Two veteran IRS agents with impeccable records have now testified under oath that federal officials not only slow-walked the Hunter Biden probe, but nixed efforts to investigate President Joe Biden’s role in the family business.
And though legacy media are conveniently apathetic about the developments, they seem somewhat newsworthy to me.
On Wednesday, we learned the identity of “Whistleblower X.” Joseph Ziegler, a self-proclaimed Democrat who has worked at the agency since 2010, told the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that he handled 95% of the evidence in the Hunter Biden tax investigation.
Ziegler testified that throughout the five-year investigation, he felt “handcuffed,” “hamstrung,” “marginalized” and ultimately stopped from moving forward in the manner he would for any other scofflaw.
Ziegler wrote a 99-page memo laying out the case for felony charges, wholly consistent with the IRS guidelines governing charging in tax-evasion cases. He maintains that every investigator and prosecutor on the case agreed felonies were in order — all of which should be easy enough to find out.
Sure, it’s fun to talk about salacious parts of the Hunter Biden case, but the far bigger concern should be finding out why companies operating in authoritarian nations sent the Bidens $17 million. It would be a fair question even if there had been no criminal investigation.
Now, I’m not saying the feds were covering up proof of Joe Biden’s illegality — though circumstantial evidence and common sense say the family business couldn’t function without his participation. I’m saying it’s increasingly clear the Justice Department didn’t want to find out if there was any evidence.
No one wanted a replay of the Hillary Clinton illegal server scandal. And that’s how Hunter Biden got his sweet deal.
“Any time we potentially wanted to go down the road of asking questions related to the president, it was, ‘That’s gonna take too much approvals. We can’t ask those questions,’” Ziegler told CBS News. “And I mean, it created an environment that was very hard to deal with.”
Gary Shapley, the second whistleblower, also testified that every time prosecutors wanted to talk to Joe Biden’s grown grandchildren or others who were receiving payments from foreign companies connected to the “big guy,” investigators shut them down.
Shapley told the committee that every step of the way “decisions were made that benefited the subject of this investigation.” That included the Justice Department stretching out the investigation to allow the statute of limitations to expire.
Shapley says a U.S. attorney for D.C. appointed by Joe Biden was the one who had the final call on whether felony charges were brought against Hunter. U.S. Attorney David Weiss, he testified under oath, told a room filled with five other senior FBI and IRS agents that he was “not the deciding person on whether charges are filed.”
Maybe Congress should get everyone else under oath and find out?
Not that any of this mattered to committee Democrats, who rarely even attempted to debunk the testimony. Most of them merely prattled on about the evils of Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani, which is usually enough to placate their constituents. A few Democrats ludicrously argued that the president’s son, a man who allegedly tried to write off sex club memberships, prostitutes and fancy hotel rooms for drug dealers, was the victim of zealous over-prosecution.
Though occasionally, they inadvertently made important points.
Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., for instance, went on and on about the corruption of the Trump years, bringing up Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, two people convicted of engaging in similar behavior to Hunter Biden, who was allowed to skate.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., tried to excuse Hunter Biden’s actions by noting that he had fallen into crack addiction and whoremongering after his brother’s sad death. Ziegler helpfully pointed out that Hunter Biden had committed tax fraud after he was supposedly fully sober and married.
Any real political journalist with access would be pressuring the White House daily to explain what services Joe Biden’s son, brother and grown grandchildren — and virtually every other member of his family — rendered for foreign entities in Romania, China and Ukraine that were worth more than $17 million.
The president could make this all go away by explaining the situation.
Frankly, I don’t expect to ever find out. It is what it is, but please stop telling me no one is above the law.
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