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Chairman Smith Op-Ed: If the Biden administration has nothing to hide, why not comply?

August 24, 2023

By Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08)

Washington Examiner

It’s been nearly two months since the House Ways and Means, Judiciary, and Oversight and Accountability committees called on more than a dozen federal employees from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice, and Secret Service to come forward and provide voluntary testimony concerning the DOJ’s alleged cover-up of tax crimes committed by the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

Unfortunately, these agencies have thrown up roadblocks to the truth, denying the public answers about why the federal government is protecting the Biden family. In my experience, individuals with nothing to hide come forward voluntarily. So why refuse to share what they know with Congress? Or worse, who is telling them they cannot?

We need answers, and we have issued subpoenas to compel these government officials to come to Congress and provide the information under oath.

The IRS whistleblowers who voluntarily testified before our committee earlier this year revealed that U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the lead prosecutor and newly named special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation, told the IRS investigative team during a meeting on Oct. 7, 2022, that he tried to bring charges in the District of Columbia and California against Hunter Biden and was denied the ability to do so. This revelation directly contradicted Attorney General Merrick Garland’s insistence during a March 2023 Senate hearing that Weiss had “full authority” over the case.

In other words, either Weiss or Garland is not telling the truth. To get to the bottom of this, the House Ways and Means, Judiciary, and Oversight committees requested testimony from more than a dozen individuals who were present at, or had knowledge of, the Oct. 7 meeting. Unfortunately, these additional individuals with knowledge of this meeting have either refused or been prevented from coming forward voluntarily, so Congress must now exercise its legal right to compel them.

The integrity of our institutions and public trust in our justice system is at stake. IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have provided Congress with credible and damning evidence that their investigation into Hunter Biden was stonewalled and slow-walked by the DOJ for years despite uncovering evidence of millions of dollars in payments to Biden family members and significant evidence of felony tax crimes committed by Hunter Biden. The bottom line is these whistleblowers’ story has not changed, and they alleged in great detail how senior officials at the DOJ gave Hunter Biden and his attorneys special treatment, tipped Hunter Biden’s team off during steps of the investigation, and even prevented IRS investigators from following leads and evidence that could have led them to President Joe Biden.

The public deserves to know whether the Biden family engaged in a foreign influence peddling scheme and why senior Justice Department officials obstructed and slowed down the investigation surrounding it. We know, based on sworn testimony, that from 2014 to 2019 the Biden family and its associates received an astonishing $20 million in payments from foreign entities, including companies located in Ukraine, Romania, and China. More than $8.3 million flowed to Hunter Biden alone. What service could Hunter Biden possibly provide to deserve an $80,000 diamond, a $142,000 Porsche, or millions of dollars in direct wire transfers? Frankly, President Joe Biden’s claims that he had no knowledge of or involvement in his son’s business dealings do not stand up to scrutiny.

Stranger still, as my committee moved to make public the damning testimony of the IRS whistleblowers showing political interference into the investigation of Hunter Biden, U.S. Attorney Weiss suddenly moved to sweep the matter under the rug. He offered the president’s son a sweetheart plea deal for just two misdemeanors mere days before the House Ways and Means Committee voted to make the whistleblowers’ interview transcripts public.

Even the judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware found the plea agreement unprecedented, leading to its eventual withdrawal. With the plea deal in tatters, the Biden administration named Weiss as the special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden. This may just be more political cover, but special counsel status will not shield Biden’s Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Biden family from Congress’s constitutional power of oversight.

The House Republican majority will continue to demand answers because the public deserves better than a two-tiered justice system in which the wealthy and well-connected get special treatment. Corruption in our government cannot be tolerated, and any elected or unelected government official found to have broken the law will be held accountable.