The decade's most triggering comedy
A new report from The New York Times tells of a source confirming whistleblower allegations that constraints were placed on the federal investigation into Hunter Biden, but it takes some digging to find it.
As noted Tuesday by Washington Free Beacon reporter Chuck Ross, the publication waited 20 paragraphs to state the newsworthy tidbit about the source who added credibility to claims of additional charges against President Joe Biden‘s son getting blocked.
The New York Times reported in the 20th paragraph that IRS supervisory special agent Gary Shapley’s whistleblower testimony claimed that a mid-2022 bid by Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss to pursue charges in Washington, D.C., got rejected by the top federal prosecutor in the nation’s capital.
“A similar request to prosecutors in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles, was also rejected, Mr. Shapley testified,” the report added in the 21st paragraph. “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.”
The reporting about the source could be significant as Attorney General Merrick Garland has denied allegations of political interference in the investigation, which so far has amounted to a plea deal for the 53-year-old Hunter Biden for tax and gun violations. Ross and others called out The New York Times for the low-priority placement.
They buried the lede. https://t.co/xZtWZcCEIw
— Jason Foster (@JsnFostr) June 27, 2023
“NYT buries in the 21st paragraph that it has an independent source who confirms the two IRS whistleblowers’ claim that David Weiss said he was blocked from bringing charges against Hunter Biden in California,” Ross said in his tweet.
“Of course they did,” responded the House Judiciary Committee GOP’s account.
“They buried the lede,” added Jason Foster, a former investigative counsel in the Senate who founded government watchdog group Empower Oversight. Tristan Leavitt, the president of Empower Oversight and a lawyer representing Shapely, responded with a pair of exclamation points.
“The best way to read stories in the NYT or [The Washington Post] is from the bottom up,” tweeted David Harsanyi, a senior editor at The Federalist.
On Friday, Garland pushed back on the whistleblower accusations.
“He was given complete authority to make all decisions on his own,” Garland said of Weiss. “I don’t know how it would be possible for anybody to block him for bringing a prosecution given that he has that authority.”
The attorney general also denied assertions that Weiss sought but was turned down special counsel status, which could have allowed him broader authority to bring charges outside of his jurisdiction. “Mr. Weiss never made that request,” Garland said.
Weiss sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) this month in which the U.S. attorney indicated he had been granted the “ultimate authority” in the Hunter Biden matter, including for prosecutions, “consistent with federal law, the Principles of Federal Prosecution, and Departmental regulations.”
Jordan wrote back to Weiss, demanding information about the drafting of the letter.