Forbidden questions, denied warrants, witness tipoffs: Agents detail interference in Biden probe
Retired FBI supervisor latest to alert Congress as IRS whistleblowers prepare for day of public testimony
A retired FBI supervisor’s account to Congress of how the bureau tipped off Joe Biden’s team in December 2020 about plans to conduct a surprise interview of his son Hunter not only corroborates a key allegation from two IRS whistleblowers, it further paints a portrait of unusual meddling into the investigation of the first family’s overseas business dealings and taxes.
From search warrants denied to critical evidence kept from the investigative team, three experienced federal law enforcement agents have now offered Congress significant testimony and proof that the Hunter Biden probe did not follow FBI or IRS norms and left veteran investigators as well as the powerful House chairman seeing political favoritism and undue interference.
“The Justice Department’s efforts to cover up for the Bidens reveals a two-tiered system of justice that sickens the American people," House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said Monday night after releasing a summary of the FBI supervisory agent’s account.
Comer’s counterpart on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, dropped a bombshell of his own Monday, saying the FBI has “materially” impacted Congress’ efforts to unmask the weaponization of law enforcement by refusing to turn over evidence and that Director Christopher Wray could be held in contempt as early as next week.
The retired FBI agent, a new witness for Congress, gave his account to Comer’s panel in a transcribed interview Monday, corroborating several aspects of the account IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley and a second agent gave Congress last month.
The agent, whose name wasn't immediately made public, said the bureau tipped off both Joe Biden's transition office and the Secret Service on Dec. 7, 2020, ultimately thwarting a planned interview of Hunter Biden and other witnesses the next day.
"The night before the interview of Hunter Biden, both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview," Comer explained. "On the day of the Hunter Biden interview, federal agents were told to stand by and could not approach Hunter Biden – they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators never got to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation."
In his testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee back in May, Shapley described how the tipoff around Dec. 7-8, 2020, was a major setback for the investigation, and one of several instances in which political favoritism and interference occurred.
"I was informed that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters and the transition team about the planned actions the following day," Shapley testified.
You can read Shapley's complete interview with lawmakers here.
He said the alert afforded Hunter Biden and his team "an opportunity to obstruct" the investigation.
Shapley told Just the News in a recent interview Hunter Biden was treated differently and more favorable than other suspects he investigated in his 13-year career. “I believe in what we're doing, when we're treating people fairly. And, you know, it just didn't happen in this particular case,” he said.
Shapley and his IRS colleague are slated to testify in public for the first time as early as Wednesday before Comer's panel, and officials told Just the News they hope to release a transcript of the FBI agent's corroborating testimony in the next few days.
In the interview with Congress on Monday, aides said, the retired FBI agent said:
- Multiple witness interviews were planned in the Biden family probe for Dec. 8, 2020, with he and Shapley assigned to interview Hunter Biden.
- Late on Dec. 7, 2020, Shapley and the FBI agent learned that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters about the Hunter Biden interview and that the Biden transition team was also notified, contrary to the original investigative plan.
- The next day, the FBI agent and Shapley were instructed not to approach Hunter Biden’s house and instead would have to wait until Hunter Biden contacted them, an instruction the FBI agent said he had never before gotten.
- Hunter Biden never approached them, and the interview never happened.
In just a few short months, three GOP-led House committees – Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means – have uncovered more than a dozen alleged instances of interference and abnormal meddling in the Hunter Biden and Joe Biden probes. Here are some of the biggest revelations:
- FBI and IRS agents were told they could not ask questions about Joe Biden in connection with the probe into his son’s foreign business dealings. “We weren’t allowed to ask questions about dad. We weren’t allowed to ask about the ‘Big Guy.’ We weren’t allowed to include certain names and document requests and search warrants. So we were precluded from following that line of questioning,” Shapley said during a recent interview.
- Agents were denied search warrants for both the guest cottage on Joe Biden’s property where Hunter Biden lived and a storage locker where the first son stored some of his business records that law enforcement sought as evidence. The agents said they had met the standard of probable cause required for such warrants.
- In addition to the tipoff about the planned Hunter Biden interview, agents have testified that Hunter Biden’s legal team was alerted by federal prosecutor Lesley Wolf to a plan to search the storage locker. “No sooner had we gotten off the call [than] we heard AUSA Wolf had simply reached out to Hunter Biden’s defense counsel and told him about the storage unit, once again ruining our chance to get to evidence before being destroyed, manipulated, or concealed,” Shapley testified.
- The IRS and FBI had gathered evidence that Hunter Biden had not paid taxes on at least $400,000 from the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings dating to 2014, but prosecutors did not charge that crime and allowed the statute of limitations to expire.
- The FBI had corroborated Hunter Biden’s laptop as far back as November 2019 and knew the device was not part of a foreign disinformation campaign – an entire year before intelligence community experts and surrogates of Joe Biden’s campaign made the false allegation.
- FBI counterintelligence agents, who probe foreign espionage operations, were interested in the Biden’s dealings with a Chinese energy company that was tied to the communist country’s military. "The FBI is considering a lot of national security type issues here," Shapley said when asked about CEFC China Energy.
- Prosecutors were pressured by the Biden team. Shapley alleged that Hunter Biden attorney Chris Clark threatened prosecutors that if they charged his client, they would be committing "career suicide."
- Agents had evidence that Joe Biden may have been involved in his son’s dealings with the Chinese energy firm, including testimony from a family friend who said he saw the future president meet the Chinese executives in 2017 and a text message in which Hunter Biden pressures the same executives for money by claiming his father was with him at the time.
- Prosecutors failed to share with the IRS agents an FBI informant’s evidence that a Ukrainian businessman may have engaged in a scheme to bribe Joe and Hunter Biden with $10 million.
The pattern, the head of the Judicial Watch watchdog group, said Monday, smacks of a political protection racket.
"Americans see outright in large measure that Joe Biden has a significant corruption scandal. And I think the challenge for Republicans is what are they going to do about it?" Tom Fitton said. "I mean, they've got it, they've made the case. You know, when's the penalty phase going to come? Or is the FBI going to have its funding curtailed? Are people going to lose their jobs? Is there going to be impeachment."