House GOP Investigating Whether DOJ Is Retaliating Against Hunter Biden IRS Whistleblowers

IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and Special Agent Joseph Ziegler both came forward last year with allegations.
House GOP Investigating Whether DOJ Is Retaliating Against Hunter Biden IRS Whistleblowers
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) arrives for a hearing with former Special Counsel Robert K. Hur in Washington on March 12, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Ryan Morgan

Republican House Committee leaders are now probing whether the U.S. Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have taken part in an alleged effort to retaliate against IRS employees who raised concerns about misconduct by federal officials tasked with investigating President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and Special Agent Joseph Ziegler both came forward last year with allegations federal investigators had slow-walked efforts to investigate the president’s son for a range of possible criminal offenses as a means of preferential treatment.

On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) raised concerns Hunter Biden and his legal team have worked to discourage Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler with a range of retaliatory measures.

“Hunter Biden and his lawyers have waged an aggressive intimidation campaign against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler, slandering them with false allegations and demanding that the Justice Department investigate them for making protected disclosures to Congress,” the Republican congressmen wrote in separate letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland, IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and Special Counsel David Weiss.

The Republican congressmen said they believe, based on a recent redacted legal filing by Mr. Weiss, that the DOJ is indeed investigating Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler over their whistleblowing efforts. The committee chairs argued such a DOJ investigation would constitute a further example of retaliation against the pair of IRS agents.

“Given that the whistleblowers’ disclosures were lawful, if they are under investigation for their protected disclosures to Congress, the Committees are concerned that such an investigation is an attempt to seek retribution against these two brave whistleblowers,” the Republican letters state. “The Committees will not tolerate any retaliatory conduct by the Department against these or any other whistleblowers.”

In their letter to Mr. Weiss, the three Republican chairmen ask the special counsel to provide them with an unredacted version of a recent DOJ filing in opposition to Hunter Biden’s motion to dismiss criminal charges against him, as well as a trio of exhibits accompanying the DOJ filing. Mr. Weiss is currently prosecuting Mr. Biden on tax charges in a California federal court, and in Delaware on charges the president’s son obtained a firearm after lying about his drug use on a federal firearms purchase form.
In their letters to Mr. Garland and Mr. Werfel, the Republican congressmen ask for copies of DOJ and IRS documents and communications referring to any DOJ investigation of Mr. Shapley or Mr. Ziegler.

The trio of Republican letters call for the recipients to turn over documents requested of them by April 16.

The tax violations Mr. Biden currently faces in California are focused on alleged violations between 2016 and 2019.

Mr. Biden’s legal team has sought to have his charges dismissed, arguing the prosecution’s decision to charge him has been motivated by political animus and animus toward his family. U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi ruled against that motion to dismiss on Monday, concluding Mr. Biden’s team had provided little to no evidence of discriminatory and selective prosecution.

Whistleblower Retaliation Probe Dovetails With GOP Impeachment Inquiry

This new probe into alleged whistleblower retaliation at the DOJ and IRS comes as House Republicans continue an expansive impeachment investigation into whether President Biden engaged in influence-peddling schemes to benefit his family members and their various business interests.

Part of the Republican impeachment effort has focused on allegations President Biden used his influence to shield his son from legal exposure.

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee filed a federal lawsuit last month, seeking to compel DOJ tax division attorneys Mark Daly and Jack Morgan to testify about the department’s efforts to prosecute Mr. Biden for tax charges and an alleged decision to let the statute of limitations run out on potential tax charges against the president’s son relating to his 2014 and 2015 taxes. The federal complaint says testimony from Mr. Daly and Mr. Morgan is crucial to the Republican impeachment investigation and could help lawmakers “determine whether President Biden abused his power by obstructing, or attempting to obstruct the DOJ investigation into his son.”

President Biden and his family have insisted they are innocent of any illicit influence-peddling scheme. Congressional Democrats have also cast the Republican impeachment inquiry as a failure.

“I think this is the most spectacular and colossal failure in the history of congressional investigations and it’s an absolute embarrassment to the GOP,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said in an interview with MSNBC this week.