Judiciary, Ways and Means Committees Subpoena IRS and FBI Investigators re: Hunter Biden Probe

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Congress may be in recess, but the House GOP committees investigating the Biden family and the sweetheart plea deal offered to Hunter Biden by his father's Department of Justice (DOJ) are not letting up on their push to uncover the corruption. 

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On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee and Ways and Means Committee announced that they had jointly issued subpoenas to investigators from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and DOJ with knowledge regarding the now infamous October 7, 2022, meeting testified to by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, in which U.S. Attorney (now Special Counsel) David Weiss allegedly asserted he was not the "deciding person" regarding the filing of criminal tax charges against Hunter Biden. 

In connection with the issuance of the subpoenas, the committees issued the following press release:

DOJ, IRS Stonewalling Does Not Override Congressional Authority to Interview Key Witnesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on Ways and Means issued subpoenas to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigators and Biden Administration Department of Justice (DOJ) officials present at or with direct knowledge of a meeting on October 7, 2022, in which now-Special Counsel David Weiss allegedly claimed he was prevented from bringing charges against President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, for tax crimes. The subpoenas come after the DOJ and the IRS refused to comply with multiple requests for voluntary transcribed interviews with these key witnesses.
 
The following statement was issued by Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (OH-04):
 
“Our Committees, along with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, have sought these interviews since IRS whistleblowers came forward with concerning allegations of political interference in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign influence peddling and tax evasion. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has consistently stonewalled Congress. Our duty is to follow the facts wherever they may lead, and our subpoenas compelling testimony from Biden Administration officials are crucial to understanding how the President’s son received special treatment from federal prosecutors and who was the ultimate decision maker in the case. Americans deserve to know the truth, especially now that Attorney General Garland has appointed as special counsel the same U.S. Attorney who oversaw Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea deal and botched the investigation into his alleged tax crimes.”
 
According to sworn whistleblower testimony, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss stated during an October 7, 2022, meeting with DOJ and IRS personnel that “he is not the deciding person on whether charges are filed” against Hunter Biden and that in multiple instances his efforts to bring charges in multiple jurisdictions were denied. This was documented in an email sent the day of the meeting, and provided to the Ways and Means Committee.
 
Yet Attorney General Merrick Garland previously testified before Congress that Weiss had all the authority necessary to pursue charges and Mr. Weiss told Congress that he had “ultimate” authority over the case.

  • April 2022 – Garland testifies before the Senate that U.S. Attorney David Weiss is “supervising the investigation” and “is in charge of that investigation.” He also testifies that “there will not be interference of any political or improper kind.”
  • March 2023 – Garland again testifies before a Senate Committee and is asked whether USAO Weiss had authority to bring charges outside of Delaware without Special Counsel status. Garland replies:“The US Attorney in Delaware has been advised that he has full authority to make those kind[s] of referrals that you are talking about, or bring cases in other jurisdictions if he feels it’s necessary and I will assure that if he does, he will be able to do that…I have promised to ensure that he is able to carry out his investigation and that he be able to run it and if needs to bring it in another jurisdiction he will have full authority to do that.” (emphasis added)
  • June 7, 2023 – U.S. Attorney Weiss sends a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan claiming he had full authority over the investigation and to bring charges in the case.

Only after a sweetheart plea deal fell apart during a hearing before a federal judge in Delaware did AG Garland designate Mr. Weiss as Special Counsel, raising concerns that the Attorney General’s and Mr. Weiss’s statements to Congress were not truthful.
 
The subpoenas were sent to the following individuals:

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The announcement describes the resistance the committees have met with in their efforts to obtain transcribed statements from key witnesses. 

In a statement, Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) explained: "Our duty is to follow the facts wherever they may lead, and our subpoenas compelling testimony from Biden Administration officials are crucial to understanding how the President’s son received special treatment from federal prosecutors and who was the ultimate decision maker in the case."

The announcement lays out the timeline of contradictory testimony from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and correspondence from Weiss insisting he had full authority to bring the charges. 

The subpoenas were issued to IRS Director of Field Operations Michael Batdorf, IRS Special Agent in Charge Darrell Waldon, FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Sobocinski, and FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley, all of whom were either present at or believed to have direct knowledge of the October 7th meeting. 

While the FBI declined to comment on the subpoenas, the IRS issued the following statement to The Hill

Although we cannot comment on matters pertaining to specific taxpayers or employees, the IRS continues to work cooperatively with the committee to support its oversight efforts. We are committed to proceeding in a manner consistent with our legal obligations to taxpayers and to our employees, and which also ensures the integrity of pending investigations and litigation. We will continue our dialogue with the committee and work to strike an appropriate balance of these important considerations.

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