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IRS whistleblower testifies on Hunter Biden probe

The whistleblower revealed his identity before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday

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IRS criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler testifies during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing, July 19, 2023.

IRS criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler testifies during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing with IRS whistleblowers on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, in Washington.

Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

Two Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers testified in front of the House Oversight Committee Wednesday, claiming interference from the Justice Department over the investigation into Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son.

Hunter Biden reached a deal last month with federal prosecutors and will plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges, and will enter into a pretrial diversion agreement over a felony firearm charge.

The House Oversight Committee heard from two IRS whistleblowers Wednesday who said there was interference by the Department of Justice in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas business dealings. The committee is also looking into ties between Hunter Biden’s work and his father, who was vice president at the time.

Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said his committee has made progress on its investigation into the Biden family. He said financial records point to the creation of over 20 shell companies that received more than $10 million.

“A lot of this money poured in while Joe Biden was vice president,” Comer said. He introduced the “two brave and credible” whistleblowers.

Comer said the whistleblowers’ testimonies about the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the IRS “confirms the committee’s findings that there is nothing normal about the Biden family’s business.”

“The White House and Democrats would have Americans believe that our investigation is based on five years of conspiracy theories. But we have facts. And new evidence continues to be uncovered by our committee revealing the first family’s corruption.”

Republicans, like Comer, made efforts to portray the whistleblowers as credible while Democrats said there were holes in their testimony.

One of the whistleblowers is Gary Shapley, an IRS criminal supervisory special agent, who delivered testimony at a closed-door hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in late June, as the Deseret News reported.

He has alleged that “the Justice Department provided preferential treatment, slow-walked the investigation, (and) did nothing to avoid obvious conflicts” when investigating Hunter Biden.

New IRS whistleblower comes forward

The other IRS agent testifying is Joseph Ziegler, who worked in the criminal investigation division and has been with the agency for 13 years.

He was previously referred to as Whistleblower X and revealed his identity at the hearing.

“My own agency retaliated against me and threatened me with criminal conduct in response to an internal email I sent to IRS leadership, even after years of essentially being left on an island when it came to this investigation. It is not my desire to become a martyr for this case — and I fear effectively ending my career,” he said in his written testimony.

Ziegler said he worked alongside Shapley at numerous points of the investigation. Both of them allege that U.S. Attorney of Delaware David Weiss, who launched the investigation in 2018, struggled to bring the charges forward while being denied special counsel status last year, as the Deseret News previously reported.

But Weiss said that he did not request special counsel status in a letter, obtained by Politico, to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

Weiss said he had discussions regarding a “potential appointment” that would allow him “to file charges in a district outside my own without the partnership of the local U.S. Attorney.”

Weiss also added that he has never been “denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.”

Whistleblower Ziegler cited the DOJ tax policy listed in the criminal tax manual, which states, “Cases involving individuals who fail to file tax returns or pay a tax but who also commit acts of evasion or obstruction should be charged as felonies.”

“If the Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss followed DOJ Policy as he stated in his most recent letter, Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax felony, not only the tax misdemeanor charge,” he said.

Zeigler concluded, “While the impression was that the U.S. Attorney in Delaware has essentially the powers of special counsel in this case, free rein to do as needed, as clearly shown, this was not the case.”

“The U.S. Attorney in Delaware in our investigation was constantly hamstrung, limited, and marginalized by DOJ officials as well as other U.S. Attorneys.”

Marjorie Taylor Green displays explicit images during hearing

The White House oversight and investigations spokesperson, Ian Sams, took to Twitter to say the House Republicans had not produced credible evidence of wrongdoing by the president, “despite years of obsession and countless wasted taxpayer dollars on a wild goose chase.”

“This waste of time reflects the extraordinarily misplaced priorities of House Rs,” Sams said.

At one point during the hearing, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., pulled out poster-sized explicit photos of Hunter Biden.

She started her questioning by giving a parental advisory, then produced the images. Democrats like Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a ranking member of the committee, interjected, asking Comer whether Greene’s “evidence” should be displayed.

Raskin told reporters that Greene was being “deliberately provocative and sensationalistic and voyeuristic.”

“I hope to speak to the chairman about this as an assault to the dignity of the committee,” he added. Greene was not immediately reprimanded.

Dems try to diminish whistleblower testimony

Raskin, in his testimony, said Republicans are siding with “IRS agents from the deep state against a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney and a rich guy exercising his Second Amendment rights but now facing criminal gun charges and tax charges that they would call in any other circumstance purely technical,” per Fox News.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and others tried to pin the conflict on an internal disagreement between the whistleblowers and their superiors.