House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said the FBI veteran participated in a transcribed interview with his panel on Monday, just two days before a pair of Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers are set to testify about the inquiry.
“Today, a former FBI supervisory special agent assigned to the FBI’s Wilmington office and the Biden criminal investigation confirmed key portions of the IRS whistleblower’s testimony,” Comer said in a statement.
“The night before the interview of Hunter Biden, both Secret Service headquarters and the Biden transition team were tipped off about the planned interview,” Comer added. “On the day of the Hunter Biden interview, federal agents were told to stand by and could not approach Hunter Biden — they had to wait for his call. As a result of the change in plans, IRS and FBI criminal investigators never got to interview Hunter Biden as part of the investigation.”
Such claims line up with testimony from IRS officials, supervisory special agent Gary Shapley and a “Whistleblower X,” who made disclosures to the House Ways and Means Committee that were released to the public last month: Plans by Shapley and FBI supervisory agent Joe Gordon to interview the younger Biden in early November 2020, shortly after the presidential election, were allegedly disrupted and gave way to Biden announcing publicly that he was under investigation.
So far, the years-long investigation into the 53-year-old Hunter Biden has amounted to a plea deal for tax and gun violations that could keep him out of prison. A judge is set to hold a hearing on the agreement on July 26.
But the whistleblower allegations have raised the prospect that the DOJ has slow-walked the Hunter Biden investigation, possibly for political reasons, and allowed the statute of limitations to run out on more serious charges that could have been brought in years that covered when he was working on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings while his father was leading U.S. policy in Ukraine as vice president.
Comer did not release any quotes in his Monday evening release, but he did share a list of “key takeaways”:
- “As part of the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden, there were multiple witness interviews planned for December 8, 2020. IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and the former FBI supervisory special agent were assigned to interview Hunter Biden.
- On the evening of December 7, 2020, Shapley and the FBI supervisory special agent learned that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters about the planned interview with Hunter Biden. Additionally, they learned the Biden transition team was notified about the planned interview. This was not the original plan by the career agents, which frustrated their investigative efforts because people found out who didn’t need to know.
- On December 8, 2020, Shapley and the FBI supervisory special agent were notified they would not be allowed to approach Hunter Biden’s house and instead would have to wait near his residence until Hunter Biden contacted them.
- The former FBI supervisory special agent told committee investigators he had never been told to wait outside to be contacted by the subject of an investigation.
- As a result of these actions, Shapley and the former FBI supervisory special agent never interviewed Hunter Biden.”
Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Trump appointee, told House Republicans that he has been granted the “ultimate authority” in leading the inquiry, including when it comes to bringing charges. Attorney General Merrick Garland seemed to agree, testifying to Congress that Weiss “has full authority to … bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that.” And Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, has said “any suggestion the investigation was not thorough, or cut corners, or cut my client any slack, is preposterous and deeply irresponsible.”
Still, Comer indicated that he is not ready to let the matter go. “The Justice Department’s efforts to cover up for the Bidens reveals a two-tiered system of justice that sickens the American people,” he said in his statement. The Oversight Committee, along with the Judiciary Committee and Ways and Means Committee, will continue to seek the answers, transparency, and accountability that the American people demand and deserve.”