reported last year that police had responded in 2018 to an incident in which a gun owned by Hunter Biden was thrown in a trash can outside a market in Delaware.
A source with knowledge of the Oct. 23, 2018, police report told Fox News that it indicated that Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, and who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, threw a gun owned by Hunter in a dumpster behind a market near a school.
A firearm transaction report reviewed by Fox News indicated that Hunter Biden purchased a gun earlier that month. On the firearm transaction report, Hunter Biden answered in the negative to a question that asked if he was ‘an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?’
Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy in 2014 after testing positive for cocaine.
Hunter Biden’s lawyer, Chris Clark, told Fox News that it is a ‘federal felony for a federal agent to leak information about a grand jury investigation such as this one.’
‘Any agent you cite as a source in your article apparently has committed such a felony,’ Clark said. ‘We expect the Department of Justice will diligently investigate and prosecute such bad actors.’
‘As is proper and legally required, we believe the prosecutors in this case are diligently and thoroughly weighing not just evidence provided by agents but also all the other witnesses in this case, including witnesses for the defense,’ Clark continued. ‘That is the job of the prosecutors. They should not be pressured, rushed or criticized for doing their job.’
Clark added that ‘as lead counsel for the defense in this case, I have had no contact whatsoever with any federal investigative agent.’
‘Therefore, a rendition of the case from such an ‘agent’ is inherently biased, one-sided and inaccurate,’ Clark said. ‘It is regrettable that law enforcement agents appear to be violating the law to prejudice a case against a person who is a target simply because of his family name.’
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware declined to comment on the possible charges.
Fox News first reported in December 2020 that Hunter Biden was a subject/target of the grand jury investigation, according to a well-placed government source. The federal investigation into Hunter Biden was predicated, in part, by suspicious activity reports regarding suspicious foreign transactions.
President Biden has repeatedly denied discussing Hunter’s business ventures with him.
Fox News’ Bill Mears, Tyler Olson and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.