IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler said the new charges against Hunter Biden are a ‘complete vindication’ of their years-long investigation into the president’s son.
Special Counsel David Weiss charged Biden late Thursday, alleging a ‘four-year scheme’ when the president’s son did not pay his federal income taxes from January 2017 to October 2020 while also filing false tax reports. Weiss filed the charges in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The charges break down to three felonies and six misdemeanors concerning $1.4 million in owed taxes that were since paid.
IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler approached Congress earlier this year, alleging that prosecutorial decisions made throughout the federal investigation into the president’s son were impacted by politics.
Reacting to the latest indictment, Shapley and Ziegler said they have been vindicated.
‘Eight months ago we did something ordinary people don’t do: we risked our careers and reputations to bring the truth out of the shadows and into the light,’ Shapley and Ziegler said in a joint-statement. ‘We were moved solely by our consciences, yet faced continual attacks. Nevertheless, in the face of all odds, we never wavered from what we shared with Congress.’
Shapley and Ziegler said the indictment ‘is a complete vindication of our thorough investigation, and underscores the wide agreement by investigators and prosecutors that the evidence supported charges against Hunter Biden.’
‘Yet as we have stated, this is much bigger than our investigation or any one individual: it’s about equal treatment of taxpayers under the law,’ they said.
Shapley, Ziegler and other IRS officials who testified before Congress, including Michael Batdorf, have said they were frustrated that the Justice Department did not charge Hunter Biden for failing to pay federal income tax for 2014 and 2015. They alleged that Weiss had allowed the statute of limitations to expire for tax charges against Hunter Biden from 2014 and 2015 in D.C.
Shapley, who led the IRS portion of the probe, said that Hunter Biden should have been charged with tax evasion for 2014, and for filing false tax returns for 2018 and 2019. With regard to the 2014 tax returns, Shapley said that Hunter Biden did not report income from Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings.
Fox News Digital first reported in December 2020 that Hunter Biden did not report ‘approximately $400,000’ in income he collected from his position on the board of Burisma Holdings when he joined in 2014.
But Special Counsel David Weiss, during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last month, seemingly hinted that tax charges could be coming.
Weiss testified that the statute of limitations did, in fact, expire on the 2014 and 2015 tax years, but he said he could not comment as it ‘pertains to the ongoing litigation and our outstanding investigation.’
‘I’m just not at liberty to comment at this time, but there will come a time,’ Weiss said, adding that he would explain in his eventual report why the statute of limitations was allowed to lapse.
‘But even though the statute of limitations has lapsed, and even though charges won’t be filed, if there were to be an outstanding tax prosecution, there is no reason to believe that evidence pertaining to prior years, or witnesses involved in prior years, wouldn’t be part of that litigation,’ Weiss said.
In the indictment, Weiss alleged that Hunter ‘engaged in a four-year scheme to not pay at least $1.4 million in self-assessed federal taxes he owed for tax years 2016 through 2019, from in or about January 2017 through in or about October 15, 2020, and to evade the assessment of taxes for tax year 2018 when he filed false returns in or about February 2020.’
Weiss said that, in ‘furtherance of that scheme,’ the younger Biden ‘subverted the payroll and tax withholding process of his own company, Owasco, PC by withdrawing millions’ from the company ‘outside of the payroll and tax withholding process that it was designed to perform.’
The special counsel alleged that Hunter ‘spent millions of dollars on an extravagant lifestyle rather than paying his tax bills,’ and that in 2018, he ‘stopped paying his outstanding and overdue taxes for tax year 2015.’
Weiss alleged that Hunter ‘willfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 taxes on time, despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes,’ and that he ‘willfully failed to file his 2017 and 2018 tax returns on time.’
Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., who is co-leading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden and who has been investigating the Biden family’s foreign business dealings for months, praised Shapley and Ziegler for having ‘placed their careers on the line to blow the whistle on misconduct and politicization in the Hunter Biden criminal investigation.’
‘The Department of Justice got caught in its attempt to give Hunter Biden an unprecedented sweetheart plea deal, and today’s charges filed against Hunter Biden are the result of Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler’s efforts to ensure all Americans are treated equally under the law. Every American should applaud these men for their courage to expose the truth,’ Comer said.
Comer also said that Shapley and Ziegler ‘revealed investigators were prevented from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden.’
‘The House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Bidens’ influence peddling schemes reveals how Joe Biden knew about, participated in, and benefitted from his family cashing in on the Biden name,’ Comer said. ‘In fact, Hunter Biden’s corporate entities implicated by today’s indictments funneled foreign cash that landed in Joe Biden’s bank account.’
Comer added: ‘Unless U.S. Attorney Weiss investigates everyone involved in the Bidens’ fraud schemes and influence peddling, it will be clear President Biden’s DOJ is protecting Hunter Biden and the big guy.’
Hunter Biden, in October, pleaded not guilty to federal gun charges brought by Weiss.
Hunter’s defense attorney Abbe Lowell attacked Weiss over the Thursday charges, accusing the special counsel of ‘bowing to Republican pressure’ when talking to the press.
‘Based on the facts and the law, if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the charges in Delaware, and now California, would not have been brought,’ Lowell said in a statement.
Hunter Biden has been subpoenaed to appear for a deposition at the House Oversight Committee. That deposition is scheduled for December 13, but the president’s son has not committed to appear before the committee.