The House Judiciary Committee interviewed senior FBI agent Thomas Sobocinski, who oversees the FBI team that’s investigating Hunter Biden, and he disputed claims made by two of the House Republicans’ “whistleblowers,” which is a big problem for Republicans because they’ve based their unproven and unsubstantiated accusations against President Biden on the investigation into his son.
Sobocinski, the FBI agent managing the investigation into Hunter Biden, “disputed whistleblower claims that the prosecutor in charge of the probe was stymied by the Justice Department, according to the transcript of an interview with lawmakers that took place last week and was obtained by The Washington Post.”
Senior FBI agent overseeing Hunter Biden investigation does not recall many of the accusations made by House “whistleblower”
“Key parts of Sobocinski’s interview with lawmakers focused on an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting that Gary Shapley, one of the IRS whistleblowers, had earlier described to the lawmakers,” the Washington Post reported Tuesday evening.
Republican’s “whistleblower” Gary Shapley said Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss (appointed by Trump) told investigators he didn’t have the authority to bring certain criminal charges against Hunter Biden, but the interview transcript obtained by the Post “pushed back some of those claims… but Thomas Sobocinski, who manages the FBI team involved in the investigation, agreed with the IRS whistleblowers that Weiss had moved slowly in making a charging decision.”
So Weiss, appointed by Trump, moved slowly to charge the President’s son for alleged crimes that are not usually charged. Huh.
“Shapley said Weiss told FBI and IRS agents during that meeting that Weiss was not the “deciding official on whether charges are filed.” But Sobocinski, who was also there, said he did not hear Weiss say that and “never felt that [Weiss] needed approval” to bring charges.”
“I never thought that anybody was there above David Weiss to say no,” Sobocinski said making the point that he did not hear Weiss say what the “whistleblower” claims Weiss, a Trump appointee, said in the same meeting.
Also… “Sobocinski said he had no awareness of several other claims Shapley made about the Oct. 7 meeting, including that Weiss informed the group that U.S. District Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves would not allow Weiss to charge Hunter Biden with tax violations in the nation’s capital.”
It’s very odd that Sobocinski would not remember these key allegations made by the whistleblower, but he did acknowledge that he didn’t take any notes during the meeting, whereas Shapley “memorialized his takeaways from the meeting in notes and an email later that day.”
Even if, and this is a big if, Shapley was correct about what he claims he thought he heard, that doesn’t mean that Weiss was actually doing anything to interfere, let alone the President – and indeed the fact that there was charging at all for misdemeanor tax charges not usually prosecuted and a gun statute that is currently being fought in court that is not usually charged says no one important tried to interfere in Hunter Biden’s case.
Second whistleblower down
Furthermore, the transcript poked holes in the second “whistleblower”, Joseph Zeigler’s claims. “Sobocinski, who joined the Hunter Biden investigation in 2021, said that he had no awareness or recollection of conversations in which FBI officials working on the case lobbied for the appointment of a special counsel — another Ziegler allegation.”
The Post characterized the interview transcript as showing Sobocinski frustrated with how long things were taking in the Hunter Biden case, so he doesn’t present as some kind of Hunter Biden cheerleader.
This is deeply damaging to an already pathetic excuse for impeachment
Republican Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said “the time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden, if there’s evidence linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor” but that the evidence “doesn’t exist right now.”
Within the context of the fact that House Republicans are charging ahead with impeachment without having evidence upon which to base it, the fact that their already flimsy excuse of the accusations made by these two “whistleblowers” is not substantiated by another person present stands out and deeply wounds. Because the point isn’t “Is there anything here?” But rather, since this is being used to justify impeachment, “Is this evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors?”
This is not even a whiff of high crimes and misdemeanors. This isn’t even a dream about high crimes and misdemeanors.
The Hunter situation:
Although legal experts have said that the tax and gun allegations brought against Hunter Biden are not usually charged as the “federal statute making it unlawful for a drug addict to possess a gun faces court challenges” and the “misdemeanor tax charges also rarely result in jail time,” and the deal he worked out was harsher than usual, that deal fell apart.
All of this is over misdemeanor tax charges and the fact that Hunter Biden is an addict who owned a gun. If you are familiar with Republicans’ usual stance on the IRS and gun ownership, your head might be exploding right now. But hypocrisy is not even a speed bump these days.
So Hunter Biden, who has suffered from drug addiction, is already being scapegoated a bit in the effort to get to this father, but that’s not enough for Donald Trump. Trump wants impeachment even without cause. So Republicans are trying to tie Hunter Biden to his father Joe Biden, claiming he used his father’s name to get deals for himself overseas (oddly enough, Republicans are not trying to make sure the grown children of presidents can’t trade on their power overseas, nor are they investigating Trump’s grown children who took away a $2 billion deal with the Saudis shortly after leaving the White House).
They’ve also pointed to these two “whistleblowers” as some kind of proof that President Biden interfered in the investigation, even though the agent appointed by Donald Trump said Biden gave him sole authority.
It seems like if Biden had interfered, his kid wouldn’t be being charged with something that isn’t usually charged. But I guess logic has no place in the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives.