Hunter Biden’s legal team met with Department of Justice (DOJ) Tax Division attorneys an unusually high number of times during the investigation into the president’s son’s taxes, an IRS official testified in mid-September.
IRS Criminal Investigation Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on Sept. 12 and said the number of meetings Hunter Biden’s defense counsel had with DOJ tax attorneys was not typical for a tax investigation, according to a transcript of his testimony obtained by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: IRS Official Was ‘Frustrated’ After Biden-Appointed Prosecutors Refused To Cooperate On Hunter Biden Case)
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“I believe at the time my sense of what was going on is that DOJ Tax was having taxpayer conferences with defense counsel,” Batdorf said, page 17 of the transcript shows. Batdorf was referring to a June 2022 meeting where IRS investigators had disagreements with DOJ tax attorneys on the charges to bring against Hunter Biden.
“Do you know how many times they had conferences with defense counsel?” an attorney for House Ways and Means asked.
“More than two,” Batdorf replied. “And I cannot remember if they were trying to plan their third or their fourth.”
“In a typical — is it typical in a tax investigation to meet with defense counsel two, three, four times?” the attorney followed up.
“No,” Batdorf testified. He added that he did not know why the prosecutors allegedly decided to hold multiple conferences with Biden’s defense counsel.
IRS officials were recommending misdemeanor and felony charges against Hunter Biden ahead of the June 2022 meeting, and Batdorf said he agreed with the proposed charges.
The IRS issued a Special Agent Report (SAR) in February 2022, and Biden’s defense counsel held a taxpayer conference with DOJ tax between the time the report was issued and the June meeting, Batdorf testified. He said the timing of the taxpayer conference was typically when defense counsel meetings take place.
IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler testified to House Ways and Means that they were kept out of meetings between Biden’s legal team and DOJ tax attorneys. Batdorf told House Ways and Means it is not typical for IRS agents to participate in such conferences.
The whistleblowers have accused DOJ officials of giving Hunter Biden special treatment by slow-walking and actively obstructing the tax case against the president’s son.
Shapley and Ziegler were included in the June 2022 meeting with DOJ tax officials, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss and additional prosecutors, Batdorf testified. In the meeting, DOJ tax attorneys presented an opposing view and the cons of the IRS investigation, according to Batdorf.
The IRS official also testified that David Weiss, lead prosecutor on the Hunter Biden case, needed approval from DOJ tax attorneys before moving forward with charges.
“I mean, my understanding would be that DOJ Tax has to authorize it first. So, I mean, my understanding is that, I mean, [Weiss] can’t make that decision without DOJ Tax authorization,” Batdorf said.
Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty in July to two tax misdemeanors after his guilty plea agreement fell apart in court upon scrutiny from Delaware U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika. An immunity provision inside Biden’s pretrial diversion agreement caused Noreika to question the terms of Biden’s plea agreement, and her pressure led to a dispute between Biden’s defense counsel and the DOJ.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss special counsel in August after Biden’s failed plea deal. The IRS whistleblowers’ accusations of special treatment allegedly happened under Weiss’ leadership as Delaware U.S. Attorney. (RELATED: Here Are The Biggest Takeaways From Merrick Garland’s Testimony About The Hunter Biden Case)
Here are my biggest Hunter Biden related takeaways from Garland’s testimony. Among them are his admissions that Biden-appointed U.S. Attorneys could refuse to cooperate and nobody else besides David Weiss was considered for special counsel @DailyCaller https://t.co/DsEM4fGlqp
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 21, 2023
When he became special counsel, Weiss filed a motion to withdraw Hunter Biden’s tax misdemeanors to potentially charge him in Washington, D.C., or the Central District of California. Noreika approved Weiss’ motion and dismissed Biden’s tax misdemeanors without prejudice.
Hunter Biden was indicted Sept. 14 for three counts relating to his October 2018 purchase of a Colt Cobra revolver while he was allegedly addicted to crack cocaine. Biden is going to plead not guilty to the gun charges, his attorney said in a Tuesday legal filing.
The younger Biden is also suing the IRS for what his legal team believes to be illegal taxpayer disclosures by Shapley and Ziegler during their congressional testimony and media appearances. The whistleblowers have argued the lawsuit is an attempt by Hunter Biden to silence them.
Garland testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and insisted Weiss had full charging authority prior to his special counsel designation. Weiss said he had full charging authority in a July letter to Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Shapley, an FBI agent on the Hunter Biden case and Batdorf have testified that Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in D.C. and the Central District of California refused to cooperate with Weiss on charging Biden for alleged tax offenses. The New York Times independently confirmed Weiss was blocked from bringing charges in California.
The House Ways and Means, Judiciary and Oversight Committees are investigating the IRS whistleblower testimony alongside House Oversight’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sept. 12 that the three committees will be leading an impeachment inquiry into Hunter’s father, President Joe Biden.