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IRS whistleblowers will testify to Congress as they claim ‘slow-walking’ of the Hunter Biden case

by Gabriel Martinez
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whistleblowers

IRS whistleblowers alleging a deliberate slowdown of the Hunter Biden case are scheduled to testify before Congress. House Republicans are intensifying their investigations into President Joe Biden and his family, and the House Judiciary, Oversight and Accountability, and Ways and Means committees will conduct the hearing. The whistleblowers, identified as Greg Shapley and an unnamed individual referred to as “whistleblower x,” claim that investigative steps into Hunter Biden’s case were intentionally delayed, including enforcement actions prior to the 2020 election. This will mark the first public testimony from the two IRS agents assigned to the federal investigation on tax and gun charges against Hunter Biden. The hearing is expected to reveal the identity of the second agent, previously undisclosed in the interview transcripts released by Republicans.

The congressional inquiry into the Justice Department’s handling of the Hunter Biden case began last month, shortly after it was announced that Hunter Biden would plead guilty to misdemeanor tax offenses as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors. The House Ways and Means Committee voted to disclose hundreds of pages of testimony from the IRS employees, highlighting the obstacles faced by agents in interviewing relevant individuals and obtaining search warrants.

One significant claim made by Shapley is that U.S. Attorney David Weiss requested special counsel status to bring tax charges against Hunter Biden in jurisdictions outside Delaware, such as Washington, D.C., and California, but was denied. Both Weiss and the Justice Department have strongly refuted these allegations, asserting that Weiss had full authority over the case and never sought charges in other states.

The second IRS whistleblower expressed ongoing frustrations with the handling of the case, dating back to the Trump administration under Attorney General William Barr. He initiated the investigation into Hunter Biden in 2015 and delved extensively into his personal and financial matters. Republicans have attempted to secure testimony from other agents involved in the case, but their efforts have mostly been unsuccessful thus far.

Republicans, including Representatives Jim Jordan, James Comer, and Jason Smith, chairmen of the respective committees, have portrayed the Justice Department’s case as politically biased and interfered with. They have characterized Hunter Biden’s plea agreement as a favorable deal aimed at avoiding jail time.

Representative Comer acknowledged the challenges Republicans faced in explaining Hunter Biden’s complex financial affairs and providing compelling evidence of specific wrongdoing by the president or his family. He expressed hope that the IRS agents’ testimony would be more effective in elucidating the situation.

Senior officials at the Justice Department have countered these claims, citing the exceptional circumstances surrounding a criminal case involving the son of a prominent presidential candidate. It remains unclear whether the whistleblowers’ descriptions indicate internal disagreements on the approach to the extensive investigation or a pattern of interference and preferential treatment. Department policy advises caution in charging cases with potential political implications near an election to avoid influencing the outcome.

One incident highlighted by Shapley involved the execution of a search warrant at a Virginia storage facility where Hunter Biden’s documents were stored. He claimed that an assistant U.S. attorney involved in the case contacted Hunter Biden’s lawyers, a customary practice in high-profile cases, but it compromised their opportunity to access evidence before potential tampering.

Similar circumstances arose when FBI officials informed Hunter Biden’s Secret Service detail before attempting to interview him and his business associates, aiming to avoid conflicts between law enforcement entities.

House Democrats have emphasized that U.S. Attorney David Weiss was appointed by former President Donald Trump and that the federal investigation into Hunter Biden originated during Trump’s administration. Despite this, Republicans continue their inquiries, requesting voluntary testimony from senior officials at the Justice Department, FBI, and IRS, including Weiss. They have also called for a special counsel review of alleged retaliation against the whistleblowers.

Weiss stated in a letter to Representative Jordan that he would be willing to testify before the committee once he can legally share information with Congress without violating the department’s policy on discussing ongoing investigations. Testimony from Justice Department officials may occur after Hunter Biden’s plea hearing, scheduled for the following week.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about whistleblowers, Hunter Biden case

Who are the whistleblowers testifying before Congress?

The whistleblowers testifying before Congress are two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees named Greg Shapley and an as-yet-unnamed “whistleblower x.” They claim that there was a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” into the Hunter Biden case and allege interference by the Justice Department.

What committees are conducting the hearing with the whistleblowers?

The House Judiciary, Oversight and Accountability, and Ways and Means committees are leading the hearing with the IRS whistleblowers.

What is the focus of the investigation into Hunter Biden?

The investigation into Hunter Biden primarily focuses on tax and gun charges. It is the first public testimony from the two IRS agents assigned to the federal case against President Joe Biden’s youngest son.

What allegations have the whistleblowers made?

The whistleblowers have alleged that there were deliberate delays in taking investigative steps in the Hunter Biden case, including enforcement actions, particularly in the months leading up to the 2020 election won by Joe Biden. They claim that there was interference in the case and have raised concerns about potential political bias.

What obstacles did the IRS agents face in the investigation?

The IRS agents described several roadblocks they encountered during the investigation. These included difficulties in interviewing individuals relevant to the case and obtaining search warrants. They expressed frustrations with the way the case was handled, dating back to the Trump administration.

What are the Republicans’ concerns regarding the Hunter Biden case?

House Republicans, including Representatives Jim Jordan, James Comer, and Jason Smith, have raised concerns about potential political interference and bias in the Justice Department’s handling of the Hunter Biden case. They view the plea agreement made by Hunter Biden as a favorable deal and have been seeking evidence of wrongdoing by the president or his family.

What response has the Justice Department provided to the allegations?

The Justice Department and U.S. Attorney David Weiss have vehemently denied the whistleblowers’ claims of interference. They assert that Weiss had “full authority” over the case and did not seek to bring charges in jurisdictions outside Delaware. Senior officials at the Justice Department have pointed to the exceptional circumstances surrounding a criminal case involving the son of a leading presidential candidate.

What steps have Republicans taken in their inquiries?

Republicans have been actively pursuing their inquiries into the Hunter Biden case. They have requested voluntary testimony from senior officials at the Justice Department, FBI, and IRS, including U.S. Attorney David Weiss. Additionally, they have called for a special counsel review to investigate alleged retaliation against the whistleblowers who came forward with their claims.

Will there be testimony from Justice Department officials?

Testimony from Justice Department officials, including U.S. Attorney David Weiss, may occur after Hunter Biden appears for his plea hearing. Weiss has expressed willingness to testify once he is legally able to share information with Congress without violating the department’s policy on discussing ongoing investigations.

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