Key Takeaways and Memorable Moments From the IRS Whistleblower Hearing

As RedState readers are aware, the two IRS whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden investigation testified before Congress Wednesday. The seven-hour hearing had a few memorable moments and innumerable cringe moments, those cringe moments exclusively courtesy of the Democrats on the committee. A quick overview of the Democrat strategy: If you were playing a drinking game and had to take just a sip any time the words “Trump” or “two-tiered system of justice”  were uttered, you would have been blackout drunk.

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Here’s my rundown of the key takeaways/memorable moments:

1 We now have sworn testimony from both whistleblowers, documenting obstruction. 

Both Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler (who was identified as the second whistleblower at the beginning of the hearing) were placed under oath and testified regarding the events covered in their transcribed interview with the House Ways & Means Committee, including numerous instances in which their investigative process was obstructed or normal procedure ignored.

Hunter Biden’s attorney has made a big deal of claiming that their interviews with the Committee weren’t “under oath,” even though they were both advised that lying to federal officers is a crime, so now they have sworn (and televised) testimony, which was basically subjected to cross-examination, except that…

2. Democrats had no real questions of the whistleblowers.

Likely because they really didn’t want to know the answers, Democrats didn’t really question the whistleblowers on the substance of their allegations. As I’ll detail later in this piece, the few times Democrats attempted to “gotcha” the whistleblowers, they biffed in spectacular fashion. Instead, they endlessly talked about Donald Trump, insurrection, the two-tiered system of justice, Donald Trump, and… Donald Trump.

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3. Suddenly, Democrats don’t like leaks to the Washington Post.

While Democrats didn’t overtly attack the whistleblowers during the hearing, they were pretty bold about low-key accusing them of leaking information to the press. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) really hammered the whistleblowers with this question, even though Gary Shapley’s attorney has already publicly denied that his client had anything to do with any leaks.

4. Hunter Biden’s payment of prostitutes could actually constitute trafficking.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) started off her time by warning that “parental discretion is advised” before making the case that Hunter Biden’s payment of “paralegals” to travel across state lines and provide him with sexual favors could constitute a violation of the Mann Act. She displayed posters with information from Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), screenshots of emails showing the purchase of an airplane ticket for a prostitute to travel to Los Angeles and back to have sex with Hunter, paid for with law firm funds, but the poster displaying censored still shots from Hunter’s sex tapes with that same prostitute drew the most attention. Interestingly, the same people who are okay with uncensored and extremely graphic sexual images appearing in elementary school textbooks were clutching their pearls and asking if such photographs should be allowed in the House chamber.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene displays photos found on Hunter Biden’s laptop depicting Biden performing sexual acts with a prostitute he paid from his law firm’s bank account.

As Bonchie covered, Ziegler confirmed that Hunter Biden had indeed used law firm funds to pay for membership dues in a sex club, but categorized the expense as a golf club membership. Ziegler also stated that investigators were looking into potential Mann Act violations by Hunter but were stymied.

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4. When Democrats tried to “gotcha,” they ended up proving the opposite.

Fortunately for Joe and Hunter Biden, for the most part the Democrats stayed away from the substance of the whistleblowers’ allegations and the things the IRS-CI agents were investigating, because when they attempted to question Shapley and Ziegler on those topics they ended up hurting the Bidens.

First, Jamie Raskin. While questioning Gary Shapley about the October 2022 meeting in which US Attorney David Weiss reportedly said that he wasn’t the one who made the ultimate decision on filing, Raskin attempted to portray the meeting was just a misunderstanding and was promptly schooled by Shapley. And, in doing so, Raskin used the D.C. US Attorney’s refusal to file charges as a factual basis for his question, not disputing that that happened. Whoops.

And then we have Dan Goldman, who’d already previewed the Dems’ “two-tiered system of justice” distraction technique and failed miserably. As Jonathan Turley wrote:

Rep. Goldman just tripped the wire on Joe Biden. In trying to grill the whistleblowers to show that there is no evidence that Joe Biden was involved, he elicited an answer that the witnesses established that Joe Biden did discuss business deals of Hunter with the Chinese.

Goldman was trying to show that the witnesses did not mention a substantive role of Joe Biden, Shapley immediately noted that it did mean that he came to discuss one of the Hunter’s deals. The President continues to deny that fact. Goldman prompted a sworn statement from the investigator that Biden did indeed discuss his son’s business deals. In doing so, Goldman may have delivered one of the most damaging moments in the hearing for the Bidens. Unfortunately, time ran out. With a few more minutes along this line, Goldman could well have sealed the case for the appointment of a Special Counsel.

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Rep. Gerry Connolly somehow thought that bringing up the fact that Trump was impeached over a phone call to the president of Ukraine in which he was seeking information about rumored interference by Joe Biden in the firing of a prosecutor who was looking into malfeasance at Burisma (the exact interference for which we now have an allegation through an FBI informant that Joe Biden was paid to perform, and which Joe Biden has bragged about in the past) means that the IRS investigation was… well, he doesn’t really make any sense.

5. Shapley and Ziegler weren’t provided the FBI’s FD-1023 related to an alleged bribe by Mykola Zlochevsky to the Bidens.

Though the investigation included information about monies received by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer from Burisma in the 2015 and 2016 time frame, the FBI FD-1023 form alleging that the monies paid to Hunter Biden were part of a bribery scheme with Burisma founder (and Russian SVR asset) Mykola Zlochevsky, Shapley and Ziegler “NEVER received the unclassified FBI FD-1023 form.” Ziegler testified that they potentially had corroborating evidence.

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6. All of the evidence is not in.

We still don’t have all of the evidence related to Hunter Biden’s various income streams and what he was being paid to do and by whom. After Rep. Byron Donalds asked how much money the Bidens had received from Ukraine, Romania, and China, Comer announced that the committee had just received bank records from Ukraine.

7. The Hunter Biden laptop has also not been provided to the investigators.

While investigators have access to some information that was on the laptop, they did not have access to the entire laptop itself.

8. The Bidens banked approximately $17 million from a handful of foreign governments for unspecified services within a five-year time frame.

9. Gal Luft is the new boogieman.

Last week, the DOJ charged potential witness Gal Luft, who released a video claiming that Hunter Biden had bragged he had an inside source at the FBI, with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, trafficking in arms, violating sanctions against Iran, and, most troubling, making false statements to a foreign agent. (Read more about all of that here.) Luft has denied the allegations. Luft and Hunter Biden both received payments from paid by Chinese company CEFC, but according to Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA, and not very bright), Luft is a Chinese spy and arms trafficker but Hunter Biden has done nothing wrong. Garcia used his time to ask questions directed at Comer, while addressing Shapley. Comer finally jumped in, and it went like this:

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COMER: If you’re willing to yield, I’ll answer that question. I’ve never met Gal Luft in my life. All I know is he was getting money from the same company that the Bidens were getting money from, CEFC. I yield back.

GARCIA: …If anyone from the committee or committee members or committee staff had any contact with who is now obviously a Chinese spy, which you and the committee have been hyping up for weeks…

COMER: Well, is the president’s son a Chinese spy? They took money from the same — the only difference —

GARCIA: What does taking money from the same company mean?

COMER: — is that the president’s son got a hell of a lot more money than Gal Luft did.

And all Shapley could do was sit there and wonder how much longer he had to endure being questioned by morons.

Shapley and Ziegler would likely agree with Democrat Rep. Kweisi Mfume, who ended his remarks with a failed attempt at a rage-quit while saying, “There is no intelligent life down here! None!”

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