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Jordan, Comer, and Smith demand docs related to possible retaliation against Biden whistleblowers

IRS Whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler first brought concerns to Congress about alleged irregularities in the Hunter Biden tax investigation that indicated favorable treatment.

Published: April 2, 2024 4:16pm

Updated: April 2, 2024 4:25pm

The three Republican committee chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden on Tuesday sent a trio of letters to the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and special counsel David Weiss demanding documents and answers about alleged efforts to retaliate against the IRS whistleblowers who first brought concerns about the handling of the Hunter Biden investigation to Congress last year.

This summer, IRS Agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler brought concerns to the House Ways and Means Committee that the Justice Department had provided preferential treatment to Hunter Biden during the probe into his alleged tax violations, including by blocking search warrants and limiting the investigator's pursuit of information related Joe Biden.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden's lawyer, immediately attacked the agents and sent a letter to the House committee seeking to discredit them. Eventually, Hunter Biden sued the IRS over the whistleblowers' disclosures, claiming they unlawfully disclosed his private tax returns.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith say this pressure from Hunter Biden’s legal team may have kickstarted a retaliatory investigation into Shapley and Ziegler.

“Hunter Biden and his lawyers have waged an aggressive intimidation campaign against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler, slandering them with false allegations and demanding that the Justice Department investigate them for making protected disclosures to Congress,” they wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.

Evidence gathered by the committee shows the Department of Justice may have opened such an investigation, according to the chairmen.

"The Committees will not tolerate any retaliatory conduct by the Department or the IRS against these or any other whistleblowers. Whistleblowers play an integral role in identifying and rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and corruption within federal agencies. Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation,” the chairmen asserted.

“Any efforts, including those by the Department and the IRS, to investigate whistleblowers for making lawful disclosures raise serious concerns about the continued weaponization of the federal government. Any and all attempts to intimidate or retaliate against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler for their protected disclosures to Congress must stop,” they concluded.

In the three letters, the chairmen demanded the DOJ, IRS, and Special Counsel Weiss preserve and provide documents and communications relating to any investigation into Shapely or Ziegler.

You can read the three letters below:




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