Written by Hudson Crozier
What’s new: Under former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, federal prosecutors “obstructed” the IRS’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s financial activity to give him “preferential treatment,” according to sworn testimony from IRS agents.
Catch up: This week, Hunter agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax crimes, and Republicans suspected that the Department of Justice had been overly lenient. They were right, according to IRS agent Gary Shapley and an anonymous IRS agent who corroborated most of Shapley’s claims.
Blocking searches: The IRS wanted to search the Bidens’ home in Delaware, and some of Hunter’s business records, but a DOJ attorney wouldn’t let them, Shapley says. While she didn’t deny that the searches were warranted, the attorney — serving under Trump at the time — allegedly worried about “the optics” of making these moves against Biden’s family. Shapley says the denials were unprecedented in his career.
“We were obstructed from approaching certain witnesses. We were obstructed from asking certain questions.” - Shapley.
More alleged tax crimes: Hunter made millions of dollars from foreign deals and didn’t report the income on his taxes, and prosecutors wanted to bring felony charges, but Biden appointees in the DOJ blocked the effort, Shapley alleges. One of the ways they did this was to let the investigation take so long that the statute of limitations expired on some crimes, according to Shapley.
Big picture: These allegations contradict Attorney General Merrick Garland’s promises to Congress about the integrity of the Hunter Biden investigation, adding to the GOP’s concerns about political bias in the DOJ. Notably, the IRS fired Shapley and the entire team behind the investigation last month after he showed interest in becoming a whistleblower.