There is “no way of knowing” if evidence of “other criminal activity” existed concerning President Joe Biden or Hunter Biden due to prosecutorial guidance to “limit” or block questioning related to the president, an IRS whistleblower alleged.
The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday released testimony from two IRS whistleblowers who said officials at the Justice Department, FBI and IRS interfered with the investigation of the tax evasion case against Hunter Biden. The whistleblowers said decisions in the case seemed to be “influenced by politics.”
One whistleblower, Gary Shapley Jr., who was the supervisor of the investigation at the IRS, said that “at every stage” of the Hunter Biden probe, decisions were made that “had the effect of benefiting the subject of the investigation.”
Shapley testified that the investigation, which had the codename of “Sportsman,” was opened in November 2018 as an “offshoot” of an IRS investigation into a “foreign-based amateur online pornography platform.” Testimony released by the committee didn’t include any further explanation of how the pornography outlet and Hunter Biden were linked.
Nearly a year later, in October 2019, Shapley said the FBI became aware of the laptop, and by December 2019, the FBI took possession of it and “notified the IRS that it likely contained evidence of tax crimes.”
Shapley testified that he, in October 2020, complained that he still had “not been given access to the laptop.”
Shapley noted that Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Wolf admitted that she did not see the laptop because “prosecutors decided to keep it from the investigators.”
“This decision is unprecedented in my experience,” Shapley said. “Investigators assigned to this investigation were obstructed from seeing all the available evidence.”
Shapley further testified that it is “unknown if all the evidence in the laptop was reviewed by agents or by prosecutors.”
Shapley also testified that Wolf had worked to “limit” questioning related to Joe Biden — referring to him as “dad” or “the big guy.”
With regard to the laptop, Shapley said that “based on guidance provided by the prosecutors on a recurring basis to not look into anything related to President Biden, there is no way of knowing if evidence of other criminal activity existed concerning Hunter Biden or President Biden.”
With regard to limiting questioning related to Joe Biden, Shapley pointed to text messages and emails obtained from Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski, which Fox News Digital first reported before the 2020 presidential election and before it was known that Hunter Biden was under federal investigation.
Ahead of an interview with Hunter Biden business associate Rob Walker in December 2020, Shapley said investigators “wanted to question Walker about an email that said: ‘Ten held by H for the big guy.’”
The “Ten held by H for the big guy” message is an email from May 13, 2017, which included a discussion of “remuneration packages” for six people in a business deal with a Chinese energy firm. The email appeared to identify Biden as “Chair / Vice Chair depending on agreement with CEFC,” in an apparent reference to now-bankrupt CEFC China Energy Co.
The email includes a note that “Hunter has some office expectations he will elaborate.” A proposed equity split references “20” for “H” and “10 held by H for the big guy?” with no further details.
“We had obvious questions like who was H, who the big guy was, and why this percentage was to be held separately with the association hidden,” Shapley testified.
But Shapley said Wolf “interjected and said she did not want to ask about the big guy and stated she did not want to ask questions about ‘dad.’”
It has been reported that Joe Biden is referred to as “the big guy.”
“When multiple people in the room spoke up and objected that we had to ask, she responded, there’s no specific criminality to that line of questioning,” Shapley said. “This upset the FBI, too.”
Shapley said that “basically everyone in the room except for the prosecutors had a big problem with” not asking questions about President Biden.
Shapley said IRS and FBI agents conducting the Walker interview “tried to skirt AUSA Wolf’s direction” to avoid questions on “dad” and “the big guy.”
“And they were like, ‘How can we not ask?’ Like, that was wrong. We got to ask. We got to ask,” Shapley said. “And so they basically decided that they would ask the question without saying the words ‘big guy,’ and that then they would somehow be doing what they were asked to do.”
Meanwhile, Shapley also pointed to a July 30th, 2017, WhatsApp message from Hunter Biden to Chinese energy company CEFC executive Henry Zhao, where he wrote: “I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled.”
The text further stated: “I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, 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. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.”
“Communications like these made it clear we needed to search the guest house at the Bidens’ Delaware residence where Hunter Biden stayed for a time,” Shapley said.
Shapley said that on Oct. 22, 2020, the team and Wolf stated that U.S. Attorney David Weiss had “reviewed the affidavit for search warrant of Hunter Biden’s residence and agreed that probable cause had been achieved.”
“Even though the legal requirements were met, and the investigative team knew evidence would be in these locations, AUSA Wolf stated that they would not allow a physical search warrant on Hunter Biden,” Shapley said.
Shapley said Wolf determined there was “enough probable cause for the physical search warrant there, but the question was whether the juice was worth the squeeze.”
“She continued that optics were a driving factor in the decision on whether to execute a search warrant,” Shapley said. “She said a lot of evidence in our investigation would be found in the guest house of former Vice President Biden, but said there is no way we will get that approved.”
Meanwhile, Shapley repeatedly testified that there were “multiple times where Lesley Wolf said that she didn’t want to ask questions about ‘dad.’”
“And ‘dad’ was kind of how we referred to him,” Shapley said. “We referred to Hunter Biden’s father, you know, as dad.”
Shapley said Joe Biden was referred to in that way “so that we could speak more openly without yelling, ‘President Biden.’”
The White House has repeatedly said President Biden has never been involved in his son’s business dealings. They also maintain the president never discussed them with him.
In response to the whistleblower allegations, the Justice Department said in a statement: “As both the Attorney General and U.S. Attorney David Weiss have said, U.S. Attorney Weiss has full authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges as he deems appropriate. He needs no further approval to do so. Questions about his investigation should be directed to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Delaware.”