‘Fantastic Agent’: IRS Whistleblower Was Premier Investigator Before He Came Forward, IRS Officials Testify


James Lynch Contributor
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IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley was a top-performing investigator before he came forward with allegations that Hunter Biden received special treatment from Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, two IRS officials testified earlier in September.

IRS special agent Darrell Waldon and director of operations Michael Batdorf testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in September and praised Shapley’s work for the agency on high-profile investigative cases, according to transcripts obtained by the Daily Caller. (RELATED: Hunter Biden’s Legal Team Met With DOJ Tax Attorneys Unusually High Number Of Times, IRS Official Testifies)


“And Gary is a fantastic agent. He’s a bulldog. He will get to the bottom of it,” Batdorf testified on page 41. Later on in his testimony, Batdorf answered affirmatively when questioned further about his “bulldog” comment.

Shapley testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in May about the Hunter Biden investigation and said he was given the “highest awards available” in the agency for his performance.

“Before October of 2022, I had received the highest awards available to me in my agency and multiple awards from DOJ. In October 2022, I was a senior leader, assistant special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Office, and received the highest performance rating available that year,” Shapley testified.

Waldon told the committee he recalled Shapley being given the highest performance rating from the agency, but he did not recall the awards Shapley spoke about.

“And are you aware that Mr. Shapley has received the highest performance rating in recent years?” counsel for the Ways and Means Committee asked.

“I am aware that, yes, there was one,” Waldon replied, according to page 104 of his testimony.


Joseph Ziegler, the second IRS whistleblower accusing the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden special treatment, testified anonymously to the House Ways and Means Committee in June and had high praise for Shapley’s work as his supervisor.

“My supervisor, Gary Shapley, best supervisor I’ve ever worked with in my life. He was someone I could come to whenever I needed to vent, was someone who always fought with his heart and soul to do what was right, even if we didn’t agree on the path, and would try to make sure that we always were heard. He is someone I look up to as a leader in our organization,” Ziegler testified.

Ziegler, a gay Democrat, began working with the IRS in 2010, the year after Shapley started with the agency. Ziegler also testified that he won performance awards for his work.

Tristan Leavitt, an attorney for Shapley and president of whistleblower protection group Empower Oversight, posted an excerpt of the whistleblower’s fiscal year 2022 performance rating, detailing his “desire to seek excellence” and his growth as a leader.

“Among the 3 branches, you quickly set yourself apart as a leader among your peers. Your strong desire to seek excellence no matter the situation has provided a positive impact to our entire field office. I have enjoyed working closely with you again and look forward to watching you continue to grow as a leader!” Leavitt’s evaluation states.

Shapley testified that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the lead prosecutor on the Hunter Biden case, said he did not have full charging authority at an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting in which Weiss described how Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves refused to cooperate on bringing charges against Hunter Biden.

Shapley also said Weiss stated during the meeting that the DOJ denied his request for special counsel authority following Graves’ decision not to cooperate. The whistleblower’s attorneys have shared an email Shapley sent and his handwritten notes documenting the meeting.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 19: Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley (L) and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler are sworn-in as they 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)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 19: Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley (L) and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler are sworn-in as they 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)

Shapley testified that Weiss was blocked from charging Hunter Biden by Graves and Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California E. Martin Estrada. The New York Times confirmed Estrada refused to cooperate with Weiss.

An FBI agent on the Hunter Biden case, Waldon and Batdorf have testified that the Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys did not cooperate on potentially charging Hunter Biden for alleged tax offenses.

Attorney General Merrick Garland testified Wednesday that U.S. attorneys “could refuse to partner” with Weiss on charging Biden. Weiss could request additional authority under section 515 if the U.S. attorneys did not work with him, according to Garland. (RELATED: Here Are The Biggest Takeaways From Merrick Garland’s Testimony About The Hunter Biden Case)

Weiss denied Shapley’s allegations in a July letter to Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. He had written a letter in June to Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan saying his charging authority was geographically limited.

Garland appointed Weiss special counsel in August to continue the Hunter Biden case in the wake of Biden’s failed guilty plea deal and the IRS whistleblower testimony. 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. He will plead not guilty to the gun charges, Hunter’s attorney said in a Tuesday court filing.

Hunter Biden is suing the IRS for what his legal team argues are illegal taxpayer disclosures by Shapley and Ziegler. The whistleblowers have pushed back against Biden’s lawsuit and accused him of trying to silence them.

Hunter Biden’s attorney wrote a June letter to the House Ways and Means Committee that appeared to contain falsehoods surrounding Shapley’s testimony. The IRS whistleblower testified publicly in July that Biden’s attorneys wrote an “error-filled” letter and made “false statements” about him.

“As his performance appraisals demonstrate, Special Agent Shapley has had an extremely successful career at the IRS, helping recover $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars and being handpicked by the chief of IRS Criminal Investigations to stand up an international partnership team,” Leavitt told the Daily Caller.

“Everything changed when he put himself in DOJ’s crosshairs on October 7, 2022 and he was subsequently retaliated against for making protected whistleblower disclosures about the handling of the Hunter Biden case. Despite these challenges, SSA Shapley is proud to have done the right thing, and continues to receive notes of support from fellow IRS employees thanking him for standing up for the equal treatment of taxpayers.”