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Oversight group refers David Weiss to Inspector General over IRS whistleblower retaliation claims

The IRS Whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden case faced pushback from the first son’s lawyers as well as Weiss, who was responsible for the tax cases.

Published: May 14, 2024 1:31pm

The group representing one of the IRS whistleblowers referred Special Counsel David Weiss to the Justice Department Office of Inspector General on Tuesday for alleged retaliation against whistleblowers Gary Shapely and Joseph Ziegler, who first brought concerns to Congress about the Hunter Biden tax investigation last year.

In a paired letter, Empower Oversight, the group that helps to represent the one of the whistleblowers, wrote to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel about concerns the office was “used as a tool to retaliate” against Shapley and Ziegler.

The whistleblowers both filed retaliation claims with the that office – the body charged with protecting whistleblowers – alleging that now-Special Counsel Weiss retaliated against Shapley beginning in 2022 when he learned the agent was making protected disclosures within the IRS. In the disclosures, Shapley alleged prosecutorial misconduct by Weiss and his office in the Hunter Biden tax investigation.

Empower Oversight says Weiss in a court filing earlier this year, in one of the Hunter Biden cases, insinuated that Shapley and Ziegler were under investigation for their own misconduct in how they made their disclosures to Congress. Just the News previously reported on this filing, which appeared to acknowledge an “ongoing investigation” into Shapley and Ziegler.

Empower Oversight alleges Weiss “twisted” an investigation stemming from Shapely and Ziegler’s own retaliation claims to insinuate the whistleblowers themselves were under investigation.

Now, in its own filings, the government acknowledged last week that neither Shapley nor Ziegler violated taxpayer privacy laws when they made their protected disclosures. “[The] United States disputes that the IRS employees’ alleged disclosures violated I.R.C. § 7431(a)(1),” the United States Internal Revenue Service wrote in a footnote in its filing, Just the News reported Tuesday.

“Weiss’s office hid and twisted the significance of OSC’s investigation into the whistleblowers’ own allegations that the IRS and Special Counsel Weiss retaliated against them. Rather than acknowledging the truth that OSC is investigating the reprisal against the whistleblowers, the DOJ filing falsely suggested to the public that some unnamed agency was investigating the conduct of the whistleblowers themselves,” Empower Oversight and Shapley’s lawyers wrote in their referral.

You can read the referral below:

In the referral and paired letter, Empower Oversight requests that the Inspector General’s office to investigate the matter and asked the Office of Special Counsel to correct the record about its “ongoing investigation,” which is actually a probe into Shapley and Ziegler’s claims, not into the agents themselves.

You can read the letter below:

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