The Heritage Foundation intervened in the Hunter Biden case Tuesday to oppose Hunter Biden’s efforts to keep the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower disclosures from being used against him.
Heritage and Oversight Project Director Mike Howell filed a motion Tuesday to intervene in the ongoing case against Hunter Biden and to request Delaware U.S. Judge Maryellen Noreika reject his attempt to seal information provided by the IRS whistleblowers. (RELATED: Rep. Jason Smith Fights Hunter Biden’s Effort To Keep IRS Whistleblower Materials Sealed From Delaware Case)
— Oversight Project (@OversightPR) August 2, 2023
“They are brazenly attacking the brave and courageous IRS whistleblowers by arguing to the court that they improperly disclosed information. That is absolutely false,” Howell said in a press release.
“The whistleblowers followed all appropriate laws, and their testimony was properly released by the House Ways and Means Committee. They want our brief taken down for using their testimony, but we will not sit back and let this attack on the whistleblowers proceed,” Howell added.
Heritage’s memo was filed via The Daily Signal, the think tank’s in-house publication where Howell works as an investigative columnist. (RELATED: Hunter Biden Prosecutor Once Demanded Jail Time For Tax Cheat With Similar Charges)
Biden family lawyers continue to smear the IRS WBs w/ false claims that their protected disclosures were criminal.
Full filing here: https://t.co/15suEorxqw
— DefendWhistleblowers.com (@JsnFostr) August 1, 2023
“Thus, Defendant’s Counsel seek to de facto bind Movants to a ruling on a motion in which Movants did not litigate. Moreover, Defendant seeks broader putative relief as to Movants’ Amicus filing in that he seeks to seal a Congressional Quarterly Transcript of House Oversight and Accountability July 19, 2023 public hearing with the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblowers, the video of which is publicly available on the House’s website. It makes no sense to litigate these motions in a piecemeal manner as a matter of judicial economy,” the motion reads.
Hunter Biden’s counsel filed a motion on July 26 to keep the IRS whistleblower information sealed after Republican Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, filed amicus briefs with IRS whistleblower testimony ahead of Biden’s July 26 court appearance, where he was expected to plead guilty to tax charges.
“These filings include several hundred pages of exhibits containing allegations, innuendo, and unverified claims regarding Defendant and the very matters before the Court. Defense counsel wishes to maintain these materials under seal, to protect Defendant from the disclosure on the public docket of potentially prejudicial information about an ongoing criminal matter,” Biden’s motion says.
Smith’s counsel wrote to Noreika on July 31 in opposition to Biden’s motion because he did not identify specific taxpayer information and grand jury materials to be kept sealed. His filing says the IRS whistleblower information was sealed temporarily unless Biden could give specific information and explain why it should remain sealed.
IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testified to the House Ways & Means and Oversight Committees about how Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors appeared to slow-walk and obstruct the Hunter Biden investigation, based on their knowledge of the case.
Both IRS whistleblowers also provided Congress with additional information about the younger Biden’s business dealings with Ukrainian, Chinese and Romanian business partners. (RELATED: IRS Whistleblower Joseph Ziegler Calls For Special Counsel To Investigate Hunter Biden)
The day before Biden’s scheduled court date, a staffer from Latham & Watkins LLP called the Clerk’s Office about sealing the IRS whistleblower disclosures and she allegedly “misrepresented her identity” by characterizing herself as someone who worked with Smith’s attorney, Noreika said in a July 25 order.
The staffer said in a sworn affidavit that she did not deliberately misrepresent her identity and a partner from Latham & Watkins LLP attributed the dispute to a “miscommunication” in a July 25 letter to Noreika. The judge issued a new order on July 28 demanding that all issues with the Hunter Biden case go to her directly, in order to prevent “apparent misrepresentations” from happening again.