Top Republicans Warn Merrick Garland To Stop ‘Retaliatory Conduct’ Against IRS Whistleblowers in Hunter Biden Probe

A letter sent to the Justice Department says that it appears to have been responsive to an ‘intimidation campaign of Hunter Biden’s lawyers’ and demands accountability.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Attorney General Garland at the Department of Justice on August 11, 2023. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Three congressional committee chairmen are warning the Justice Department that they will “not tolerate any retaliatory conduct” towards whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden investigation. 

Supervisory IRS Special Agent Gary Shapley and IRS Criminal Investigator Joseph Ziegler are sworn-in during a House Oversight Committee hearing related to the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden, on Capitol Hill July 19, 2023 at Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan, the Oversight Committee’s chairman, James Comer, and the Ways and Means’ chairman, Jason Smith, sent a letter to Attorney General Garland on Tuesday demanding that he turn over documents relating to any investigations into two Internal Revenue Service whistleblowers, Gary Shapeley and Joe Ziegler, who had raised concerns that the Justice Department had slow-walked the probe into Mr. Biden.

It’s one of a trio of letters sent on Tuesday demanding accountability for any retaliation against Mr. Biden’s whistleblowers — another letter was sent to special counsel David Weiss and one was sent to the IRS Commissioner,  Daniel Werfel. 

“Hunter Biden and his lawyers have waged an aggressive intimidation campaign against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler, slandering them with false allegations and demanding that the Justice Department investigate them for making protected disclosures to Congress,” the letter to Mr. Garland reads, noting a series of letters that Mr. Biden’s team sent to the Justice Department. 

“The Department appears to have been receptive to the intimidation campaign of Hunter Biden’s lawyers,” the letter from Republicans notes. A redacted portion of the Department’s brief suggests that Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler are the subjects of an “ongoing investigation,” it says. 

Hunter Biden participates in the annual White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 1, 2024 at Washington, DC., the same day as a California judge dismissed his multiple requests to dismiss felony tax evasion charges against him. Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

“Given that the whistleblowers’ disclosures were lawful, if they are under investigation for their protected disclosures to Congress, the Committees are concerned that such an investigation is an attempt to seek retribution against these two brave whistleblowers,” the letter reads, adding that whistleblowers play an essential part of  “identifying and rooting out waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, and corruption within federal agencies.” 

The Republicans said “any and all attempts to intimidate or retaliate against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler for their protected disclosures to Congress must stop.” They directed the department to provide communications or documents about any investigations into the two IRS agents by April 16 at the latest.

The New York Sun

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