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JENNY BETH MARTIN: After Hunter Biden Whistleblower, No New Agents For The Corrupt IRS

(Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jenny Beth Martin Jenny Beth Martin is co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest tea party organization, and is also chairman of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.
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The release last week by the House Committee on Ways and Means of explosive Internal Revenue Service whistleblower testimony about the Hunter Biden investigation fiasco makes one thing perfectly clear: There is no way the IRS should be given $80 billion over the next decade to hire 87,000 new employees. The whistleblower testimony reveals endemic corruption that would only be exacerbated by an infusion of additional funding.

The whistleblower testimony – and, just as importantly, the evident retaliation by IRS leadership, in clear violation of the law and despite its leader’s explicit pledge to Congress to guard against it, against its own whistle-blowing employees who sought protection to testify to Congress about wrongdoing and political bias brought to bear in the years-long investigation of President Biden’s son Hunter – prove that the IRS leadership is dangerous and needs more controls over it, rather than more funds to expand. (RELATED: PETER ROFF: The Biden White House Will Not Be Able To Hide Behind Hunter’s Sweetheart Plea Deal)

Moreover, if the agency can’t use the money it already has to prosecute what certainly appears to be a simple tax evasion case like the one presented by the actions of Hunter Biden, what good would be done by showering tens of billions of additional dollars on the agency? President Biden insists, after all, that his plan to expand the IRS “cracks down on wealthy tax cheats,” but this new evidence suggests otherwise.

Testimony provided by IRS Senior Supervisory Agent Gary Shapley under penalty of perjury shows that some of the line agents of the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division, known as the International Tax and Financial Crimes group, or IFTC, developed evidence over the course of their investigation to justify charging Hunter with significant crimes – in Shapley’s own words: “This recommended felony tax evasion charges, that’s 7201, is tax evasion, and 7206(1) is a false tax return, also a felony, for the tax years 2014, 2018, and 2019. And for Title 26 7203, which is a failure to file or pay, that is a misdemeanor charge for ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18, and ’19.”

This was an open and shut case. Hunter wrote off as business expenses money he spent on prostitutes, including air travel for them, in a scheme so brazen his own accountants required him to sign a “representation letter that basically they said they have never done before.” He failed to report income the IRS knew he had, and tried to hide income as a “loan” in what Shapley described as “textbook, I learned at basic training nominee stuff.”

As leader of the IRS CI team detailed to handle the Hunter Biden investigation, Shapley pushed hard to enforce tax law. In some cases, he says, he had to push against his own IRS superiors; in others, he had to push against his colleagues at the Department of Justice. After pushing for years, there was a final confrontational meeting in October of 2022, in which, he says, David Weiss – the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, who was heading the investigation for the Department of Justice – declared, as to making the decisions on what charges to file against Hunter Biden, “I’m not the deciding official on whether charges are filed.”

That was news to the members of the IRS CI team, who had been told and had worked for years under the belief that Weiss was the decisionmaker. Since that confrontation in October of 2022, said Shipley, “IRS CI has taken every opportunity to retaliate against me and my team.”

He continued: “I was passed over for a promotion for which I was clearly the most qualified. The special agent in charge and assistant special agent in charge of the Washington, D.C. Field Office have sent threats to the field office, suppressing additional potential whistleblowers from coming forward. Even after IRS CI senior leadership had been made aware on a recurring basis that the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice was acting improperly, they acquiesced to a DOJ request to remove the entire team from the Hunter Biden investigation, a team that had been investigating it for over five years.” (RELATED: JOSH HAMMER: Don’t Let Hunter’s Plea Deal Distract From Biden’s Bigger Problem)

Retaliation against a whistleblower who comes forward to tell the truth to Congress about wrongdoing on a high-profile case at the IRS and the DOJ is bad enough. Yet it gets worse – because, adding insult to injury, some of the retaliation at the IRS came just weeks after Commissioner of Internal Revenue Daniel Werfel testified to the House Ways and Means Committee, in response to committee chairman Jason Smith’s request for a commitment by Werfel that there would be no retaliation against whistleblowers, “Mr. Chairman, while I can’t comment on a specific case, I can say without any hesitation there will be no retaliation for anyone making an allegation or a call to a whistleblower hotline.”

Werfel has a lot to answer for. His agency apparently couldn’t prosecute a simple tax evasion case against one of his boss’s boss’s principal targets – “wealthy tax cheats,” in his unforgettable phrase – and then retaliated against the IRS agents who brought that failure to light. Ways and Means Chairman Smith and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan are already all over Werfel, demanding answers and making plans for future hearings where he and others can be grilled.

Hearings are important. Funding is where the rubber meets the road. Over the coming weeks, House GOP appropriators will be crafting the funding bills for consideration by the full House – including the bill funding the IRS. Let the members of the relevant appropriations subcommittee keep the entire Hunter Biden investigation fiasco in mind when drafting the bill funding Werfel’s IRS operation.

Jenny Beth Martin is Honorary Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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