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Jim Jordan demands AG Garland account for alleged IRS whistleblower retaliation

"Whistleblowers play an integral part in identifying and rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and corruption within federal agencies. Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation," Jordan continued.

Published: May 25, 2023 5:07pm

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan on Thursday wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that he account for the dismissal of an IRS whistleblower and his team from a case involving first son Hunter Biden.

Supervisory Criminal Investigative Agent Gary Shapley has alleged that federal prosecutors have engaged in "preferential treatment and politics" to prevent charges from being brought against the younger Biden as part of a criminal tax investigation. He first approached the IRS internal watchdog last year but says his concerns went unaddressed and has since filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) claiming that he was sidelined from the case after making protected disclosures.

Shapley's attorneys disclosed to Congress last week that he and his entire team were officially removed from the case last week at the behest of the Department of Justice in what they described as an act of retaliation.

Now, Jordan wants Garland to explain himself and provide information related to the alleged act of retaliation.

"Recently, the Committee learned that the Department requested the removal of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Supervisory Special Agent—who is also a whistleblower—and ‘his entire investigative team’ from a ‘high-profile, controversial’ ongoing investigation," he wrote to Garland. "The timing of the Department’s removal of the agent and investigative team raises serious concerns given that the investigation was the subject of the agent’s protected whistleblower disclosure. The Committee will not tolerate the Department’s retaliatory conduct against this or any other whistleblower."

"Whistleblowers play an integral part in identifying and rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and corruption within federal agencies. Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation," Jordan continued. "The Department’s alleged efforts to remove an IRS whistleblower from an ongoing investigation could be a retaliatory action prohibited under United States law."

The Ohio Republican then demanded that Garland provide him with documents and communications involving the removal of an IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent from an ongoing investigation as well as relevant communications between the IRS and DOJ and those between the DOJ and the Delaware U.S. Attorney's Office, which is overseeing the case.

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