U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves, appointed by President Joe Biden, saw no conflict of interest problems with addressing a case against the president’s son when Graves was presented with the case last year.
Graves, who also donated to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, was grilled on the topic by the House Judiciary Committee during a closed-door interview this month, according to a transcript reviewed by the Washington Examiner.
“But you understand the perception problem,” counsel for the committee told Graves. “You’re an appointee of President Biden, and, here, you’ve been asked to weigh in on a prosecution involving his son. I mean, certainly, there’s an obvious perceived — at least the perceived conflict of interest, correct?”
Graves replied, “I don’t see it that way.”
“We have investigations all the time — the Department [of Justice] does, of individuals who are members of the administration,” Graves said. “A family member of the administration? I don’t see it as necessarily a conflict of interest or perception of a conflict of interest.”
Graves also did not consider recusing himself from the Hunter Biden case, he said.
In late February or early March 2022, Graves was called by special counsel David Weiss, then the U.S. attorney for Delaware, about Weiss’s ongoing federal investigation into Hunter Biden.
Weiss told Graves during the call that he was looking for “at a minimum” logistical assistance with bringing charges against the first son in Washington, D.C. Graves offered to provide that assistance and also asked if Weiss was interested in partnering with him on the case, Graves told the committee.
Three weeks later, Graves decided against partnering with Weiss on the case, something that would have been “exceedingly rare” for a U.S. attorney to do, Graves said. Joining Weiss on the case would have involved taking on all of the problems that went along with the case, which Graves indicated was white collar and complex, and adding new layers of management to it, he said.
Graves maintained, however, that he was clear with Weiss that Weiss could prosecute Hunter Biden in the Washington jurisdiction on his own, although Weiss never did. Graves said he had only a “conversation or two” of follow-up about the matter after declining to partner with Weiss.
Graves declined to reveal what those conversations entailed, saying he could not discuss an ongoing case.
“I could just say at a high level, they alerted me to something about the status of Delaware’s investigation,” Graves said.
Graves was also confronted about his work for a committee affiliated with the Biden campaign and a firm doing work for Democrat John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as well as his work for the Clinton-Gore Democratic ticket in college.
Graves countered that he had also once worked for a Republican state senator and said at a different point during the interview that he had also prosecuted Democrats, including former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Other points raised by critics of Graves’s politics include that his office has allegedly unfairly prosecuted some of the more than a thousand defendants related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and that his wife, Fatima Goss Graves, is the president of the left-leaning National Women’s Law Center.
Graves’s wife has visited the White House more than two dozen times since Joe Biden took office, including during the same weeks her husband was presented with the Hunter Biden case last year, according to public visitor logs.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a member of the hard-right flank of the GOP, has pushed to impeach Graves.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a vocal critic of Graves and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told the Washington Examiner in a statement he believes Graves and “the Biden Crime Family” are “inseparable.”
Graves has “benefited politically and financially by the Bidens at various stages of his life,” Gaetz said.
“All Americans should be concerned about the conflicts of interest that [Attorney General Merrick] Garland, Graves, and even Weiss have, given their loyalty to the Biden family,” he said.