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Chairman Smith Opening Statement – Oversight Committee Hearing With IRS Whistleblowers About the Biden Criminal Investigation

July 19, 2023

As prepared for delivery.


“Thank you, Chairman Comer.


“The Ways and Means Committee is charged with ensuring that the tax code is enforced fairly. Clearly, the President only believes in making taxpayers pay their fair share if they don’t share his last name.


“These two courageous whistleblowers provided my Committee with devastating testimony showing that the government is not treating all taxpayers equally and that DOJ and the IRS gave preferential treatment to the President’s son during a criminal investigation into his taxes.


“These individuals in front of us today are credible, and sat for nearly 15 hours of interviews with both Republicans and Democrats. I personally took part in the interview of Mr. Ziegler. Here’s what we learned from the interviews:


“The IRS recommended multiple felony charges against Hunter Biden for tax years 2014 through 2019, relating to at least $8.3 million in income from foreign companies, including ones based in China, Romania, and Ukraine. And that is only the amount discovered despite the roadblocks and obstruction their investigation faced.


“The Department of Justice engaged in a campaign to delay, divulge, and deny that investigation.


“They delayed investigators for years, leading to the expiration of the statute of limitations for many of the crimes involved.


“They divulged key investigative details to Biden’s attorneys, and even the President’s transition team.


“And they denied investigators the ability to authenticate evidence, serve warrants, question witnesses, and bring charges. This led to Hunter Biden’s sweetheart plea agreement announced five years after the investigation started, but mere days before my Committee voted to publicly release this testimony.


“Would Americans in my congressional district or any other congressional district ever receive the same treatment?


“After raising their concerns internally at the IRS, these whistleblowers were discouraged and demoralized, and turned to Congress as a last resort.


“They bravely reported wrongdoing to us. And what have President Biden’s allies – including Hunter Biden’s lawyers – done? They’ve responded with a vicious smear campaign to discredit these whistleblowers and discourage others from coming forward and may have even coordinated with the White House on that effort.


“This is a disgrace.


“I urge any IRS employee watching today: If you know of misconduct, please come to the Ways and Means Committee, so we can hold accountable those who are responsible. And let me be clear: There will be zero tolerance for any retaliation against whistleblowers by DOJ or the IRS.


“The American people expect answers about whether the federal government is treating all taxpayers equally or if the wealthy and politically connected get special treatment.


“Our Committees are working together to get to the bottom of this abuse of power and will work tirelessly to do so and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Americans should not have to accept two tiers of justice in this country – one if your last name is Biden and one for everybody else.


“I want to thank both whistleblowers for coming forward publicly and their testimony today.”