As evidence emerges in Hunter Biden probe, investigators see a political protection racket
Evidence points to "another example of a privileged Democrat getting away with things that no average, working, taxpaying American could get away with," Rep. James Comer said.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
A letter falsely insinuating a laptop was Russian disinformation. An IRS whistleblower. Suspicious activity bank reports. Suggestions of false testimony to Congress.
The more congressional investigators dig into evidence in the Hunter Biden scandal that was kept from the public for years, the more they have become concerned the first family was protected by a political cone of silence that prevented voters from making an informed choice in the 2020 election about a family with uncomfortable foreign business deals and partners.
"We've got the onion in front of us,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), the top Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, who has been investigating the Biden family's business deals since 2019. "We're painstakingly peeling back thin layer after thin layer. But the truth is being revealed. And it's pretty ugly."
Two new sensational allegations burst into public Tuesday as Johnson joined fellow Sen. Chuck Grassley to formally accuse Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a close lieutenant of President Joe Biden, of giving Congress a "patently false" account in 2020 about his earlier dealings with Hunter Biden during the Obama years.
"On December 22, 2020, you provided false testimony to Congress during your voluntary transcribed interview," the senators wrote in a letter to the secretary demanding he preserve and turn over all records of his and his wife's contacts with Hunter Biden.
You can read that letter here:
The current controversy deals with Blinken's testimony about contacts with Hunter Biden back when Blinken served as deputy secretary of state under Obama. When asked at the time whether he ever spoke with Hunter Biden on the phone, Blinken said, "Not that I recall."
He also said he had not spoken to Hunter Biden over email or text messages.
Emails from Hunter Biden's laptop indicate Blinken corresponded with Hunter Biden at least twice and that the secretary's wife, Evan Ryan, also communicated with the first son.
"Because your testimony is inaccurate, Congress and the public must rely on your records as the source for information about your dealings with Hunter Biden," the senator wrote in a dramatic escalation of their feud with Team Biden.
While that battle intensifies, House members are seeking answers from Blinken about his contacts with former CIA Director Mike Morell that eventually led to a letter in October 2020 signed by 51 former and current U.S. intelligence officials that suggested the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation. It was not.
Last month, Morell testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees that a conversation he had with Blinken, then a Joe Biden campaign adviser, "triggered" his decision to organize the fall 2020 letter. He said while Blinken did not ask him specifically to send the letter, the future secretary did send him information that became key to the letter and the Biden campaign subsequently helped organize press coverage of the letter.
Blinken says only that the letter wasn't his idea.
Also on Tuesday, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), a high-profile conservative who played a key role in the deal that landed Kevin McCarthy the House speakership, wrote key oversight committees in both chambers of Congress urging them to investigate whether the Justice Department has let presidential son Hunter Biden off easy in its probe of alleged tax offenses by allowing the statute of limitations to expire on certain transactions a decade ago in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Perry's letter this week was prompted by a Just the News report that emails on Hunter Biden's laptop, seized by the FBI in 2019, state the presidential son had been warned in 2017 that he failed to declare $400,000 in income from his controversial Burisma Holdings job in Ukraine dating to 2014 and owed back taxes.
The letter asked the top Republicans and Democrats on House Ways and Means, Senate Finance, House Judiciary, House Oversight, Senate Homeland Security, Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Senate Judiciary to demand answers of federal prosecutors, especially now that an IRS whistleblower has come forward with allegations of political interference in the probe.
Perry noted that recent news media reports on purported criminal charges being considered against Hunter Biden — who has denied any wrongdoing but acknowledged he was under FBI investigation — seem to involve smaller, more recent transactions and not those referencing the undeclared Burisma income from the 2017 email.
"That reporting has some lawmakers and tax experts concerned that the DOJ knowingly and purposefully allowed the statute of limitations to expire, or that DOJ/IRS constructed an agreement extending the legal deadline — commonly known as 'tolling agreements' — specifically to avoid indictment and/or prosecution," Perry wrote his colleagues in both chambers.
"I respectfully request your respective Committees to inquire with the individuals involved at the DOJ and the IRS on this specific matter to determine if the statute of limitations were allowed to expire or, if a particular tolling agreement in this matter were constructed, who was involved and what the justification were for such actions," he added.
You can read that letter here:
Perry declared that the "general public and Members of Congress conducting oversight into these matters must know the full details of these proceedings to ensure that the legal/tax system in our country is operating in full transparency and with an even-handed fairness."
Meanwhile, an IRS supervisory criminal agent has received whistleblower protection from both the Justice Department inspector general and Congress so he can convey evidence of what he said was political interference and preferential treatment by the Biden DOJ. If he can substantiate his allegations, it would contradict the testimony of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has claimed prosecutors leading the case have full authority to make decisions and have not been interfered with.
Garland doubled down on his testimony Tuesday, insisting there is no evidence of interference in the Hunter Biden case.
House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer told Just the News last week there are growing questions in Washington about whether the DOJ probe is too narrowly focused on tax transactions from 2018 forward instead of earlier deals dating to 2014 that involved Russia, China and Ukraine.
"Look, his tax problems go back to at least 2014," Comer said. "He owes a lot more in taxes than what I've heard they're wanting to indict him on. At the end of the day, if you look at all the potential charges and all the potential wrongdoing that Hunter Biden has done over the past decade, tax evasion for one or two years is a drop in the bucket. It wouldn't even be in the top five things that I think the DOJ could charge him with.
"This is another example of a two-tier system of justice in America."
Congressional investigators for two years have had an email to Hunter Biden from close business associate Eric Schwerin, warning that the first son had failed to pay taxes on $400,000 in income he received from the controversial Ukraine energy firm Burisma Holdings all the way back to 2014. Schwerin is now cooperating with Comer's probe, according to Comer.
"In 2014 you joined the Burisma board and we still need to amend your 2014 returns to reflect the unreported Burisma income," Schwerin wrote Hunter Biden in the Jan. 16, 2017 email that appeared on a laptop turned over to the FBI and Congress. "That is approximately $400,000 extra so your income in 2014 was closer to $1,247,328."
You can read that email here:
Hunter Biden has acknowledged since December 2020 that he has been under criminal investigation for tax matters, and his representative disclosed last year he paid overdue tax bills totaling $2 million. He has expressed confidence he will be cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
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