Top Republicans Demand Special Counsel Investigate Alleged Whistleblower Retaliation

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Five top Republicans are demanding that the Office of Special Counsel investigate alleged retaliation against two Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers who testified before the House Ways and Means Committee.

One of the whistleblowers submitted a letter to Congress through his attorney on May 16 asserting that he and his team were removed from the Biden investigation. The attorney stated that the move was retaliatory. (RELATED: Whistleblowers Allege Merrick Garland And IRS Commissioner Lied To Congress About Hunter Biden, GOP Reps Say)

The letter submitted Wednesday to OSC chief Henry Kerner also alleges that IRS and DOJ officials failed to make clear that IRS employees may make protected disclosures to Congress if they suspect wrongdoing by law enforcement officials or individuals who filed a tax return. It was signed by House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, and Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Investigations ranking member Ron Johnson.

“The importance of protecting whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation and informing whistleblowers about their rights under the law can not be understated. After all, it is the law,” the Republicans wrote. In addition the investigation and disciplinary measures, the lawmakers are requesting a briefing from OSC about the status of the investigation by July 19.

Agent Gary Shapley and another investigator testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that the Department of Justice failed to fully investigate Hunter Biden for alleged tax fraud. They also alleged that at least one Assistant U.S. Attorney warned Biden and his attorneys of pending searches, allowing them to potentially remove or destroy evidence. They also alleged that U.S. Attorney David Weiss did not have final say on what charges Biden would face, contradicting his statements to Congress.

After more than five years of investigations, primarily in Delaware, Hunter Biden will plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax violations and enter a diversion program for a felony firearms charge. He has also paid more than a million dollars in back taxes. According to the whistleblowers, Weiss sought a more expansive investigation into Biden in both Washington, D.C. and California, but the U.S. Attorneys in charge of those districts declined to participate.