Special counsel David Weiss shot back at claims from Hunter Biden that his prosecution amounts to unfair targeting, writing that the Delaware gun charges against the president’s son are a result only of his choices.
The filing was made in response to a December motion from Biden saying he was the target of a “selective and vindictive prosecution. ” Biden faces charges related to failing to disclose drug use when purchasing a weapon.
Biden had argued Weiss caved to Republican pressure, bringing charges after a plea deal evaporated and garnered significant criticism from the GOP.
“The charges in this case are not trumped up or because of former President Trump — they are instead a result of the defendant’s own choices and were brought in spite of, not because of, any outside noise made by politicians,” Weiss wrote in the Tuesday filing.
Weiss, a Trump appointee who was retained and elevated to special counsel under the Biden administration, is being investigated by House Republicans following complaints from whistleblowers that the probe was slow-walked and mismanaged.
While Republicans have pointed to the investigation as possible wrongdoing by the Biden administration, the probe into Hunter Biden began under the Trump administration.
In Biden’s filing, he said he had insight into Weiss’s decision-making given the public nature of the case and accused him of “buckl[ing] under political pressure.”
“The announcement that this case would be resolved through a Diversion Agreement and a Plea Agreement drew a sharp rebuke from former President Trump (who appointed Mr. Weiss), extremist House Republicans, and the far-right media. They made it clear that they wanted Mr. Weiss to keep this litigation alive through the presidential election,” Biden’s legal team wrote in the 69-page filing.
“Because the facts in the case did not change and the law only became more difficult for such prosecutions, the public record supports no conclusion other than Mr. Weiss changed his decision because he buckled under political pressure to bring more severe charges.”
But Weiss rejected those arguments Tuesday.
“He produces no evidence to support his allegation that the Executive Branch, led by his father, President Biden, and its Justice Department, led by the Attorney General appointed by his father, authorized prosecution by the U.S. Attorney and Special Counsel of their choosing for an ‘improper political purpose,’” prosecutors wrote.
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Weiss also blamed Biden for providing evidence that aided the charges, pointing to disclosures he made in his book.
“After the defendant announced his awareness of a federal investigation of him in 2020, the defendant chose to author and sell a book in 2021 in which he made countless incriminating statements about his years-long drug usage, including during the time period he purchased and possessed the gun,” Weiss wrote.
The filing also notes that prosecutors noticed a white powdery substance on the bag where Biden kept the gun, testing it when it was pulled from evidence last year as they were preparing the filing, determining it was cocaine.
“To be clear, investigators literally found drugs on the pouch where the defendant had kept his gun,” the filing states.
Trump has similarly claimed his prosecution was selective and vindictive.
In addition to the misdemeanor gun charges, Biden is also facing felony tax charges in California.