IRS whistleblowers to testify on alleged meddling in Hunter Biden case at House hearing

IRS whistleblowers to testify on alleged meddling in Hunter Biden case at House hearing

The Republican-led House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday that IRS whistleblowers will testify next week at a hearing about alleged meddling in the Justice Department’s investigation of Hunter Biden.

The public hearing, scheduled for July 19, is expected to focus on testimony from Gary Shapley, a former IRS criminal investigator, and a second, unnamed IRS criminal investigator, who possess “critical information” related to the committee’s probe into the Biden family, the panel said in its announcement.

Hunter Biden agreed to plead guilty last month to a pair of federal misdemeanor counts in Delaware of failing to pay his taxes, an agreement that some Republicans lamented was insufficient punishment following a Justice Department investigation of the president’s son that spanned five years.

In closed-door testimony in May, Shapley told the House Ways and Means Committee under oath that U.S. Attorney David Weiss had sought authority to charge Biden in Washington, D.C., and California with broader charges.

In a letter this week to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Weiss said he has “never been denied the authority to bring charges in any jurisdiction.”

Abbe Lowell, one of Biden’s attorneys, has also denied the veracity of a message Biden allegedly sent to a Chinese businessman in 2017 demanding payment. Shapley told the Ways and Means Committee that he had obtained the message, but Lowell said purported screenshots of communications between Biden and the businessman are “not real and contain myriad of issues.”

House Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has maintained that the president and members of his family engaged in bribery and corruption, even though he has repeatedly released documents that have not substantiated the accusations.

In a statement Wednesday, Comer said the coming hearing was a chance to hear directly from Shapley and the other whistleblower, whom he described as “credible.”

The hearing was announced the same week an unsealed indictment revealed federal charges against Gal Luft, who has alleged in so far unsubstantiated public statements promoted by House Republicans that the Biden family received payments from Chinese nationals with ties to Chinese intelligence and that Hunter Biden had a mole inside the FBI.

Luft was charged with acting as an unregistered agent for the Chinese government, trafficking weapons and lying to federal agents.

Comer last week called Luft “very credible” and stood by that description Tuesday while saying he has never spoken to Luft.

Zoë Richards

Zoë Richards is the evening politics reporter for NBC News.

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