Republicans came away frustrated after finally getting to question a former key prosecutor in Hunter Biden’s criminal probe who said she was “significantly constrained” in what she was allowed to testify.
A released transcript of the House Judiciary Committee’s meeting with former Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf earlier this month revealed very little new information but seemed to confirm that the Department of Justice had instructed her to remain mum on the case she worked on for years, the Washington Examiner reported.
“My voluntary appearance here today is not without an overwhelming feeling of frustration and disappointment because as much as I would invite the opportunity to explain the decisions made and accurately describe the actions taken, I will not be permitted to answer most of the questions you have for me,” Wolf said, according to the transcript.
“It should come as no surprise to the committee that as a former DOJ employee, I am significantly constrained by and must strictly adhere to the authorization provided by the Department of Justice, as well as those obligations independently imposed by the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure, including rule 6e, and the relevant laws governing disclosure of tax information,” she added.
According to the Washington Examiner:
Days ahead of her testimony, the DOJ provided lengthy written instructions to Wolf, which the Washington Examiner verified, that said that even as a former employee, she is expected not to disclose nonpublic information about the investigation and prosecution of Hunter Biden. The department cited its internal policies and a statute that governs the disclosure of grand jury-related material as reasons for restricting her testimony.
The DOJ also sternly observed that Wolf was not the appropriate witness to answer questions related to the substance of the Hunter Biden case or DOJ personnel matters, repeatedly saying that senior officials, rather than line-level officials like Wolf, were better-suited witnesses to address those topics.
She told Republicans grilling her that she was “not able to discuss any particular matters related to an ongoing investigation” after they tried to get more information on the allegations made by two IRS whistleblowers that she had impeded the Hunter Biden probe by blocking leads. After 16 years with the DOJ, Wolf left her job at the end of November.
She added that “in light of the ongoing nature of the investigation,” she was “legally obligated at this time to largely remain silent as to those allegations, beyond stating the truth, which is, at all times while serving as an AUSA, I acted consistently with the Justice Manual, DOJ policy directives, and my statutory legal and ethical obligations.”
“I followed the facts where they led and made decisions in the best interests of the investigation,” Wolf said, according to Fox News. “This includes, but is by no means limited to, policies and rules governing politically sensitive investigations, election year sensitivities, attorney search warrants, search warrant filter requirements, and professional conduct rules barring contact with represented parties.”
Wolf testified that “at no time did politics play a role in or in any way impact my work as a federal prosecutor,” and claimed that decisions were “never made in a vacuum and were always guided by principles of justice and fairness.”
“DOJ didn’t want Lesley Wolf to answer questions to Congress,” the social media account for the House Judiciary Republicans posted. “Makes you wonder why?”
DOJ didn’t want Lesley Wolf to answer questions to Congress.
Makes you wonder why? 👀 https://t.co/u3CoPt3oG2
— House Judiciary GOP 🎄 (@JudiciaryGOP) December 22, 2023
Last month, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) issued a subpoena for Wolf to appear for a transcribed interview, noting that she had “first-hand knowledge” about Hunter Biden’s case and was present at “a substantial majority, if not all” of the meetings held by the special counsel’s office.
After her testimony, Jordan told reporters that the committee “may need to talk to her again,” saying Wolf “refused to answer … just about every question.”