At Faith and Freedom forum, FBI, Bidens, whistleblowers top concerns for GOP presidential candidates

The three-day event in Washington, D.C. will include a final-day speech Saturday by President Trump.

Published: June 23, 2023 11:14pm

Updated: June 24, 2023 2:46am

The opening day of the annual conservative gathering hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition – in which the top GOP presidential candidate will for the first time this year share the same stage – was largely dominated by their responses to the conclusion of the Justice Department's Hunter Biden probe and the agency's handling of the investigation. 

"I'm concerned about the entire investigation," former federal prosecutor and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said about the probe led by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Delaware.

The presidential candidate also told Just the News: "I think it took too long and produced too little. And I think it's one of the reasons we need a new attorney general."

The three-day event is being held at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C., and will include a final-day speech Saturday by President Trump.

The "Road to Majority Policy Conference" includes more than 70 speakers and organizers describe it as the largest public policy gathering of Christian conservative activists in the country. 

On Tuesday, the Justice Department said in court filings, after a five-year investigation, that Hunter Biden will plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and that he also struck a deal with federal prosecutors to resolve a felony gun charge.

Christie and other 2024 GOP presidential hopefuls spoke one day after bombshell testimony by IRS whistleblowers was made public. Gary Shapley, the supervisory IRS agent who ran the investigation, told Congress that federal agents had evidence that Hunter Biden failed to pay about $2.2 million in taxes dating back to 2014 and they planned to pursue numerous felonies before they were thwarted by political appointees of the Justice Department.

2024 candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson also said the investigation of Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, took too long and that the whistleblower allegations need to be pursued.

"It's very troubling, you have take whistleblower allegations seriously. They're not always true. But there's a ring of truth here, and so it has to be pursued. The first question is, 'Why did it take five years to investigate this?'" he said. "The U.S. attorney appointed by Donald Trump stayed on to investigate, had the resources needed. This took way too long."

The whistleblowers' testimony also alleges there was probable cause to search Hunter Biden's storage unit in northern Virginia during the investigation. However, their testimony alleges the plan was thwarted after the Justice Department's tax division and assistant Delaware U.S. attorney Lesley Wolf tipped off Biden's counsel in advance. Just the News asked 2024 GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy for his reaction to that portion of the testimony.

"I believe that the federal administrative police state today, I'm sorry to say, it is fundamentally corrupt and it has revealed itself as such, through the DOJ, through the FBI, through the IRS and beyond," Ramaswamy told Just the News.

"I cannot make the false promise of saying that I will reform that," if elected president, he said. "I know that makes for a good tagline for other presidential candidates. I don't believe you can reform that beast.

"But I do believe [a] president is on strong constitutional authority to shut down administrative agencies, to shut down bureaucracies that should not have existed. I do believe, and I'm not prone to boasting or hyperbole, but I do mean it."

Ramaswamy has previously called for the FBI to be abolished and rebuilt from the bottom up.

"By the time I leave office, we will again in this country have three branches of government, not four," he also said Friday. "And that's how we solve the problem, not by meddling around the edges and changing one political appointment for another because the rot actually rests within the bureaucracy itself."

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