WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two IRS whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joe Ziegler, who spent years working on the Hunter Biden tax evasion case, appeared before the Ways and Means Committee in a hearing for the first time, in order to defend themselves, answer questions, and provide new material supporting their claims that the Biden Department of Justice interfered in their investigation and prevented them from following evidence that would lead to Joe Biden. Further, the new evidence shows that then-Vice President Biden used secret email accounts to communicate directly with Hunter Biden’s business associates.
“There’s nothing to verify that these were loans.”
Whistleblowers told Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) they were unable to verify that financial transactions between Joe Biden and his son Hunter were, in fact, loans.
Chairman Smith: Mr. Ziegler, the Biden administration has attempted to dismiss concerns over hundreds of thousands of dollars in money exchanging hands between Biden family members – ultimately ending up in payments to Joe Biden – as stemming from loans and loan repayments. In your investigation of Hunter Biden, did you uncover any evidence that would prove or show these payments to, in fact, be loans or loan repayments?
Special Agent Ziegler: In all the different scenarios – Burisma, CEFC, all those different scenarios – there was nothing to verify that they were loans in the evidence.
IRS Whistleblower says procedure was “completely outside the bounds” of any investigation he had ever seen.
The IRS is an agency charged with enforcing the tax code and its criminal investigations normally pursue cases aggressively. Yet in the case of the son of President Biden, whistleblowers told Rep. Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) that normal procedures were not followed.
Rep. Wenstrup: I would like to ask both of you to reply, if you have ever seen a situation where the IRS would walk away from $300,000 in unpaid taxes and wait four years to allow a felony to expire – for the statute of limitations to run out. Tell me this is not the standard operating procedure, but that is what we have seen in the Hunter Biden situation.
Special Agent Ziegler: This was, of my 13 years as an IRS Special Agent – and I’ve only been an IRS Special Agent – this was completely outside the bounds of what I’m normally accustomed to, and, throughout this investigation, there were so many things that were not normal procedure.
Pursuing evidence leading to Joe Biden was “off the table.”
Investigators were discouraged from following any lead that would implicate Joe Biden, even though there was clear communication between the former Vice President and Hunter Biden’s key business associate and accountant, Eric Schwerin. Often that email activity increased before and after key international trips taken by the then-Vice President, such as his 2014 trips to Ukraine. Given that the two emailed extensively without anyone else on the email, investigators would have been justified in pursuing more details about that relationship – but they were prevented from doing so.
Rep. Drew Ferguson (GA-03): Given Mr. Schwerin’s role in Hunter Biden’s businesses, did you find this back and forth [with Joe Biden] of interest?
Special Agent Ziegler: At the time, I didn’t know about it. But looking back at this now? Yes, it is of interest.
Ferguson: And so you would have at that point, at that time, you would have followed up on this and you would have further investigated this relationship?
Special Agent Ziegler: Well, that’s the complex part about this is at the end of the day, any questions that might have led to former Vice President, they were kind of off the table, and we brought forward multiple exhibits that show that even questions that I wanted to ask weren’t asked, and if those questions led to the former Vice President, they weren’t asked, and that was a part of not following the normal process that we would want to find out what that interaction was.
Whistleblowers expected there to be bipartisan support for rooting out preferential treatment based on political favor at the Department of Justice.
Partisan attacks on the credibility of the whistleblowers have been relentless, despite the clear evidence that something was wrong in this investigation.
Rep. Mike Kelly (PA-16): I know we’re running out of time, but tell us what you’ve been through.
Special Agent Ziegler: Guys, I’m a Democrat. I’m a Democrat and I expected that we would want to work on a bipartisan basis. I know that there is preferential treatment at the hand of the Department of Justice. You got money, you got political favor, there’s preferential treatment there. I hoped that Congress would have wanted to act on this. … I need you guys to understand the impact on me and my husband, our families. It’s not been an easy process.
Financial transactions between father and son that would normally lead to investigating the father were not investigated.
Any situation involving the kinds of evidence revealed in the course of the Hunter Biden investigation between him and his father would normally lead to pursuing more information. But in the case of Joe Biden, investigators were prevented from following the facts.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01): Did your gut tell you that Joe Biden was benefiting in any way from any of Hunter’s criminal proceeds?
Special Agent Shapley: We were interested in following leads that went to Joe Biden – President Biden – not because he was Vice President, but because in any normal investigation, if you see financial transactions between son and father, and email correspondence going back and forth, text messages, and WhatsApp messages, in every investigation we have ever worked, we would follow those leads to the father…We’ll never know because we weren’t allowed to investigate…For example, we wanted to go and say, “location data – we want to look into that.” And you know, it just wasn’t supported, and things just fell off the priority list.
Fitzpatrick: [Were you] stopped because of who it was? Could you even offer a hunch about what you would have found?
Special Agent Shapley: When you see 10 held by H for the big guy and we have other correspondence where they are saying, don’t call dad – you know, call dad something else, call him – because we are trying to confuse or conceal who it is, that is issue for concern. And was there 10 percent that went to the big guy? We will never know because we weren’t allowed to investigate that.
Fitzpatrick: What were the red flags that – as an agent, you saw a red flag. You wanted to go down that path. You were prevented from doing so. We are not prevented from doing so. We have tools at our disposal that we can see if that evidence exists or doesn’t.
Special Agent Ziegler: This is new information: In 2020, 2021, 2022 Hunter Biden received approximately $4.9 million in payments for personal expenses. Again, in the form of a loan or gift from Democratic donor, Kevin Morris. We have a reason to believe that Kevin Morris was on phone calls with the presidential campaign prior to Joe Biden securing the presidency. So you have the email. “Personally and politically.” Hunter Biden wasn’t running for office, so who is who is impacted politically by Hunter Biden’s tax returns not being filed? Look at when did he meet Kevin Morris and when were the tax payments made? It’s about two months [after] meeting him.
Investigators knew the structure of the Biden family business entities was not normal and raised “red flags” as potential “tax havens.”
Business entities seeking to hide income and avoid paying taxes they owe use techniques familiar to experienced investigators. But investigators were not allowed to pursue these red flags.
Rep. Dave Schweikert (AZ-01): And when you studied ‑‑ built the matrix of all these little companies to move money through, in other investigations you have done, how much of this looks like it is designed for obfuscation of information of tax liabilities, disclosure of ownership, or beneficial interests?
Special Agent Ziegler: It is not normal. So, in our investigations, we work complex international money laundering. It is very common for people to set up different entities to obfuscate the normal reporting requirements. That is typical of what we see.
Special Agent Shapley: I mean, there could be some legitimate business reasons. But that is the whole point here in this investigation. There were no legitimate business reasons for all these entities to be set up. There really weren’t many services being provided by some of them, and some of them were just flow‑through entities that were high on the list of red flags for potential tax evasion or tax noncompliance.
Learning that they had to fight their own chain of command “was incredibly shocking” to investigators.
Despite coming forward to fulfill their oath as federal investigators, the whistleblowers have had to argue with federal officials in order to pursue the case, and then defend against attacks on their characters.
Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01): I would like to say it is astonishing that in your line of work that the people that you are fighting against the most is usually, in the normal course of business, is American citizens that are out trying to do bad things to the government, shirk their responsibility in paying their taxes. Did you ever in your wildest imagination think it would be your own Federal Government that you were arguing this case? And you are having to defend your own characters against that of the Federal Government. That has got to be the most shocking thing that has ever happened when you came forward.
Special Agent Shapley: Yeah, so learning that was incredibly shocking to me…It was a complete abdication of the duties and responsibilities of leadership at IRS Criminal Investigation.
Vice President Biden took official actions that resulted in financial profit for the family business.
The whistleblowers gave a synopsis of the investigation into communications showing people in the U.S. administration and Ukraine working to get the CEO of Burisma off the hook from charges. The result was the Vice President taking credit for getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired.
Rep. Greg Steube (FL-17): So again, you have evidence of then-Vice President Joe Biden taking official actions, his family being compensated for that. And the other side is saying that we have no evidence that this is going on. And you’re providing more details from these excerpts and new evidence that was released here today that this is what was happening.
Special Agent Ziegler: Yeah. I mean, the thing that I pointed to was the White House call notes. I mean, these are call notes about the upcoming trip of the Vice President to Ukraine, and part of that is reform of the prosecutor’s office in Ukraine.
Steube: The bottom line is money from the Chinese Communist Party went to entities owned by the Biden family, then to Owasco. And then yesterday, due to the work of the Oversight Committee, there is evidence, financial evidence of money going from Owasco to Joe Biden.
Special Agent Ziegler: From what I saw yesterday, yes, that was released.
Steube: Which are facts, evidence, financial evidence from a financial institution that Joe Biden received money from a company owned by the Biden family, which received money from the Chinese Communist Party energy company.
Special Agent Ziegler: Yes.
Biden family fixer Kevin Morris warned of “political” risk in Hunter Biden’s unpaid taxes.
Kevin Morris, a Hollywood lawyer and Democrat donor, had communicated with another Hunter Biden associate about the risks to the Biden campaign of Hunter Biden’s tax liabilities. His mention of a “political” risk suggested the involvement of Hunter Biden’s father and potential coordination with the Presidential campaign.
Rep. David Kustoff (TN-08): When Kevin Morris says to Troy Schmidt on February 7, 2020, “We are under considerable risk personally and politically to get the returns in,” do you know what that means?
Special Agent Ziegler: So Hunter Biden isn’t running for office. The fact that it puts them at risk personally and politically, it would be something that I would want to investigate further.
Kustoff: And Kevin Morris is the individual who personally paid some of Hunter Biden’s tax liability. Is that right?
Special Agent Ziegler: Paid a significant amount of Hunter Biden’s tax liability.
Hunter Biden was telling the media that all this was going to go away when Joe Biden became president.
The sloppy nature of how Hunter Biden conducted business dealings suggested a confidence that he would not face scrutiny – and whistleblowers shared that he may have even been telling the media that his father’s potential presidency would shield him.
Rep. Claudia Tenney (NY-24): Do you think that some of this was not tied up neatly after Joe Biden ‑‑ while Joe Biden was on his way out of Vice Presidential because they figured that Hillary Clinton was going to get elected and that, therefore, some of this evidence, this was all going to go away? Because it seems like some of these things should not have been neatly put together. They should have been put together better so that this wouldn’t have happened. Would that be a theory that may have revealed why all this evidence has suddenly come out after your whistleblower testimony has come through and all the new evidence that you are presenting today?
Special Agent Shapley: Yeah. I mean, I am not sure if Hillary Clinton was elected President what it would have done, but I do know that there was some conversation where Hunter Biden said that when his father became President that he would get him off the charges.
Special Agent Ziegler: Yeah. There was a note from our director of communication from the media that Hunter Biden told the media that all this was going to go away when his dad became President.
David Weiss should not be the Special Counsel investigating Hunter Biden’s estates.
At the close of the hearing, Gary Shapley noted with special concern Special Counsel and former U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss’s mismanagement of the investigation and prosecution.
Special Agent Shapley: What we need is a special counsel investigating David Weiss and the Department of Justice handling of this investigation, and that’s going to include me too. Look at everything I did. Look at everything he says; every report he writes is going to be self-serving. It’s going to be a defense of the things they did wrong in that investigation.