The Jaw-Dropping Hunter Biden–Investigation Revelations

The compelling congressional testimony of two IRS whistleblower agents has established three things.

First, the investigation into Biden corruption — millions of dollars pouring into the family coffers from apparatchiks of corrupt and anti-American regimes seeking to buy Joe Biden’s political influence — is real and has been thwarted by the Biden Justice Department. Second, the president’s son Hunter Biden received preferential treatment, and, next week, a federal judge should reject the sweetheart plea deal he was given by the Justice Department. Third, Attorney General Merrick Garland owes the country an explanation for why the Biden investigation has been sabotaged from within, even as he maintains publicly that it was conducted with independence and integrity.

The two whistleblowers — supervisory agent Gary Shapley and the Biden investigation’s main case agent, Joseph Ziegler — began cooperating with the House Ways and Means Committee several weeks back. While Shapley went public in June, Ziegler was not publicly identified until Wednesday’s hearing. Their revelations have been jaw-dropping.

The agents recounted being blocked at every turn by Justice Department prosecutors as they tried to go about the routine steps investigators would take in any case — or, at least, any case not involving politically connected suspects. The investigation was slow-walked by prosecutors from the office of Delaware U.S. attorney David Weiss, to whom the case was assigned in 2018.

Garland and congressional Democrats never tire of branding Weiss a Trump-appointee — it’s Garland’s rationalization for not appointing a special counsel. Conveniently omitted from this story is the fact that Weiss could not have been confirmed absent the support of Delaware’s two Democratic senators, Biden allies Tom Carper and Chris Coons. More to the point, Weiss reports to Garland and, because the Hunter Biden matter is a tax case, DOJ rules dictate that any tax charges must be approved by the Tax Division at Main Justice — run by Biden appointees. Most obviously, Weiss’s appointment by Trump does nothing to eradicate the conflict of interest inherent in the Biden Justice Department’s investigation of the president’s son over conduct in which the president himself is implicated.

Weiss and his underlings used the pendency of the 2020 presidential campaign as an excuse to instruct the IRS and FBI agents on the case not to take measures that might call attention to the investigation and thus influence the election. Note that, simultaneously, according to tech executives and Republican senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson, FBI agents were signaling that the pre-election emergence of derogatory information about the Bidens — e.g., the Hunter laptop and the influx of money from foreign sources — was likely the result of a Russian intelligence operation.

After Biden was elected, Shapley and Ziegler recalled being undermined in attempting to uncover evidence. The day before they planned to conduct interviews of Hunter Biden and other investigative subjects, the FBI alerted the Secret Service, which tipped off the Biden transition team. As a result, lawyers for Hunter and most other subjects refused to speak to the IRS. In connection with interviews that were later planned, the lead prosecutor from Weiss’s office, Lesley Wolf, forbade them from pursuing investigative leads that could potentially connect the president himself to the Biden family business — instructing them not to ask questions about Hunter’s “dad,” or about “the big guy” (as we now know several investigative subjects referred to the now-president).

In 2019, the FBI obtained Hunter’s laptop, teeming with data about the Bidens’ lucrative foreign transactions and Joe Biden’s potential connections to them; yet Weiss’s office denied the IRS agents access to this evidence. In early September 2020, Wolf agreed with the agents that there was more than enough probable cause to support a warrant to search a guest house at the Bidens’ Wilmington residence where Hunter was living; still, she is said to have declined to seek the warrant because “the optics” would be bad. After the election, the agents learned that Hunter had moved documents from his business office in Washington, D.C., to a commercial storage unit in northern Virginia. They convinced Weiss, over Wolf’s objection, to allow them to seek a search warrant if Hunter did not access the unit for 30 days. But, while the agents were preparing the warrant, Wolf precluded them by alerting Hunter’s defense lawyers about the existence of the storage unit, again putting the evidence out of the investigators’ reach.

Shapley and Ziegler are among the IRS’s most experienced and accomplished agents. Despite the strictures placed on them, they built a compelling tax case against Hunter Biden — even the limited evidence, according to Ziegler, showed that Hunter had evaded roughly $2.2 million in taxes on $8.3 million in foreign income between 2014 and 2019. The agents and the line lawyers in DOJ’s Tax Division and Weiss’s office all agreed that a felony prosecution was called for.

Nevertheless, Shapley recounted a meeting with the top investigators on the case at which Weiss conceded that he was not the final decision-maker on whether charges could be filed. Delaware was not the proper venue for tax charges — those could be indicted only in Washington, D.C. (for tax years 2014 and 2015), or California (for the subsequent years). Weiss explained to the flabbergasted agents that he had asked the Justice Department to give him special-counsel authority so that he could file charges in any federal district without interference, but had been rebuffed. He was thus being blocked from filing charges by Matthew Graves, the Biden-appointed U.S. attorney in Washington.

The 2014 and 2015 tax years included Hunter’s lavish, undeclared income from his sinecure at the allegedly corrupt Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. This period is crucial to the potential corruption scheme. According to information provided to the FBI by an informant with a reliable track record (and released yesterday by Senator Chuck Grassley), after speaking with then–Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky placed Hunter on the company’s board and paid him over $80,000 per month (a rate that, reportedly, was roughly halved once Joe Biden was no longer vice president). The informant added that Zlochevsky told him he’d paid then–Vice President Biden and his son a combined $10 million bribe to use Biden’s influence on Burisma’s behalf, and had made the payments through a byzantine array of companies and accounts that he bragged would take investigators a decade to trace to Joe Biden. This alleged scheme strongly resembles the pattern uncovered by House investigators showing foreign actors paying Biden family members (including grandchildren) millions of dollars through labyrinthine channels that included some 20 obscure business entities, most of which Hunter set up while Joe was vice president.

Yet, the Biden Justice Department’s infighting and foot-dragging caused the statute of limitations for the 2014 and 2015 tax years to lapse, vitiating some of the investigation’s key allegations. And it gets worse. Shapley and Ziegler testified Wednesday that, in the interests of negotiating a plea agreement, Hunter’s lawyers had agreed to extend the statute of limitations by stipulation; it was the Justice Department that allowed the charges to lapse. This is simply inexcusable: Prosecutors never have an incentive to forego the possibility of filing serious criminal charges.

As for the tax years from 2016 through 2019, Shapley learned that, when Biden’s newly appointed U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, E. Martin Estrada, was confirmed in September 2022, the felony tax charges for those years were rejected. It is thus through the tender loving care of Biden appointees that Hunter was given the sweetheart plea bargain which — if Delaware federal judge Maryellen Noreika approves it next week — would allow him to dispose of the case with pleas to two misdemeanor tax charges. Not only would there apparently be no incarceration term; it is anticipated that a gun charge — for which someone not named Biden would be staring at a prison sentence of up to ten years — would be dismissed.

Garland has insisted for years that Weiss had ultimate authority over whether and where to file charges. Weiss initially backed this story publicly, but he has subtly changed his tune since the whistleblower disclosures began. Realizing how credible and corroborated the agents are, Weiss has strained to avoid contradicting them while echoing Garland, a needle that can’t be threaded. After claiming the mantle of ultimate authority, he conceded that he could not indict outside Delaware, but made the caveat that he had been consulting with the Justice Department about that problem. Later, he weaseled about how he had never formally sought special-counsel authority — which doesn’t address whether he told a room full of agents that his request for it had been denied, and whether he didn’t seek it because he knew it would be denied.

Meantime, Garland’s story is a crock. He asserts that Weiss would have been given any necessary authority — he only needed to ask. But the U.S. attorneys for Washington and California work for Garland; they couldn’t have blocked Weiss without the attorney general’s support. And it’s not a district U.S. attorney’s job to ask the attorney general for special-counsel authority — which would be tantamount to asking to be fired since, by regulation, a special counsel must be a lawyer “from outside the United States Government.” Rather, it is the attorney general’s duty to appoint a special counsel if there is a conflict of interest that prevents the Justice Department from investigating in the normal course.

Click here to read the full story at the National Review

IRS Whistleblower In Hunter Biden Case Says He “Felt Handcuffed” During 5-year Investigation

The Internal Revenue Service case agent who handled “95%” of the tax evidence in the Hunter Biden investigation told CBS News that he “felt handcuffed” during the five-year probe and blocked from pursuing leads that he thought might implicate Hunter Biden’s father, President Joe Biden.

Second IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden investigation — “Whistleblower X”

Special Agent Joseph Ziegler, a 13-year veteran of the IRS, is the second IRS employee to come forward to claim the federal tax investigation into the president’s son supported criminal charges more serious than the misdemeanor tax charges he is scheduled to plead guilty to next week as part of a plea bargain. 

“When you’re prevented from going down certain roads, I guess I don’t know what could have been found if we were not hamstrung or not handcuffed,” Ziegler told CBS News.

Ziegler, who has been known only as “Whistleblower X,” revealed his identity Wednesday at the insistence of lawmakers, who called him before a House committee to describe his role in the federal investigation into Hunter Biden. As the main IRS case agent, he worked with his supervisor Gary Shapley and says the evidence they uncovered “supported felony and misdemeanor tax charges.”

Ziegler’s investigation spanned both the Trump and Biden administrations.

“I’m a Democrat. In the last presidential election, I actually did not vote,” Ziegler said. “I thought it would be irresponsible of me to do so because I didn’t wanna show bias one way or the other.”

Democrats’ reaction

An attorney for Hunter Biden, Christopher Clark, has said previously that suggestions the investigation was not thorough are “preposterous and deeply irresponsible.”

At Wednesday’s hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, said he has not seen evidence that Hunter Biden “received any kind of official favoritism in this prosecution for being Joe Biden’s son.”

“The key point, Mr. Chairman that America needs to understand is that the only political interference at play here is coming from Donald Trump and my Republican colleagues,” Raskin said.

During an executive session in June, the Ways and Means committee voted to publicly release the transcripts from Shapley and Ziegler’s whistleblower testimony, keeping Ziegler’s identity hidden. The top minority member on the committee, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, said during that closed door meeting that Republican efforts to publicize the tax records of a private citizen was an example of “naked partisanship, and stoops below the stature of this Committee.” 

Democrats have also focused on Shapley’s and Ziegler’s choice of legal representation; their attorneys have had connections to Republican Party politics. Those attorneys counter that they have worked with both Republican and Democratic whistleblowers and organizations. Democrats also questioned whether the two agents lacked visibility into the factors prosecutors faced when making decisions about what charges to bring. And they noted that Hunter Biden has repaid the taxes he owed.

Questions about deductions

Ziegler alleges that evidence he collected showed how Hunter Biden improperly claimed business deductions for a range of personal expenses, such as college tuition for his children, bills for stays at a posh Hollywood hotel, payments to escorts, and no-show employees. In 2021, Ziegler says he drafted a memorandum recommending prosecutors charge Hunter Biden with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. 

“In August of 2022, we had a phone call with all of the assigned prosecutors and they had said that all four of them were recommending the approval of felony and misdemeanor tax charges,” Ziegler said. 

Hunter Biden’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Ziegler said Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, told him he agreed with certain felony charges, but there was resistance from other officials inside the Department of Justice who thought a jury may be sympathetic to Hunter Biden’s drug addiction and the death of his brother, Beau Biden. 

“David said to us…’I’m getting some concern from the Department of Justice Tax Division, the evidence that might come in related to his substance abuse and the death of his brother, Beau Biden, those might affect the jury’s opinion’,” Ziegler said.

Court filings unsealed last month showed that the U.S. attorney’s office ultimately agreed to a deal that would charge Hunter Biden with two misdemeanor tax counts — to which the president’s son agreed to plead guilty — and a felony gun charge for which Biden agreed to enter into a diversion program. Biden will not plead guilty to the gun charge, which will be dismissed if he meets certain conditions. That deal will have to be approved by a federal judge, who has scheduled a hearing on the matter for next week in Delaware.

“At the end of the day, it’s a matter of are we treating everyone the same? Are we treating all taxpayers the same?” Zielger said. “And in this case, no, I don’t think so.”

IRS whistleblowers confused about Hunter Biden charging decision

The decision not to charge the president’s son with tax felonies remains a source of concern and confusion for both of the IRS agents who have now spoken out about the matter. Both men have raised concerns about the possibility that the Biden Justice Department in some way impeded the case.

Weiss pushed back in a letter last month saying he had ultimate authority on these matters and was “never denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.” 

The U.S. attorney’s office for Delaware declined to comment on this story. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland — who kept Weiss on the job to complete the Biden probe — previously said in response to the allegations that Weiss was “permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way in which he wanted to and in any district in which he wanted to.” 

Both Ziegler and Shapely have told congressional investigators and CBS News they were told that prosecutors in Delaware were prevented from bringing charges in other jurisdictions — including California and Washington, D.C. — and Shapley said Weiss told him he was denied special counsel status by the Justice Department. 

“D.C. said, ‘No, we are not gonna assist you with bringing charges in our district. And we don’t think you should bring these charges forward in our district,'” Ziegler explained to CBS News.

Whistleblower “felt handcuffed” during probe

During the investigation, Ziegler said he “felt handcuffed.” For example, he says he wanted prosecutors to obtain a search warrant to access a Virginia storage unit to search for potential business records but they declined to do so. He said requests to interview Hunter Biden’s adult children about the tax payments were frustrated by prosecutors, whom he claims said the requests could “get us into hot water.”

Ziegler’s requests to pursue a number of investigative avenues came when Trump was still in office and Attorney General William Barr had instituted a policy requiring he personally approve any investigation of a president or presidential candidate. Ziegler told CBS that he was not “aware” of any approvals sought from Barr at that time.

On Monday, after the Committee on Oversight and Accountability interviewed an FBI agent from the Wilmington Field Office, the leading Democrat on the committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, accused Republicans of “distort[ing]” evidence in order “to advance Republicans’ false narrative about political interference in the Hunter Biden investigation.”

Hunter Biden’s claim about his father in WhatsApp message

In another instance, Ziegler said he tried to get location data to determine whether Joe Biden was in the room, as his son had boasted in a 2017 WhatsApp message where he appeared to pressure a Chinese businessman to make good on an outstanding payment by mentioning his father.

“I am sitting here with my father..we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,” Hunter Biden allegedly texted to the businessman, according to the transcript. He added, “I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand” and “now means tonight.”

Ziegler said the WhatsApp message was found on Hunter Biden’s iCloud account that was obtained through a search warrant. He says he was unable to determine whether Hunter Biden and his father were together when the WhatsApp message was sent. President Biden has said he was never present when any such message was sent and denied any knowledge of this message.

“Anytime we potentially wanted to go down the road of asking questions related to the president, it was ‘That’s gonna take too much approvals. We can’t ask those questions.”

Ziegler said he expected extra approvals when investigating the son of a president, but he said the requests went unmet. 

There would be a point to where it would be like, ‘Well, let’s think about it. Let’s put that on the back burner.’ And it would now move down to item number 50,” Ziegler said.

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Joe Biden, Merrick Garland Implicated in IRS Whistleblower Testimony: 5 Key Questions

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland may face tough questions after Thursday’s release of the testimony of an IRS whistleblower, which was released by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

Republicans released transcripts of two whistleblowers, one of whom said he had seen evidence that Joe Biden was present when his son, Hunter, attempted to pressure a Chinese investor to send them millions of dollars. The whistleblower, IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent Gary A. Shapley Jr., also said that the Department of Justice had interfered in the effort to investigate Hunter Biden for tax crimes — contrary to Garland’s claims.

Though the mainstream media largely ignored the revelations, they prompt several questions that will, in some way or another, have to be answered by Garland — and perhaps Biden, too, if only on the campaign trail.

Here are five key questions:

1. Was Joe Biden in the room when Hunter Biden pressured a Chinese investor to send money? Biden has said, numerous times, that he has never discussed his family’s business interests. But Shapley said:

[W]e obtained a July 30th, 2017, WhatsApp message from Hunter Biden to Henry Zhao, where Hunter Biden wrote: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”

That message, together with other evidence, could have provided a basis for a search warrant of Joe Biden’s home, Shapley said — but Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf blocked efforts to obtain one, based on “optics.”

Shapley said that the Department of Justice denied other efforts to investigate the Bidens. But Joe Biden can still be asked whether he, in fact, was present — or whether his son simply lied to extort a foreign investor.

2. Did Merrick Garland block a request to appoint a special counsel in the Hunter Biden case? Merrick Garland told Congress that U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware was given total freedom in pursuit of the Hunter Biden investigation, and that there was no involvement from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. However, Shapley told Congress that Garland rejected a request from Weiss to appoint a special counsel, after the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia refused to prosecute Hunter Biden there:

From March 2022 through October 7th, 2022, I was under the impression that, based on AG Garland’s testimony before Congress and statements by U.S. Attorney Weiss and prosecutors, that they were still deciding whether to charge 2014 and 2015 tax violations.

However, I would later be told by United States Attorney Weiss that the D.C. U.S. Attorney would not allow U.S. Attorney Weiss to charge those years in his district. This resulted in United States Attorney Weiss requesting special counsel authority from Main DOJ to charge in the District of Columbia. I don’t know if he asked before or after the Attorney General’s April 26th, 2022, statement, but Weiss said his request for that authority was denied and that he was told to follow DOJ’s process.

That process meant no charges would ever be brought in the District of Columbia, where the statute of limitations on the 2014 and ’15 charges would eventually expire. The years in question included foreign income from Burisma and a scheme to evade his income taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon. There were also potential FARA issues relating to 2014 and 2015. The purposeful exclusion of the 2014 and 2015 years sanitized the most substantive criminal conduct and concealed material facts.

Garland needs to explain why he denied a request for a special counsel, if Weiss was indeed given free rein.

3. Did Merrick Garland mislead Congress about Weiss’s ability to file cases in any state? In March, Garland told the Senate that U.S. Attorney Weiss would be able to bring charges against Hunter Biden, if necessary, outside of Delaware.

But that did not happen, and Shapley testified that Weiss had been denied the ability to bring such charges in other jurisdictions, both in D.C. and in the Central District of California:

Around this time, there began to be discussions of the fact that the remaining tax years, 2016, ’17, ’18 and ’19, needed to be brought in the Central District of California. There was no explanation as to why, after being declined in D.C. for 2014 and 2015, that it took until mid-September 2022 to present the case to the Central District of California United States Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors stated that they presented the case to the Central District of California in mid-September. That happened to correspond with the confirmation of the President Biden appointee to the United States Attorney, Martin Estrada. The case agent and I asked to participate in that presentation, but it was denied.

Garland will almost certainly be asked to explain the discrepancy between his testimony, and that of Shapley.

4. Did the Department of Justice slow-walk the Hunter Biden investigation to help Joe Biden? Shapley testified that career officials at the Department of Justice deliberately stalled the investigation of Hunter Biden’s tax violations so that they would hit the “window” before the 2020 presidential election and therefore have an excuse not to act, presumably to help Biden’s chances of defeating President Trump:

Yet, after former Vice President Joseph Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee for President in early April 2020, career DOJ officials dragged their feet on the IRS taking these investigative steps.

By June 2020, those same career officials were already delaying overt investigative actions. This was well before the typical 60- to 90-day period when DOJ would historically stand down before an election. It was apparent that DOJ was purposely slow-walking investigative actions in this matter.

This would be another example of the DOJ being politicized under Trump — not to help him, but to hurt him.

5. Did the Department of Justice obstruct justice by tipping off the Bidens? Shapley testified that Assistant U.S. Attorney Wolf warned Hunter Biden’s attorneys about potential aspects of the inquiry. In one case, she allegedly tipped them off about a possible search of Hunter Biden’s business documents:

On December 10th, 2020, the prosecutorial team met again to discuss the next steps. One piece of information that came out of the day of action was that Hunter Biden vacated the Washington, D.C., office of Owasco. His documents all went into a storage unit in northern Virginia. The IRS prepared an affidavit in support of a search warrant for the unit, but AUSA Wolf once again objected.

My special agent in charge and I scheduled a call with United States Attorney Weiss on December 14th just to talk about that specific issue. United States Attorney Weiss agreed that if the storage unit wasn’t accessed for 30 days we could execute a search warrant on it.

No sooner had we gotten off the call then we heard AUSA Wolf had simply reached out to Hunter Biden’s defense counsel and told him about the storage unit, once again ruining our chance to get to evidence before being destroyed, manipulated, or concealed.

Wolf also allegedly stopped prosecutors from asking a witness about the infamous email, found on Hunter Biden’s laptop, that 10% of a joint venture with a Chinese government-linked company was to be held for the “big guy”:

Weiss was in and out for the rest of the meeting, but it went downhill from there. We shared with prosecutors our outline to interview Hunter Biden’s associate, Rob Walker. Among other things, we wanted to question Walker about an email that said: “Ten held by H for the big guy.” We had obvious questions like who was H, who the big guy was, and why this percentage was to be held separately with the association hidden.
But AUSA Wolf interjected and said she did not want to ask about the big guy and stated she did not want to ask questions about “dad.” When multiple people in the room spoke up and objected that we had to ask, she responded, there’s no specific criminality to that line of questioning.

Click here to read the full article in BreitbartCA