Republicans on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee voted to release transcripts of interviews with Internal Revenue Service employees about an investigation of the taxes of Hunter Biden, only days after President Biden’s son reportedly agreed to a plea deal to resolve tax and gun charges.
GOP members of the committee released a transcript of an interview with IRS Criminal Investigation supervisory special agent Gary Shapley Jr., and a transcript of an interview with an unidentified IRS employee who both accused the IRS and the FBI of slow-walking the investigation and retaliating against them.
“Since October 2022, IRS CI has taken every opportunity to retaliate against me and my team. I was passed over for a promotion for which I was clearly most qualified,” said Shapley. “The special agent in charge and assistant special agent in charge of the Washington, D.C., field office have sent threats to the field office, suppressing additional potential whistleblowers from coming forward.”
The other agent, whose name was redacted in the transcript, pointed to the long-standing tax issues of the president’s son. “So Hunter Biden had had a lot of tax issues, even predating all of this stuff,” he said. “Back in 2002, he filed his Form 1040 late-filing and owing over $100,000 in taxes; 2003, owed more than $100,000 dollars in taxes; 2004, late-filed and owed more than $20,000 in taxes; and then 2005, late-filed his personal return and owed over $100,000 in taxes.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, R-Missouri, explained why his committee decided to release the transcripts of the interviews, which have been widely publicized in recent weeks, and likely prompted the plea deal by the younger Biden (see story).
“Today, the Ways and Means Committee voted to make public the testimony of IRS employees blowing the whistle on misconduct at the IRS and the Biden Department of Justice regarding unequal enforcement of tax law, interference and government abuse in the handling of investigations into criminal activity by President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and retaliation against IRS employees blowing the whistle on this abuse,” he said in a statement. “The American people deserve to know that when it comes to criminal enforcement, they are not on the same playing field as the wealthy and politically connected class. The preferential treatment Hunter Biden received would never have been granted to ordinary Americans.”
He claimed the Justice Department had intervened and overstepped in a campaign to protect the president’s son by delaying and denying an ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes.
Democrats on the committee pushed back against those allegations.
“Let’s get the facts straight: This tax case is being handled by the Department of Justice and the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the committee. “And the allegations of retaliation have been referred to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Department of Justice Inspector General. We must allow these law enforcement agencies to complete their work. This includes interviewing more than 50 other government employees named in these transcripts and verifying the attached exhibits, including those produced by the majority from unknown sources.”
“And unknown sources are just the beginning of the red flags,” he continued. “Testimony was recanted just days ago. The claims of retaliation have been referred to TIGTA and the DOJ inspector general, and the majority can’t even wait for investigators to release their findings. Those who have been named in this transcript have not been interviewed, nor have they been given the opportunity to defend their name.”