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IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden probe says he was prevented from pursuing leads

The supervising IRS agent who helped oversee the Hunter Biden investigation continues to raise questions about what he alleged was special treatment in the investigation of the president’s son, telling CBS News that since the Trump administration, has been repeatedly blocked from taking action. would have been considered routine in other cases.

“We have to make sure as an IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent that we treat every person exactly the same,” said Gary Shapley, a 14-year veteran of the agency, who spoke exclusively to the correspondent CBS News Chief Investigative Jim Axelrod. Tuesday. “And that just didn’t happen here.”

Shapley’s comments come a week after Delaware’s Trump-appointed U.S. attorney, David Weiss, who has led the investigation, announced a plea deal in the case against Hunter Biden. A Republican who said he has no political motive and has never been involved in politics, Shapley told CBS News he believes stronger charges could have been brought.

According to a Department of Justice archiving made public last week, Hunter Biden reached a tentative agreement with the United States Attorney in Delaware, agreeing to enter guilty pleas to two misdemeanor charges and admitting to gun possession.

Hunter Biden’s plea will include an acknowledgment that drug use was a contributing factor to his gun crime, and will sign a pre-trial diversion agreement on that charge, according to the filing. Hunter Biden is expected to remain drug-free and commit no additional crimes for two years. If successful, the weapon count would be discarded. This does not amount to a guilty plea.

A federal judge has yet to approve the settlement. A hearing is scheduled for July 26 before Judge Maryellen Noreika in federal court in Wilmington.

Shapley said the five-year investigation uncovered conduct that he said could have led to additional charges.

IRS Supervising Agent Gary Shapley

CBS News

“In my experience, if it was a small business owner or any other unconnected person, they would have been charged with crimes,” Shapley said.

Legal experts are divided on whether the plea deal was too strong or not strong enough.

“It’s almost embarrassing that the Justice Department’s tax division apparently approved this love of tax deals,” says former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi. “Should he have committed a crime? Absolutely.”

Others, like former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, disagree. he he tweeted“If anything, Hunter Biden was dealt with harshly – these crimes rarely go unpunished.”

Shapley told CBS News that Hunter Biden wrote off as business expenses the money he paid for “prostitutes, sex club memberships, trips for prostitutes, hotel rooms for alleged drug dealers, employees without show”. Hunter has it admitted to drug use in her memoir “Beautiful Things,” published by an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS News’ parent company.

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

Andrew Harnik/AP

Hunter Biden’s criminal attorney, Christopher Clark, did not respond to a request for comment on Shapley’s allegations. But in an earlier statement, issued at the time the plea deal was announced, he said “as your attorney throughout this matter, I can say that any suggestion that the investigation was not thorough, or cut off the corners, or cut my client. is absurd and deeply irresponsible.”

In 2021, Hunter Biden paid over $2 million in back taxes after receiving a loan from one of his private attorneys.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware declined to comment.

Last week, the chairman of the GOP House Ways and Means Committee released transcripts of congressional interviews with two IRS whistleblowersincluding Shapley, both of whom questioned whether the U.S. attorney overseeing the case was free to file whatever charges he saw fit.

“The testimony we just released details the U.S. attorney’s lack of independence, repeated unwarranted delays, unusual actions outside the normal course of any investigation,” Speaker Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican, told reporters.

But in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee three weeks ago, Weiss asserted that he was granted “ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters Friday that Weiss had “full authority to make all decisions on his own” and did not require permission from Justice Department headquarters to file charges.

“Mr. Weiss was appointed by President Trump as the United States Attorney for Delaware and assigned to this matter during the previous administration, [he] he would be allowed to continue his investigation and make the decision to prosecute however he wanted and in whatever district he wanted,” Garland said, reiterating sworn statements he has made to Congress.

Shapley, however, told CBS News, “I’ve documented exactly what happened. And it doesn’t seem to match what the attorney general or the US attorney is saying today.”

Shapley says he provided lawmakers with contemporaneous email correspondence he wrote after an Oct. 7, 2022 meeting, where he says the U.S. attorney communicated otherwise. “Weiss stated that he is not the person who decides whether charges will be filed,” Shapley wrote to his supervisor.

“There were some really shocking statements made by David Weiss that really brought to light some of my earlier concerns. And the first was that he’s not the person who decides whether or not charges are filed,” Shapley said. “It was just shocking to me.”

Shapley, who is still an IRS supervisory special agent, says he was prevented from pursuing any leads involving President Joe Biden, including the now-infamous 2017 email from James Gilliar, a business associate of Hunter Biden , which brought the matter. “Expectations” and outlined a “tentative deal” for “fairness” in a deal with a Chinese energy company.

Two of Hunter Biden’s former business associates who received the message told CBS News that one line in the email: “10 has H for big?” — was short for the 10% Hunter Biden held for his father.

Shapley told CBS News that a senior prosecutor working for Weiss blocked his efforts to further investigate money leads involving “daddy” or “the big one.”

“I would say they limited certain investigative leads that could have provided information about the president of the United States,” Shapley said.

When the email was made public in 2020, Gilliar told the Wall Street Journal that Joe Biden was not involved. And in one of the interviews FBI agents conducted during the investigation, another associate of Hunter Biden said the same thing. “Of course, I never thought that at any time [then-Vice President Biden was] part of everything we were doing,” businessman Rob Walker told agents, according to a transcript released by Congress.

President Biden has denied involvement in his son’s business affairs.

“I have not taken a dime from any foreign source, ever in my life,” Biden said in an October 2020 presidential debate.

Shapley’s requests to investigate those details came in late 2020, when Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, had instituted a policy requiring him to personally approve any investigation of a president or presidential candidate. Asked by CBS News if it was possible to simply not be read all of the reasoning behind prosecutors’ decisions, Shapley acknowledged that it was possible.

“I documented what I saw and ultimately this is the evidence. If they want to explain how this is wrong, they can,” Shapley told CBS News. “Everything I’ve testified to before the House Ways and Means Committee is from my perspective, but it’s based on the experience I’ve gained over 14 years.”


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