The House Oversight Committee will hear from two IRS whistleblowers next Wednesday, including one whose identity has yet to be revealed, after the duo alleged an investigation into Hunter Biden was slow-walked by prosecutors.
Testimony from IRS investigator Gary Shapley and another individual identified only as Whistleblower X was shared by the House Ways and Means Committee the day after U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss announced he had reached a plea deal with Biden that would require guilty pleas on two tax charges.
Shapley in particular said Biden received preferential treatment, with prosecutors hesitant to pursue search warrants. He also said Weiss was unable to bring charges in D.C., where he believes he would have had the strongest case.
“These whistleblowers provided information about how the Justice Department refused to follow evidence that implicated Joe Biden, tipped off Hunter Biden’s attorneys, allowed the clock to run out with respect to certain charges, and put Hunter Biden on the path to a sweetheart plea deal. Americans are rightfully angry about this two-tiered system of justice that seemingly allows the Biden family to operate above the law,” House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said in a statement.
“We need to hear from whistleblowers and other witnesses about this weaponization of federal law enforcement power. This hearing is an opportunity for the American people to hear directly from these credible and brave whistleblowers.”
Whistleblower X’s identity is set to be revealed at the afternoon hearing on July 19.
Weiss and the Justice Department have denied the claims from the whistleblowers, including specific claims that the Delaware prosecutor was denied special counsel status that would have allowed him to pursue charges in D.C.
While that facet of Shapley’s testimony is just one detail in his larger claims of mismanagement of the investigation, it’s become a central focus to Republican leadership, as Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an appearance before lawmakers that Weiss had total control of the investigation.
McCarthy first raised the prospect of a Garland impeachment in June, saying on Twitter that Shapley’s testimony could be “a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland's weaponization of DOJ.”
“What's really concerning to me is who in this process is lying?” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said to reporters Tuesday.
“The Attorney General has told Congress one thing, David Weiss has told others different inside these meetings. I think the best thing is bring everybody in the room and find out who's telling the truth and who's not.”
McCarthy was referencing testimony from Shapley saying Weiss said he was unable to bring charges in D.C. or secure special counsel status.
“I would later be told by United States Attorney Weiss that the D.C. U.S. Attorney would not allow U.S. Attorney Weiss to charge those years in his district. This resulted in United States Attorney Weiss requesting special counsel authority from Main DOJ to charge in the District of Columbia. I don't know if he asked before or after the Attorney General's April 26th, 2022, statement, but Weiss said his request for that authority was denied and that he was told to follow DOJ's process,” Shapley told Ways and Means investigators.
Echoing earlier statements that he had total control over the investigation, Weiss in a Monday letter offered his clearest language yet in pushing back on Shapley’s claims.
There are two statutes on the books governing such appointments and the powers associated with them, Weiss notes, including a status allowing him to file charges outside his district of Delaware.
“To clarify an apparent misperception and to avoid future confusion, I wish to make one point clear: in this case, I have not requested Special Counsel designation pursuant to 28 CFR § 600 et seq. Rather, I had discussions with Departmental officials regarding potential appointment under 28 U.S.C. § 515, which would have allowed me to file charges in a district outside my own without the partnership of the local U.S. Attorney,” Weiss wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill.
“I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary.”
Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of willful failure to pay taxes and amid the five-year investigation has since paid more than $200,000 in taxes.
He also agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program relating to a failure to admit to drug use when purchasing a weapon.
“This was a five year, very diligent investigation pursued by incredibly professional prosecutors, some of whom have been career prosecutors, one of whom at least was appointed by President Trump,” Biden attorney Chris Clark said during an appearance on MSNBC last month.
“What I can tell you is, they were very diligent, very dogged. This was – it took five years and it was five years of work that they put in, and even throughout working out the ultimate resolution, I think that they were always driving for what they thought was fair.”
This story was updated at 5:45 p.m.