Attorneys are debating whether the Delaware attorney’s department fired some of its most seasoned prosecutors from the Hunter Biden case before it brought light charges against him.
Whistleblowers who oversaw the IRS’ five-year criminal investigation against Hunter have spoken to Congress about their struggles working with Lesley Wolf, Shawn Weede, and Shannon Hanson, three seasoned Delaware prosecutors.
However, Delaware US Attorney David Weiss cited three other prosecutors who appear to have had no prior involvement in the case in a communication to a federal judge last week outlining the charges against Hunter, raising concerns about a last-minute reorganization by the DE Justice Department.
The letter dated June 20 bears Weiss’ signature and the names of Assistant US Attorneys Leo Wise, Derek Hines, and Benjamin Wallace.
The office has come under fire for simply bringing light accusations against Hunter, including two counts of willful failure to pay tax and a charge of possessing a handgun for which he would participate in pre-trial diversion.
‘None of the three were involved in the underlying investigation during Gary’s tenure, to my knowledge,’ an attorney for IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley said to reporters. Shapley oversaw the agency’s five-year legal investigation of Hunter’s dealings.
Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) Ben Wallace, one of the attorneys identified on Weiss’ letter, just started working in the Delaware office during March.
By serving as ‘Special Counsel’ to Hunter’s associate in business, former FBI director Louis Freeh of all people, from 2013-15, Derek Hines may have a conflict of interest, it was reported this week.
“And AUSA Leo Wise was drafted to the Delaware office after being demoted from Chief of the Public Corruption and Fraud Unit at the Maryland US Attorney’s Office to a mere line prosecutor in the same unit in March, the Baltimore Sun reported,” according to the Daily Mail.
Shapley, an IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent, and his subordinate who has not been identified, blew the whistle to Congress this year, claiming the Justice Department ‘slow-walked’ the Biden probe and failed to prosecute when they had ample evidence before the 2020 presidential election.
In more than 400 pages of transcribed sworn testimony published by the House Ways and Means Committee last month, the two IRS officials named several members of Weiss’s office who they worked with for years on the probe.
But Wise, Hines and Wallace’s names are nowhere to be found in their testimony.
Weiss’s deputy, AUSA Wolf, appears to have been a key figure in the Delaware prosecution team, but was not listed on Weiss’s letter to the judge.
There were 53 mentions of Wolf in Shapley’s testimony, and 30 mentions of her in the testimony of Shapley’s IRS special agent subordinate and fellow whistleblower.
Shapley and ‘Whistleblower X’ also referenced Delaware criminal chief prosecutor Shawn Weede, and assistant prosecutor Shannon Hanson, in their testimony.
Both were absent from Weiss’ court documents in the criminal proceeding against Hunter.
In their statements to the House Ways and Means Committee, the whistleblowers criticized Wolf, alleging that she prevented attempts to look into Joe Biden’s role in Hunter’s crimes.
They said Wolf had given the heads-up on upcoming FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation witness examinations to Hunter’s attorneys and the Biden presidential transition team. This had given the attorneys a head start on investigators planning to inspect Hunter’s storage facility.
Rob Walker, Hunter’s associate in business and an intimate acquaintance of the Bidens, was being questioned by investigators, and Wolf allegedly informed them that they weren’t allowed to question him about Joe aka the “big guy” email, which implied that Hunter would keep 10% of the equity in an arrangement with a Chinese oil company on to benefit his Joe Biden.
Additionally, Wolf is believed to have informed investigators that there was “more than enough” proof to support obtaining a search warrant for the guest house at Joe’s Delaware residence, but he doubted if ‘the juice was worth the squeeze’ and ultimately decided not to ask for one due to the ‘optics.’
Reporters questioned the DE US Attorney’s office about why new & less capable prosecutors were brought in and why Wolf’s name wasn’t listed on the records.
A representative said: ‘We decline to comment on staffing and personnel matters.’
“Wallace, one of the three assistant prosecutors named in Weiss’s June 20 letter to the judge, was working as a law partner at the Washington DC office of Kirkland & Ellis until March 2023 when he joined the Delaware US Attorney’s Office,” The Mail added.
He previously worked as a law clerk at the US Supreme Court. He graduated high school in 2008 in Wilmington, Delaware, then studied at the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.
His colleague Wise was recently drafted to Weiss’s team from the Maryland US Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.
Wise has a history of tackling corruption cases including prosecutions against the city’s former mayor Catherine Pugh, the former police chief, two state lawmakers and a squad of corrupt Baltimore cops.
However, a report in the Baltimore Sun on March 28 this year said that Wise had been demoted from his role as chief of the Maryland office’s public corruption and fraud unit.
Wise was leading the prosecution of former State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby for perjury and false mortgage applications as the unit’s chief, but was reportedly demoted to a mere line prosecutor in the unit, while his colleague AUSA Harry Gruber was promoted to be the new chief.
It is unclear what caused the demotion.
Wise’s LinkedIn page says that his role at the Baltimore office ended this year, and updated his profile with a job as Trial Attorney at the DoJ Criminal Division beginning last month.