New testimony reveals that the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, E. Martin Estrada, refused to cooperate with Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss regarding prospective charges against Hunter Biden in his district. Estrada was appointed to the bench by President Joe Biden.
According to a transcript of Estrada's testimony reviewed by the Daily Caller, shortly after he was sworn in, he convened with his team of U.S. attorneys to discuss Weiss' request to collaborate on the Hunter Biden case.
The Attorney's Actions
Estrada eventually called Weiss and informed him of his decision not to act as co-counsel on any allegations.
“I first learned about — that there was a Hunter Biden investigation touching on our district shortly after taking the seat. So, it would have been late September 2022 or early October 2022,” Estrada testified. He went on to discuss his conversations with the attorneys in his office surrounding Weiss’ request to partner.
“I learned from attorneys in my office, career attorneys in my office, that there was a request from the District of Delaware to partner or co-counsel [sic] on certain charges that they were investigating; that our career attorneys had communicated that they were recommending against partnering or cocounseling in the charges being contemplated; and that the District of Delaware, through Mr. Weiss, wanted to speak to me about that,” Estrada said.
Weiss' request was initially brought to Estrada's attention by his first assistant U.S. attorney (FAUSA), whom Estrada refused to identify by name during his testimony.
"My first assistant, my then First Assistant United States Attorney brought — told me that there had been this request from the District of Delaware to co-counsel or partner on the case; that the chief of my Major Frauds Section, who would be the person who makes these decisions, was recommending against doing so; and that that had been communicated to the District of Delaware,” Estrada testified.
The attorney asserted that he did not know if the decision not to collaborate was made before or after he assumed his position at the end of September 2022.
According to Estrada's testimony, the attorney who ranked above his Major Frauds section chief, the criminal chief of his division, agreed with the recommendation not to collaborate with Weiss.
Estrada clarified that "co-counsel" on the case referred to a partnership. He stated that he lacked co-counseling experience as a U.S. attorney or assistant U.S. attorney.
Additionally, Estrada stated that his predecessor, the acting U.S. attorney for his district, had authorized the promotion of Delaware assistant U.S. attorneys to special attorney status, allowing them to litigate in his district. His testimony indicates that Estrada was unaware of the specifics of the purported special attorney appointment.
Estrada held two meetings with his Chief of Major Frauds and his Chief of Criminal Investigation to discuss partnering with Weiss' office to charge Hunter Biden. According to him, he examined three memos prior to his first meeting with his superiors in October 2022 and based his decision not to collaborate on the case on those documents.
“Based on the recommendation of my major frauds chief and my then Criminal Division chief who, combined, had over 40 years’ experience as prosecutors, I agreed that we would not partner or co-counsel in the prosecution; but I did tell Mr.Weiss that we’d provide office space and administrative support for his attorneys in their prosecution,” Estrada said.