Weiss Acknowledges ‘Ongoing Investigation’ in Biden Tax Case, Spurring Congressional Probe

David Weiss
by Steven Richards


In the legal back-and-forth between Hunter Biden’s defense team and prosecutor Special Counsel David Weiss, the government appeared to acknowledge in court filings the existence of an ongoing investigation as part of the Hunter Biden tax investigation.

The government said in a request to seal certain documents that “The justification for the redaction and the sealed exhibits is that the redacted information contained in the filing and the sealed exhibits relates to a potential ongoing investigation(s) and the investigating agency(cies) specifically requested that the government request that the court seal the exhibits, as well as any accompanying reference in the pleading, in order to protect the integrity of the potential ongoing investigation(s).”

The two sides have downplayed to varying degrees the whistleblower protections under which concerns about the the Hunter Biden tax investigation first surfaced and Biden’s legal team has openly called for a probe into what it claims is “outrageous conduct.”

These indications in turn have spurred a congressional probe from the House Judiciary, Oversight, and Ways and Means committees, who received testimony and substantial troves of documents from the whistleblowers—Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler—as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Filings from Hunter Biden’s ongoing prosecution show that Weiss also made efforts to downplay the legal protections afforded to whistleblowers, according to Tristan Leavitt of Empower Oversight, the organization that helped secure representation for the whistleblowers. Since late last year, Weiss has been leading the prosecution of Hunter Biden for tax crimes in the Central District of California as a special counsel.

He believes Weiss has an interest in doing so, stemming from the fact that the special counsel’s own conduct was a subject of some of the allegations the whistleblowers brought to Congress.

“This is the one area where Weiss’s interests are aligned with Hunter Biden’s: Not being happy about SSA Shapley and SA Ziegler blowing the whistle to Congress on Weiss’s allowing politics to infect the Hunter Biden case. Weiss has every reason to minimize the statutory protections the IRS agents had in blowing the whistle to Congress,” Leavitt posted to X on Tuesday.

In one filing, Weiss noted the IRS repeatedly informed both Shapley and Ziegler their rights and proper ways to blow the whistle, however, Weiss did not explain to the judge that the agency left out key details mandated by federal law, and in one instance, even attempted to impose an illegal gag order on the agents.

“It would be absolutely improper for Weiss’s office to have any role in investigating the IRS whistleblowers for blowing the whistle ON HIM. We don’t know if that is the case,” he continued. “But we do know that Weiss used the opportunity of this response to Hunter Biden’s motion to dismiss to gratuitously disclose in a public document a ‘potential’ investigation into the IRS whistleblowers.”

“And THAT move by Weiss and his team was completely inappropriate in and of itself,” he added.

This motion followed another filing from Weiss on March 11 in which he opposed an effort by Hunter Biden’s legal team to have the charges against the first son dismissed. Biden’s lawyers argued the tax charges should be voided because of “due process violations based on outrageous government conduct”—specifically referencing the conduct of the whistleblowers.

Their motion argues that Shapley and Ziegler’s public statements were in violation of whistleblower laws and forced Weiss to charge Hunter Biden with crimes for which he otherwise would not have been charged.

Weiss’ papers oppose dismissal, largely because dismissal is not one of the statutory remedies allowed even if there were improper acts by the IRS or the whistleblowers, that Biden’s defense team cannot show that the charges against Biden were the result of the whistleblowers’ public statements, and in any event, the whistleblowers ceased to have any involvement in the Biden case at least a year before indictment.

The indications that there may be an investigation into the protected disclosures by Shapley and Ziegler have spurred a Congressional probe from the House Oversight Committee, which sent letters to the IRS Commissioner, the Attorney General, and Special Counsel Weiss on Tuesday.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith expressed concerns that the pressure from Hunter Biden’s legal team may have kickstarted a retaliatory investigation into Shapley and Ziegler by the IRS or DOJ.

“Hunter Biden and his lawyers have waged an aggressive intimidation campaign against Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler, slandering them with false allegations and demanding that the Justice Department investigate them for making protected disclosures to Congress,” they wrote in the letter to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.

“The Department appears to have been receptive to the intimidation campaign of Hunter Biden’s lawyers,” they continued. The chairmen specifically cited Weiss’ efforts to seal his previous motion that acknowledges an ongoing investigation. In the public version, the redactions are located in a paragraph discussing whistleblower guidance distributed to Shapley and Ziegler, leading Congress to infer it is about an investigation into them.

“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 chairmen wrote of this finding.

To that end, the committees demanded the IRS and DOJ turn over any documents or communications “referring or relating to any IRS investigation or Justice Department investigation of Mr. Shapley and/or Mr. Ziegler,” according to the letter.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Just the News.

Last summer, IRS Agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler brought concerns to the House Ways and Means Committee that the Justice Department had provided preferential treatment to Hunter Biden during the probe into his alleged tax violations, including by blocking search warrants and limiting the investigators’ pursuit of information related then-candidate Joe Biden. Many of these actions allegedly took place in the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, headed by Weiss.

Since the whistleblowers came forward with the allegations, Hunter Biden’s legal team has made efforts to discredit them and call for an investigation into their protected disclosures to Congress.

Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, attacked the agents in a letter to the House committee seeking to discredit the whistleblowers, labeling them “disgruntled agents.” Eventually, Hunter Biden sued the IRS over the whistleblowers’ disclosures, claiming they unlawfully disclosed his private tax returns.

Lowell did not respond to a request for comment from Just the News.

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Steven Richards is a reporter at Just the News.
Photo “David Weiss” by Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office. Background Photo “Hearing Room” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.



Reprinted with permission from Just the News.

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