Second IRS Whistleblower Dismissed From Hunter Biden Investigation, Attorneys Say

Second IRS Whistleblower Dismissed From Hunter Biden Investigation, Attorneys Say
President Joe Biden, with son Hunter Biden, arrives at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y., on Feb. 4, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
Katabella Roberts
5/23/2023
Updated:
6/20/2023
0:00

A second IRS agent has alleged retaliation after claiming that the Justice Department interfered with the criminal probe into possible tax violations by Hunter Biden, according to a letter sent to IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel.

The May 20 letter (pdf) was sent by lawyers representing an unnamed IRS criminal Supervisory Special Agent (SSA).

According to the lawyers, their client’s “entire team of investigators” was removed by the IRS from a criminal tax case “in an apparent act of retaliation aimed at some of those employees who had expressed concerns about the Department of Justice (DOJ) improperly allowing politics to infect its decisions.”

That includes a case agent who has been working on the investigation for five years, according to the lawyers.

The lawyers wrote in the letter—which does not directly reference the Hunter Biden investigation—that the removal of their client’s entire team of investigators is “inconsistent” with testimony Werfel gave to the House Committee on Ways and Means in April.

During that testimony, Werfel told lawmakers that there would be “no retaliation” against whistleblowers or anyone making an allegation at the IRS.

It is not immediately clear why the whistleblower and his team were removed from the investigation.

“It was our understanding that although the IRS executed the reprisal, it did so on behalf of DOJ officials who had the motive to retaliate because it was the propriety of their own actions that had been called into question by the protected disclosures,” the lawyers wrote in their letter.

The lawyers wrote that despite Werfel’s assurances, they recently became aware that the IRS “has inexplicably decided to initiate additional reprisals against these special agents, apparently for a protected disclosure directly to you.”

“This is unacceptable and contrary to the law, which clearly prohibits it,” the letter adds.

Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, at the White House on April 18, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, at the White House on April 18, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Case Agent ‘Dismissed’ From Probe

The lawyers then go on to state that their client recently learned that one of the agents he supervises, who is working on the case on which the SSA is blowing the whistle, was removed from “a highly sensitive case … after nearly 5 years of work.”

Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, has been under federal investigation for alleged tax fraud, lobbying crimes, and money laundering since 2018.

The younger Biden confirmed that his business deals were being investigated in December 2020 but said at the time that he was “confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately.”

The letter sent to the IRS chief references an earlier email sent by the now-fired agent to Werfel in which they state that they and their SSA have spent the last few years trying to gain the attention of senior leadership about “certain issues prevalent regarding the investigation.”

“I have asked for countless meetings with our chief and deputy chief, often to be left out on an island and not heard from,” the email reads. “The lack of IRS-CI senior leadership involvement is deeply troubling and unacceptable … [W]hen I said on multiple occasions that I wasn’t being heard and that I thought I wasn’t able to perform my job adequately because of the actions of the USAO and DOJ, my concerns were ignored by senior leadership.

“The ultimate decision to remove the investigatory team … without actually talking to that investigatory team, in my opinion was a decision made not to side with the investigators but to side with the US Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice,” the email reads.

“In response to making his good faith expression of reasonable concerns—concerns shared by our client—the case agent had a right to expect that his email would be taken seriously, considered, and addressed professionally without retribution, as the law requires,” the lawyers wrote of the email sent by the now-fired case agent.

Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on April 10, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on April 10, 2023. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

‘Intimidating Form of Reprisal’

“Instead, the IRS responded with accusations of criminal conduct and warnings to other agents in an apparent attempt to intimidate into silence anyone who might raise similar concerns,” they said.

The lawyers went on to state that in another email, the Assistant Special Agent in charge of the case suggested that the case agent who raised the concerns may have “illegally disclosed grand jury material” in their initial email, a claim they called “utterly baseless and without support in the law.”

They also said the response to the case agent’s concerns suggests that the individual “may have been referred for investigation, an even more intimidating form of reprisal likely to chill anyone from expressing dissent.”

Additionally, the acting special agent in charge issued a “contemporaneous email to supervisors,” including their client, ordering them to “obey the chain of command,” the lawyers said.

“As Commissioner, you are responsible by statute for preventing prohibited personnel practices, such as whistleblower retaliation,” the lawyers wrote to Werfel.

The IRS must “immediately cease and desist intimidating our client for simply exercising his Constitutional right to petition Congress and his statutory right against retaliation for doing so,” they concluded.

The attorneys then called upon Werfel to immediately issue corrective guidance “clarifying the aforementioned supervisor communications lest they chill the disclosures of other IRS whistleblowers who may wish to come forward.”

Biden Stands by Son

The letter from the lawyers—Mark Lytle, a former DOJ lawyer, and Tristan Leavitt—comes just days after they revealed that the initial whistleblower, the IRS criminal supervisory special agent, had been removed from the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes.

According to the lawyers, the SSA has been working on an “ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high-profile, controversial subject” since early 2020.

“He was informed the change was at the request of the Department of Justice,” lawyers said of their client in a May 15 letter (pdf) addressed to multiple congressional lawmakers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware is handling the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden.

In a separate letter (pdf) sent to Congress on May 22, Lytle and Leavitt said their client, the SSA, will appear before the House Ways and Means Committee on May 26 to give testimony on the matter.
President Joe Biden has routinely insisted that his son has done nothing wrong, telling MSNBC on May 5: “I trust him. I have faith in him.”
The IRS said in a statement to CBS News that it “is deeply committed to protecting the role of whistleblowers, and there are robust processes and procedures in place to protect whistleblowers.”

“As IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel has stated, we will not tolerate retaliation against any IRS employee making a whistleblower allegation,” the agency said in its statement.

“When suggestions of wrongdoing are raised, we work with all appropriate parties, including the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, to ensure the integrity of the whistleblower process is safeguarded,” the agency said.

The Department of Justice declined to comment when contacted by The Epoch Times.

The Epoch Times contacted the IRS for further comment.

Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
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