House Comm. subpoenas DHS Secretary Mayorkas, others who gave Hunter Biden "tip-off" of IRS probe

The Oversight Committee – along with the Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees – are seeking interviews with key witnesses, including from the Secret Service. The subpoenas relate to evidence that they cooperated with the DOJ in running interference for Hunter Biden who was facing IRS investigation at the time.

Published: September 5, 2023 3:37pm

Updated: September 5, 2023 6:35pm

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer on Tuesday issued subpoenas to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as well as several Secret Service and DHS staffers, seeking information related to the Secret Service's alleged tip-off to Biden staffers about a planned 2020 interview with the now-first son as part of a tax inquiry.

The subpoenas come after two whistleblowers -- both highly regarded IRS agents -- came forward in mid-June of this year, testifying that the DOJ ran interference to block an IRS investigation into Hunter Biden's activities. That investigation saw the IRS examining whether Hunter Biden paid adequate taxes on millions of dollars of his income, including money he made from multiple overseas business ventures, ABC News reported. In addition, ABC also reported that Biden "borrowed $2 million from his lawyer and confidant Kevin Morris to pay the IRS for back taxes, penalties and liens that he owed."

"The Biden Justice Department intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the son of Joe Biden by delaying, divulging and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes" said Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.).

One of the whistleblowers, Supervisory Special Agent Greg Shapely, told the House Oversight Committee that "After an electronic search warrant on Hunter Biden’s Apple iCloud led us to WhatsApp messages with several CEFC China Energy executives where he claimed to be sitting and discussing business with his father Joe Biden, we sought permission to follow up on the information in the messages."

"Prosecutors would not allow it," Shapely also said. "Around this time, a search warrant for the guest house at the Bidens’ Delaware residence was being planned. Yet, despite agreeing that there was probable cause, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wolf cited the ‘optics’ of executing a search warrant at President Biden’s resident as the deciding factor for not allowing it to be completed."

Shortly after the IRS whistleblowers came forward, the DOJ offered Hunter Biden a now-notorious plea deal that imploded, bringing criticism of the DOJ's hampering the IRS investigation.

Attorney General Merrick Garland vehemently denied the claims, and complained that it was merely an attack on a great American institution, saying "Some have chosen to attack the integrity of the Justice Department … by claiming we do not treat like cases alike. This constitutes an attack on an institution that is essential to American democracy and essential to the safety of the American people,” Garland said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The House Committee doesn't see it that way. "The Department of Justice initiated the Biden family coverup and now DHS under the leadership of Secretary Mayorkas is complicit in it," Chairman Comer said in a statement.

"Investigators were never able to interview Hunter Biden during the criminal investigation because Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview," Comer continued, adding that "This is just one of many examples of the misconduct and politicization during the Department of Justice’s investigation."

"The Oversight Committee – along with the Judiciary and Ways and Means Committees – is seeking interviews with key witnesses, including employees at the Secret Service," Comer added.

"The Department of Homeland Security is obstructing our investigation by muzzling the Secret Service from providing a response to Congress. The American people deserve transparency, not obstruction. House Republicans will hold the Biden Administration accountable for running interference for the Biden family’s corruption and criminal activity," the statement from Comer said.

In total, the committee issued six subpoenas, seeking documents and depositions related to the alleged tip-off. The incident involves a planned "day of action" in which the myriad agents conducting a tax probe into Hunter Biden sought to simultaneously pursue interviews with key figures, including the younger Biden himself.

Included in the letter to Mayorkas, is a reminder from Comer that his committee, as well as several others, have previously sought information related to the tip-off, but that its requests had been rebuffed. Comer took specific exception to the DHS' Office of Legislative Affairs, which he claims had ordered the Secret Service to "withhold a response" to the relevant committees.

"DHS OLA’s decision to instruct the Secret Service not to provide this response appears to constitute obstruction of a Congressional investigation, and the attached subpoenas require the immediate and full cooperation of DHS," the Kentucky lawmaker warned.

Fox News originally reported on the subpoenas.

The subpoenas come as Republicans increasingly scrutinize the first family, including Hunter and Joe Biden, over their potentially illicit business dealings. House lawmakers have also pursued inquiries into the administration's perceived weaponization of federal government agencies.

Reacting to the fallout from the whistleblowers' testimony, Attorney General Merrick Garland elevated Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to the role of special counsel. Lawmakers and legal experts said that the appointment was in violation of DOJ guidelines stating that such a position must be filled by someone outside of the government.

Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) tweeted responding to the Weiss appointment saying that "This action by Biden’s DOJ cannot be used to obstruct congressional investigations or whitewash the Biden family corruption. If Weiss negotiated the sweetheart deal that couldn’t get approved, how can he be trusted as a Special Counsel? House Republicans will continue to pursue the facts for the American people."

An unnamed spokesperson from DHS disputed the validity of the subpoenas, telling The Hill that "the claim that we obstructed or withheld a response is categorically false and these subpoenas are entirely without basis. DHS was working to respond to this inquiry appropriately, including identifying the relevant information and individuals,” the official said.

Despite being subpoenaed, Mayorkas and the other individuals served may choose to take their chances and ignore the subpoenas.

House rules -- upheld in 1975 by the Supreme Court -- state that "An individual who fails or refuses to comply with a House subpoena may be cited for contempt of Congress" and that "the wrongful refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena is made punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year." 

Nonetheless, the mechanism of enforcing a House subpoena is difficult. Former President Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, was held in contempt of Congress in 2012 over his refusal to turn over documents related to the "Fast and Furious" scandal, but it took seven years and a civil lawsuit by the House to finally resolve the matter in a settlement. Holder was never arrested.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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