Every House Democrat on the committee that released whistleblower testimony about the Hunter Biden tax probe on Thursday voted to keep that information hidden from the public eye.
A pair of IRS whistleblowers accused the Biden administration of stymying U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ investigation into President Biden’s son, which resulted in a plea deal earlier this week that is expected to see him avoid time behind bars. Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty to a pair of tax-related misdemeanor charges, but the whistleblowers claimed that it came after the Department of Justice “provided preferential treatment, slow-walked the investigation, did nothing to avoid obvious conflicts of interest in this investigation.”
House Ways & Means Committee Chair Jason Smith, R-Mo., said Republicans acted “in good faith” while accusing Democrats of “side-stepping” the two whistleblowers’ testimonies.
“Democrats will come to regret their vote as more facts in this investigation come to light and are judged in the court of public opinion. The scales of Justice cannot be skewed in favor of the wealthy and the politically connected,” Smith told Fox News Digital on Friday.
His committee, which fielded the testimony, voted to make the nearly 400 pages public in a 25-18 party line vote.
“During our committee meeting, Democrats sidestepped the whistleblowers’ damning testimony about misconduct and special treatment in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax crimes,” Smith said. “Throughout the process, Republicans acted in good faith, sharing information and making Democrats equal participants in the whistleblower interviews.”
Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., a member of the panel, told Fox News Digital on Friday that his Democratic counterparts’ “no” votes amounted to “covering” for Hunter Biden.
“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,” Hern 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.”
Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the top Democrat on the committee, said after the vote that his party objected to the GOP’s “process” rather than public disclosures.
“Clearly the case is not ready. So many witnesses were never even contacted. They never discerned a clear legislative purpose in the discussion,” Neal told reporters after the closed-door meeting to discuss the documents’ release, according to Roll Call.
He chaired the committee last year when it voted to release former President Trump’s tax returns. That vote likewise fell along party lines, with only Democrats in favor.
Democrats also reportedly complained that the testimonies named 50 government employees who were not interviewed.
White House spokesperson Ian Sams said of the IRS whistleblowers’ allegations, “Since he took office and consistent with his campaign promise that he would restore the independence of the Justice Department when it comes to decision-making in criminal investigations, President Biden has made clear that this matter would be handled independently by the Justice Department, under the leadership of a U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Trump, free from any political interference by the White House. He has upheld that commitment.”