Attorneys: DOJ Made 'Retaliatory' Move in Hunter Biden Case

Attorneys for IRS whistleblower say they've been taken off investigation into president's son
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2023 8:52 AM CDT
IRS Whistleblower: I've Been Taken Off Hunter Biden Probe
President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden leave church on Johns Island, South Carolina, on Aug. 13.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

An IRS whistleblower said to have eyebrow-raising information on a "sensitive" investigation into a "high-profile, controversial subject" that's been going on since 2018 now says they've been removed from that inquiry, as has their "entire investigative team." The subject in question: Hunter Biden, per ABC News, which notes that attorneys for the whistleblower informed congressional lawmakers that their client, whom they say is a criminal supervisory special agent, was removed from the investigation at the behest of the Justice Department. "[T]his move is clearly retaliatory and may also constitute obstruction of a congressional inquiry," alleges the lawyers' Monday letter to both GOP and Democratic committee chairpersons from the House and Senate.

Sources confirm to CNN that the person at the center of the probe is Hunter Biden, and the outlet notes that the information the whistleblower claims to have revolves around potential mishandling of and political interference into the criminal investigation of President Biden's son. Per ABC, the letter doesn't get into detail on the preferential treatment that Hunter Biden has allegedly received in the case, which centers on supposed tax crimes and a false statement. No charges have yet been brought against the 53-year-old, who's denied any wrongdoing.

In an April letter to Congress, one of the whistleblower's attorneys noted that their client has information that would contradict sworn testimony "by a senior political appointee." Tom Devine, an attorney who's repped whistleblowers for decades, says that booting the agent due to their disclosures would breach the federal Whistleblower Protection Act. "That's considered a significant change in duties and working conditions to remove you from a case, and if it's because of your whistleblowing, that would make it a violation of the law," he tells CBS News. A DOJ spokesperson is staying tight-lipped on the matter, noting in a statement that any queries should be directed toward US Attorney David Weiss, who's leading the investigation.

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The IRS, for its part, wouldn't comment on any case in particular, but said in a statement that it "is deeply committed to protecting the role of whistleblowers" and "will not tolerate retaliation against any IRS employee making a whistleblower allegation," per CNN. A White House spokesman has said previously that the president "has made clear that this matter would be handled independently by the Justice Department, under the leadership of a US attorney appointed by former President Trump, free from any political interference by the White House." (More whistleblower stories.)

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