House Republicans to investigate Office of Special Counsel for alleged IRS whistleblower retaliation

The IRS Whistleblowers have allegedly faced retaliation from the Biden Administration for their protected disclosures to Congress.

Published: June 17, 2024 3:13pm

House Republicans said Monday they are investigating the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel on allegations of retaliation against IRS whistleblowers for their disclosures regarding first son Hunter Biden.

The whistleblowers made protected disclosures last year alleging prosecutorial misconduct in the department's investigation into Biden.

The GOP formalized the probe in a letter Monday to the special counsel's office that was signed by House Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith.

They allege the office, an self-described "independent" federal investigative agency responsible for protecting whistleblowers, failed to publicly correct the record when Special Counsel David Weiss seemed to suggest in a court filing the whistleblowers – Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler – were under investigation for their disclosures to Congress.

Though the investigation did not exist, the OSC did issue a public correction to stem the media speculation that damaged Shapley and Ziegler's reputation. Instead, the OSC is investigating the claims of retaliation against the whistleblowers, though its decision to keep the investigation sealed led to unnecessary and negative speculation, the Republicans say. 

You can read the full letter below: 

"IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have been wholly consistent in their testimony about misconduct and politicization in the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation of Hunter Biden," the Republican leaders said in a press release

"They did exactly what an honorable government employee should do: when they witnessed wrongdoing, they reported it responsibly and made legally protected disclosures. Because of their bravery and integrity, we are finally beginning to see steps toward accountability,"

The lawmaker's also asked the agency to provide answers about its failure to correct the record and ensure there has been no improper influence on OSC investigation into the retaliation claims by the whistleblowers.

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