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Doubts that Hunter Biden will ever be charged with crimes received a jolt with the emergence of a government agent claiming politics is tainting the years-long inquiry led by a federal prosecutor.
In response to a letter sent on Wednesday, in which an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official seeks to make protected whistleblower disclosures to Congress, the leader of a powerful House committee investigating the Biden family raised the alarm. The Biden administration “may be obstructing justice by blocking efforts to charge Hunter Biden for tax violations,” House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-KY) said in a statement.
By Thursday, the White House was scrambling to distance President Joe Biden, Hunter’s father, from the brewing controversy.
“President Biden has made clear that this matter would be handled independently by the Justice Department, under the leadership of a U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Trump, free from any political interference by the White House,” White House spokesman Ian Sams told Fox News. “He has upheld that commitment.”
The criminal investigation into Hunter Biden is being led by Delaware’s U.S. Attorney David Weiss. FBI and IRS investigators have been looking into his foreign business dealings, tax affairs, and more. The Washington Post reported in October that federal agents believed they had sufficient evidence to charge the younger Biden with tax crimes and a false statement related to a gun purchase, but a decision to file charges would be left up to Weiss. The U.S. attorney has remained silent, at least publicly, about the progress of his inquiry.
Up until now, Democrats in Congress have largely bristled when their Republican colleagues raise concerns about corruption in the government and how it may extend to members of the Biden family. When the House “Weaponization” panel launched this year with the chairman, Jim Jordan (R-OH), boasting of “dozens” of FBI whistleblowers, Democrats responded with a 315-page report that cast doubt on the trustworthiness of the witnesses. After some of the witnesses had testified, CNN reported through unnamed sources that their claims appeared to not have been “validated by government entities that grant federal whistleblower protection.”
This new whistleblower from the Hunter Biden probe, identified as an IRS criminal supervisory special agent, appears to stand out from the rest. Mark Lytle, the IRS agent’s lawyer, says in the letter that his client already made “legally protected disclosures internally at the IRS, through counsel to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and to the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General.”
What remains unclear so far is whether these government watchdogs believe the claims. So far, it appears the involved agencies are remaining silent. However, one recipient of the letter, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL), insisted whistleblower statements are taken “seriously” when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for a bipartisan response to the IRS official’s letter during a hearing on Thursday, according to The New York Post.
When the Ukraine whistleblower emerged a couple years ago, the intelligence community inspector general notified Congress after finding the official’s claims to be credible and urgent, leading to what became the first impeachment inquiry against former President Donald Trump.
Lytle notes his client is reaching out to Republicans and Democrats in both chambers despite “serious risks of retaliation” and stresses that the IRS agent “wishes to make the disclosures in a non-partisan manner to the leadership of the relevant committees on both sides of the political aisle.”
The letter says disclosures made to the government watchdogs “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee,” “involve failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case,” and “detail examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected.” The letter adds: “Some of the protected disclosures contain information that is restricted by statute from unauthorized disclosure to protect taxpayer and tax return information.”
Though the letter only says the agent is overseeing the “ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high-profile, controversial subject,” sources confirmed to The Wall Street Journal the investigation into Hunter Biden is the focus of the matter. As for the senior political appointee mentioned in the letter, CBS News reported Attorney General Merrick Garland is that official.
A lawyer for an IRS supervisor sent a letter to lawmakers asking for whistleblower protection, writing his client has information suggesting an investigation is being influenced by "preferential treatment and politics." CBS News has learned it's the Hunter Biden tax investigation pic.twitter.com/1PTQ5H1K0V
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 19, 2023
Garland spoke briefly about the inquiry during congressional testimony early last month. “I pledged not to interfere with that investigation and I have carried through on my pledge,” Garland testified under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Daily Wire reached out to the Department of Justice for comment in response to Lytle’s letter but did not receive a response as of press time.
Hunter Biden’s attorney, Chris Clark, told reporters that the IRS agent “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.
In the past, Hunter Biden said he expects to be cleared of wrongdoing. “I’m cooperating completely. And I am absolutely certain, 100% certain that at the end of the investigation, that I will be cleared of any wrongdoing,” he told CBS News in April 2021.
When the younger Biden publicly disclosed the existence of the criminal investigation shortly after the 2020 election, sources told Fox News that the inquiry began in 2018 and was predicated, in part, on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) regarding transactions from China and other nations.
It just so happens that this week House Oversight Committee Republicans gained access to SARs, which financial institutions can use to flag possible criminal behavior, for members of the Biden family — including Hunter — and their associates’ business transactions.
While Republicans declared that they had found evidence of a wider influence peddling scheme, Democrats on the panel accused their GOP colleagues of continuing to “mischaracterize Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) as evidence of misconduct or criminality, instead of calling them what they are: unsubstantiated tips that rarely result in any follow-up by law enforcement,” according to a statement received by The Daily Mail.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a member of the committee, walked out of the Treasury Department on Monday with a message to potential insiders.
“I just walked out of the Treasury after reviewing financial reports on the Biden’s and their web of LLC’s and wire transfers from MANY foreign countries that created a vast criminal enterprise bigger than anyone can comprehend,” Greene said in a statement. “Whistleblowers can receive protection if they come forward now. Contact the House Oversight Committee now.”