The Justice Department Resists House Republicans’ Requests for Testimony in the Hunter Biden Investigation

Credits: CBC

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is pushing back against subpoenas from the House Judiciary Committee seeking the testimony of four government attorneys involved in the criminal investigation of Hunter Biden, marking another clash between the Biden administration and congressional Republicans amid the impeachment probe.

In a letter addressed to Chairman Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, the DOJ’s assistant attorney general for congressional affairs argued that the subpoenas were neither justified nor constitutional.

While the letter does not name the specific targets, individuals familiar with the matter identified them as Matthew Graves, U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C.; Lesley Wolf, a former Delaware federal prosecutor involved in the Hunter Biden investigation; and two line attorneys in the DOJ’s tax division.

Hunter Biden (Credits: ABC News(

These subpoenas are part of the House impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden, which is examining whether he “abused his power as President to impede, obstruct, or otherwise hinder investigations (including Congressional investigations) or the prosecution of Hunter Biden.”

Russell Dye, a spokesperson for the House Judiciary Committee, dismissed the DOJ’s arguments about the relevance of the witnesses to the impeachment inquiry as “patently ridiculous.”

He emphasized that the committee had uncovered irregularities in the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden, and the DOJ’s position that the inquiry should end is unwarranted.

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte, head of congressional affairs at the DOJ, highlighted the agency’s cooperation with the committee, allowing special counsel David Weiss to testify. Graves and Wolf have also previously testified before Congress about the Hunter Biden investigation.

The DOJ expressed concerns about protecting the line tax attorneys, career public servants, from potential partisan attacks. Executive branch agencies are typically reluctant to subject mid-level bureaucrats to congressional scrutiny.

The letter argued that the four individuals the committee seeks to depose have no responsibility for the DOJ’s responses to congressional inquiries. It stated a mismatch between the information demanded and the asserted purpose and scope of the committee’s investigation.

The DOJ’s letter also pushed back against claims by Republicans that the Hunter Biden investigation was tainted by political influence. It stated that Weiss had the authority to determine when, where, and whether to bring charges and was not blocked from taking investigative steps.

While the DOJ letter does not explicitly refuse compliance with the subpoenas, it requests the committee to submit written questions and grant additional time to respond.

It also urges the committee to defer any attempts to enforce the subpoenas. It claims that enforcing them prematurely lacks legal effect and constitutional enforceability without DOJ lawyers advising the witnesses during testimony.

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