Sources told CNN the conversation on Friday with investigators from the GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee and Democrat-controlled Senate Finance Committee helps lay the groundwork for what could be a formal disclosure involving sensitive tax information in the near future.
“The process is proceeding on a bipartisan basis with ranking member [Mike] Crapo’s staff,” Ryan Carey, a spokesman for Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), told the news outlet.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) May 8, 2023
“Chairman [Jason] Smith is working to ensure all of the appropriate steps are taken in this particular investigation to receive and evaluate the allegations and information this whistleblower shares with Congress and has publicly pledged that the committee will go where the facts lead,” a House Ways and Means Committee spokesperson told CBS News. “Each week and day provide a new opportunity to advance this particular whistleblower claim and shed more light and transparency for the American people.”
FBI and IRS investigators have been looking into Biden for years. After Biden’s lawyers met with Department of Justice officials late last month, sources told The Washington Post that potential charges for tax- and gun-related crimes may soon follow from Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
An IRS supervisor, who has not been publicly identified, reached out to top lawmakers last month seeking to make protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress about a high-profile investigation which has since been identified as the Hunter Biden probe. Hunter Biden has said he expects to be cleared of wrongdoing, and his father, President Joe Biden, told MSNBC last week that his son has “done nothing wrong.”
Mark Lytle, the IRS official’s lawyer, has said his client already made disclosures to multiple inspectors general, including “examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions” and claims that “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee.” Lytle told CBS News that his client has emails and other communications to back up his disclosures.
The senior official referenced by Lytle in his letter to Congress has been identified as Attorney General Merrick Garland, who spoke briefly about the inquiry during congressional testimony in March. “I pledged not to interfere with that investigation and I have carried through on my pledge,” Garland testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Pressed about the IRS whistleblower and his testimony during a news conference last week, Garland said his statement under oath remains true. “Yes, it’s still the case,” Garland said. “I stand by my testimony and I refer you to the U.S. attorney for the district of Delaware, who is in charge of this case and capable of making any decisions that he feels are appropriate.”
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, has told news outlets the IRS official “appears” to have committed a crime. “It is a felony for an IRS agent to improperly disclose information about an ongoing tax investigation,” Clark said in a statement reported by NBC News.
Lytle told Fox News the statement was “unfortunate” but stressed that his client is not backing down. “Attacks like this are kind of what he was worried about, but he wants to come forward and tell the truth,” he said.
House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) is urging the Justice Department not to indict Hunter Biden until Republicans hold a press conference to present evidence showing how a “web” of LLCs is being used by foreign adversaries to improperly pay members of the Biden family in exchange for favors. The press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday.