Saturday, April 20, 2024

House GOP Probe DOJ’s Alleged Retaliation Against Biden Whistleblowers

'The Committees will not tolerate any retaliatory conduct by the DOJ or the IRS against these or any other whistleblowers...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Republican lawmakers leading the impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden have initiated a separate investigation into relation allegations against federal whistleblowers who raised concerns about interference. 

The DOJ is reportedly investigating Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, the IRS agents who accused the Biden officials of constraining the criminal investigation into the president’s son, Hunter Biden.

Both Shapley and Ziegler were involved in the federal investigation, which included alleged tax violations and the purported illegal purchase of a weapon. They both now stand accused of violating the law by speaking publicly about the criminal case against Hunter Biden, House Republicans alleged on Tuesday.

Penned by Reps. James Comer, Jim Jordan and Jason Smith—the chairs of the Oversight, Judiciary and Ways and Means committees—letters were directed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Special Counsel Jack Weiss, who currently heads the prosecution of Hunter Biden for the mentioned offenses.

Axios was first to report on the letters.

House Republicans alleged that Hunter Biden’s legal representatives launched “an aggressive intimidation campaign” against the whistleblowers who voiced concerns that the DOJ might have exhibited favoritism in its investigations.

In the letters, House Republicans asserted that the DOJ, under Weiss’s special counsel, seemed to have been responsive to this alleged intimidation campaign. 

According to documents referenced in the letter, Weiss implied that Shapley and Ziegler broke the law when they began making accusations regarding the DOJ’s reported interference. 

“The Committees will not tolerate any retaliatory conduct by the DOJ or the IRS against these or any other whistleblowers,” the lawmakers wrote. 

They further elaborated, “Given that the whistleblowers’ disclosures were lawful, if they are under investigation for their protected disclosures to Congress, the Committees are concerned that such an investigation is an attempt to seek retribution against these two brave whistleblowers.” 

The lawmakers demanded that the DOJ, the IRS and Weiss turn over documents relating to any criminal investigation involving either whistleblower. They are required to respond by April 16. However, it is not immediately clear whether the recipients of the letter will comply with these requests. 

The lawmakers are currently probing Joe Biden over his alleged involvement in what Republicans have long portrayed as an illegal influence-peddling scheme—namely, purportedly leveraging the president’s influence to secure business dealings, payments and other benefits. 

Joe Biden has refuted such allegations, often conflicting with the testimony of whistleblowers and his son’s former business associates. 

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