Two IRS whistleblowers revealed to members of Congress that investigators recommended more serious charges against the president’s son than the misdemeanors to which he agreed to plead guilty.
According to Gary Shapley, one of the IRS whistleblowers and a 14-year veteran of the agency, investigators recommended felony charges against Biden for tax evasion and filing false tax returns for the years 2014, 2018 and 2019, CNN reported. IRS investigators also sought to charge Biden with misdemeanor charges after he failed to pay his taxes on time in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, the outlet stated, citing a transcript released by House Republicans Thursday.
The other whistleblower has not been publicly identified.
Shapley said that although there was some support in the Justice Department for the broader set of charges against Biden, more senior attorneys did not support the strategy, ultimately leading to a deal that saw Biden plead guilty to just two misdemeanors, the outlet stated.
“I am alleging, with evidence, that DOJ provided preferential treatment, slow-walked the investigation, did nothing to avoid obvious conflicts of interest in this investigation,” Shapley told members of Congress, according to CNN. (RELATED: IRS Whistleblower Breaks Silence On DOJ’s Handling Of Hunter Biden Tax Probe)
Hunter Biden’s lawyers reached the plea deal with Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney David Weiss, who has stated that investigations into Biden are still “ongoing.” His remarks, however, contradict those of Biden attorney Chris Clark, who said the plea deal marked the end of the five-year investigation into the first son.
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Weiss, who serves as the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, reportedly sought the help of his fellow federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., and the central district of California, as federal law dictates charges must be brought in the jurisdiction where the alleged crimes occurred, CNN reported. Though Weiss sought to work with his fellow attorneys on an indictment against Biden, Shapley told members of Congress the U.S. attorneys in the two districts, both of them Biden appointees, declined to cooperate, per the outlet.
Shapley further contended that Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to Congress when he claimed Weiss had full authority on the investigation, citing a meeting that took place Oct. 7, 2022, in which Weiss reportedly said he was “not the deciding person on whether charges [were] filed” against Biden. At the same meeting, Shapley claimed he learned Weiss had requested to be special counsel for the Hunter Biden probe but was denied, according to CNN.
“The testimony … details a lack of US attorney independence, recurring unjustified delays, unusual actions outside the normal course of any investigation, a lack of transparency across the investigation and prosecution teams, and bullying and threats from the defense counsel,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith said in response to the whistleblower testimony, according to the outlet.
Spokespeople for the U.S. attorneys’ offices in D.C. and Los Angeles denied Shapley’s claims, stating Weiss was “given full authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction he deemed appropriate.” The Justice Department offered a similar statement, claiming that Weiss needed “no further approval” to bring whatever charges against Biden that he deemed appropriate, CNN reported.