IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have been vindicated by witness testimony related to the Hunter Biden investigation.
Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss, special counsel in the Hunter Biden case and additional Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have testified to the House Judiciary Committee and confirmed allegations central to Shapley and Ziegler’s testimony.(RELATED: Special Counsel Investigating Hunter Biden Still Hasn’t Filled Out His Legal Team Months After Appointment)
Weiss testified to the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 7 and confirmed Shapley’s allegation about the DOJ denying a request from Weiss for additional authority to charge Hunter Biden, according to a transcript reviewed by the Daily Caller.
Shapley testified to the Ways and Means Committee in May and said Weiss stated during an Oct. 7, 2022, meeting that he was denied special counsel authority after Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves prevented Weiss from charging Hunter Biden in his district.
“However, I would later be told by United States Attorney Weiss that the D.C. U.S. attorney would not allow U.S. Attorney Weiss to charge those years in his district. This resulted in United States Attorney Weiss requesting special counsel authority from main DOJ to charge in the District of Columbia,” Shapley said.
“Weiss said his request for that authority was denied and that he was told to follow DOJ’s process.”
Shapley’s attorneys have released handwritten notes and an email containing his account of what happed during the Oct. 7, 2022, meeting. The Ways and Means Committee released a trove of documents in September to support the IRS whistleblower testimony.
“Weiss requested special counsel status in D.C. + main DOJ said ‘no’ – follow the process,” Shapley’s notes say.
Graves testified before the Judiciary Committee in October and confirmed he refused to partner with Weiss on the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Daily Caller.
Weiss confirmed he was denied special attorney authority under section 515, a slightly different type of additional charging authority, and that DOJ officials told him to follow the typical charging processes, as Shapley described in his testimony and notes.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan reacted to Weiss’ testimony by saying it confirmed Shapely’s accusation about Weiss’ request for additional authority.
“And that answer, I think the key is, is entirely consistent with what Mr. Shapley said after the October 7, 2022 meeting, when he said USA Weiss requested Special Counsel authority when it was sent to DC and Main DOJ denied his request and told him to follow the process,” Jordan told reporters in early November.
A rift between Weiss and Shapley escalated after the Oct. 7 meeting and caused Shapley to be removed from the Hunter Biden case, two IRS officials testified to the House Ways and Means Committee in September.
Shapley and Ziegler said Graves’ decision resulted in the statute of limitations expiring for charges related to Hunter Biden’s income from Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings. The company paid Hunter Biden more than $80,000 per month to be a board member during the 2014-15 tax years, according to bank records released in August by the House Oversight Committee.
“That process meant no charges would ever be brought in the District of Columbia, where the statute of limitations on the 2014 and ’15 charges would eventually expire. The years in question included foreign income from Burisma and a scheme to evade his income taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon. There were also potential FARA issues relating to 2014 and 2015. The purposeful exclusion of the 2014 and 2015 years sanitized the most substantive criminal conduct and concealed material facts,” Shapley stated.
The DOJ stopped signing extensions to statutes related to the 2014-15 tax years as a result of Graves not cooperating, according to Ziegler.
“And so what ended up happening is we were assigning statute extensions. We were having these meetings on the 2014-2015 tax year. And I believe that from what happened is, because D.C. said no, they have since let that statute run. So they no longer asked for statute extensions,” he testified to the Ways and Means Committee in June.
Weiss confirmed the statute of limitations expired for those alleged tax offenses committed in D.C. during the 2014-15 tax years. He told the Judiciary Committee he would address the matter in his special counsel report due at the conclusion of the investigation.
The IRS whistleblowers also testified that Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California E. Martin Estrada refused to cooperate on the Hunter Biden case. Estrada testified in front of the Judiciary Committee in October and confirmed he declined to partner with Weiss on the case, according to a transcript reviewed by the Daily Caller.
Weiss confirmed Graves and Estrada declined to work with him on potentially charging Hunter Biden in their districts. He said he would only ask the U.S. attorneys to partner if he was considering prosecuting the case.
Shapley and Ziegler both testified about the DOJ Tax Division’s alleged hesitation to approve investigative steps and potential charges on the Hunter Biden case.
For example, the DOJ Tax Division worked with Weiss’ office to delay planned interviews ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Ziegler testified.
“One other thing I would like to note is September 4th, 2020, we had a conference call and [DOJ Tax and Delaware USAO] told us essentially that we were on pause from any overt activities or any activities that could be overt whatsoever. So we couldn’t — we weren’t allowed to issue subpoenas,” he said.
He gave details pertaining to a DOJ tax attorney’s alleged decision not to approve an inspection scheduled in October 2020 to check where Hunter Biden lives.
“I have never in my career have had Tax Division, let alone approve us doing a walk-by or anything like this,” Ziegler said. Both whistleblowers recalled a June 2022 meeting with Weiss, Goldberg and other DOJ officials where DOJ tax attorneys presented the case against charging Hunter Biden in D.C. for 2014-15.
DOJ tax official Stuart Goldberg testified before the Judiciary Committee in October and said the Tax Division is authorized to approve tax charges against Hunter Biden, irrespective of Weiss’ charging authority. Goldberg also said the unit paid special attention to the Hunter Biden case because of its political significance.
Weiss confirmed the DOJ Tax Division’s authority to approve investigative actions and asserted he never ran into issues with tax prosecutors.
The whistleblowers singled out Delaware Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, a prosecutor in Weiss’ office, for her alleged interference on behalf of Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. The whistleblowers accused Wolf of preventing searches of Hunter Biden’s storage locker and a guest house on Joe Biden’s Delaware property used by Hunter Biden.
Emails released by the House Ways and Means Committee appear to show Wolf prevented a search warrant for lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies from including “political figure 1,” identified as Joe Biden on a draft of the search warrant.
Separate emails and notes released by the committee appear to corroborate the whistleblower allegations that she stonewalled an attempt to search Hunter Biden’s storage locker in Virginia. (RELATED: FBI Received ‘Criminal Information’ On Joe And Hunter Biden From Over 40 Confidential Sources, Sen Grassley Finds)
Weiss defended Wolf and the other prosecutors in his office without getting into the specific allegations. He would not comment on why Wolf’s name does not appear on any court documents for the Hunter Biden matter.
“And, then ultimately, in late 2019-2020, a Kevin Patrick Morris comes into the picture. And he was described as meeting Hunter Biden at a campaign finance event. And he paid off several different tranches of tax due and owing, to include Federal and D.C. tax due and owing,” Shapley testified.
Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris has been identified as the third party responsible for paying roughly $2 million of Hunter Biden’s overdue taxes. Morris is also reportedly paying a portion of Hunter Biden’s mounting legal bills and assumed $250,000 Biden owed to a Chinese business associate.
The FBI verified Hunter Biden’s laptop in November 2019 and investigators were subsequently prevented from examining its contents, Shapley testified.
“AUSA Lesley Wolf stated that she would not have seen it because, for a variety of reasons, prosecutors decided to keep it from the investigators. This decision is unprecedented in my experience,” he said.
“Investigators assigned to this investigation were obstructed from seeing all the available evidence. It is unknown if all the evidence in the laptop was reviewed by agents or by prosecutors,” Shapley added.
He said filter teams with IRS and FBI personnel were tasked with reviewing evidence contained on the laptop. Investigators were promised a redacted version of the laptop that was never delivered, according to Shapley.
Former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott Brady, a prosecutor tasked with vetting information about Hunter Biden and Ukraine, confirmed he had no knowledge of the laptop until the New York Post’s reporting ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to a transcript of his testimony reviewed by the Daily Caller.
The laptop’s contents have been verified by the Daily Caller News Foundation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media outlets. Hunter Biden is suing Giuliani for disseminating the laptop contents. (RELATED: FBI Knew New York Post’s Hunter Biden Laptop Story Was Real Ahead Of 2020 Election, FBI Form Shows)
Hunter Biden is suing the IRS whistleblowers for alleged illegal disclosures in their testimony and media interviews. His attorney also wrote a letter to Weiss in August suggesting he investigate the IRS whistleblowers for alleged illegal disclosures.
Lowell previously wrote a letter in June to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith containing what appears to be false allegations surrounding Shapley’s testimony. The IRS whistleblower responded to Lowell’s accusations when he testified publicly in July and said Lowell made “false statements” in the letter.
Garland testified to the Judiciary Committee in September and said the U.S. attorneys could “refuse to partner” with Weiss on the case, but did not have the authority to turn him down. He also said Weiss could have requested additional authority under section 515 and that he would have granted it.
The DOJ referred the Daily Caller to Weiss’ testimony and opening statement.
“At no time was I blocked, or otherwise prevented from pursuing charges or taking the steps necessary in the investigation by other United States Attorneys, the Tax Division or anyone else at the Department of Justice,” Weiss said in his opening statement.
“As I have said previously, I did not request Special Counsel status until August 2023. When I made that request, it was promptly granted.”
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