Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024

Web of Lies Unraveling in Hunter Biden Scandal

New Whistleblower Testimony Accuses DOJ of Obstructing Investigation to Protect Biden Family

 

Explosive allegations from IRS whistleblowers that the Department of Justice obstructed an investigation of Hunter Biden, together with new evidence that President Joe Biden in his past role as vice president allegedly participated in Hunter’s multi-million dollar dealings with corrupt regimes, have rocked the country.

Even pro-Biden media outlets could not ignore the deepening scandal in Washington, with liberal networks including the NY Times, Washington Post, CBS, ABC and NBC all carrying the IRS whistleblowers’ story.

Their revelations follow Hunter’s unexpectedly lenient plea deal calling for probation for two misdemeanors—instead of the tax fraud charges and felony gun charges (for possessing a firearm while drug-addicted) that the IRS wanted to press.

The whistleblowers say this was the result of the DOJ hamstringing a federal investigation, not allowing enforcement actions to be executed, and cushioning the charges against Hunter to protect the Biden family.

The IRS recommended harsher penalties, according to House Ways and Means Committee chairman Jason Smith, R-MO.

“The [whistleblower] testimony we released today shows the IRS recommended charges that included attempt to evade tax, a felony,” said Smith. “That includes tax crimes that cover an estimated 2.2 million in unreported tax on global income streams to Mr. Biden and his associates from Ukraine, Romania and China, totaling 17.3 million.”

CBS scored an exclusive interview with one of the whistleblowers, Special IRS Agent Gary Shapley, after Shapley’s testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee on May 26 was released to the public.

Shapley told CBS he first contacted the House Ways and Means Committee in April, and in May testimony, told the panel members that the Delaware U.S. attorney’s office, DOJ Tax Division and broader DOJ had accorded preferential treatment to Hunter Biden, with decisions at every stage “favoring the subject of the investigation.”

He went on to detail numerous ways in which federal prosecutors allegedly acted to impede the investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial affairs, and then covered up their own misconduct by publicly denying these actions. [See Sidebar]

“This meeting is about transparency and bringing to light facts about alleged government misconduct,” Chairman Smith said before it got underway. He said afterwards that Ways and Means has been quietly pursuing aggressive oversight, which has happened largely behind the scenes due to restrictions protecting taxpayer information.

After a 25-18 party line vote in favor of releasing the whistleblower information to the public (every Democrat on the committee voted against the move), the panel made public a series of transcripts totaling almost 400 pages from interviews with the two IRS employees.

“The evidence presented to committee members couldn’t have been more clear. The Biden administration weaponized the federal government to protect the president’s son from the consequences of his illegal actions,” Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Oklahoma, said. “It’s hard to believe anyone would vote to participate in covering up those crimes, but that’s exactly what every Democrat member of the committee did.”

Charges of Political Corruption and Cover-up

“There are two strands to this growing scandal, wrote the NY Post. “First is the original story of political corruption first revealed on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which The Post broke on Oct. 14, 2020.”

“Second is the cover-up, which, like Watergate, has become the bigger scandal.”

“Both strands are covered in Shapley’s bombshell testimony unsealed last week, and is backed up with new evidence he provided,” the article said. “These include documents and messages retrieved from a search warrant of Hunter Biden’s iCloud, recorded conversations of internal IRS and DOJ meetings, and interview transcripts with associates of Hunter Biden.”

According to Shapley, a highly credentialed IRS investigator with who took over the Hunter Biden case in January 2020, authorities had turned up fresh evidence of Joe Biden’s involvement in his family’s overseas income. They were blocked by DOJ officials from pursuing important leads, however, and were marginalized by their superiors—and in one case, passed over for a promotion—when they objected to this biased conduct. Shapley called this treatment “unprecedented” in his many years with the IRS.

The leads they were following included highly revealing communications retrieved from a search warrant on Hunter Biden’s iCloud account. These texts directly implicated the president in an attempt to coerce money from a Chinese businessman named Henry Zhao.

Zhao is said to be a Communist Party official with deep ties to Chinese intelligence agencies, according to the Wall Street Journal and Breitbart News.

His fund, Harvest Fund Management, was associated with BHR Partners, an investment fund that Hunter co-founded in 2013, 12 days after he joined his father, Vice-President Biden, aboard Air Force Two for an official trip to Beijing, the WSJ reported.

In May, Comer discovered that over the course of several years, the Biden family received at least $10 million from business schemes in Romania, Ukraine and China that appeared to exploit then vice-president Biden’s political influence on foreign policy. In total, nine Biden family members, including two of Joe Biden’s grandchildren, received payments from the family’s foreign business ventures.

A CBS article noted that the aforementioned BHR venture was the first of two major Biden family dealings in China, uncovered by House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer, R-KY.

Through the second venture with CEFC China Energy, Hunter and James Biden received $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018, according to a Washington Post review of Hunter’s laptop records.

A May 2017 email about the above-mentioned CEFC deal referred to Joe Biden as the “Big Guy” who was due a 10% cut, according to former Hunter partner Tony Bobulinski, and an October 2017 document listed Joe Biden as a participant on a conference call about CEFC’s attempt to buy U.S. natural gas, the CBS News report said.

IRS Whistleblower Testimony Consistent with FBI Informant 

Shapley’s testimony meshed with the bribery/extortion allegations that first surfaced in May when an FBI whistleblower report was brought to the attention of Congress. The report corroborated allegations that when President Joe Biden was vice president in the Obama administration, he and family members were involved in a $10 million “influence-peddling” scheme that exploited Biden’s political clout.

Coming from a respected, credible source and adding to the incriminating evidence of foul play already piling up, the whistleblower’s testimony ignited a firestorm. The scandal deepened when Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month that he had read the FBI document, and that it contained an explosive revelation.

The document alleged the existence of 17 audio recordings secretly taped by a billionaire Ukrainian oil executive of the Burisma gas company, as he reportedly negotiated a bribery scheme with Hunter and Joe Biden.

The Burisma executive, whom Grassley named, had allegedly told the whistleblower who was posing as a trusted consultant, that he hadn’t made any direct payments to the “Big Guy,” as Joe Biden was allegedly codenamed, so regardless of who won the U.S. presidential election, he, the executive, would not be linked to Joe Biden.

He said he had camouflaged the payments to Hunter and other Bidens so shrewdly, it would take “ten years” to unravel the bank accounts.

If the individual whistleblower testimonies from FBI and IRS employees are true, it’s clear that when evidence against Hunter or Joe Biden became incriminating, both agencies acted to hide evidence and impede the investigations.

In the case of the IRS, Justice Department officials acted to “slow-walk” the investigation, denying the agents search warrants, limiting the permitted line of questioning, or saying they could not get approval from Headquarters, Shapley told the House Committee.

The Bureau reacted by heavily redacting the explosive FBI whistleblower document, blacking out mention of the17 recorded phone conversations between the Ukrainian billionaire and Hunter and Joe Biden.

But these tactics failed to obscure the glaring questions raised by information that could not be adequately suppressed over the long-running investigation, and information that spilled out of Hunter’s laptop before it was sealed by the FBI.

“Why did the widow of the Mayor of Moscow send Hunter Biden $3.5 million?” questioned former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in a Fox News op-ed. “Why did Burisma put him on the board when he knows nothing about natural gas or Ukraine? What did he do to earn money from Kazakhstan and Romania? Why did a Chinese oligarch send him a diamond? Why did the Bidens set up so many shell companies if they aren’t trying to hide the flow of foreign money?”

With the House Oversight and Ways and Means Committees continuing their deep dive into the  Biden family bank-transfer records — with its evidence of money laundering and the voice recording evidence supporting the whistleblowers allegations—answers to these burning questions will soon be forthcoming.

A Prosecutor Whose Hands Were Tied?

Assigned to Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss in 2018, the Hunter Biden investigation crawled along for more than five years until some of the crimes being investigated had to be dropped for exceeding the statute of limitations.

Although Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed there would be no interference in Weiss’s investigation, in practice he was impeded at almost every turn, the whistleblowers attested.

The way the investigation was set up, Weiss needed to have all charges signed-off by the Tax Division at the DOJ, which is run by Biden appointees. That meant that if the venue for any charges lay outside Delaware, Weiss would need permission from the Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in those federal districts to file them.

“Testimony shows that U.S. Attorney Weiss tried to bring charges in the District of Columbia around March of 2022 and was denied,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith asserted.

Since Weiss was not allowed to pursue certain charges against Hunter Biden, he made multiple  attempts in the spring of 2022 to elevate himself to the rank of special counsel to get around the problem, Shapley testified. Yet he was repeatedly denied. The Delaware U.S. Attorney then  sought to bring charges in the Central District of California in the fall of 2022 and was refused  there too in January of 2023.

Shapley recounts that throughout 2020, IRS agents working on the case were similarly thwarted in their efforts to conduct a search of Hunter Biden’s residences, interviews with his business associates, and basic follow-up of investigative leads.

For the most part, he said, these obstacles were orchestrated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf who worked under Weiss. The whistleblower maintains that Wolf and other Justice Department lawyers not only vetoed search warrants for which they knew there was probable cause, but stymied the investigation in numerous other ways.

Prosecutors Tipped Off Hunter’s Attorneys Prior to Search

The preferential treatment allegedly accorded Hunter Biden went so far as prosecutors doing the unthinkable: tipping off his attorneys prior to any search, and providing them valuable time to remove any materials that could be useful evidence,” Chairman Jason Smith said, based on Shapley’s report.

“[IRS agents] heard AUSA Wolf had simply reached out to Hunter Biden’s defense counsel and told him about the storage unit [where Hunter had allegedly transferred documents from his business office], once again ruining our chance to get to the evidence before it was destroyed, manipulated or concealed,” the testimony read.

The IRS whistleblower testimony showed that, when preparing to interview Hunter Biden’s business associate Rob Walker, Wolf told investigators she “did not want to ask about “the Big Guy” nor did she want to ask questions about “Dad.”

According to Shapley, over objections from both FBI and IRS agents, Wolf insisted that there was “no specific criminality to that line of questioning,” and therefore these topics were off the table.

As the investigation continued under the Biden Justice Department, Shapley recounts that agents were not given access to the Biden laptop evidence and were prevented by Wolf and the Tax Division from conducting interviews with essential witnesses.

“Investigators assigned to this investigation were obstructed from seeing all the available evidence,” Shapley said.

Eventually, the whistleblowers said, Justice Department had the entire IRS team removed from the probe over its complaints about the preferential treatment accorded the president’s son and other profound irregularities.

 

*****

Bombshell Text Message: “I’m Sitting Here with My Father…”

In one shocking instance of DOJ interference in the Biden probe, Shapley said investigators were blocked from authenticating a message in which Hunter allegedly threatened the above-mentioned Henry Zhao with regard to a delayed payment, and used his father to exert pressure.

“We obtained a July 30th, 2017, WhatsApp message from Hunter Biden to Henry Zhao,” detailed Shapley in his testimony. “It read: ‘I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled.’

‘And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang or the chairman,’ the text continued, ‘I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction.”

Within ten days, $5.1 million was wired to Hunter by CEFC, a company tied to the Chinese Communist Party, according to bank records published by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson in their September 2020 report into Hunter Biden’s alleged corruption.

According to IRS whistleblower testimony, FBI investigators wanted to obtain the location data to confirm Joe Biden was actually in the room with Hunter Biden when he messaged Henry Zhao, but were purportedly blocked from doing so.

When they attempted to penetrate the veil covering transactions alluded to in the messages, “IRS investigators say they found themselves hamstrung internally,” said Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Jason Smith, R-Mo.

Asked by a reporter whether the WhatsApp message undermines the president’s claims that he had no knowledge of his son’s overseas activities, National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby replied, “No, and I’m not going to comment further on this

Sen. Cruz Charges DOJ with Obstruction of Justice

“This WhatsApp directly ties Joe Biden to the millions of dollars coming from communist China,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, said on his podcast.

“Now, it is possible Hunter Biden was lying, it’s possible Joe Biden wasn’t sitting next to him. It’s possible Joe Biden was not going to inflict official damage on the Chinese if they didn’t pay him and his son millions of dollars. That’s possible, but we don’t know if it’s true or not. Because, according to the whistleblower, they didn’t investigate because they were prohibited from investigating. They were prevented from even asking the question.”

“Let me be clear: This, on the face of it, is obstruction of justice,” Cruz said. “And if Merrick Garland issued that order, he is the one blocking the investigation, and I think there’s real evidence of Merrick Garland being guilty of obstruction of justice.”

Cruz, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who has served in the Senate since 2013, criticized his Democratic colleagues’ lack of interest in learning the truth.

“If you had a single Democrat who cared about the rule of law, we would have a hearing right now with [Attorney General] Merrick Garland in front of us, under oath, asking about this WhatsApp,” he said.

“We would ask to see every document, we would ask to see every email, we’d ask to see every communication between DOJ and the investigators, Sen. Cruz went on. “We would put the IRS whistleblowers on the stand, under oath to testify about it, and we would confront Merrick Garland with that.”

“The chances of the Senate Judiciary Committee doing that are zero, because [chairman] Dick Durbin doesn’t care,” he added. “No Senate Democrat cares, but the House does, so that is the only hope for investigating this.”

*****

Someone Is Not Telling The Truth

 

As described above, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss is said to have acknowledged to the IRS team in his office on October 7, 2022 that when he sought to file tax-evasion charges against Hunter Biden in Washington, D.C., and in the Central District of California, he was rebuffed by the Biden-appointed U.S. attorneys in those districts.

According to whistleblower Gary Shapley, Weiss made a shocking confession: “I’m not the deciding official on whether charges [against Hunter Biden] are filed,” he told those present.

He elaborated that the Justice Department had turned him down flat when he asked for special-counsel authority so he could overrule the objections of Biden’s appointees.

In a hearing before the Ways and Means Committee refuted these claims, Garland denied that Weiss had sought special counsel status and had been turned down. “As I said at the outset, Mr. Weiss would be permitted to continue his investigation and to make a decision to prosecute any way he wanted to and in any district he wanted,” Garland asserted.

The attorney general supported his claim by citing a June 7 letter David Weiss sent to the House Judiciary Committee, in which he inexplicably contradicted his own Oct 7, 2022 remarks. “I have been granted ultimate authority over the [Biden tax investigation] including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges,” the letter said.

Witnesses Corroborate Whistleblowers’ Allegations

This letter flies in the face of Weiss’s alleged Oct 7, 2022 admission before at least six IRS and FBI agents that his hands were tied in the Biden investigation. The names of four of those six witnesses have now been released, reported the Daily Wire: they are Baltimore FBI Special Agents Tom Sobocinski and Ryeshia Holley, and IRS Special Agents Gary Shapley and Darrell Waldon.

“These individuals independently corroborated Mr. Shapley’s account in an email, Exhibit 10, following p. 148 of his testimony transcript,” a statement from Shapley’s attorney read.

If the testimonies of the whistleblowers and these four witnesses are borne out, Garland was being untruthful. Instead of enjoying autonomy, Weiss had been reduced to a pawn as the DOJ sabotaged its own probe, stymying the investigation at every turn. Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf, Weiss’s subordinate, was apparently taking orders from someone other than her immediate boss.

And in the end, if these accounts are reliable, U.S. Attorney David Weiss himself buckled, making dishonest assertions to Congress in support of Attorney General Garland.

Last week, after Biden’s plea deal was announced, Garland reiterated in a statement that the Justice Department leadership “had no role in the charging decision.”

“As I said from the moment of my appointment as attorney general, I would leave this matter in the hands of the U.S. attorney,” said Garland with a straight face, referring to Weiss.

“We need to get to the facts, and that includes reconciling these clear disparities,” noted Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. “U.S. Attorney David Weiss must provide answers to the House Judiciary Committee. If the whistleblowers’ allegations are true, this will be a significant part of a larger impeachment inquiry into Merrick Garland’s weaponization of the DOJ.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-OH, was equally skeptical of Weiss’s letter, the Washington Examiner and Fox News report. He sent him a response last week asking him to explain what he meant by his claim that he had “ultimate authority” over the investigation, in the wake of explicit whistleblower testimony alleging the exact opposite: that the Justice Department interfered in the investigation and called all the shots.

“We want to talk to David Weiss. We want to talk to Lesley Wolf,” Jordan said on an appearance on Fox News.

Rep. Jordan gave Weiss a July 6 deadline to provide the following information: “a list of those who drafted and assisted in drafting his June 7 letter claiming “ultimate authority,” who instructed him to sign and send the letter, and whether there were any discussions with Garland or any other person at the DOJ” about the matter.

 

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