Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Is the Dam About To Break?

Congress Hears Shocking New Evidence of Alleged DOJ Cover-up in Biden Bribery Probe  

 

What began as a trickle of allegations about bribery and political corruption in the Biden White House has ballooned into a stream of evidence supporting those allegations, and implicating the Justice Department, FBI and IRS in what appears to be a vast cover-up to protect the Biden family.

In a rare move, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, released a number of documents from this trove of evidence last week, saying Americans need to be informed about matters that may seriously compromise President Biden and affect national security.

Among the documents was the FBI’s “FD-1023” – a report containing explosive allegations from a confidential FBI source about a $10 million bribery scheme allegedly orchestrated in 2015 by Hunter Biden with Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, when Joe Biden was vice president.

With Grassley’s release of the bombshell report— lightly redacted to protect the whistleblower— “the American people can now read this document for themselves, without the filter of politicians or bureaucrats,” the Senator said in a statement.

“For the better part of a year, I’ve been pushing the Justice Department and FBI to provide details on its handling of very significant allegations from a trusted FBI informant implicating then-Vice President Biden in a criminal bribery scheme,” Grassley noted.

“What did the Justice Department and FBI do with the detailed information in the document?” the Iowa senator demanded. “And why have they tried to conceal it from Congress and the American people for so long?”

“While the FBI sought to obfuscate and redact, the American people can now read this document for themselves, without the filter of politicians or bureaucrats, thanks to brave whistleblowers,” the senator said.

 

Stonewalling Over Release of FBI Document 

Grassley was the first to disclose the FBI’s possession of what he termed “significant evidence of potential criminality” involving the Biden family in the FD-1023 report. In May, he partnered with House Committee Oversight Chairman James Comer on a subpoena to compel the document’s disclosure to the Committee.

After initially denying the existence of the 1023 and facing contempt of Congress charges for ignoring a subpoena, FBI Director Chris Wray finally provided a highly redacted document to two members of the House.

Following the FBI’s failure to fully comply with the congressional subpoena, Sen. Grassley, who had received a copy of the 1023, decided to release it the public.

The unclassified FBI document he placed in the public domain contains key information missing from the redacted version, including the identity of the Burisma CEO, Mykola Zlochevsky, and the mention of voice recordings of crucial information about the alleged bribery scheme.

The document records the FBI’s interview with the trusted source who detailed multiple meetings and conversations he had with Zlochevsky over the course of several years, starting in 2015.

Hunter Biden, at the time, sat on the board of Burisma, earning $83,000 a month.

In the document, Zlochevsky is quoted as saying he was “coerced” into paying Hunter Biden and his father, “the big guy,” millions of dollars to get a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating his firm fired.

The Ukrainian oligarch is quoted as saying he’s saved “many text messages and 17 ‘voice recordings’ that show he was coerced to make such payments.”

 

Multiple Strands of an Erupting Scandal

The 1023 allegations of a sophisticated bribery scheme involving the Bidens comprise just one strand of an erupting scandal about what Sen. Chuck Grassley has called “a massive political infection within the Biden Justice Department.”

Another strand is the alleged DOJ cover-up in the Hunter Biden tax fraud investigation, detailed in hundreds of pages of sworn testimony by two veteran IRS investigators in closed-door hearings.

Following the release of this testimony last week, the whistleblowers, IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, spent hours testifying before the Oversight Committee about what they alleged was relentless DOJ obstruction of their five-year long IRS investigation.

The two men, who spent years working on the Hunter Biden probe, laid bare in separate testimonies the many ways in which the Justice Department allegedly prevented them from building a case based on strong evidence of financial crimes.

They testified that standard investigative steps were blocked during their tax-fraud probe of Hunter Biden, in which, despite the obstacles, they found about $2.2 million in tax evasion from foreign income in the years 2014-2019.

Special Agent Shapley testified, “While the impression was that Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss essentially had the powers of special counsel in the investigation, this was clearly not the case. Weiss was constantly hamstrung, limited and marginalized by DOJ officials as well as other U.S. Attorneys.”

Shapley recorded in an email to his supervisor a pivotal meeting he and other agents had with Weiss, where the Delaware U.S. Attorney admitted he did not have final authority on whether charges could be filed against Hunter Biden.

The natural venues for charging the crimes would have been California and DC, where Hunter lived.  According to the email which was written right after the meeting, Weiss told those present that he had approached the D.C. U.S. Attorney to request charges be filed there, but was denied. He received a similar refusal from the U.S. Attorney in Southern California.

Weiss also told his investigating team that he had sought to be appointed special counsel in the case to circumvent non-cooperating U.S. attorneys in DC and California, but was refused by the DOJ.

Even Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wolf, who worked under Weiss, seemed to have been undermining him, according to the whistleblowers. “Wolf featured prominently in both men’s testimony as a constant impediment to the advancement of the Hunter Biden case,” wrote the Washington Examiner.

The whistleblowers allege that Wolf stymied the investigation at multiple stages. She allegedly prevented IRS and FBI agents from asking any questions about evidence that President Joe Biden received payments from his son’s foreign work.

At one point, a search warrant for the guest house at the Bidens’ Delaware residence was being planned by IRS investigators. Yet, despite agreeing that there was probable cause, Wolf told investigators they should not ask about President Biden during witness interviews even when the business communications of his son clearly referenced him.”

IRS whistleblowers confirm that because of these many roadblocks, they were not allowed to follow evidence that could have led to Joe Biden.

 

Preferential Treatment

IRS agent Joe Ziegler, with 13 years of experience with the IRS, testified how the Bidens were given preferential treatment during the Justice Department’s investigation of their financial records:

Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax felony, not only the tax misdemeanor charge (which under a plea deal, would involve no jail time), Ziegler said. “The prosecutors working with us were in agreement on this. We need to treat each taxpayer equally under the law.”

“But leadership did not follow the ordinary process, slow-walked the investigation and put in place unnecessary roadblocks to hinder an efficient investigation of the case,” Ziegler added.

He noted that Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wolf and others had done something unthinkable: she reportedly tipped off Hunter Biden’s attorneys about his storage unit the IRS team had planned to investigate, which potentially allowed evidence to be “destroyed, manipulated or concealed.”

Ziegler was also prevented from interviewing and getting records from Hunter Biden’s adult children and members of the Biden Family, calling this “abnormal and a deviation from normal procedure.”

IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley testified, “I am here to tell you that the Delaware USAO and Department of Justice handling of the Hunter Biden tax investigation was very different from any other case in my 14 years at the IRS.”

“In this country, we believe in the rule of law, and that applies to everyone. There should not be a two-track justice system depending on who you are and who you’re connected to. Yet in this case, there was. At every stage decisions were made that benefited the subject of the investigation—[Hunter Biden].”

He noted how important evidence, including the Hunter Biden laptop, and the FBI’s FD-1023 about the bribery allegations, were concealed from investigators. The Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office also slow-walked interviews and requests to pursue physical search warrants, Shapley said.

 

The Telltale Texts

Shapley provided electronically retrieved WhatsApp messages between Hunter Biden and Chinese businessmen in which Hunter used the threat of his father’s political influence to force a business deal.

In the messages, involving Chinese businessman from CEFC, a Chinese energy company, Hunter Biden laments an apparent attempt to pay him “only” $5 million for unspecified services; Hunter Biden wrote that “I can make $5M in salary at any law firm in America.”

“The Bidens are the best I know at doing exactly what the Chairman wants from this partnership. Please let’s not quibble over peanuts,” Hunter Biden wrote in the messages.

In another WhatsApp thread, Hunter sent a threatening July 30, 2017, text to shake down Chinese business associate Henry Zhao. In that message, Hunter complained that Zhao had failed to come through with his “commitment” and demanded an explanation. Hunter tried to coerce payment, warning that his father was in the room with him waiting for Zhao to respond.

“I expect the matter to be resolved right away and that means tonight” Hunter’s WhatsApp message read. Less than a week later, a transfer of more than $5 million was made to Hunter-linked accounts.

Shapley testified that investigators were prevented from taking any investigative steps related to the threatening messages, including verifying through geolocation technology whether Joe Biden was indeed “sitting next to” Hunter Biden, as Hunter claimed.

The tax agents said they also were blocked from interviewing Hunter Biden and other members of Biden’s family.

Shapley lamented in his testimony that, of the dozen unannounced interviews investigators had painstakingly coordinated on the same day in December 2020, only one took place because, the night before the operation, a high-level FBI official tipped off Joe Biden’s transition team and the Secret Service that investigators were coming.

 

‘The Big Guy’

The single interview involved Rob Walker, a close business associate of Hunter Biden’s who sent him payments and had sent messages about holding money for “the big guy,” presumed to be Joe Biden.

But senior prosecutors, notably AUSA Leslie Wolf, demanded that investigators ask no questions that could involve Joe Biden.

According to excerpts of the Walker interview provided by Shapley, an FBI agent did bring up the message referencing money for “the big guy,” and Walker did acknowledge that it was a reference to Joe Biden.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-AZ, questioned special agent Ziegler about references to the “big guy” in text messages between Hunter and business associates cutting a deal with him.

Rep. Biggs: So, on the day of action, you guys were intending to interview twelve people, one of whom was Rob Walker, a business associate of Hunter Biden. And in particular, you wanted to talk about, I think the quote is: “10 [million] held by H for the big guy,” right? Who did you infer “the big guy” might be?

Zeigler: We were referencing a text between Hunter and Henry Zhao [A Chinese business associate]. He writes, “Ten held by H for the big guy’ and from what I understand, that is Hunter’s dad, President Biden.

Biggs: The ‘AUSA Leslie Wolf interjected,’ –and I’m reading from your transcript now—that she did not want to ask questions about “dad.” Again, who did you take “dad” to be?

Ziegler: Hunter’s father.

Special Agent Gary Shapleys similarly told Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis., that investigators were prevented from asking questions about Joe Biden, even though there was evidence that he was involved with his son’s foreign business dealings.

Rep. Grothman: “AUSA Leslie Wolf told you she did not want you to ask questions about “Dad,” meaning Joe Biden, is that correct?”

Shapley: “That is correct.”

Rep. Grothman: “Assistant US Attorney General Wolf was conceding that the “big guy” was Joe Biden, do you think that’s accurate?”

Shapley. I do.

Grothman: “And did Rob Walker tell you that President Biden had ever showed up to a meeting with his son’s business associates?”

Shapley: “Yes. He told us that he had shown up to these meetings…The witness described an instance where CEFC executives were meeting at the Four Seasons and that the subject’s father, President Biden, showed up at that meeting.”

Grothman: “So President Biden was there physically?”

Shapley: “That’s what the witness said, yes.”

 

US Attorney Can’t Get His Story Straight

No witnesses at the meeting have refuted Shapley’s summary of what took place at the pivotal meeting with U.S. Attorney Weiss when he reportedly admitted his hands were tied in the Hunter Biden prosecution. But Weiss himself has disputed it, while he in turn has been contradicted by fellow prosecutors in DC and California.

Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney in the Central District for California, has denied blocking Weiss from bringing charges against Hunter Biden in his district, as the whistleblowers asserted.

“U.S. Attorney Weiss was given full authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction he deemed appropriate. He did not need approval from this office or the U.S. Attorney to bring charges in this district,” Estrada’s office said in a statement, echoing Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The whistleblowers also said Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, stopped Weiss from bringing charges in his district.

Weiss himself has given conflicting and contradictory information in letters to Congress, noted Sen. Jordan at last week’s hearing.

“He first claimed he had ultimate authority in the case, supporting AG Garland’s assurance that he had complete freedom and autonomy to bring whatever charges he felt were warranted,” said Sen. Jordan.

“Weiss then reversed that position—after the whistleblowers came forward—to admit that his charging authority was limited geographically,” recounted the Senator. But he also contradicted the whistle blowers, denying that he ever sought to be appointed special counsel in the Biden investigation.

“Ask yourself whose testimony keeps changing and whose testimony has remained consistent,” declared Jordan at last week’s hearing.

 

*****

Foreign Actors Exploit Hunter to Access Joe

 

Hunter’s incriminating laptop was discovered at Delaware computer repair shop and turned over to the FBI in April 2019. Its contents, revealed in a series of articles by the NY Post at the time, paint a picture of Hunter wheeling and dealing with wealthy oligarchs and foreign business entities, who appear to be using Hunter to gain access to his father.

Hunter, in turns, appears to exploit his father’s VIP status for financial profit.

Joe Biden was then vice president of the United States in the Obama Administration. Although during a Democratic presidential debate in 2019, he claimed that he had never discussed with his son Hunter anything about his business dealings and has repeated this declaration while in office, mounting evidence indicates this is not true.

The emails suggest that the CEO of Ukraine energy firm, Burisma, secured direct access to Joe Biden through his son Hunter. Joe Biden exercised oversight of U.S.-Ukraine relations at the time, and was also the point man for US. foreign policy in China under the Obama administration.

The Ukrainian company was paying Hunter Biden $83,000 a month to sit on its board of directors, “a position for which he had neither qualifications nor experience,” noted a Fox News article. His chief and only asset to the company appeared to be his relationship with Vice President Biden.

The selection of emails reproduced by the Post article contains one by a Burisma executive, Vadym Pozarski, asking Hunter to use his influence to thwart an ongoing investigation into Burisma by prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.

Another email by the same individual dated April 17, 2015, thanked Hunter for setting up a meeting for him with the vice president in Washington.

‘Five Million to Pay One Biden, Five to pay Another Biden’

Last Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley publicly released an FBI document corroborating these emails. The document shows the Bureau was informed in 2017 of a possible bribery scheme involving then-VP Joe Biden and Hunter, in which the Bidens allegedly coerced Burisma executives into paying them millions to have a troublesome prosecutor general named Viktor Shokin fired.

In a meeting with the FBI’s trusted source, Burisma CFO Zlochevsky allegedly said that “it cost 5 million to pay one Biden, and 5 (million) to another Biden,” which the source understood to mean that Zlochevsky had paid the Bidens to “deal with Shokin.”

The Burisma CFO said that the company had hired Hunter Biden to “protect us, through his dad, from all kinds of problems.” In the same meeting, Zlochevksy said that Hunter Biden “is stupid—my dog is smarter,” but that he needs to keep Hunter on board “so everything will be okay.”

Fast forward a few months to 2018, when Joe Biden, in a video-taped speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, bragged that as Vice President he had ensured that Viktor Shokin got fired two years earlier.

He recounted that in a December 2015 meeting with Ukraine’s then-president, Petro Poroshenko, he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in much needed U.S. aid to Ukraine’s financially strapped government:

“I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, what do you know, he got fired!” Biden boasted to appreciative laughter.

 

*****

‘I Felt Hand-cuffed’

 

IRS special agent Joseph Ziegler told CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge that he “felt handcuffed” during a five-year investigation into Hunter Biden’s international business deals.

“Any time we potentially wanted to go down the road of asking questions related to the president, it was, ‘That’s gonna take too much approvals [from higher ups], we can’t ask those questions.’ And it created an environment that was very hard to deal with,” Ziegler said.

“Wouldn’t a politically sensitive case naturally require additional approvals?” asked Herridge.

“Yes, I do understand that aspect,” Ziegler said. “But in this case it was like, ‘Well let’s think about it and put that on the back burner for now.’” At the end of the day, it’s a matter of are we treating everyone the same? Are we treating all taxpayers the same?

“And in this case, what would you say?” asked Herridge.

“And in this case, no, I don’t think so,” Ziegler replied.

The former IRS officer also said he was prevented from following up on Hunter Biden’s tax deductions involving Hunter’s adult children—the president’s grandchildren:

Herridge: Why did you want to interview Hunter Biden’s adult children?

Ziegler: So, a lot of the business deductions, expenses, related to the adult children.

Herridge: Did you get the approval?

Ziegler: No, we never received approvals to talk to any of them.

Herridge: What did the Assistant U.S. Attorney tell you?

Ziegler: That it would get us into hot water.

Herridge: Is that in the IRS handbook, avoiding hot water?

Ziegler:  No. But I was asking to do certain things [as part of our investigation] and roadblock after roadblock was put up in front of me.

 

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