A coalition of top Republicans on Capitol Hill is demanding a federal investigation into allegations of retaliation against Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers who revealed misconduct related to the Hunter Biden investigation.
In June, the House Ways and Means Committee published the transcripts of interviews with a pair of IRS whistleblowers detailing improper interference from the Justice Department surrounding the federal tax probe of the first family. According to the whistleblowers, federal prosecutors concealed critical documents from tax investigators while officials from the Justice Department sought to undermine IRS efforts altogether.
On Wednesday, Republican House and Senate lawmakers led by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley sent a letter to the Office of Special Counsel urging the agency to open a probe into retaliatory conduct against the IRS whistleblowers.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have reportedly engaged in unlawful whistleblower retaliation against veteran IRS employees,” lawmakers wrote. “Multiple news reports indicate that the whistleblower and investigative team were removed from the Hunter Biden investigation by the IRS at DOJ’s request as retaliation for making protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress.”
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson signed the letter with Missouri Rep. Jason Smith, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee; Kentucky Rep. James Comer, who chairs the Oversight Committee; and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who chairs the Judiciary Committee.
“The importance of protecting whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation and informing whistleblowers about their rights under the law cannot be understated,” they wrote, without naming the whistleblowers. “After all, it is the law. Accordingly, we request that you immediately investigate all allegations of retaliation against these IRS whistleblowers…”
Transcripts of interviews between two IRS whistleblowers and Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee were made public last month after Hunter Biden struck a light plea deal with federal prosecutors. Hunter Biden pled guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes and a felony firearm violation. The latter charge will be forgiven following two years of sobriety and a forfeiture of gun ownership.
The former chief of the DOJ’s tax division published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal recommending the judge presiding over the agreement reject the deal.
According to whistleblower Gary Shapley, a veteran agent with the IRS who served on the case, “the most substantive felony charges were left off the table.”
“We weren’t allowed to ask questions about ‘dad,'” Shapley said in an interview with Fox News. “We weren’t allowed to ask about ‘the big guy.'”
Hunter Biden did not pay taxes on $1.2 million between 2017 and 2018, Shapley told Bret Baier.