Did Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in California and Washington, D.C., block the filing of criminal tax charges against Hunter Biden?
Accusations levied by an IRS whistleblower on Wednesday suggest the federal prosecutors did just that, contradicting Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent congressional testimony and raising an avalanche of questions concerning the independence of the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office overseeing the Hunter Biden investigation. Given the severity of the claims, the U.S. attorney should speak up immediately.
A cryptic letter sent to a slew of congressional committee chairs on Wednesday revealed an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower’s claims of political interference in the criminal investigation of a high-profile, politically connected individual. While the letter omitted the specific details the whistleblower sought to present to the oversight committees, unnamed sources reportedly confirmed the criminal case concerned Hunter Biden; they also revealed several more scandalous claims.
In attorney Mark Lytle’s letter to the congressional chairs and ranking members, the Nixon Peabody partner explained that his client, “a career IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent,” sought to “make protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress.” After noting that his unnamed client “had been overseeing the ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high-profile, controversial subject since early 2020,” Lytle broadly identified three disclosures the whistleblower was prepared to make.
First, the whistleblower’s testimony would “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee,” the letter said. Second, according to Lytle, the career IRS agent would reveal the “failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case.” And finally, the letter claimed the whistleblower had detailed evidence of “preferential treatment and politics” that improperly infected “decisions and protocols.”
Individuals claiming to be “directly familiar with the case” put flesh on the barebones allegations summarized by Lytle. Those sources claim Hunter Biden is the “high-profile” individual under investigation and “that at least two Biden DOJ political appointees in U.S. attorneys’ offices have declined to seek a tax indictment against Hunter Biden despite career investigators’ recommendations to do so.” The sources further claimed career prosecutors in the Department of Justice tax division had cleared the prosecution of Hunter Biden — something generally required in criminal tax cases.
The whistleblower, who had previously filed complaints with the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General, decided to inform congressional oversight committees of the claimed political improprieties after hearing Garland’s March 1, 2023, testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, sources claim.
During the Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, questioned Garland on the ability of the federal prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, to pursue criminal charges in a different judicial district, without special counsel authority.
Garland responded that the Delaware U.S. attorney had been advised he has authority “to bring cases in other jurisdictions if he feels it is necessary.” “If he needs to bring [a case] in another jurisdiction, he will have full authority to do that,” Garland assured.
It was that testimony by Garland, who was reportedly the unnamed “senior political appointee” referenced in Lytle’s letter, that the whistleblower’s disclosures would reportedly contradict. Specifically, sources claim the whistleblower intends to reveal that the Delaware U.S. attorney sought permission to bring tax charges in other districts, but two U.S. attorneys appointed by Biden denied the requests. The whistleblower allegedly also claims that Weiss had asked “to be named a special counsel to have more independent authority in the probe but was turned down.”
Weiss’s supposed need to enlist the Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys to move forward with criminal charges seemingly stems from a DOJ policy that criminal tax prosecutions proceed in the judicial district where the defendant lived at the time the pertinent tax returns were filed. And here, Grassley gave a clue of the U.S. attorney offices that allegedly refused to pursue criminal charges when he asked Garland whether the D.C. or California U.S. attorney’s offices had denied a request by Weiss to bring charges against Hunter Biden.
Garland responded that he did not know the answer to that question and did not want to “get into the internal decision-making” of the U.S. attorneys, but that Weiss had been advised he will not be denied anything he needs.
Grassley’s reference to the California and D.C. U.S. attorney’s offices meshes with details of Hunter Biden’s various residences. Before moving to California, the Biden son listed his residence in 2018 as his father’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, but he claimed a D.C. address prior to that. Hunter also rented office space in D.C. for Rosemont Seneca Advisors, one of his many LLCs — another basis for bringing a federal criminal tax case in D.C.
Biden has since moved to California, reportedly living in Hollywood Hills and Venice, establishing connections to the second judicial district Grassley referenced. Both Hollywood Hills and Venice fall in the Central District of California, so The Federalist asked the office of the Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada whether he had rejected recommendations of career prosecutors to charge Hunter Biden. A press representative said they had no comment.
The Federalist also contacted the D.C. U.S. attorney’s press office for comment, and a representative of U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said they neither confirm nor deny the existence of any investigation.
Whether these two U.S. attorneys prevented the filing of criminal tax charges against Hunter Biden is unknown — at least to the public. Weiss, however, knows what happened, and rather than force the whistleblower to suffer through what will surely be months of attempted character assassination, Weiss should clear the record.