House Investigators Announce Inquiry Into Hunter Biden’s Alleged Attacks On IRS Whistleblowers

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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The House Ways and Means, Judiciary and Oversight Committees are investigating alleged efforts by Hunter Biden’s legal team to intimidate IRS whistleblowers who testified about special treatment from Department of Justice (DOJ) investigators working on his tax case.

House investigators on Tuesday wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting communications between the DOJ and Biden’s lawyers related to IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, including any letters to the DOJ from Biden’s attorneys suggesting the department “prosecute” the whistleblowers. (RELATED: NYT Omitted Details About Hunter Biden Attorney Allegedly Pressuring DOJ To Investigate IRS Whistleblower, Lawyers Say)

“Hunter Biden’s legal team is engaged in a brazen effort to intimidate and harass the brave Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblowers who exposed numerous apparent irregularities in the Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden. These tactics have even included urging the Department to prosecute the whistleblowers for their protected disclosures to Congress,” the letter reads.

“Accordingly, we request information about any attempts by Hunter Biden’s legal team to encourage the Department to take action against IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.”

Shapley’s attorneys filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request Friday, outlining their correspondence with a New York Times (NYT) reporter who said Hunter Biden’s attorneys sent the DOJ a letter in June asking for Shapley to be investigated. The NYT appeared to exclude details about that letter in a June 28 story detailing Shapley’s accusations that the DOJ slow-walked and obstructed the tax case against Hunter Biden.

“Michael Schmidt, a reporter for The New York Times, contacted our legal team on June 27, 2023 to seek comment on a story he was writing,” the FOIA request reads. “Mr. Schmidt said that Hunter Biden’s defense counsel had sent the Department a letter asking in writing that it investigate our client, SSA Shapley, for allegedly breaking laws protecting the privacy of grand jury deliberations.”

Shapley’s attorneys contacted the DOJ Inspector General (IG) the day after the NYT reached out, according to an email included in the FOIA complaint. The IRS whistleblower said Hunter Biden received special treatment from DOJ prosecutors during his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in May.

House Ways and Means released Shapley’s testimony in late June, and Hunter Biden’s attorneys responded by writing a letter to the committee that appeared to contain falsehoods surrounding Shapley’s testimony and the Hunter Biden laptop archive.

In his July testimony before Congress, Shapley accused Hunter Biden’s attorney Abbe Lowell of spreading falsehoods and threatening prosecutors involved in the case.

“Even last fall, Biden family attorneys attacked investigators in the pages of The Washington Post and threatened the prosecutors with career suicide if they brought charges against the president’s son,” Shapley testified. “Then one of the Biden family attorneys sends to the press a 10-page, error-filled letter that attacked me with innuendo, false statements, and baseless speculation that I had leaked information to The Washington Post. These statements by Biden family attorneys are false.”

Shapley’s attorneys have called for The Washington Post to publicly confirm Shapley was not its source for an October 2022 story covering the Hunter Biden case.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: (L-R) Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler testify during a House Oversight Committee hearing related to the Justice Department's investigation of Hunter Biden, on Capitol Hill July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 19: (L-R) Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler testify during a House Oversight Committee hearing related to the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden, on Capitol Hill July 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House investigators from the Ways and Means, Judiciary and Oversight Committees will be leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday. The committees continue to investigate Shapley and Ziegler’s accusations alongside House Oversight’s probe into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings.

Garland’s deadline for releasing the records requested by House investigators is Sept. 25, 2023, the letter says. The Justice Department previously rejected House investigators’ efforts to subpoena witnesses to an alleged Oct.7, 2022, meeting Shapley revealed in his testimony.

The whistleblower said Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss told participants he did not have final charging authority in the Hunter Biden case and that the DOJ rejected his request for special counsel authority.

Merrick Garland appointed Weiss special counsel in August after Hunter Biden’s plea deal collapsed due to a disagreement between his defense counsel and DOJ special prosecutor Leo Wise. The disagreement pertained to an immunity provision in the proposed pretrial diversion agreement for Hunter’s felony gun charge.

The younger Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax misdemeanors in July, and the DOJ is now seeking an indictment for the felony gun charge. Weiss withdrew the Delaware tax charges to potentially charge Biden in a different jurisdiction, and the charges were dismissed without prejudice.