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Democrat lawmakers defend character of Republican official facing investigation related to Trump-Georgia case.

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Democrat lawmakers defend character of Republican official facing investigation related to Trump-Georgia case.

EXCLUSIVE: Democratic lawmakers in Georgia are coming to the defense of Republican Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who is facing an investigation into his role in the alleged attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state by former President Donald Trump and his allies.

Speaking with Fox News Digital, three Democratic state senators attested to Jones’ character and willingness to work across the aisle for Georgians as lieutenant governor and as a state senator prior to his election, but would not take sides specifically on the expected special prosecutor that will be looking into his involvement in the Trump case.

“I can’t speak to any investigation because it’s not my judgment to make, and I don’t know the details,” state Sen. Josh McLaurin told Fox. “My experience with Lieutenant Governor Jones has just been serving in the Senate, where he has been straightforward in his communication and willingness to work with members of the minority party.”

State Den. Derek Mallow echoed McLaurin, telling Fox he “wholeheartedly” believed in the separation of powers between the judiciary and legislative branches of the state government and wouldn’t comment on any pending legal matters, but stressed Jones’ willingness to work with Democratic members of the legislature.

Republican Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones

Burt Jones, then-Republican candidate for lieutenant governor speaks as Republican Governor Brian Kemp listens at a press conference on November 7, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

“For me personally I watched my city and county go to blows over lost negotiations and I met with the lieutenant governor after I introduced my study committee to ask him to allow the senate to study the issue,” he said, referencing a specific piece of legislation.

“He not only agreed but allowed me to chair the committee. Even on issues we may disagree on I have never been silenced at the well or ignored for the opportunity to speak, and he has been straightforward on that and many other issues to me,” he added.

State Sen. Freddie Powell Sims agreed, touting her ability to work with Jones to get things accomplished for the good of all Georgians, especially the citizens of her largely rural southwest district, but also wanted to avoid commenting on any ongoing legal processes.

“Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones was a colleague, as well as a friend, prior to his election as lieutenant governor. We were always able to work together — in spite of political differences — for the good of all Georgians, especially matters that directly impacted District 12. As lieutenant governor, Burt Jones has continued to work with me based on the challenges and needs of District 12 constituents,” she said.

Atlanta Capitol building

The Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta. (Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“He has always been a gentleman and committed family man. My conversations with the lieutenant governor have seldom involved political context or strategies, probably due to the vast differences that we exude. But those political differences never intervened when making certain that Georgians were cared for,” she added.

Jones, seen as a likely front-runner in the race to replace current Gov. Brian Kemp in the 2026 election, was one of the 16 so-called “fake” electors who claimed Trump won Georgia and attempted to conduct a secret meeting at the State Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, in an alleged effort to overturn President Biden’s victory in the state. Three of the 16 were indicted alongside Trump last week on allegations of forgery, false statements and impersonating a public officer, among other crimes.

Jones was excluded from the investigation that led to the indictments after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered District Attorney Fani Willis to drop him in July 2022 because she hosted a fundraiser for Democrat Charlie Bailey, who was running against Jones for lieutenant governor in the general election that November.

As a result of that order, Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys Council Executive Director Pete Skandalakis decided to wait until an indictment was handed down before choosing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Jones.


Former President Donald Trump

Former U.S. President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd at a campaign event on July 1, 2023 in Pickens, South Carolina. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

In an exclusive interview with Fox last week, Jones hit back at the targeting of him and his role in connection with Trump’s alleged effort to overturn the state’s election results, as well as the indictments brought against the former president and others.

“I haven’t done anything wrong, and the people who are being indicted in Fulton County, I don’t think they’ve done anything wrong, either,” Jones said. “They were expressing their opinions in a lot of cases, and for them to be charged and booked and fingerprinted, as if they’re common criminals is something that I just — it’s a little disturbing, to be honest with you.”


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What part of the more you go to wind and solar, the more expensive it gets?

Views: 42

What part of the more you go to wind and solar, the more expensive it gets? We keep on seeing how the fanatics keep on pushing alternative fuels to replace fossil fuels. But this energy saver is far from it. Just ask New York. 

A recent report by the state Public Service Commission’s staff found the transition is already increasing utility bills. National Grid electric customers in upstate New York saw 9.8 percent of their bills go toward climate investments in 2022; for Con Edison customers in New York City, it was 4.4 percent. That amounts to an average of about $9.40 out of a $96 monthly bill for upstate Grid customers and $7.90 out of a $182 monthly bill for Con Ed customers.

Or ask New Jersey. And this was before he set even more ambitious clean energy targets this year.

A study released by the state’s utility regulators last summer found Murphy’s clean energy policies could increase rates by 10 percent to 20 percent unless people use less energy, buy an electric car and rip out their natural gas appliances to install new electric appliances.

Or how about Washington state? Washington state’s first auctions under a new cap-and-trade program have raised significant revenue. But the program has been linked to rising fuel prices in the state, with farmers saying they’re getting hit despite an exemption in the law.

Finally, California. Programs increase gas costs between 22 and 44 cents per gallon, Newsom is now in the midst of implementing an anti-price gouging law targeting oil and gas companies. How will that work with more and more corporations leaving.

Renewables are not reliable and are more expensive. Regardless of what state you live in, what’s happened to your electric bill since 2021.



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Georgia Freedom Caucus Chair Signs Onto Move That Could End in Fulton County Prosecutor’s Impeachment

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks in the Fulton County Government Center during a news conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Aug. 14. (John Bazemore / AP)

The chair of Georgia’s Freedom Caucus said that it is time the Fulton County district attorney who has spent more than two years working up to the indictment of former President Donald Trump faced legislative scrutiny.

Trump was indicted last week on conspiracy charges related to his challenge of the 2020 election.

Republican state Rep. Charlice Byrd announced on social media that she is supporting an effort from Republican state Sen. Colton Moore to investigate DA Fani Willis.

“I was elected to do a job, not sit on the sidelines. Given the concerning nature of the recent indictment in Fulton County, I have signed on to Senator Colton Moore’s letter calling for an emergency special session. I encourage my colleagues to do the same,” she posted on her Facebook page.

In a statement posted on social media, she wrote “Having reviewed the evidence of possible corruption in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, specifically regarding the indictment of President Donald Trump and eighteen others, I believe it is time the General Assembly investigated this matter.”

She said that she supports Moore’s call for “an emergency special session of the General Assembly to investigate possible malfeasance.”

“If wrongdoing is found, as a duly elected member of the Georgia House of Representatives I am prepared to begin the impeachment process,” she wrote.

“The people demand this matter be investigated fully,” she wrote, calling upon other members to support the proposal.

“We must seek the truth by doing our constitutional duty of overseeing the judicial system, to ensure the oath of office enshrined in law, that every District Attorney must take before assuming office, is respected and adhered to,” she continued.

Last week, when Trump’s indictment was announced, Byrd posted on Facebook, “It’s a dark day in Georgia but the Georgia Freedom Caucus and our coalition partners won’t sit by and watch this totalitarian corruption.”


“We must strip all funding and, if appropriate, impeach Fani Willis,” Moore said in a statement last week when he announced his call for a special session, according to Breitbart.

“As a Georgia State Senator, I am officially calling for an emergency session to review the actions of Fani Willis. America is under attack. I’m not going to sit back and watch as radical left prosecutors weaponize their elected offices to politically target their opponents,” he said.

The look of desperation.Joe Raedle / Getty

Trump will be arraigned on the charges against him on Thursday.

I guess these single-digit IQs think they can hold on to power forever. Otherwise, they’d be worried about what’s going to happen to them when the other side uses their tactics against them. — TPR


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Biden’s involvement in his son’s dealings deserves a serious investigation. WaPo columnist changes his mind, calls for Joe Biden to be fully investigated over Hunter’s business dealings.

Views: 18

Biden’s involvement in his son’s dealings deserves a serious investigation. WP columnist changes his mind, calls for Joe Biden to be fully investigated over Hunter’s business dealings.

I have long dismissed the Hunter Biden story as an irrelevant sideshow, but recent revelations have changed my mind. There’s more than enough evidence to merit a thorough investigation of President Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings.

The Hunter Biden saga started in late 2020 when the New York Post reported that a laptop he had left at a Delaware repair shop contained evidence that he, in 2015, apparently tried to set up a meeting between his father, then the vice president, and an executive at a Ukrainian energy firm with whom Hunter was doing business. The Biden campaign actively sought to suppress the story, devising a public statement from 50 former intelligence officials claiming it was Russian disinformation. That wasn’t so.

It’s also clear that Hunter received millions of dollars from Chinese and Ukrainian businesses for which he could offer little to no prior experience. His value to them was clear: his relationship with his father.

None of this directly implicated the elder Biden in any wrongdoing, which is why I — and many Americans — have largely ignored the story. But recent developments have gotten my attention.

Devon Archer, Hunter’s former business partner, recently testified before the House Oversight Committee that Hunter’s value to these firms was his family’s “brand” — his presumed access to the then-vice president. At the time, according to Archer’s testimony, Joe Biden attended dinners in Washington with Hunter and members of Burisma, the Ukrainian firm on whose board Hunter served. Joe Biden also regularly participated in phone calls with Hunter and his clients, Archer said.

That might not have been illegal, and Archer noted that the vice president had not changed policy to help Burisma. But it sure does stink.

The House Oversight Committee also claims Joe Biden used aliases in email conversations about Ukraine policy. In one instance, the committee reports, a document that included information about a call between the vice president and then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was forwarded to one of Biden’s supposed aliases, with Hunter copied.

Again, this doesn’t prove Joe Biden was changing policy to fit with Hunter’s clients’ preferences. But it does suggest he was aware of Hunter’s dealings and wanted to keep his son in the loop.

One could dismiss this as simply another tawdry example of access-peddling. Maybe that’s all it is. But only a complete investigation can ensure that it’s nothing worse.

Hunter selling access to his father is disreputable but completely legal. Similarly, Joe Biden participating in meetings that his son asked him to attend would constitute questionable judgment but not illegal conduct. The trouble comes if it moved beyond that to a shared business relationship in which the vice president was an active partner.


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Thanks Joe Biden. You’re not imagining it: 2020 prices compared to 2022 prices.

Views: 25

Thanks Joe Biden. You’re not imagining it: 2020 prices compared to 2022 prices.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Persistent inflation has almost 40% of Americans telling Gallup that they believe economic problems are the most important issue facing the country today.

Inflation has been making the headlines since at least September 2021. Between 2020 and 2022, prices for all items on average surged by 12.45%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That means, per, that a $200 purchase in 2020 would cost $224.90 now.

But some items have been impacted by inflation worse than others, especially food and energy prices, which people cannot go without.

Purchase typeInflation rate (2020-2022)Cost in 2020 dollarsCost in 2022 dollars
Beef & Veal15.72%$20$23.14
Domestically produced farm food14.17%$20$22.83
Fresh fruit14.04%$1$1.14
Gas (all types)84.39%$2$3.69
New cars16.36%$25,000$29,089.96
Peanut butter15.96%$2$2.32
Propane, kerosene, and firewood43.11%$50$71.55
Used cars and trucks45.56%$10,000$14,555.79
Inflation rates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, calculated by

Recent economic reports have shown a decrease in consumer confidence amid rising rents and food prices leading to an unchanged pace of sales between September and August.

This does not include 2023.


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New York, California each lost $1T in assets as financial firms fled south New York, California lose trillions amid exodus of financial titans.

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New York, California each lost $1T in assets as financial firms fled south New York, California lose trillions amid exodus of financial titans.

The steady exodus of Wall Street banks and big tech firms from California and New York over the past several years has cost the states nearly $1 trillion apiece in managed assets, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg News.

The departure of companies like Elliott Management, AllianceBernstein and Charles Schwab has drained the two states of thousands of high-paying jobs, further burdening city and state finances by sapping tax revenue.

Commercial property markets have also buckled under the weight of the sudden exit of the finance industry, at the same time they are struggling to find new tenants amid the surge in remote work.

A truck is parked in front of a U-Haul facility on August 31, 2020, in New York City. (John Lamparski/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Bloomberg conducted the analysis by going through the corporate filings from more than 17,000 firms since the end of 2019.

The moves out of major metros like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City were often borne out of the desire for lower taxes and warmer weather.

From the start of 2020 through the end of March 2023, more than 370 investment companies – managing about $2.7 trillion in assets – moved their headquarters to a new state, according to Bloomberg. The overwhelming majority of the migration was from high-tax states in the Northeast and on the West Coast and into lower-tax states like Florida and Texas, which boast no income tax.

Florida was the top destination for companies that left New York, with the Sunshine State drawing the likes of Icahn Capital Management and AKR Investment Management. Texas, meanwhile, has shown to be the top destination for companies leaving California.

A general view of Lower Manhattan

A general view of Lower Manhattan as buildings overlook New York Harbor on February 16, 2022, in New York City. ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

Not only businesses are leaving California and New York: A growing number of Americans are also migrating to places like Florida and Texas, according to a Bank of America analyst note that is based on aggregated and anonymous internal customer data.

“We constructed near real-time estimates of domestic migration flows and found that pandemic migration trends are not reversing,” the analysis said. Since the first quarter of 2023, the data “suggests that cities that saw a large influx of people during the pandemic have still been growing faster than other cities in recent quarters.”

The analyst note found that San Francisco experienced a big drop in population at the start of the year, with a more than 1% drop in the first quarter of 2023 and a more than 3% decline from 2020 to 2022.


The city has been plagued by a spike in property-related crime, according to the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center.

New York City also posted a big population decline, losing about 1% of its population in early 2023 and 3% in the prior two years.

“This population shift paints a clear picture,” said Janelle Fritts, a policy analyst at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. “People left high-tax, high-cost states for lower-tax, lower-cost alternatives.”


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House Panels Subpoena IRS, FBI Officials Over Weiss Meeting.

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House Panels Subpoena IRS, FBI Officials Over Weiss Meeting.

Two House committees on Monday subpoenaed IRS investigators and Biden administration Department of Justice officials present at or with direct knowledge of a meeting in 2022 in which U.S. attorney for Delaware David Weiss allegedly claimed he was prevented from bringing charges against Hunter Biden for tax crimes.

The subpoenas issued by the Ways and Means and Judiciary committees came after the DOJ and IRS refused to comply with multiple requests for voluntary transcribed interviews with the witnesses, according to a news release from the committees. Weiss was recently appointed special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden.

The subpoenas were issued to IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf, IRS Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, Baltimore FBI Agent in Charge Tom Sobocinski, and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley.

“Our committees, along with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, have sought these interviews since IRS whistleblowers came forward with concerning allegations of political interference in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign influence peddling and tax evasion,” Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., and Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in the news release.

“Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has consistently stonewalled Congress. Our duty is to follow the facts wherever they may lead, and our subpoenas compelling testimony from Biden Administration officials are crucial to understanding how the president’s son received special treatment from federal prosecutors and who was the ultimate decision-maker in the case.”

The news released stressed that “Americans deserve to know the truth, especially now that Attorney General [Merrick] Garland has appointed as special counsel the same U.S. attorney who oversaw Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal and botched the investigation into his alleged tax crimes.”

According to sworn whistleblower testimony, Weiss said during an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting with DOJ and IRS personnel that “he is not the deciding person on whether charges are filed” against Hunter Biden and that in multiple instances his efforts to bring charges in multiple jurisdictions were denied. This was documented in an email sent the day of the meeting, and provided to the Ways and Means Committee, according to the news release.

This contrasts with previous congressional testimony from Garland, who said Weiss had all the authority necessary to pursue charges. Weiss also told Congress that he had “ultimate” authority over the case.

By Brian Freeman


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Biden Kicks Off Maui Trip by Making It About Himself, Cracking Jokes Where People Died.

Views: 30

Biden Kicks Off Maui Trip by Making It About Himself, Cracking Jokes Where People Died.

Peter Partoll is a commentary writer for the Western Journal and a Research Assistant for the Catholic Herald. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hillsdale College and recently finished up his masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London.

President Joe Biden began his visit to the fire-ravaged Hawaiian island of Maui by making it look as if he was completely indifferent to their plight.

After a week of silence and dodging questions about the horrific and deadly wildfires on Maui, Biden finally made the effort the fly out to the island to survey the destruction for himself.

Except, Biden did not seem to offer much in the way of sympathy or inspiration to the residents and officials of the devastated island. Instead, he used the occasion to tell stories about himself and crack jokes.

During his Monday speech to the officials and residents of Maui, Biden tried to relate to them by telling the story of how his son and first wife died in a car crash while he was a congressman.

While it certainly is a tragic story, this has nothing to do with the situation in Hawaii. People lose loved ones all the time, and it’s not as if his wife and son died in a wildfire. It seems as if Biden was merely telling to story as a way to talk about himself.

Pretty typical for a president who constantly talks about the death of his son Beau Biden to try and relate to military veterans, despite the fact that Beau died of cancer and not in combat.

But the speech only got worse from there. Biden then proceeded to mispronounce the names of several Hawaiian officials and joked about Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono’s name.

Biden then joked with the mayor of Maui County about how he looked like he was a football player and called the fire a “national travedy.”

Then, while touring the devastation, he joked about how hot the ground was and his boots.

Absolutely shameful behavior from the president. Not only does this speech add to the never-ending series of Biden gaffes, but it also demonstrates the complete disregard that the president has for the concerns of the American people.

The people of Maui are aware that he has no real sympathy for them, and many have even said that they do not want Biden visiting because he is just doing it for the cameras.

But it is not only the Hawaiian people who have experienced this callousness. The families of the Gold Star servicemembers killed in Afghanistan in 2021 have also been treated coldly by the president in the face of their tragic losses.

Biden clearly has little to no concern for the well-being of ordinary Americans, and now, even people in a liberal state like Hawaii are starting to notice it.




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Winning. SUNY Buffalo State Expels Migrants from Dorms.

Views: 26

Winning. SUNY Buffalo State Expels Migrants from Dorms.

SUNY Buffalo State University decided to expel 44 migrants from its dorms after parents voiced concern over student safety following two alleged sexual assaults by migrants.

According to The Daily Wire, the university abruptly canceled an agreement with a local community group that placed the migrants in the student housing.

“As we are welcoming our students back to campus Tuesday, we wanted to ensure the best possible learning environment for our students and smooth functioning of our university operations,” Buffalo State President Bonita Durand said in a statement. “I made the difficult decision to discontinue the revocable permit and want to reassure our university community that, as our students return to campus Tuesday, they will find their learning environment as they expected.”

Dr. Myron Glick, Jericho Road Community Health Center’s founder and CEO, told The Buffalo News that SUNY Buffalo State had agreed to shelter migrants in dorms beginning in May because Jericho Road’s migrant shelter was over capacity.

“We live in a community where there’s prejudice,” Glick told The Buffalo News. “And this decision was made, really, in my opinion, as – what’s the right word? – in reaction to that prejudice.”

The school’s decision comes after parents expressed alarm about two separate alleged sexual assaults that involved migrants in the nearby town of Cheektowaga.

“I felt compelled to speak out about this action by Buffalo State because it was discriminatory against these asylum-seekers who are human beings just like you and me,” Glick said. “We do worse by the families we are serving if we don’t speak up for them. They need to know we stand with them as fellow human beings. We cannot be silent in the face of injustice.”

Durand did not mention the alleged sexual assaults in commenting about the decision.

Authorities announced on Aug. 8 that a Venezuelan migrant was charged with raping a woman in front of a 3-year-old child. The alleged incident occurred after the suspect had traveled to Erie County from New York City.

Three days later, a second migrant from the Democratic Republic of the Congo was arrested and charged with sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman who had been working with a community group to aid the migrants.

In the wake of the alleged sexual assaults, Erie County, which includes Buffalo, demanded New York City Mayor Eric Adams stop transporting migrants to the area.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said the Democrat mayor “agreed and informed me they will not send any additional persons to Erie County at this time.”

The two New York officials also reportedly discussed “the need for a new and improved security plan.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office said this month that Erie County will receive more New York National Guard personnel and assets to help with the migrants. More than 1,800 National Guard members are already deployed across the state to assist with the migrant crisis, according to the governor’s office.

Approximately 540 migrants have been relocated to Erie County thus far.

Roquishia Lewis stepped in front of a row of TV cameras Monday and braced herself to talk about her only child, Tyler, who was stabbed to death in October on the University at Buffalo North Campus.



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Inside the Collapse of Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal.

Views: 10

Inside the Collapse of Hunter Biden’s Plea Deal.

There were signs, subtle but unmistakable, that Hunter Biden’s high-stakes plea agreement with federal prosecutors might be on shaky ground hours before it went public in June, according to emails sent by his legal team to the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware.

When one of Mr. Biden’s lawyers sent over the draft of the statement they intended to share with the news media, a top deputy to David C. Weiss, who had overseen the inquiry since 2018, asked to remove two words describing the status of the investigation, according to interviews and internal correspondence on the deal obtained by The New York Times. “Concluded” and “conclusion” should be replaced with the weaker “resolved,” the deputy said.

Six weeks later, the federal judge presiding over a hearing on the agreement would expose even deeper divisions and the deal imploded, prompting Mr. Weiss to seek appointment as special counsel with the freedom to expand the inquiry and bring new charges.

The deal’s collapse — chronicled in over 200 pages of confidential correspondence between Mr. Weiss’s office and Mr. Biden’s legal team, and interviews with those close to Mr. Biden, lawyers involved in the case and Justice Department officials — came after intense negotiations that started with the prospect that Mr. Biden would not be charged at all and now could end in his possible indictment and trial.

Earlier this year, The Times found, Mr. Weiss appeared willing to forgo any prosecution of Mr. Biden at all, and his office came close to agreeing to end the investigation without requiring a guilty plea on any charges. But the correspondence reveals that his position, relayed through his staff, changed in the spring, around the time a pair of I.R.S. officials on the case accused the Justice Department of hamstringing the investigation. Mr. Weiss suddenly demanded that Mr. Biden plead guilty to committing tax offenses.

Now, the I.R.S. agents and their Republican allies say they believe the evidence they brought forward, at the precise time they did, played a role in influencing the outcome, a claim senior law enforcement officials dispute. While Mr. Biden’s legal team agrees that the I.R.S. agents affected the deal, his lawyers have contended to the Justice Department that by disclosing details about the investigation to Congress, they broke the law and should be prosecuted.

“It appears that if it weren’t for the courageous actions of these whistle-blowers, who had nothing to gain and everything to lose, Hunter Biden would never have been charged at all,” a team of lawyers for one of the I.R.S. agents said in a statement, adding that the initial agreement reflected preferential treatment.

A spokesman for Mr. Weiss had no comment. He is legally barred from discussing an open investigation, and a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the situation pushed back on the idea that Mr. Weiss had been influenced by outside pressures, and ascribed any shifts to the typical ebb and flow of negotiations.

The documents and interviews also show that the relationship between Mr. Biden’s legal team and Mr. Weiss’s office reached a breaking point at a crucial moment after one of his top deputies — who had become a target of the I.R.S. agents and Republican allies — left the team for reasons that remain unclear.

ImageThe Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.
Two I.R.S. officials accused the Justice Department of hamstringing their investigation of Hunter Biden.Credit…Hailey Sadler for The New York Times

Above all, this inside chronicle of the agreement vividly illustrates the difficulty of the task facing Justice Department officials like Mr. Weiss, who have been called upon to investigate prominent figures at a time of extreme polarization, when the nation’s political and criminal justice systems are intertwining in treacherous and unpredictable ways.

No one supervising a comparable inquiry in recent years — like those who oversaw the investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump — managed to smoothly unwind their investigations when they chose not to indict their targets.

Precisely what happens next is unclear. Mr. Biden’s top lawyer has quit, and accused prosecutors of reneging on their commitments. And Republicans, who waged an all-out war to discredit the deal, are seeking to maximize the political damage to President Biden, seeing it as a counter to the four criminal prosecutions of Mr. Trump, their party’s presidential front-runner.

Mr. Weiss had a few reasons to ask Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to appoint him special counsel. The status could grant him greater authority to pursue leads around the country, and could provide him with added leverage in a revamped deal with Mr. Biden. But he was also motivated by a requirement to produce a report that would allow him to answer critics, according to people with knowledge of the situation — an accounting that could become public before the 2024 election.

David C. Weiss speaking into microphones and wearing a suit. The seal of the Justice Department hangs behind him.
David C. Weiss was appointed special counsel after the implosion of an agreement that would have spared the president’s son prison time.Credit…Suchat Pederson/The News Journal, via Associated Press

In January, Christopher J. Clark, a lawyer for Hunter Biden, arrived in Wilmington, Del., to push Mr. Weiss to end the investigation into the president’s troubled son that had, at that point, dragged on for more than four years.

Mr. Clark began by telling Mr. Weiss that his legacy would be defined by how he handled this decision.

If his host somehow missed the message, Mr. Clark followed up with an even more dramatic gesture, reading a quote from a Supreme Court justice, Robert Jackson, who had been a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials: Prosecutors could always find “a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone” but should never succumb to pressure from the powerful.

That first face-to-face interaction, between a fiery white-collar defense lawyer who has represented Elon Musk and a late-career federal prosecutor known for keeping his gray-haired head down, set into motion months of intense negotiations that led to an agreement that appeared to end Mr. Biden’s tax and firearms violations, only to derail over the extent of his immunity from future prosecution.

Mr. Biden’s foreign business ventures, especially when his father was vice president and later when he was addicted to crack cocaine, had long raised ethical and legal concerns. In 2018, Mr. Weiss was quietly assigned the Hunter Biden investigation and then kept on by Justice Department officials in the Biden administration to complete the job.

Mr. Weiss cast a wide net from the start, examining a range of Mr. Biden’s business dealings, his finances and personal conduct. But the inquiry eventually narrowed.

By late 2022, Mr. Weiss — who relied on the work of I.R.S. investigators, the F.B.I. and lawyers in the Justice Department’s tax division — had found some evidence but determined that he did not have sufficient grounds to indict Mr. Biden for major felonies, according to several people familiar with the situation.

Mr. Weiss told an associate that he preferred not to bring any charges, even misdemeanors, against Mr. Biden because the average American would not be prosecuted for similar offenses. (A senior law enforcement official forcefully denied the account.)

But in January, the two sides hunkered down on the business at hand. Mr. Clark first tried to undermine the gun case, arguing that the charge was likely unconstitutional and citing recent legal challenges after the Supreme Court’s decision last year expanding gun rights.

Then he took on the tax case, laying out with slides how Mr. Trump’s longtime confidant, Roger J. Stone Jr., had failed to pay his taxes for several more years than Mr. Biden but had been allowed to deal with it civilly and had faced no criminal punishment. Mr. Weiss seemed noncommittal.

If he chose not to charge, members of Mr. Biden’s legal team believed Mr. Weiss still wanted something from Mr. Biden — like an agreement to never own a gun again — to show there was some accountability after his long-running inquiry. Mr. Clark would have to wait awhile to find out.

President Biden and his son, Hunter, departing Air Force One.
When Republicans took over the House in 2022, they had pledged to conduct investigations into the younger Mr. Biden.Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

Four months later, on Monday, May 15, a familiar figure reached out to Mr. Clark: Lesley Wolf, a top Weiss deputy with whom Mr. Clark had developed a rapport over the previous two years. In a conference call with the Biden legal team, she acknowledged Mr. Clark’s core demand: that his client never be asked to plead guilty to anything.

She then made a proposition — a deal in which Mr. Biden would not plead guilty, but would agree to what is known as a deferred prosecution agreement.

Such a deal allows a person charged with a crime to avoid entering a formal plea if he or she agrees to abide by a series of conditions, like enrolling in drug treatment or anti-violence programs, relinquishing ownership of weapons or forgoing alcohol.

The agreements, widely used to avoid clogging courts and jails with low-level offenders, have legal teeth. If the terms are violated, a person can be charged with the original crimes.

Mr. Clark — knowing Mr. Biden wanted to bring an end to the investigation that had hovered over him, his family and the Biden White House — was amenable. He told Ms. Wolf he would draft language for such an agreement, an opening bid that would kick off final talks.

By Thursday, Mr. Clark and his legal team sent Ms. Wolf their version of an agreement. It made no mention of a guilty plea, but included a promise that Mr. Biden would never again possess a gun and a pledge that he would pay his taxes.

Ms. Wolf suggested additions, including a demand for a statement of facts, a detailed and unflattering narrative of an individual’s conduct that had been investigated.

The parties then turned to the most important provision of all, an issue that would ultimately unravel the deal: Mr. Clark’s sweeping request for immunity not only for all potential crimes investigated by Mr. Weiss, but also for “any other federal crimes relating to matters investigated by the United States” he might have ever committed.

Ms. Wolf appears to have discarded Mr. Clark’s language. Mr. Clark pushed back in a call with Mr. Weiss and the language was replaced with a narrower promise not to prosecute for any of the offenses “encompassed” in the statement of facts.

The end seemed in sight. When the basic outline was hashed out, Mr. Clark asked Ms. Wolf if she was serious about finalizing the agreement — if so, he would fly out to California to explain the terms to his nervous client. Take the trip, she said.

Mr. Clark ran all of this by Mr. Biden in a meeting at his Malibu house — in a garage where he works on his paintings. He approved the plan.

That Friday, Mr. Clark asked Ms. Wolf if he should stay in California to finalize the deal in Mr. Biden’s presence over the weekend.

No, she replied, it would take her a few more days.

Mr. Clark, believing that they were on the brink of a deal, flew back to New York.

Gary Shapley wearing a dark suit and yellow tie, sitting at a table to testify.
Gary Shapley, a veteran I.R.S. investigator, tried to pursue what he believed could be a major break in the Biden investigation.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

But on Capitol Hill, the efforts to upend a resolution were gaining momentum.

While Mr. Weiss concluded that there was not enough evidence to charge Mr. Biden with major crimes, not all his colleagues shared that opinion. The perception that Mr. Biden was being treated too softly spurred resistance among some investigators who believed that his office had blocked them from following all leads.

Few were more frustrated than Gary Shapley. A veteran I.R.S. investigator, he had worked major cases and helped take on big bankers. But every time he said he tried to pursue what he believed could be a major break in the Biden investigation, he felt stymied.

When investigators went to interview Hunter Biden, they were told they couldn’t approach the house. An attempt to serve a search warrant on Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s guesthouse? Denied. The request to search a storage unit belonging to Hunter Biden? Derailed.

Finally, he reached out to Mark Lytle, a former federal prosecutor, and the men eventually connected with former Republican staff members who had worked for Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, and had knowledge of federal whistle-blower protections.

Mr. Shapley had been raising concerns internally since at least the fall of 2022, but that winter, he took his allegations to the Justice Department’s watchdog, lodging a complaint in February.

By April, Mr. Shapley offered to share insider details with House Republican committee investigators, including his claim that Mr. Weiss had told him that federal prosecutors in Washington and California had refused to bring tax charges against Mr. Biden. His most startling allegation: Mr. Weiss had been so frustrated that he had considered asking Mr. Garland to appoint him as special counsel in late 2022. (Mr. Weiss and Mr. Garland have both denied that account.)

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland walking into a room, with a person carrying papers preceding him.
“I am committed to making as much of his report public as possible,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, who has minimized contact with Mr. Weiss in hopes of insulating himself from the investigation into the president’s son.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Mr. Shapley requested special protections to bypass legal restrictions on discussing ongoing federal investigations.

It all began to explode into public view on May 15 — the same day Ms. Wolf contacted Mr. Clark — when it was reported that the investigative team that had worked on the case, including Mr. Shapley, had been removed. The next day the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee fired off a letter to the I.R.S. commissioner demanding an explanation.

Around that time, lawyers for a second tax investigator sent a letter to the I.R.S. commissioner, claiming the team of investigators on the case had been removed after expressing concerns about political interference from the Justice Department.

The letter was quickly made public. The agents’ claims were the breakthrough House Republicans had long been seeking.

The I.R.S. investigators had given Congress something genuinely new: summaries of WhatsApp messages that appeared to show Hunter Biden involved in a shakedown in which he had invoked his father, firsthand testimony from people who had reviewed Mr. Biden’s finances and the credibility of their long careers at the tax agency.

On May 24, CBS aired an interview with one of the agents. Two days later, he testified behind closed doors before the House Ways and Means Committee, creating buzz on Capitol Hill. The second man testified on June 1. Three weeks later, the committee voted to publicly release transcripts of the testimony, leading to even more news coverage.

Mr. Biden wearing a dark suit at a gala event.
Mr. Weiss was quietly assigned to investigate Hunter Biden in 2018, and was kept on by the Biden administration.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

As the testimony from the I.R.S. agents took hold, Mr. Biden’s legal team felt the ground shift beneath them. The U.S. attorney’s office suddenly went quiet.

Early in the negotiations, Ms. Wolf included what seemed like a boilerplate disclaimer in an email, that her team “had not discussed or obtained approval” from her superiors for the terms of the final agreement.

On Tuesday, May 23, after four days of silence, Ms. Wolf delivered unwelcome news. Mr. Weiss had revised what he wanted in the deal, now demanding that Mr. Biden plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of failing to pay his taxes. It crossed a red line for Mr. Clark.

Erupting in anger, Mr. Clark accused Ms. Wolf of misleading him. He renounced the possibility of any deal, but after consulting with Mr. Biden, reversed course and told Ms. Wolf that Mr. Biden was willing to go along.

Mr. Clark then went to Wilmington to meet the prosecutors, where they hammered out the details of the deal.

By the middle of June, both sides were prepared to announce a deal.

Under the agreement, Mr. Biden would plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and avert prosecution on the gun charge by enrolling in a diversion program.

Mr. Biden’s legal team was eager to issue a statement claiming that the agreement represented the conclusion of the government’s investigation. That Monday, June 19, Mr. Clark sent a draft to Shannon Hanson, another Weiss deputy, which clearly stated the investigation was over.

“I can confirm that the five-year long, extensive federal investigation into my client, Hunter Biden, has been concluded through agreements with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware,” it read.

“With the conclusion of this investigation, he looks forward to continuing his recovery and moving forward,” it continued.

Ms. Hanson suggested the edit from “has been concluded” to “resolved,” and she also asked Mr. Clark to strike the phrase “With the conclusion of this investigation.”

But hours after the agreement was announced, confusion set in. In a news release, Mr. Weiss’s office said that the investigation was “ongoing,” taking Mr. Biden and officials at Justice Department headquarters by surprise.

It was at this critical juncture that Ms. Wolf began to take a significantly reduced role, although it is unclear whether that had anything to do with the Biden case.

In their testimony, the I.R.S. whistle-blowers claimed that Ms. Wolf — who had made a couple of campaign donations to Democrats — had discouraged them from pursuing lines of inquiry that could lead to the elder Mr. Biden.

Around this time, Leo Wise — a senior prosecutor who had spent nearly two decades in the Baltimore U.S. attorney’s office — was quietly transferred to the department’s criminal division, then detailed to Delaware to add legal firepower to the relatively small Delaware office.

It was his name, not Ms. Wolf’s, that appeared on the plea deal. And it was Mr. Wise who was responsible for defending the deal, one he had not negotiated, in front of a federal judge who proved to be unforgiving.

Police officers in front of the Delaware District Court. They are wearing dark uniforms.
Hunter Biden’s plea deal fell apart at the courthouse in the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building in Wilmington, Del.Credit…Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Hunter Biden walked into the Wilmington federal courthouse on July 26, with the expectation that his long legal odyssey was nearing an end.

But there were signs all was not well. Hours earlier, the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means committee had made one final stab at scuttling the agreement, urging the court to consider the whistle-blowers’ testimony.

It turned out to be unnecessary.

Judge Maryellen Noreika,, repeatedly informed the two sides that she would be no “rubber stamp.” She picked apart the deal, exposing substantial disagreements over the extent of the immunity provision.

Mr. Clark said the deal indemnified his client not merely for the tax and gun offenses uncovered during the inquiry, but for other possible offenses stemming from his lucrative consulting deals. Mr. Wise said it was far narrower — and suggested the government was still considering charges against Mr. Biden under laws regulating foreign lobbying.

The two sides tried to salvage it, Judge Noreika was not convinced, and Mr. Biden silently left the courthouse under a hail of shouted questions.



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