Literary License: IRS whistleblower says Biden’s book provided agents evidence of tax evasion
Joseph Ziegler says agents had evidence Hunter paid a hotel bill for Joe, and plan to give Congress more damning WhatsApp messages
One of the IRS whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden tax case says some of the evidence that showed the president’s son was engaged in alleged tax evasion came from an unlikely source: Hunter Biden’s own memoir.
IRS Agent Joseph Ziegler told Just the News on Monday that investigators looking into suspect business tax deductions on Hunter Biden’s tax returns found information in his book “Beautiful Things” that the expenses were for personal choices and not corporate benefit.
“That's almost the biggest component of this that I don't think that the general public understands: You have statements being made in a book that are talking about going out to California, leaving your life and then going to start this new life. Yet, on your tax return you're essentially stating things that are completely different," Ziegler said in a wide-ranging interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast.
Ziegler also said he and fellow whistleblower, IRS Supervisory Agent Gary Shapley, are gathering more documents to provide Congress, including additional WhatsApp messages beyond the one made public from 2017 in which first son Hunter Biden invoked his father’s name in an effort to pressure executives from Chinese energy company CEFC to pay them money.
"We told Congress that any of those records that they were requesting related to that we're going to turn over the House Ways and Means Committee, and then essentially, they vote those to the full Congress to come out,” he said.
Ziegler pushed back hard against Democrats and Hunter Biden lawyers who have tried to suggest the one message invoking Joe Biden was somehow misleading or contrived. He said while Congress designed its own image of the text message, the actual words and context were accurate.
"I think that they were very clever with their wording that they chose to use,” he said. “I mean, they were correct that those blown-up images weren't the actual images that we might have seen, if we're going through and looking at the forensic software.
"I can tell you that those records were obtained via an electronic search warrant that was done on Apple related to Hunter Biden's iCloud account. And as a part of that there was information that was summarized in a schedule for the investigators. And that was something that I took part in. And that's what I said as a part of my testimony."
Ziegler said the WhatsApp messages wasn’t the only evidence of Joe Biden’s association in the tax case. He said a family friend named Rob Walker confirmed to the FBI that Joe Biden, as vice president, attended a meeting with the Chinese executives and that Hunter Biden deducted as a business expense a hotel room in father’s name.
“The receipt came back to his (Joe's) name. And there was actually a receipt for some service or something that was done as a part of that room that was also included in there,” Ziegler explained, adding his team was prevented from determine whether Joe Biden actually used the room or was present at the hotel.
“But what I think it's important to know is that that was a deduction that was taken on Hunter's tax return,” he added.
Ziegler said he read for the first time an FBI informant report known as a FD-1023 alleging that the Bidens were involved in a $10 million bribery scheme in Ukraine after it was made public Thursday by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
“Yes, I have read it. But I don't have any comments on it, other than the fact that I've never – I did not see that memo,” he said. “And that's something that wasn't provided to me. … Yes, it would have been helpful in corroborating potentially other evidence in the investigation."
Ziegler said agents saw evidence that Hunter Biden was engaged in tax evasion that stretched back two decades, and continued even after one of his business partners, Eric Schwerin, tried to create an entity called Owasco PC to ensure taxes were properly filed.
“In my transcript, I talked about certain issues that Hunter had I think going back to early 2000s,” he said. “There was a large amount of late-filed and delinquent taxes that he had. And essentially Eric Schwerin, his business partner, came in and tried to help him out by setting up the Owasco entity so that he could have some his money flow through that so that he didn't run into these problems again."
Such alleged evasion, he said, met the standard of willful. (Hunter Biden has agreed to plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors alleging willful evasion, prosecutors have said.) Zeigler noted, as an example, that Hunter Biden tried to disguise as loans money that was paid to him as income from Burisma Holdings in Ukraine
“In an everyday, ordinary case, if someone goes around the normal means that they have set up to allow them to have tax compliance, they're going around that normal means and using another mechanism to essentially avoid paying their taxes. That's an item that would go into willfulness. And it's a willful intent to either deceive or make it so that that income is not reported.”
Ziegler cast off several efforts by Democrats and the liberal media to smear him, including one suggesting that a former Trump administration officials turned activist Garrett Ziegler was working with him. Garrett Ziegler has run a conservative site that posted information from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop and has been sued by one of Hunter Biden’s lawyers.
Joseph Ziegler, who is openly gay, said that smear was particularly stunning given that Garrett Ziegler’s team and other conservatives have been critical of him.
"There's absolutely no truth to that," he said. I" said in my testimony I have not turned over any records to this person. And I mean, if you look back at some of the things that were said, and this was on social media, they were calling LGBTQ people clowns.”
He added: “At the end of the day, I'm proud of who I am. Being gay doesn't define who I am. But it's a part of who I am. So I think that's super, super important that people understand just because of that fact, that doesn't change the type of person that I am."
Ziegler said since his identity as a whistleblower became known inside the IRS, he and Shapley have been ostracized by the agency’s leadership. “What I can tell you is, yeah, it's that the IRS essentially has put us on an island. I would think that they would want to be there to support their agents. You don't have to support what they're saying. But you can support being there for your agents.”
But he added that isolation has been countered with an enormous outflow of support from rank-and-file law enforcement.
“I've probably had over 100 different messages from around the world, people in federal law enforcement, people that I used to work with people at the DEA, that I used to work with … even from people within the IRS,” Ziegler said. It's been kind of overwhelming with that they stand right next to me. They heard us present facts. They understand the whole perspective of you're trying to do the right thing."