During testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, an FBI agent who was overseeing the Hunter Biden criminal case claimed that US Attorney David Weiss had the final say in the matter, challenging statements made by whistleblowers.
During a confidential interview with investigators, Thomas Sobocinski, the special agent responsible for the Baltimore field office of the FBI, stated that Weiss had the ability to bring forward any charges in any location.
Sobociniski, as per a copy of his interview transcript obtained by CNN, claimed that he had no knowledge of David Weiss’ authority and never disregarded it.
Despite the lack of evidence against him for any wrongdoing, Sobocinski’s transcript was initially reported by The Washington Post. House Republicans are currently investigating allegations that the criminal case against President Joe Biden’ son was mishandled as part of the impeachment inquiry.
Sobocinski’s testimony contradicts several allegations made by an Internal Revenue Service whistleblower regarding a crucial October 2022 meeting with Justice Department prosecutors, including FBI and IRS agents. Gary Shapley, an IRS whistle blower who was present, testified that Weiss did not believe he was the one to determine charges. Shapple provided Congress with his notes and emails about the meeting, which were considered critical in the criminal investigation.
During the October 2022 meeting, Sobocinski was present and refuted Weiss’ statement.
“I went to that meeting with the belief that he had power, and I have left that same meeting having the conviction that [he] could bring charges against me,” Sobocinski stated.
Shapley’s accusation against Weiss was a memory of Sobocinski, who said that he would have remembered it.
In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Shapley’s legal team challenged Sobocinski’S testimony in which he claimed that “Shaplyer than Sobcoin took notes of the October 2022 meeting while… not.”
According to the letter obtained by CNN, Mr. Sobocinski admitted to not taking notes during the meeting and did not do so later in any manner. However, SSA Shapley took notes while the same meeting occurred, which helped shape his email and confirmed his current memory.
House Republicans responded to the comments by stating that Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, who had been with the IRS for 13 years as a special agent in the Criminal Investigation Division, were “whole” whistleblowers.
According to Russell Dye, a spokesperson for Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, “Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have been completely consistent in their disclosures to Congress, but only David Weiss, Merrick Garland, and their liberal associates have shown no signs of change.”
Shapley’s assertion that Weiss was denied special counsel status and denied venues to pursue charges during the October 2022 meeting was challenged by Sobocinski.
According to Sobocinski, he was informed of Weiss’ special counsel status on the day Attorney General Merrick Garland announced it last month.
“I don’t recall him saying that at any point in our conversations about authorities,” Sobocinski said, referring to his previous discussions with Mr. Weiss.
When asked about Weiss’ actions and resources at FBI headquarters, Sobocinski admitted to not knowing how anyone had prevented him from doing so.
Congressional investigators were informed by Sobocinski that he had raised concerns about the speed of the investigation into Hunter Biden on multiple occasions.
He stated, “I wish it had sped up.”
The question of why Weiss was granted special counsel status was raised by Republicans on the committee, as they believed he had the final say. Sobocinski acknowledged that Weuss would be the most qualified person to address these issues and provided more information on how it was done.
According to Sobocinski, he had only spoken at the highest level about charges against Weiss, but there was a process within the Justice Department that allowed US attorneys outside their district to bring forward charges without any permission.
Sobocinski stated that the topic of taxes and venue was under discussion, but not addressed directly. Furthermore, Mr. Weiss had the option to bring it up.
In his notes regarding the October 2022 meeting, Shapley mentioned that an FBI agent had inquired if they were worried about the politicization of the investigation. Sobocinski explained that the group was called after a media leak revealed the status of their criminal investigation and asked anyone in the room s/n (0) felt politicized with the probe into the president’s son.
Sobocinski expressed his desire to record the leaders who were involved in the investigation in their presence. “I suspect that it was no, and nobody in this room has made any other statement.”
Sobocinski addressed more general allegations about the handling of the Hunter Biden criminal investigation. He aimed to discredit GOP claims that prosecutors colluded with his Secret Service and informed them that they wanted to interview him, citing his status as a former Secret service agent.
The Department of Justice sent a letter to Sobocinski the day before his interview, authorizing him to discuss the October 7, 2022, meeting and Weiss’ authority on the case. However, he was not allowed to talk about the criminal investigation that was still ongoing.
This story has been updated.