IRS whistleblowers say they were kept out of meetings between Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors and Hunter Biden’s attorneys.
Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler each testified to the House Ways and Means Committee about how they were kept out of meetings that Biden’s defense counsel Chris Clark touted at Biden’s July 26 court appearance, where his guilty plea agreement fell apart.
Great question, @ProfMJCleveland. SSA Shapley testified in his interview not only were the investigations never once allowed to be part of the meetings with Hunter Biden’s defense counsel, it was something the IRS whistleblowers had never seen happen before in any other case. https://t.co/MrSDllhp0T pic.twitter.com/uAN1CDbayf
— Tristan Leavitt (@tristanleavitt) July 28, 2023
“So we sent it to DOJ Tax Division, and that spurred their discussions with defense counsel,” Shapley told the committee in his testimony. “We did not participate in that. And I would say that I think it’s not typical for the investigative team and the agents to never be in on proffers or reverse proffers with defense counsel. We never once were allowed to do so. And even though some communications occur with defense counsel without agents, I’ve never seen it where we’ve never been involved.” (RELATED: DOJ Says It Won’t Obstruct Testimony From Hunter Biden’s Business Associate)
Ziegler also said IRS investigators did not take part in the meetings between DOJ prosecutors and Biden’s attorneys, including a tax conference when Biden’s case was referred to the DOJ Tax Division for prosecution.
“I was not allowed at those meetings which, to be honest with you, that — sometimes they don’t have us at these — at those meetings. But with a case like this, of this caliber — we asked to be at those meetings. They said that we couldn’t be there,” Ziegler testified.
“Well, we were such a big team, there was a lot of this happening to where — like, us not being included in the taxpayer conference meetings. There was a lot of information turned over at those meetings that we didn’t hear about or we heard about late. So there was definitely a breakdown in communication of what we heard,” Ziegler added.
The House Ways and Means Committee asked Ziegler if Clark and Biden’s other attorneys “actively” made sure he was absent from the meetings with DOJ prosecutors.
“I think they could have, yes. They could have asked for the agents to not be there,” Ziegler responded.
Clark mentioned the DOJ meetings when U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned Clark and DOJ prosecutor Leo Wise about Biden’s proposed guilty plea and an immunity provision hidden inside of Biden’s diversion agreement.
“Okay. And so I am trying to understand if I were to reject the plea, I’m not saying I am going to, I have not — for anyone in the back, I have not made that determination, but if I were to reject the plea, just tell me what happens,” Noreika asked, according to a court transcript.
“So then we have two charges against the Defendant [Hunter Biden] and they’re misdemeanors, so he doesn’t need to be indicted and we go forward and there is a trial on those charges, and there is a possibility that there could be additional charges brought,” Wise replied.
“Related to the tax issues?” Noreika followed up.
“Yes,” Wise said.
“Do you agree with that, Mr. Clark, what would happen?” Noreika asked, according to the transcript. “Again, I want to make sure I’m not saying that’s my decision.”
“I understand, Your Honor. I don’t necessarily disagree. I’m not aware of any additional charges that could validly be brought with regard to the tax charges. Again, without getting into the whole investigation, but I do think there is some context that’s important here,” Clark responded.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and me spent five years in meeting after meeting, hours, ten hour long meetings going through my client’s taxes on a line-by-line basis, and this is the disposition the parties came to after a five-year investigation that was pursued with unbelievable diligence and doggedness,” Clark added.
Both IRS whistleblowers testified about DOJ prosecutors allegedly slow-walking and obstructing the Hunter Biden investigation, thereby giving him special treatment. The whistleblowers have also spoken about Biden’s foreign business dealings with Ukrainian, Chinese and Romanian associates.
Hunter Biden ended up pleading not guilty to two tax misdemeanors and a felony gun charge after his legal team disagreed with the DOJ about the scope of Biden’s proposed immunity deal.
Wise told Noreika that Biden could still be charged under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for his overseas business dealings, causing Biden’s plea deal and diversion agreement to fall apart.