One IRS agent referred to as “Whistleblower X,” will have their identity revealed for the first time during the hearing
By Lawrence Richard
Two whistleblowers who alleged the Justice Department politically interfered with an investigation into President Biden’s youngest son, Hunter, will testify before Congress at 1 p.m. Wednesday, including “Whistleblower X,” a 13-year special agent of the IRS whose identity will be revealed for the first time during the hearing, and former investigation supervisor Greg Shapley.
According to an opening statement released ahead of the hearing, the unidentified official intends to describe himself as a “whistleblower compelled to disclose the truth” and to shed light on “the shadow that looms over our federal legal system.”
“I have witnessed the corrosion of ethical standards and the abuse of power that threaten our nation. It is within this context that I have chosen to shed light on these actions and expose those responsible. I recognize that while I was present at the start of this investigation and was closely involved with the investigation for roughly five years — that I am just a part of the story,” the opening statement continued. “My aim is to address systemic problems that have allowed misconduct to flourish. It is not a call for blame but a call for accountability and reform.”
“Transparency is the foundation of our democracy,” the unidentified IRS agent will tell Congress Wednesday. “Without it, people lose their trust in the institutions and the bonds that tie the fabric of our nation start to fray. The American people deserve to know the truth no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it may be for either political party.”
The IRS whistleblowers claim there was a pattern of “slow-walking investigative steps” into Hunter Biden, which included instructions not to speak with him at his residence, tipping the president’s son and staff off about the ongoing efforts and delaying enforcement actions in the months before the 2020 presidential election.
Leaders of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Accountability, and Ways and Means committees will join together Wednesday to host the IRS whistleblowers for what is expected to be an intense hearing.
The two IRS agents were assigned to the federal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax and gun charges. Biden ultimately pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor tax offenses as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors in a lenient deal that prompted criticism from Republican lawmakers. The hearing comes as House Republicans continue to investigate the president and his family after the Justice Department failed to find evidence of criminal conduct.
The congressional inquiry into the Justice Department’s case against Hunter Biden was launched last month, days after Hunter Biden’s plea deal was announced.
The House Ways and Means Committee previously voted to publicly share hundreds of pages of testimony from the IRS employees. In the testimony, the agents described several roadblocks agents on the case, such as trying to interview individuals relevant to the case or issue search warrants, which they ultimately claim impeded their investigation.
In one specific case, Shapley described IRS agents’ efforts to execute a search warrant of a storage facility in Virginia where the younger Biden’s documents were being stored. He said the assistant U.S. attorney involved in the case reached out to Hunter Biden’s lawyers and the tip-off ruined “our chance to get to evidence before being destroyed, manipulated, or concealed.”
Shapley also claimed that U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the federal prosecutor who led the investigation into Hunter Biden, asked to be provided special counsel status in order to bring the tax cases to jurisdictions outside Delaware, including Washington, D.C., and California
Shapley claims Weiss was denied this request but both Weiss and the Justice Department refuted the claim. They said Weiss had “full authority” of the case and never sought to bring charges in other states.
The second IRS whistleblower said he started the investigation into Hunter Biden in 2015 and described persistent frustrations with the way the case was handled, including under the Trump administration and then-Attorney General William Barr.
He said he began to hit roadblocks when he attempted to delve deeply into Hunter Biden’s life and finances. Other agents involved in the case have so far not been willing to testify.
The three chairmen of the committees —Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, James Comer, R-Kentucky, and Jason Smith, R-Missouri — have jointly claimed the Justice Department is rife with political interference and bias.
They have also called the plea agreement Hunter Biden made with prosecutors to likely avoid jail time a “sweetheart deal.”
High-ranking officials at the Justice Department have provided some information confirming certain accounts of the whistleblowers but have mostly countered their claims and those from the Republican leaders.
The officials have said federal prosecutors and investigators often disagree about how to conduct an investigation and can reach different determinations and conclusions. They have also pointed to the extraordinary circumstances of investigating the son of a leading presidential candidate. And, Department policy warns prosecutors to take care in charging cases with potential political overtones especially around the time of an election, to avoid any possible influence on the outcome, they have said.
House Democrats have defended the Justice Department, pointing out that Weiss was appointed by former President Donald Trump and the federal investigation into Hunter Biden was initiated by Trump’s Justice Department. Biden also kept Weiss on the case after he won the presidency.
Hunter Biden is scheduled to appear for his plea hearing next week.