EXCLUSIVE: ‘This calls into question the integrity of their investigation.’ Sen. Ron Johnson slams Hunter Biden probe as it’s revealed prosecutor who signed off on ‘sweetheart’ tax deal previously worked for First Son’s business partner

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Assistant US Attorney Derek Hines, who signed off on charging documents against Hunter Biden, formerly worked as a special counsel to Louis Freeh
As previously revealed by DailyMail.com, ex-FBI director Freeh and his firm worked closely with Hunter on a $3M job consulting Romanian Gabriel Popoviciu
GOP Senator Ron Johnson told DailyMail.com the link between the prosecutor and Hunter’s business associate ‘calls into question the integrity’ of their probe
By JOSH BOSWELL FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A prosecutor who signed off on the documents charging Hunter Biden with tax and gun crimes previously worked with one of the First Son’s business partners, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Delaware US Attorney David Weiss officially filed charges against the president’s son last Tuesday after a near five-year probe into his alleged tax crimes and foreign financial dealings.

Weiss’s deputy, Assistant United States Attorney Derek Hines, signed off on the charging documents alongside his boss and two other assistant US attorneys – indicating he has a central role in Hunter’s criminal prosecution.

According to Hines’s LinkedIn account, he previously worked as Special Counsel to ex-FBI director Louis Freeh at his private company, Freeh Group International Solutions, a lobbying and ‘risk management’ consultancy that teamed up with Hunter on overseas business currently under scrutiny by lawmakers.


Hunter Biden last week reached a deal with prosecutors that would see him plead guilty to tax crimes and dispense with a gun charge but likely avoid jail time

 


Assistant United States Attorney Derek Hines (left) who was one of the prosecutors to sign off on Hunter’s charges, previously worked under ex-FBI director Louis Freeh, a business partner of Hunter and a close friend of the Bidens

 

Freeh worked with Hunter on a $3million job consulting for a Romanian criminal, a deal that is allegedly now part of his federal criminal investigation and is being investigated by Congress.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson told DailyMail.com the link between the prosecutor and Hunter’s business associate ‘calls into question the integrity of their entire investigation’ – after GOP lawmakers slammed the relatively minor charges filed by the Delaware prosecutor this week as a mere ‘slap on the wrist’.

DailyMail.com has previously revealed that Freeh and his firm worked closely with Hunter Biden trying to get the US State Department to help limit the prosecution of Romanian real estate tycoon Gabriel Popoviciu, who was on the brink of a bribery conviction in 2015.

Freeh proposed setting up a private consultancy with Hunter and Joe Biden when he ended his vice presidential term, offering ‘lucrative future work options’ including working for overseas clients such as corrupt former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He also sent $100,000 to a private trust for Joe’s grandchildren – though he wrote an email to Hunter saying it was intended for a charity instead.

Hines’s LinkedIn says he worked as ‘Special Counsel’ for the ex-FBI director at his company Freeh Group in New Orleans, Louisiana, between August 2013 and February 2015. It is unclear what projects he counseled Freeh on.

It wasn’t until 2016 that Hunter started working with Freeh consulting for Popoviciu.

But emails on his laptop show the Biden family had a close relationship with Freeh – – who headed the FBI from 1993-2001 – dating back to when Hines worked for him.


Romanian real estate tycoon Gabriel Popoviciu was on the brink of a bribery conviction in 2015 when Freeh and his firm, working closely with Hunter, got a $3million job consulting for him

 


DailyMail.com previously published emails that showed Hunter brought in political heavyweight and family friend Louis Freeh to use his U.S. law enforcement contacts for Popoviciu’s advantage, and was offered a referral fee as a result

 

In a 2014 press release, Freeh described Joe Biden and his son Beau as ‘dear friends’, and in a May 2010 email to a colleague Hunter said Freeh was ‘a close friend.’

In December 2014, Freeh was described with others as a ‘strong contact for possible referral/collaboration’ with Hunter and his brother Beau in an email laying out their plans for a ‘Biden Law Group’, written by Beau’s former Delaware Attorney General deputy Ian McConnel.

After Beau’s death in May 2015, Freeh became a board member of the Beau Biden Foundation for the Protection of Children.

In August that year a charity executive thanked Freeh for donating to Joe Biden’s potential 2016 presidential run.

The link between Hines, one of four top prosecutors in Hunter’s criminal case, and his former employer Freeh, could create a conflict for the Department of Justice attorney.

Title 28, Section 45.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations says: ‘no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship with […] any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation’.

Hunter’s $3million from Popoviciu was part of a total $17.3million income investigated by the IRS in their Hunter Biden tax crime probe, which formed the basis for this week’s criminal charges, according to Congressional testimony by an IRS whistleblower who led the investigation.

The IRS special agent’s claims suggest Hunter’s work with Freeh in Romania were likely part of the Delaware probe.

The House Oversight Committee documented the same $3million flowing from Popoviciu’s accounts to the Biden family, via intermediaries, using bank records lawmakers obtained with subpoenas.


Weiss asked a judge to schedule hearing for Hunter Biden for two tax offenses and a gun charge, following a years-long investigation into the president’s son

 

Hunter connected political heavyweight Freeh with Popoviciu in May 2016 to use his US law enforcement contacts for the Romanian businessman’s advantage.

In May 2021 DailyMail.com published emails in which Freeh promised to contact FBI legal attaches in Romania as well as State Department officials to help smooth over the Romanian tycoon’s clash with the country’s prosecutors.

Wisconsin Sen. Johnson, who spent four years investigating the Bidens with his colleague Chuck Grassley, said Hines’s relationship with Freeh ‘calls into question the integrity of their entire investigation’.

‘These types of connections to the Biden family pose significant conflicts that must not be ignored,’ he told DailyMail.com.

The Oversight Committee is also investigating another of Freeh’s connections to allegations of corruption by the Biden family.

Whistleblower and alleged Israeli arms dealer, Dr. Gal Luft, claims around 2017 Hunter used a current or former senior FBI official dubbed ‘One-Eye’ to get sensitive bureau information and pass it to his Chinese business partners at oil giant CEFC, which was under federal investigation at the time.

The Committee is investigating Luft’s claims, and believes that Freeh may have information to help with its probe, though they have not yet subpoenaed or requested an interview with the ex-FBI chief.

Garrett Ziegler, a former Trump White House staffer and founder of right-wing nonprofit Marco Polo investigating the Bidens, claimed in a report last year that Freeh and Hunter had committed Foreign Agents Registration Act violations by lobbying US officials for Popoviciu without notifying the Department of Justice.


A photo of a firearm application triggered an investigation after it showed Hunter lied on the form when he attested that he did not abuse drugs

 


Hunter has admitted owning a gun while a drug user and pictures found on the laptop he abandoned at a repair shop show him holding it

 

‘The charges filed against Hunter Biden are a limited hangout in the superlative,’ Ziegler told DailyMail.com, referring to an intelligence community technique to use a minor admission to cover a greater wrongdoing.

‘In fact, those charges are filed by somebody who was a special counsel to Louis Freeh, who himself is implicated in crimes in the Biden Laptop. It is a full court suppression campaign, even today.’

Hines is not the only DoJ official to investigate Hunter while having links to his business associates.

Senators Grassley and Johnson, who ran a four-year investigation into Hunter’s shady overseas dealings, wrote to the DoJ in 2021 asking that criminal division chief Nicholas McQuaid recuse himself over links to Hunter.

Prior to working as acting head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, McQuaid worked directly with Hunter’s criminal defense attorney Chris Clark at law firm Latham and Watkins.

‘Since Feb. 2021, Sen. Grassley and I sent multiple letters to DOJ demanding assurances that Nicholas McQuaid, the former head of DOJ’s criminal division, who had a Hunter Biden connection, had recused himself from the Hunter Biden investigation.

‘The DOJ refused to provide a clear answer,’ Johnson told DailyMail.com.

‘DOJ’s apparent unwillingness to remove any doubt about conflicts in the Hunter Biden case calls into question the integrity of their entire investigation.’

The Delaware federal prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

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