The release last week of the IRS whistleblowers’ testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee exposed numerous scandals implicating the Department of Justice and FBI both in extensive efforts to interfere in the investigation and prosecution of the president’s son and in a cover-up of the obstruction. But the details do something more: They reveal why Senate Democrats prevented Chuck Grassley from participating in the questioning of the whistleblowers — because the Iowa senator knew too much.
One week ago today, the House Ways and Means Committee released transcripts of the sworn testimony of two IRS agents who had worked directly on the criminal case against Hunter Biden. The committee also made public supplemental information the whistleblowers provided the committee following their testimony, namely the IRS agents’ claims that they neither saw, nor knew about, the FD-1023 summary detailing a confidential human source’s report that Hunter and Joe Biden each received $5 million in bribes from the Ukrainian oil and gas company Burisma.
The details released were explosive and established several scandalous points, including that the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office appears to have buried the FD-1023 summary, even though former Attorney General Bill Barr stated he sent that evidence to U.S. Attorney David Weiss’s office for further investigation.
In addition to the buried FD-1023, Americans learned last week that IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and his direct report — the case agent in charge, known only as Agent X — both testified that the DOJ and the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office placed numerous limitations on them and their investigative team, thwarting the investigation into Hunter Biden.
Shapley also testified that Weiss had told him and several other senior-level employees that he was “not the deciding person on whether charges are filed.” According to Shapley, Weiss further maintained that the U.S. attorneys in California and D.C. refused to file charges against Hunter Biden.
The scandal here is two-fold: First, other U.S. attorneys, both of whom were appointed by President Biden, blocking charges from being filed against the president’s son represents a serious conflict of interest. Second, the whistleblower’s testimony that Weiss said he was “not the deciding person” on whether to charge Hunter Biden directly conflicts with Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Senate testimony.
These details are all huge, but one must wonder what other damning information the country might have learned had Grassley been afforded the opportunity to question the whistleblowers. After all, the transcript reveals several lines of inquiry tacked to the Iowa senator’s oversight work.
Most significantly, in his opening comments to the Ways and Means Committee, Shapley stressed that Garland’s March 1, 2023, testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee was “clearly false.” It was on that date that Grassley asked whether Weiss was able to file charges in other districts. The attorney general unequivocally stated, “The United States Attorney had been advised that he has full authority to make those referrals you’re talking about or to bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that.”
As Shapley testified, however, on Oct. 7, 2022, Weiss told the investigative team he “was not the deciding person.” Shapley also provided the committee with an email he had sent the same day to another attendee, summarizing Weiss’s words — words that directly conflict with Garland’s testimony to the Senate.
Because Grassley forced Garland to explain, on the record, whether Weiss held ultimate charging authority, a very public and very clear conflict exists between Garland’s testimony and Shapley’s. And while the press seemed happy to ignore Shapley’s testimony, the potential that the attorney general lied to the Senate is forcing the media to cover the issue.
Shapley also testified that until Grassley had questioned Garland, the case appeared to be “not moving forward.” While the slap-on-the-wrist plea agreement is nothing to celebrate, it appears the DOJ was content to bury everything had Grassley not put the attorney general on the record.
It is also thanks to Grassley and the honorable whistleblower who placed his (or her) faith in the Iowa senator that we know about the FD-1023 summary of the CHS’s report that the Burisma executive bribed Hunter and Joe Biden.
The IRS whistleblowers testified to the House Ways and Means Committee that they were not aware of an FD-1023. Then, after AG Barr publicly confirmed that the FD-1023 had been sent to Delaware for further investigation, the whistleblowers provided supplemental statements to the committee, stressing they had never seen “this FBI Form 1023,” and do not recall hearing about the information being turned over to the Delaware investigative team.
Grassley, however, not only knew of the FD-1023 form before the House committee questioned the whistleblowers, but had a copy of the form, which allowed him to reveal facts that the FBI was hiding from the Ways and Means Committee. For instance, the FBI redacted the CHS’s statement that the Burisma owner had 17 recordings of telephone conversations with the Bidens — 15 with Hunter and two with Joe.
No wonder, then, that Senate Democrats worked to block Grassley from questioning the whistleblowers, even though the whistleblowers requested to participate in a bicameral and bipartisan hearing and had directed that request to, among others, Grassley.
It is no surprise that whistleblowers want to talk to Grassley: They have no stauncher advocate than the Iowa senator. And from the breadcrumbs Grassley has been dropping over the last couple of years, much more is yet to come.