Jul 20, 2023

IRS Whistleblowers Testify at House Hearing on Hunter Biden Investigation Transcript

IRS Whistleblowers Testify at House Hearing on Hunter Biden Investigation Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsGary ShapleyIRS Whistleblowers Testify at House Hearing on Hunter Biden Investigation Transcript

Committee members heard from Gary Shapley, a 14-year IRS veteran, and Special Agent Joseph Ziegler, a 13-year IRS veteran, who allege sweeping misconduct in the Hunter Biden tax investigation. Read the transcript here.

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James Comer (00:00):

Chairman Jordan for their cooperation and working with the Oversight Committee on this investigation. This is an important joint effort that shows the American people that accountability matters regardless of your last name. For this hearing, opening statements will be limited to 10 minutes for the Chair and 10 minutes for the Ranking Members. I now recognize myself for the purpose of making an opening statement.

Since assuming our Republican majority in January, the House Oversight Committee has made historically fast progress in our investigation into the Biden family’s influence paddling schemes. In just six months, we have obtained thousands of pages of financial records. This includes bank records for Biden Family Associates and suspicious activity reports generated by the Bidens and their associates’ high dollar or foreign business transactions. What these records reveal is astonishing. The Bidens created over 20 shell companies, most of which were created when Joe Biden was Vice President. Bank records, so far, show the Biden family, their business associates and their companies received over $10 million from foreign nationals and related companies. A lot of this money poured in while Joe Biden was Vice President. Despite creating many companies after Vice President took office, the Biden family used associates companies to receive millions of dollars from foreign companies, in China, Ukraine and Romania.

After foreign companies sent money to business associates’ companies, the Bidens then received incremental payments over time to various different bank accounts. These complicated financial transactions were used deliberately to conceal the source of funds and total amounts. No normal business operates like this. What were the Bidens selling? Nothing but influence and access to the Biden network. This is an influence pedaling scheme to enrich the Bidens. We need to know whether Joe Biden is compromised by these schemes and if our national security is threatened?

During our investigation, our committee became aware through whistleblower disclosures provided to Senator Chuck Grassley that the FBI had an unclassified record that details an extortion and bribery scheme involving then Vice President Biden and a Burisma executive. This record was generated by a trusted confidential human source that the FBI’s used for over a decade. It memorializes the source’s conversations with the Burisma executive who claimed that he paid Joe Biden $5 million in exchange for certain actions. The Burisma executive told the confidential human source that he didn’t pay the, “Big guy,” directly, but that he used so many bank accounts that it would take 10 years to unravel. Now, that sounds an awful lot like how the Bidens conduct business, using multiple bank accounts to hide the source in total amount of the money. Today we have two brave, incredible IRS whistleblowers who have risked their careers to come forward and provide important testimony. Thank you all for being here today. I know it was not an easy decision. Their testimony about the DOJ, FBI and IRS’s investigation of Hunter Biden confirms the committee’s findings that there’s nothing normal about the Biden family’s business activity. The White House and Democrats would have Americans believe that our investigation is based on five years of conspiracy theories, but we have facts and new evidence continues to be uncovered by our committee revealing the first family’s corruption. The Bidens have put themselves first and Americans last.

We will continue to follow the money trail and provide the answers, transparency and accountability that Americans demand and deserve. With that, I yield to the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Jason Smith.

Jason Smith (04:04):

Thank you, Chairman Comer. The Ways and Means Committee is charged with ensuring that the tax code is enforced fairly. Clearly, the president only believes in making taxpayers pay their fair share if they don’t share his last name. These two courageous whistleblowers provided my committee with devastating testimony showing that the government is not treating all taxpayers equally and the DOJ and the IRS gave preferential treatment to the president’s son during a criminal investigation into his taxes. These individuals in front of us today are credible and sat for nearly 15 hours of interviews with both Republicans and Democrats. I personally took part in the interview with Mr. Ziegler. Here’s what we learned from the interviewees.

The IRS recommended multiple, the IRS recommended multiple felony charges against Hunter Biden for tax years 2014 through 2019 relating to at least $8.3 million in income from foreign companies, including companies based in China, Romania, and Ukraine. And that is the only amount discovered despite the roadblocks and obstruction their investigation faced. The Department of Justice engaged in a campaign to delay, divulge and deny that investigation. They delayed investigators for years, leading to the expiration of the statute of limitations for many of the crimes involved. They divulged key investigative details to Biden’s attorneys and even the president’s transition team, and they denied investigators the ability to authenticate evidence, serve warrants, question witnesses, and bring charges.

This led to Hunter Biden’s sweetheart agreement, announced five years after the investigation started, but mere days before my committee voted to publicly release this testimony. Would Americans in my Congressional district or any other Congressional district ever receive this same treatment? After raising their concerns internally at the IRS, these whistleblowers were discouraged and demoralized and turned to Congress as a last resort. They bravely reported wrongdoing to us and what have President Biden’s allies, including Hunter Biden’s lawyers done?

They’ve responded with a vicious, a vicious smear campaign to discredit these whistleblowers and discourage others from coming forward, and may have even coordinated with the White House on this effort. This is a disgrace. I urge any IRS employee watching today, if you know of misconduct, please come to the Ways and Means Committee so we can hold accountable those who are responsible. And let me be clear, there will be zero tolerance for any retaliation against whistleblowers by DOJ and the IRS.

The American people expect answers about whether the federal government is treating all taxpayers equally or if the wealthy and politically connected get special treatment? Our committees are working together to get to the bottom of this abuse of power and will work tirelessly to do so and to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again. Americans should not have to accept two tiers of justice in this country. One if your last name is Biden and one for everybody else. I want to thank both whistleblowers for coming forward publicly and for your testimony today. I yield to Mr. Jordan.

Mr. Jordan (08:17):

I thank the gentleman for yielding. The question is, who are you going to believe? April 26th in front of the United States Senate, the Attorney General said, “David Weiss is in charge of the investigation.” October 7th, in a meeting with what Gary Shapley, one of the whistleblowers, David Weiss said, “I’m not the deciding official.” Who are you going to believe? On February 28th, I wrote the Attorney General asking him why there’s no special counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation? He didn’t respond, which is unusual in and of itself. They always responded to the Judiciary Committee when we write something to them.

I wrote again on May 25th. Again, the Attorney General didn’t respond, but David Weiss did and here’s what he said. June 7th, he said this, “I have been granted ultimate authority over the matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.” That’s what the US Attorney said on June 7th. Three weeks later, Mr. Weiss wrote me again and he said this, “I stand by what I wrote, but I wish to expand.” Wow, already changing his story 23 days later and he said this, “My charging authority is geographically limited to my home district.” Well, wait a minute, you just told me 23 days before, you have ultimate authority. Now you change it. Then again on July 10th, Mr. Weiss wrote Senator Graham and he said this, paragraph two, “To clarify, I have not requested special counsel designation. Rather, I had discussions with departmental officials.” Mr. Weiss can’t get his story straight. Three different stories in a five-week timeframe. On June 7th, he’s Tarzan, “I got ultimate authority. I can do what I want, file charges where I want, when I want and how I want.” June 30th, “Well, actually, no I can’t.” And then of course, on July 10th he says, “To clarify, I haven’t requested special counsel status, but I’ve been talking to the folks at Maine Justice.” Three different positions in a little over a month.

You know whose story hasn’t changed? These two guys. Their testimony has been consistent. Throughout, their testimony has been the same. And guess what? Two days ago, an FBI agent confirmed their testimony. Who are you going to believe? The Justice Department, can’t get their story straight, changed three times in 33 days, or these two guys? The Justice Department that was found to censor Americans just two weeks ago from the federal court in Louisiana, the Justice Department that said, “Moms and dads are terrorists,” the Justice Department that said, “If you’re a pro-life Catholic, you’re an extremist.” The Justice Department that can’t get its story straight or these two guys? 10 years, over a decade of experience for each of them. The go-to guys in international tax evasion cases, the A team when it comes to investigating these matters. All over the world, they’ve done this, and who’ve been consistent throughout. I think I’ll believe these guys. I think they’re the ones telling the truth and that is fundamentally what this comes down to. So God bless you guys for the work you’ve done, the courage you have and for being here today, stepping forward because you care about equal treatment under the law. That’s what’s at stake, plain and simple. I yield back.

James Comer (11:35):

I now yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Raskin of Maryland for his opening statement.

Mr Raskin (11:40):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon to the witnesses. I thought we might be here today on the matter that the Chairman declared his top priority, the crusade defined evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden, but now the majority’s long promised star witness turns out to be a fugitive from American justice. An arms trafficker indicted on eight federal criminal felony counts and an unregistered foreign agent for China who tried to trade Chinese arms for Iranian oil. So I guess he’s not going to be a witness for the majority anytime soon.

Well, after the failed SARS reports, bank records form 10-23, we can conclude that this Inspector Clouseau-style quest for something that doesn’t exist has turned our committee into a theater of the absurd, an exercise in futility and embarrassment. And now we can finally definitively say why the committee’s efforts have run dry time and again. Just yesterday, Mr. Chairman, you and I got a letter from Lev Parnas, the Ukrainian-born American businessman who was at Rudy Giuliani’s side as his right-hand man for a year between November 2018 to October 2019 as Giuliani and then President Trump tried to smear Joe Biden before the 2020 election. With the very same allegations, we’re still running through the political spin cycle every week in this committee. I request unanimous consent to enter the Parnas letter into the record.

Speaker 1 (13:04):

Without objection to order.

Mr Raskin (13:05):

Now in this extraordinary 10 page letter, Parnas painstakingly describes the campaign orchestrated by Giuliani and Trump to, “Dig up dirt on the Bidens and spread misinformation about them through various networks including government officials, journalists, and Fox News personnel.” After explaining this campaign to fabricate corruption charges against Biden, Parnas concludes his letter by saying, “Throughout all these months of work, the extensive campaigns and networking done by Trump allies and Giuliani associates, including the enormously thorough interviews and assignments that I undertook, there has never been any evidence that Hunter or Joe Biden committed any crimes related to Ukrainian politics. Never during any of my communications with Ukrainian officials or connections to Burisma did any of them confirm or provide concrete facts linking the Bidens to illegal activities.” As Mr. Parnas concludes, “There has never been any factual evidence, only conspiracy theories spread by people who knew exactly what they were doing,” and then he calls on this committee to end its wild goose chase and offers to come and testify.

Remember, this is Mr. Giuliani’s guy. This is his interpreter and right-hand man who spent a year out there trying to cook the books against Joe Biden and he offers to come testify. So if anyone doubts anything he’s saying, let’s bring him in as a witness and let’s hear about that crusade that they were on to smear President Biden by promoting the same baseless conspiracy theories that this committee serves up as moldy leftovers every day.

At today’s hearing, we’re going to hear about wrongdoing by Hunter Biden, who’s pleading guilty on two tax charges and a gun charge next week. We’ll hear about the back and forth among investigators, prosecutors, and a Trump-appointed US attorney, over a dozen people who spent four years investigating the President’s son. We’ll hear about how they disagreed on investigative steps and what criminal charges to bring, all normal stuff in government investigations that doesn’t usually lead to a Congressional hearing, but one thing you will not hear today is any evidence of wrongdoing by President Joe Biden or his administration. Like every other try by our colleagues to concoct a scandal about President Biden, this one is a complete and total bust.

In fact, the ongoing case that the majority invites us to interfere with today is actually a striking illustration of the success of the American system of independent prosecutors operating under the rule of law and outside the realm of the kind of political influence my colleagues are trying to exercise today. So what happened? Well, the son of the sitting President of the United States lost his brother and then lost his way badly back in 2015. As too many families around the country know, drug addiction is a dark and powerful affliction and like other addicts, Hunter Biden made foolish and criminal choices, including failing to pay his taxes and owning a firearm in violation of federal law, and he’s now being held criminally accountable for it. His investigation began under the Trump administration. It was conducted by a US Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, who Donald Trump-appointed to his office and who Attorney General Barr chose for this assignment, to conduct this investigation.

In his final press conference in December of 2020, Attorney General Barr expressed full confidence in Weiss’ work, saying it was, “Being handled responsibly and professionally within the department and to this point, I have seen no reason to appoint a special counsel and I have no plan to do so before I leave.” Furthermore, Joe Biden never publicly questioned or challenged this prosecution. When it began, he did not decry it as a witch hunt by Donald Trump. He placed his trust in the fairness of the American justice system. When he became president, not only did he not use his power to halt the investigation. He kept in place Trump’s handpicked US Attorney, Mr. Weiss overseeing it.

Even though incoming presidents usually replace US Attorneys with their own appointees and his Attorney General Merrick Garland made sure that Mr. Weiss appointed by Donald Trump had full authority and resources to pursue this probe and charge it however and whenever he saw fit in any district in the country. And in the past few weeks, as Hunter Biden accepted a guilty plea, the president and his Attorney General have done nothing to interfere with the case, which is overseen by a federal judge appointed by, yes, Donald Trump.

Now, can you imagine Donald Trump saying nothing about a witch hunt or not trying to quash the prosecution if it were his son being prosecuted? Indeed, President Biden’s traditional and scrupulous respect for the independence of the Justice Department stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s spectacular disrespect for the rule of law and his serial effort efforts both in office and outside office to get prosecutors to go after and lock up his political rivals and to suspend accountability in specific criminal cases when it comes to his friends.

When Michael Flynn was investigated for lying to the FBI and later convicted for it about communicating with the Russians or when Paul Manafort was investigated and later convicted for bank and tax fraud, or when Roger Stone was investigated and later convicted for lying to Congress and witness tampering, an outrage President Trump repeatedly denounced to the Department of Justice for prosecuting his cronies and reportedly got Attorney General William Barr to pressure prosecutors to recommend more leniency in their cases.

Trump also went to FBI Director James Comey and pushed him to pledge absolute loyalty to Trump and to find a way to let Flynn go. Ultimately, Trump used the power of the presidency to pardon all of these convicted criminals. Now, unlike President Trump’s blatant abuse of the rule of law in the relationship between the President and DOJ, there’s no evidence that President Biden has involved himself in any way in the investigation into his own son, an investigation that’s been overseen by Trump’s appointed US Attorney. No matter what my GOP colleagues say, and I appreciate the testimony of our witnesses today, there is no evidence that Hunter Biden has received any kind of official favoritism in this prosecution for being Joe Biden’s son. On the contrary, there are more than 10,000,000 Americans who have filed taxes but failed to pay them, the exact crime Hunter Biden is pleading guilty to.

The vast majority of these cases are resolved administratively or through civil settlement. Indeed, every year the IRS and DOJ obtain convictions and sentences in fewer than 700 cases for tax crimes of any kind, a minuscule percentage. The fact that Hunter Biden faced a four-year criminal probe involving dozens of agents and prosecutors from the IRS, the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware, DOJ Tax demonstrates to my mind at the very least that he received no special treatment but arguably selectively tougher treatment than the millions of the people who never face criminal investigation for doing the same thing.

If my GOP colleagues think that the treatment of millions of tax gov laws or even the handful who face criminal prosecution like Hunter Biden is too lenient, I invite them to join us Democrats in supporting the $80 billion in funding for the IRS that we passed in the Inflation Reduction Act last year. This money will enable the IRS to make long overdue improvements in customer service, but will also enable the agency to restore loss capabilities and enforcement to identify and prosecute tax cheats. But the very first thing House Republicans did this Congress was vote to rescind that funding, while disparaging these future IRS employees who will do the same kind of work today’s witnesses do. Senator Cruz called them Biden’s Shadow Army. Senator Grassley said they will be going around ready to shoot some small business person in Iowa.

Today we get to witness MAGA Republicans take the side of IRS agents from the Deep State against a Trump-appointed US Attorney and a rich guy exercising his Second Amendment rights, but now facing criminal gun charges and tax charges that they would call in any other circumstance purely technical. We are about to hear testimony from two IRS criminal investigators. They will describe their frustrations and disagreements with their supervisors, as well as with Mr. Weiss and his team of prosecutors, who they consider junior varsity and not up to snuff during the Trump administration generally. We will also hear about their confusion and profound misunderstandings about Mr. Weiss and how he reviewed the evidence and made the ultimate decision about charging Hunter Biden.

A lot of the controversy here relates to the agent’s failure to distinguish between special counsels and special lawyers, but we will clear that up today. The key point, Mr. Chairman, that America needs to understand is that the only political interference at play here is coming from Donald Trump and my Republican colleagues. We’ll listen carefully to the testimony and I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

James Comer (22:17):

The Ranking Member yields back. I’d like to remind the members and the public that Section 6103 of the tax code makes taxpayer information confidential except in certain circumstances. One of those exceptions is the process the Ways and Means Committee used to receive testimony from these whistleblowers and report transcripts of their testimony to the full House of Representatives to make that information public. These whistleblowers have gone above and beyond to submit information to Congress in accordance with the law and we are grateful to them for that. The witnesses can only testify to tax information that has already been released through proper procedures through the Ways and Means Committee. This means that in some instances, they may have to decline to answer questions and instead submit additional information to the Ways and Means Committee at a letter date through the appropriate process. They are each accompanied by counsel to address questions that arise on Section 6103 and are not present today to provide testimony or answer members’ questions. I ask members to respect that process and requirements of Section 6103 and look forward to hearing what our courageous witnesses have to say.

Further, due to the complex nature of the matter at hand, each of the witnesses shall have 10 minutes for their opening testimony. I would now like to introduce our witnesses. Mr. Joseph Ziegler is a Special Agent with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, specifically assigned to the International Tax and Financial Crimes Division. This is a group of 12 elite special agents who are subject matter experts in complex international tax and other related crimes. He started his career with the IRS in 2010 as a special agent and has developed and successfully completed a multitude of complex financial investigations. The types of investigations include money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, income tax evasion and income tax related charges such as identity theft and filing false claims for income tax refunds. Mr. Ziegler has won multiple performance awards throughout his career in recognition for his work.

And Mr. Gary Shapley. Mr. Shapley is the Supervisory Special Agent of the International Tax and Financial Crimes Group. Mr. Shapley started his career with the IRS in July 2009. He was detailed to the Department of Justice’s Tax Division from 2013 to 2018 investigating foreign financial institutions. He was also assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force working as a Taskforce Officer at both the FBI Washington Field Office and the FBI Baltimore Field Office. Mr. Shapley was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent of the Elite ITFC Group in 2018. He also served as the Assistant Special Agent in charge of both the New York Field Office and the Chicago Field Office.

I want to again thank both gentlemen for their willingness to come forward and share their testimony today for the members of this committee and for the American people. Pursuant to committee Rule 9G, the witnesses will please stand and raise their right hands. Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr Ziegler (25:32):

Yes, I do.

Mr. Shapley (25:32):

I do.

James Comer (25:33):

Let the record show that the witnesses all answered in the affirmative. We appreciate you being here today and look forward to your testimony. Let me remind the witnesses that we have read your written statements and they will appear in full in the hearing record. Please press the button on your microphone in front of you so that it’s on and the members can hear you. I recognize Mr. Ziegler to please begin his opening statement.

Mr Ziegler (25:55):

Thank you, Chairman Comer, Chairman Smith, Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member Raskin and members of the committee. Today, I sit here before you, not as a hero or a victim, but as a whistleblower compelled to disclose the truth. That said, in coming forward, I believe I’m risking my career, my reputation, and my casework outside of the investigation we are here to discuss. I ultimately made the decision to come forward after what I believe were multiple attempts at blowing the whistle at the Internal Revenue Service. No one should be above the law regardless of your political affiliation. I humbly view my role here today as providing the facts as I best understood them and to let Congress and the administration and the public consider those facts and determine the best path forward. I recognize while I was present at the start of this investigation and was closely involved with the investigation for roughly five years, I’m just a part of the story. Others, including my colleague and supervisor, Gary Shapley, who is here with me today have their own views and understandings of what took place during this investigation.

I’ve been an agent with the IRS since 2010. In 2007, I received my undergraduate degree from Ohio University, my MBA from John Carroll University. Prior to starting my career at the IRS, I worked at Ernst & Young as an external auditor. Throughout my career with the IRS, I have worked a variety of successful criminal tax and money laundering investigations. In 2018, I transitioned to being a part of the International Tax and Financial Crimes Group out of the Washington DC Field Office. I was the lead IRS case agent on the Hunter Biden investigation.

I’ve recently discovered that people are saying that I must be more credible because I’m a Democrat who happens to be married to a man. I’m no more credible than this man sitting next to me, due to my sexual orientation or my political beliefs. The truth is my credibility comes today from my job experience with the IRS and my intimate knowledge of the agency’s standard and procedures. I was raised and have always strived to do what is right. Although I do have my supporters, others have said that I am a traitor to the Democratic Party and that I’m causing more division in our society. I implore you to consider that if you were in my position with the facts as I have stated them, ask yourself if you would be doing the exact same thing. I hope that I am an example to other LGBTQ people out there who are questioning doing the right thing at the potential cost to themselves and others. We should always do the right thing no matter how painful the process might be.

I kind of equate this to the experience and feelings I encountered when coming out. It was honestly one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. I contemplated scenarios that would’ve been highly regrettable, but I did what is right and I’m sitting here in front of you today. I would first like to take a minute to thank some people for their unfettered help and support. First off, God for giving me the strength and courage to get through this process. My husband, who has been my rock, has put up with me, my stress and has had to deal with his personal information being out there. My attorney, Dean Zerbe, who has agreed to represent me through this matter pro bono and someone who has provided me so much help and guidance. My colleagues from the Hunter Biden investigation. The work that was done on this case is tremendous, but seems to be overshadowed by what is happening here today, and I just want to say to the investigative team that I’m thankful for having worked with you.

I also want to thank my family and friends back home in Northeast Ohio and Georgia. I don’t live in the DC area. I had to fly here and have had to pay out of pocket for all my travel related expenses in being a whistleblower. On that note, I would like to make another statement that I have not accepted a single payment from anyone for being a whistleblower. First, well, so Mr. Chairman, while I have my written statement as well as my testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, I would like to touch on briefly seven specific matters. First, in a recent letter to Congress, Mr. Weiss stated that he had been granted ultimate authority over this matter, but then later stated in the same letter that as charging authority is geographically limited and that he would need a President Biden-appointed US Attorney to partner with him in charging the case.

Mr. Weiss stated that he was making all decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution consistent with federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and departmental regulations. In the Criminal Tax Manual, Chapter 10 found on the DOJ website, tax division policy states that, “Cases involving individuals who failed to file tax returns or pay a tax but who also commit acts of evasion or obstruction should be charged as felonies to avoid inequitable treatment.” In early August of 2022, federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Tax Division drafted a 99-page memorandum.

In so, they were recommending for approval felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017, ’18 and ’19 tax years. That did not happen here and I am not sure why. And as the special agent on this case, I thought the felony charges were well-supported. When considering the elements of felony tax case, under the criminal code there are two key considerations, willfulness and tax due and owing. In the criminal context, willfulness is defined as voluntary intentional violation of a known legal duty. The tax loss is the monetary loss to the government. In early 2020, Hunter Biden’s unfiled and delinquent tax returns were being prepared, which included his 2018 tax return. During the 2020 time period, by Hunter Biden’s own account, he was sober, newly married and writing his memoir. Hunter Biden’s accountants requested that he sign a representation letter stating that all the deductions were for business purposes and were being reported appropriately.

Statements Hunter Biden made in his book completely contradicted what he was deducting as business deductions on his 2018 return. While writing his memoir, Hunter stated, “I holed up in inside the Chateau for the first six weeks and learned how to cook crack.” Hunter Biden allegedly falsely claimed business deductions for payments made to the Chateau Marmont, a hotel room for his supposed drug dealer, sex club memberships falsely referenced on the wire as a golf membership, hotels he was blacklisted from and at Columbia University tuition payment for his adult daughter. All of these items were used to support the willfulness element for felony tax evasion. These false deductions claimed by Hunter Biden caused a false return to be prepared that under-reported his total income by approximately $267,000 and a loss to the US Treasury of $106,000.

Second, with respect to the 2014 tax year, Hunter Biden did not report any of the money he earned from Burisma for the 2014 tax year, which would have been a tax loss to the government of $124,000. According to my previous testimony, Hunter Biden did not report this income to the IRS or pay tax on the source of income. There is nothing that I see in the public documents as to the Department of Justice’s action against Hunter Biden that indicate that Hunter Biden will be required to pay tax on this Burisma income from 2014 or amend his 2014 tax return. I would like to note that the plea agreement when released may provide a greater understanding.

Third, I would like to make clear that the charging document for the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden

Mr Ziegler (34:00):

Biden was charged with failure to timely pay his taxes for 2017 and ’18 in excess of a hundred thousand dollars for each tax year. On Hunter Biden’s 2017 and 18 tax returns, hunter reported taxes owed of approximately $581,000 and $620,000 respectfully. This tax amount in 2018 would not have included the alleged additional tax due and owing from the filed false return of $106,000. Thus, as I read the public documents as the Department of Justice Action against Hunter Biden, there is nothing that indicates Hunter Biden will be required to amend his false tax return for 2018. A false tax return that includes improper deductions for prostitutes, sex clubs, and his adult children’s tuition. Again, perhaps when the plea agreement is released, it may provide us with a greater understanding.

Fourth. The decision to bring felony counts against Hunter Biden was agreed to by both prosecutors and investigators. In the fall of 2021, I met with prosecutors assigned to the case and we all agreed and decided which charges we are going to recommend in the prosecution report, which included felony counts related to 2014 and ’18. In March of 2022, the prosecutors requested discovery from the investigative team and presented the case to the DC US attorney’s office. In later meetings in early August of 2022, the signed prosecutors, all four attorneys, agreed to recommend felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017, ’18 and ’19 tax years. Insofar as the Department of Justice Tax Division attorney sent an email about the process of bringing charges to include felony and misdemeanor tax charges in two separate districts, Delaware and Los Angeles.

Less than a month later, Gary Shapley and I met with Mr. Weiss. He stated that he agreed with us regarding the 2014 and 2015 tax year misdemeanor and felony charges, but that this could somehow affect the later year misdemeanor and felony charges that he conveyed were stronger. Despite these facts, the plea deal that is being discussed occurred. To this day, I do not have a reason why that occurred. From my perspective, this might not have been problematic had the investigation been handled in the ordinary course.

Fifth. As I had previously testified and is contained in my written testimony, I have outlined for you some instances in which assigned prosecutors did not appear to follow the normal investigative process, slow walked the investigation and put in place unnecessary approvals and roadblocks from effectively and efficiently investigating the case. A number of times we were not able to follow the facts. I’m happy to respond to questions concerning these instances.

Sixth. I will also note that while the impression has been conveyed by the US Attorney in Delaware that he has similar powers to that of a special counsel in this case free reign to do as needed, that was not the case. It appeared to me based on what I experienced, that the US attorney in Delaware in our investigation was constantly hamstrung, limited and marginalized by DOJ officials as well as other US attorneys. I still think that a special counsel is necessary for this investigation. To further handle ancillary investigations that are spun off and relate to Hunter Biden but may not have venue in Delaware.

Lastly, I would like to conclude again by encouraging Congress and the administration to consider establishing an official channel for federal investigators to pull the emergency court and raise the issue of the appointment or of the appointment of a special counsel for consideration by senior officials. I do not want my colleagues at the IRS, FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies to go through my frustrating journey and that of our team. I believe such a path will strengthen the public’s confidence in their institutions and their fair and equal treatment of all Americans under the law. Thank you and I look forward to the questions.

James Comer (38:17):

Thank you very much. Chair now recognizes Mr. Shapley for his opening statement.

Speaker 2 (38:25):

Thank you for inviting me to testify here today. I want to thank every member and staff around both sides of the aisle for the work you do to represent your constituents and hold government accountable. My name is Gary Shapley. I’ve worked as a special agent for IRS criminal investigation for 14 years. I have risen to become a senior leader in the organization and currently supervised 12 elite agents in the International Tax and Financial Crimes group. I have worked directly with United States attorneys in multiple districts and have supervisor investigated cases in more than a dozen United States attorney’s office across the country. I have led planned or executed undercover operations or search warrants in more than a dozen countries. I have investigated and managed some of the largest cases in the history of the agency, recovering more than $3.5 billion for the United States taxpayer.

In this country we believe in the rule of law and that applies to everyone. There should not be a two-track justice system depending on who you are and who you’re connected to, yet in this case there was. Based on my experience, I’m here to tell you that the Delaware US Attorney’s office and Department of Justice handling the Hunter Biden tax investigation was very different from any other case in my 14 years at the IRS.

At every stage decisions were made that benefited the subject of this investigation. For example, prosecutors concealed contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop from investigators. DOJ slow walked steps to include interviews, serving document requests and executing search warrants. Warrants that were ready as early as April of 2020, but were delayed until after the November 2020 election and never pursued. Investigators were not allowed to follow up on WhatsApp messages from Hunter Biden’s Apple iCloud backup where he suggested he was sitting next to his father. Assistant United States attorney Lesley Wolf cited the optics of executing a search warrant at President Biden’s residence as a deciding factor for not allowing it even though she agreed that probable cause existed. Prosecutors instructed investigators not to ask about the big guy or dad when conducting interviews. The Biden transition team was tipped off about interviews the night before the investigation went over. The fact my FBI counterpart confirmed to this committee in a recent testimony where the result was that only one witness spoke to investigators that day. These are just some of the examples of how our investigation was stymied.

I’m not here to support partisan agendas on either side. I’m here because our tax system relies on the American people having confidence it is administered fairly and equally for everyone regardless of your last name or political connections. If the handling of this case was inappropriate, it doesn’t matter whether it happened under a Republican or Democrat administration. Whether you agree with my concerns about the unethical slow walking and preferential treatment in this case, you can be sure that my testimony is true and correct to the best of my ability.

Unfortunately, the way this has already been handled by some members and the media has done immeasurable damage to future would-be whistleblowers. I have been attacked as incompetent and falsely accused of being a liar, a leaker or both, all by people who know nothing about me or the facts of this case. Some question if I should even be called a whistleblower suggesting that my disclosures are not legally protected merely because they don’t like what I’m saying. We’ve have seen this shoe on the other foot before and some Republicans have made the same error, so there’s plenty of blame for both sides.

The cycle of villainizing or canonizing government employees who report what they believe is wrongdoing has to stop. When I first started noticing deviations from the normal investigative process around June 2020, I did not run to Congress to air grievances. Instead, I documented my concerns and made internal protected disclosures to my chain of command. I tried to give the prosecutors the benefit of the doubt for a very long time. After our investigation had largely concluded by the end of 2021, the IRS recommended charging Hunter Biden with multiple felonies and several misdemeanors for the tax years of 2014 through 2019. The Delaware Assistant United States Attorneys and Tax Division trial attorneys supported charging the felonies and misdemeanors listed in exhibit two of my interview transcripts on page 44 and 45, which were officially referred to Department of Justice Tax Division in February of 2022. This case was presented to the Washington DC US Attorney’s office in or around March 2022.

In April 2022, in a hearing, Attorney General Garland was asked how the American people could be confident the administration was conducting a serious investigation into the President’s own son. Attorney General Garland responded by saying, “Because we put the investigation in the hands of a Trump appointee.” He led Congress to believe the case was insulated from improper political influence because all decisions were being made exclusively by Delaware United States attorney David Weiss, but that was not true.

The Justice Department allowed the president’s political appointees to weigh in on whether to charge the president’s son. After United States attorney for DC, Matthew Graves, appointed by President Biden refused to bring charges in March 2022, I watched United States Attorney Weiss tell a room full of senior FBI and IRS senior leaders on October 7th, 2022 that he was not the deciding person on whether charges were filed. That was my red line. I had already seen a pattern of preferential treatment and obstruction. Now United States Weiss was admitting that what the American people believed based on an attorney general’s sworn statement was false. I can no longer stay silent.

In November of 2022, the statute of limitations was set to expire for the 2014 and 2015 charges in DC, which included the 2014 felonies for the attempt to evade or defeat tax and fraud or false statement regarding Burisma income earned by Hunter Biden in those years. The statute of limitations had been extended through a tolling agreement with Hunter Biden’s defense counsel and they were willing to extend it past November 2022. Weiss allowed those to expire. Prosecutors presented the 2017, 2018 and 2019 criminal tax charges to the Central District of California around September of 2022 only after President Biden’s nominee Martin Estrada was confirmed. In January of this year, I learned Estrada had declined to bring the charges. For all intents and purposes, the case was dead with the exception of one gun charge that could be brought in Delaware.

And yet when Senator Chuck Grassley asked Attorney General Garland about the case in March, 2023, Garland testified, “The United States Attorney has been advised he has full authority to make those referrals you’re talking about were to bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that. He has been advised that he should get anything he needs.” After the October seven red line meeting, there was no way to reconcile United States Attorney Weiss’s statement and his office’s actions with Attorney General Garland’s public testimony.

I’m 100% certain of what Delaware US Attorney’s office did in seeking approval from political appointees in DC and California. The New York Times reported that as independently confirmed the charges being presented and declined in California. Plenty of other witnesses are familiar with these facts. In addition to those who witnessed us Attorney Weiss’s private admission. I encourage them to step forward and tell the truth about what happened and what they heard.

Let me be clear, although these facts contradict Attorney General Garland’s testimony and raise serious questions for you to investigate, I have never claimed to have evidence that Attorney General Garland knowingly lied to Congress. Whether Attorney General Garland knew his testimony was false is for you and the Inspector Generals to determine, not me. The same is true for United States Attorney Weiss’s three letters to Congress since June 2023, is for others to investigate and determine whether those letters contain knowingly false statements.

However, it’s clear that United States Attorney Weiss’s story to the American public has evolved. He’s gone from unequivocally echoing Attorney General Garland to, just one month later, corroborating the disclosures we made about limits on his authority. Weiss first said he can charge anywhere and then admitted he’s geographically limited. To go beyond those limits, Weiss later admitted he had to partner or get special authority. Garland said Weiss has authority. United States Attorney Weiss said he’s been assured he would get authority. If he never requested or denied special authority from Attorney General Garland as he told us on October seven, the American public deserves to hear why he allowed 2014 and 2015 DC charges to expire. No number of carefully worded denials or evolving half-truths can overshadow this stark fact. United States Attorney Weiss and Attorney General Garland will each be sitting before these committees one day. They will have to admit that despite all their obfuscation, the absolute fact is that this case was presented to two presidentially appointed US attorneys in DC and California. That no charges were brought in those districts tells you everything that you need to know.

I don’t claim to be privy to United States Attorney Weiss or Attorney General Garland’s Communications, but United States Attorney Weiss told us that he was not the deciding person, that he had requested and was denied special authority after DC declined charges and that if California declines, he will have to request special authorities again. I understood the gravity of those admissions. Whether full responsibility lies be United States Attorney Weiss or Attorney General Garland is for Congress, the Inspector Generals and ultimately the public to decide.

When I decided after October 7th to come forward and began researching whistleblower attorneys, I wanted to abide by the law in every way as I navigated the complex taxpayer privacy and grand jury secrecy statutes. I carefully followed the whistleblower process to the letter with the advice of counsel at every step. I’m fortunate to be represented by Mark Lytle, a federal prosecutor for 25 years, including five years with the Department of Justice Tax Division. I’m also grateful for Empower Oversight, a nonprofit whistleblower group who’s president Tristan Leavitt was previously nominated by President Biden to the Merit Systems Protection Board and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

While some have tried to paint me with a partisan brush because this charitable organization employs some former staffers to GOP members on Capitol Hill, their expertise developed working for the patron Satan Whistleblower Senator Chuck Grassley has been invaluable. Meanwhile, the Biden family attorneys appear to be representing Hunter Biden, President Biden and the Department of Justice and they’re not working for free. It has been reported in public sources that there is a large fund paying for legal fees for Biden family attorneys. The source of those funds is unknown. They have virtually unlimited resources to pursue their agenda while my motives are questioned simply for finding competent representation from a small nonprofit that helps whistle whistleblowers. Groups such as Empower Oversight and Whistleblower Aid are the only path to ensure whistleblowers like me are heard and receive competent advice.

My intention was not to be your sole source of information and I implore you to take the necessary steps to obtain as much evidence as possible, from as many sources as possible, to be able to fully inform your conclusions. I’m confident that after you have done that, both sides will find serious issues with a Hunter Biden investigation that closely align with my testimony. No matter your party, I am not your opposition. I am here with information for you to examine and investigate and determine whether more action is warranted on your part. I am on your team whether we agree on every politically sensitive issue or not.

There’s no benefit from me blowing the whistle on this case. Absolutely none. I have no book deal and the only money that goes into my bank account every two weeks is from my employment for the federal government. I’m still a supervisor leading a group of 12 fantastic agents working complex international investigations. Unfortunately, to this day, my immediate supervisors are retaliating against me for making protected disclosures. Even last fall, Biden family attorneys attacked and investigators in the pagers of the Washington Post and threatened the prosecutors with career suicide if they brought charges against the president’s son. Then one of the Biden family attorneys sends to the press a 10 page error filled letter. It attacked me with innuendo, false statements and baseless speculation that I had leaked information to the Washington Post. These statements by Biden family attorneys are false.

In conclusion, the American people for whom this body works, I implore you to look at the facts, not agenda-laced statements from either side of the aisle. I’m the average American citizen who worries about how I will send my kids to college and if I’ll ever have enough money to retire just like most people watching this today. I’m the first person in my family to go to college. It was not an Ivy League school and I don’t have a network of rich and powerful friends to help me weather the storms of retaliation and character assassination. I’m putting myself at risk for the American people who support me and for those who do not. At the end of the day, I’m just a small town kid from Norwich, New York who worked hard to get where I am and will never compromise my integrity. I will never forget who I am, where I come from or all the people in my life who have made me who I am today. Thank you all for your time.

James Comer (51:59):

Thank you both for those excellent opening statements. We’ll now begin the questioning phase and I’ll begin questioning. We’ll start with Mr. Ziegler. Here on the committee we focused on following the evidence, specifically the money trail through bank records and suspicious activity reports. And I want to discuss with you specific payments made to Hunter Biden and the Biden family. Democrats in the left-wing media are also saying there’s no evidence. But let’s get into the evidence. Mr. Ziegler, I want to direct you to pages 99 and 100 of your transcript. How much money did Hunter Biden and his associates receive from the Romanian company you identified?

Mr Ziegler (52:45):

So that amount would be from Romania, so the approximate total transfers from the Romania company would’ve been $3.1 million to everyone.

James Comer (52:54):

$3.1 million. How much did Hunter Biden and his business associates receive from State Energy HK Limited through the Robinson Walker, LLC?

Mr Ziegler (53:03):

So total transfers from State Energy HK to Rob Walker was $3 million.

James Comer (53:07):

$3 million. Was there a hundred thousand dollars payment from CEFC infrastructure to Owasco PC, Hunter Biden’s Professional Corporation?

Mr Ziegler (53:17):

Yes, Chairman.

James Comer (53:19):

Approximately how much was transferred to Hunter Biden and his business associates through Hudson West III?

Mr Ziegler (53:25):

So the total transfers from Hudson West III to everyone was $ 3.7 million.

James Comer (53:31):

$3.7 million. How much money did Hunter Biden and his business associates receive from the Ukrainian Burisma?

Mr Ziegler (53:38):

Burisma paid to everyone involved, $6.5 million.

James Comer (53:41):

$6.5 million. Burisma also paid BlueStar Strategies and a law firm hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the total Burisma payments to over $7 million. Is that correct?

Mr Ziegler (53:52):

That is correct. $7.3 million.

James Comer (53:54):

$7.3 million. Between 2014 and 2019. This brings the total amount of foreign income streams received to approximately $17 million, correct?

Mr Ziegler (54:05):

That is correct.

James Comer (54:07):

What was the purpose of analyzing money from foreign sources and do you have documents to support your findings?

Mr Ziegler (54:15):

So the purpose of documenting the foreign sources is, as a part of a normal international tax investigation, we have to figure out where the money’s coming from. You have to follow the money trail and as a part of that process we have to follow different transactions, identify different foreign entities that might be paying a person and then we go and get those records.

James Comer (54:41):

And hopefully you can provide that to the committee.

Mr Ziegler (54:44):

So yeah, any records regarding those transactions, we can-

James Comer (54:49):

We love evidence on this side of the aisle. On page 80 of your transcript, you identified other Biden family members who received relevant payments to your investigation such as the grandchildren. Can you explain why you wanted to interview them?

Mr Ziegler (55:04):

So as a part of the investigation, you want to interview people who might have received money, people who might have had deductions that were deducted on the tax return. So there’s a multitude of reasons why you would want to talk to family members.

James Comer (55:21):

Is it common for grandchildren to receive money from foreign nationals and significant business wires?

Mr Ziegler (55:30):

So I don’t know the reason or I don’t know what’s behind any of these payments that might have been made to specific family members, but I can just speak to what was in our transcript.

James Comer (55:41):

Thank you. I would invite the media here today to review the committee’s bank records memorandum, which closely matches the IRS figures. We will have a supplemental memorandum discussing payments from the Ukraine, Russia, and other sources very soon based on bank records we’ve recently received but haven’t disclosed yet. Sir, you’ve confirmed for me what I’ve been saying all along the committee has accomplished in five months what it took the Department of Justice five years to figure out. Mr. Shapley, I want to turn to President Biden. You’ve stated to CBS Evening News that there were certain investigative steps you were not allowed to take that could have led to President Biden. Can you tell us what investigative steps related to President Biden that you wanted to take but you couldn’t?

Speaker 2 (56:26):

So there were multiple instances in this investigation where there were references to the father of the subject President Biden. In the course of any normal investigation when the subject’s father is somehow related to the finances of the subject, in the normal course of any investigation we would have to go and get that information to properly vet the financial flows of money in that investigation to determine what we end up charging.

James Comer (56:55):

There was a tweet or a message in the laptop from Hunter Biden to Kevin Dong who was with CEFC and it said, quote, “The Bidens are the best I know at doing exactly what the chairman wants from this partnership.” Now the chairman he’s referring to is Chairman Ye of CEFC. Is that correct?

Speaker 2 (57:26):

In that screen, I believe so, yes.

James Comer (57:28):

Yes. So can you tell me what the Bidens are best at? Do you understand what he would’ve meant by that? I mean this is a Chinese company and I think the ranking member referred to it with Gal Luft. It’s the same entity that paid Gal Luft the money that he got indicted for being an unregistered foreign agent, I believe was the charge. But this is another solicitation from Hunter Biden and he refers to the Bidens plural and they’re best at doing what the chairman wants. I think that’s very concerning to our committee because this is a Chinese Communist Party owned entity. This is of concern to our national security and I didn’t know, in closing, if you had any information with respect to that comment there.

Speaker 2 (58:25):

With respect to the WhatsApp messages, it was something we clearly needed to follow up on and that was really one of the major deviations from in this case is that investigators asked and Special Agent Ziegler asked to follow to take some investigative steps to review that and it just simply wasn’t supported by the prosecutor. So further delving into what that means, I just simply can’t do.

James Comer (58:48):

Well, I can promise you we’re not going to stop on this committee until we understand what he fully meant by that message to a Chinese Communist Party official.

Mr Ziegler (58:57):

Mr. Chairman, can I say something about that?

James Comer (58:58):

Yes, please.

Mr Ziegler (58:59):

So thank you for that question. There was a long WhatsApp message contained in that that was only a portion of it. So what we can do or what we can go back is we can turn that over to the House Ways and Means Committee, they can vote to release it and then that information can be available for you.

James Comer (59:19):

Thank you. Thank you very much. I now yield to ranking member Raskin.

Mr Raskin (59:24):

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I want to thank both the witnesses for their testimony and for appearing with us today. It seems to me that a lot of your testimony has been about the problem of prosecutorial discretion and the traditional tug of war between investigators who characteristically want to charge as many offenses as they’ve come across and prosecutors who are more attuned to the rigors of the courtroom and the complexity of forensic evidence. And I admit as a former state assistant Attorney General, I see it more from the prosecutor’s standpoint than the investigator’s standpoint. But Mr. Shapley, would you concede that there are lots of crimes that are identified by investigators that are not actually charged by prosecutors routinely?

I’ll give you an example. In the recent indictment of Donald Trump for retaining government documents that he unlawfully took, according to the indictment, he was charged only with possessing those documents that were recovered after the August 2022 search warrant. But he had hundreds of documents that were recovered before that, 15 boxes that were recovered in January and then after the grand jury subpoena in June. But the prosecutors decided not to charge any of those as offenses. They said they were going to take the most egregious offenses and charge those. Is that unfamiliar to you, that kind of decision by a prosecutor?

Speaker 2 (01:00:58):

So I can’t speak to anything related to the Trump investigation, but the issue here with this case is that it wasn’t just investigators agreed with these charges. In exhibit two in my testimony, it clearly shows a prosecution recommendation report where it says right in the document that the Assistant United States Attorneys and Department of Justice Tax Division agreed with those recommended charges and then again as Special Agent Ziegler alluded to in late 2022.

Mr Raskin (01:01:30):

And they were recommended to whom?

Speaker 2 (01:01:32):

To Department of Justice. So the prosecution recommendation report is referred to the Department of Justice Tax Division for approval, discretion or declination.

Mr Raskin (01:01:41):

Right. But then it all went to the US attorney in Delaware, right?

Speaker 2 (01:01:45):

So that’s not entirely accurate because Department of Justice Tax Division up through March 16th of 2023 had not yet approved, provided discretion or declined charges. So US Attorney Weiss had no authority to charge any of those charges without the Department of Justice tax Division’s approval beforehand.

Mr Ziegler (01:02:06):

And I’d like to say something about this real quick.

Mr Raskin (01:02:09):

Well let me come back to you. I only have a limited amount of time and I’ve got questions for you. But in fact, Mr. Ziegler, you say that Hunter Biden’s unpaid taxes were around $2 million and he’s now paid those back taxes as I understand it, and he’s been criminally charged for not paying taxes. Will you just explain how people can be charged for not paying taxes even after they’ve made amends and gone forward to pay them?

Mr Ziegler (01:02:37):

So under the statute, when someone fails to timely pay their taxes, usually due April 15th, once that date occurs, they have a known tax liability and they failed to pay it, the crime has already been committed. The fact that they paid the taxes after that’s a mitigating factor that the judge can use their discretion at sentencing. But I would like to make one reference that this does not include the over a hundred thousand dollars in additional tax due and owing that was not charged related.

Mr Raskin (01:03:09):

No. You made yourself clear. You thought there were additional charges that were laid on the table and not pursued by US Attorney Weiss, the Trump appointee. But Mr. Shapley, you testified that the critical moment in your decision to blow the whistle in the Hunter Biden investigation was the October 7th meeting, 2022 that you had with US attorney David Weiss. And up until that point you say you were willing to chalk up the differences with prosecutors to the typical, quote, “investigator versus prosecutor type thing,” which is what I think this is all about. But you say on page 28 of your transcript, “If I wasn’t in the October 7th meeting, my red line might not have been crossed,” and I think you reaffirmed that today. Now as I understand it, what crossed your red line is that in that meeting you understood Mr. Weiss to be saying that he did not have the authority to bring charges in DC or California without the approval of the US attorneys for those districts. Is that right?

Speaker 2 (01:04:06):

That’s correct.

Mr Raskin (01:04:07):

Okay. But in a letter that he sent to Chairman Jordan in June, US Attorney Weiss stated, and I quote, “I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges.” He went on and explained that in considering charges in districts outside Delaware, usual DOJ practice would be, quote, “To contact the US attorney’s office for the district in question and determine whether it wants to partner on the case.” Now, if that office declined, he would request and be granted authority to bring the charge himself under special attorney status from the Attorney General pursuant to 28 USC section five 15.

Now to try to clear this up, Mr. Shapley, let’s go back to March 2nd, 2022. When as you explained on page 153 of the transcript, the US attorney for DC declined to partner with Mr. Weiss to bring the 2014 and 2015 charges in DC. After that decision by the US attorney for DC, Mr. Weiss continued to discuss those charges with all of you. In fact, Mr. Ziegler, on page 39 of your transcript, you described how in September 2022 you had a meeting in which US Attorney Weiss expressed some concerns about those charges, including that in 2015, Hunter Biden was in the throes of his drug addiction after the death of his brother. And in that meeting, Mr. Weiss tells you, and I quote, ” I’m still weighing it.” Now, Mr. Ziegler, in September 2022, Mr. Weiss was telling you that he was the one weighing whether to bring the 2014 and 2015 charges. Isn’t that correct?

Mr Ziegler (01:05:43):

That is correct.

Mr Raskin (01:05:44):

Now, coming back to the October 7th, 2022 meeting, Mr. Shapley. According to you on page 155, Mr. Weiss said that quote, “He decided not to charge 2014 2015.” It seems to me this October 7th, 2222 meeting, which you’ve described as a red line is just a misunderstanding. That after the US attorney in DC declined to partner on the 14 and 15 charges, Mr. Weiss took a good hard look at those charges himself and ultimately decided not to charge them and therefore not to seek the special attorney status. He may have been right about that. He may have been wrong as you guys make your case for, but it was his decision. Isn’t that right Mr. Shapley?

Speaker 2 (01:06:24):

No. That’s not supported by the facts.

Mr Raskin (01:06:26):

Really? Well which facts is it not supported by?

Speaker 2 (01:06:28):

His own admissions in the October 7th, 2022 meeting that I documented contemporaneously. And the only piece of [inaudible 01:06:35] corroborate-

Mr Raskin (01:06:35):

But he contradicts what you’re saying. Do you agree that? That he doesn’t agree with what you’re saying about that meeting?

Speaker 2 (01:06:38):

[inaudible 01:06:39].

Mr Raskin (01:06:39):

Now I wasn’t at that October 7th, 2022 meeting, but while what was said at the meeting over two and a half years ago may be a little ambiguous or unclear today, Mr. Weiss’s letter to Chairman Jordan could not be more clear. He had, quote, “Ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file the charges.” So if there’s any ambiguity, it’s got to go to US Attorney Weiss, Donald Trump’s handpicked US attorney for Delaware. I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

James Comer (01:07:07):

Gentleman yields back. Can now recognize Chairman Smith.

Mr Ziegler (01:07:09):

Can I say something real quick on that? I have two things that I wanted to bring up. So there are a lot of different tax cases out there that include misdemeanors and felonies and there’s a lot of reasons why we charge the felony. We might charge the misdemeanor. But I want to be clear on this, that when you have a felony charge with a misdemeanor, that you have to charge the felony. And in this case, they did not charge that felony. And then there’s one more point to this. We had a meeting with all four assigned prosecutors-

Mr Raskin (01:07:38):

Excuse me, when you say you have to charge the felony, that is a Department of Justice rule you’re saying?

Mr Ziegler (01:07:42):

That is in their manual that you have to charge the felony in order to avoid an equitable treatment of taxpayers.

Mr Raskin (01:07:49):

No. But you’re saying whether or not the evidence supports it?

Mr Ziegler (01:07:52):

That is a part of that is in that analysis as whether the evidence… But that goes back to the point of that if the certain deductions

Mr Ziegler (01:08:00):

… that were taken, the certain deductions that were taken on the tax return, that’s for you guys to decide whether the felony was there or not, but the point is is that we’re bringing forward everything.

Mr. Raskin (01:08:09):

That’s for the US attorney to decide. And I’m afraid we’re not going to be able to investigate every tax case in America.

Chairman (01:08:15):

Gentlemen, time has expired. Chair now recognizes Mr. Smith from Missouri.

Jason Smith (01:08:19):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Shapley. Mr. Ziegler, I want to thank you both again for your testimony and your willingness to come forward and tell the truth for the American public. And I apologize of the behavior of some of our colleagues and how the press has treated you for doing what is right so the American people can see it. Mr. Shapley, included in the documents you provided to the Ways and Means Committee is a document labeled Exhibit Two in the transcript of your testimony, which is a portion of a special agent report. This document is located following page 41 of the transcript, this one. What is this document and what recommendations are made in this document?

Mr. Shapley (01:09:05):

Yeah. So this is the prosecution recommendation report that IRS CI agents produce at the end of an investigation when they’re going to recommend prosecution to the Department of Justice. This was authored by Special Agent Ziegler and it’s an incredibly robust document. There’s several thousand pages because each of these, the facts and the elements in this particular report, the elements of each violation show which piece of evidence meets that element. So in this report, it recommended felony charges for 2014, 2018, and 2019 and misdemeanor charges for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. And it further shows that Special Agent Ziegler spoke with prosecutors and worked hand in hand with prosecutors while this was being drafted and they clearly agreed that the illness these violations were met and they supported this document when it was sent to Department of Justice Tax Division for approval on February 25th, 2022.

Jason Smith (01:10:11):

Mr. Shapley, what level of confidence does the IRS need to have to recommend charges like the felony counts listed in this document?

Mr. Shapley (01:10:22):

Each violation has each element listed in this report and evidence is shown underneath each of it. This report goes through internal departments at IRS criminal investigation. And in addition to the prosecutors agreeing that the evidence supported charging felony counts, senior leadership up to the director of field operations, the IRS criminal investigation also personally reviewed this report and approved it to be sent to Department of Justice Tax Division.

Jason Smith (01:10:51):

So were you surprised that, on June 20th, 2023, prosecutors announced a plea agreement with Hunter Biden under which he would only plead guilty to violations of two misdemeanor charges?

Mr. Shapley (01:11:08):

The guilty plea is outside of my control, but what I can say is it’s not what an investigator thought, it’s not what especially Ziegler and I thought that felony charges were proven in this case. The prosecutors, again and again, agreed with that assessment and United States Attorney Weiss also agreed with these because he went to the DC US Attorney to ask him to partner. You don’t ask someone to partner with you if you don’t, yourself, agree with those charges. And when he got denied that, he requested special authority and was declined, as he said in the October 7th, 2022 meeting.

Jason Smith (01:11:48):

Yeah. In the report that we just highlighted as Exhibit Two, it states in there that even Lesley Wolf agreed with these charges moving forward, the assistant prosecutor. Mr. Ziegler, on page 32 of the transcript of your testimony, you discussed the need to interview Hunter Biden’s adult children regarding certain deductions that you listed earlier of Hunter Biden included on his tax returns. You also testified that Assistant United States Attorney Lesley Wolf told you that you would get into hot water if interviewed the President’s grandchildren. In other cases that you’ve worked over your career, have you ever had a prosecutor tell you that you couldn’t interview a relevant witness?

Mr Ziegler (01:12:42):

There are certain things that come into whether we talk to a witness or not. So if they’re an attorney, if there’s some special situation that might come up, that might cause caution to interviewing that witness, but I’ve never been told that we couldn’t approach someone to interview them as a part of an investigation. Yeah, there’s certain situations to where you have to do a further analysis of the information that you might get, like I said, if they’re an attorney, but in this case, we needed to talk to witnesses related to things that were deducted on the tax return. And in this case, it was the adult children that we needed to talk to.

Jason Smith (01:13:26):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I see my time expired.

Chairman (01:13:28):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognizes Mr. Krishnamoorthi from Illinois for five minutes.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:13:33):

Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank you, Mr. Shapley. Thank you, Mr. Ziegler, for your service to this country. Really appreciate you coming here and appearing in this capacity. First of all, Mr. Ziegler, I see at page 12 of your transcript, deposition transcript, you start laying out a series of concerns that you had with regard to various people and different issues related to this investigation. You say, quote, “I started this investigation in November, 2018 after reviewing bank deposits.” Then you later say, “Career IRS staff were not initially supportive of starting the investigation.” Of course, in November, 2018, Joe Biden was not the President, correct?

Mr Ziegler (01:14:14):

Joe Biden was not the President. Correct.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:14:16):

And then at page 20, you lay out another concern. You had a concern about Bill Barr, Attorney General Bill Barr, consolidating these series of cases into the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware. At that point, you said, quote, “What was the potential issue I saw with working the case in Delaware? We were working with a small US Attorney’s Office who might not have ever worked a case of this caliber.” Now, of course, Bill Barr was appointed by Donald Trump, correct?

Mr Ziegler (01:14:47):

Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:14:49):

Now, let me turn to another concern that you lay out in your testimony. You were concerned about the quality of the prosecutors. On page 14, you say, quote, “The prosecutors were the JV squad and they weren’t up to the task of handling such a big case.” Now, sir, US Attorney Weiss was also appointed by Donald Trump, right?

Mr Ziegler (01:15:17):

As far as the actual nomination and what went into why-

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:15:22):

No, I’m not asking you why, I’m just saying USA Weiss was appointed by Donald Trump, correct?

Mr Ziegler (01:15:28):

That is correct.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:15:29):

Okay. Now, another concern you lay out in your deposition at page 21, you talk about your concerns about this investigation having been made overt, being publicized for the world to know. You said, quote, “One of the first disagreements I recall between the IRS investigators and prosecutors was the idea of going public.” Now, sir, this was in March, April, 2019. Joe Biden was not the President then, was he?

Mr Ziegler (01:15:59):

I don’t recall the exact date of when he announced that he was going to run for presidency, but I know that he was-

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:16:05):

That’s not my question, sir. Joe Biden was not the president in March, April, 2019, correct?

Mr Ziegler (01:16:11):

That is correct.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:16:12):

Now, Mr. Shapley, let me turn to you for a second here. You also raised a series of concerns in your deposition transcript. One is this, you said you were concerned about the complexities of the election cycle and potential delays that arose in connection with the election cycle. You said, at page 23, “And I remember there were always times where we were always on an impending election cycle. It was always the elections being brought up in early 2020. It was the presidential primaries.” Now, sir, Joe Biden was not the President at that time either, was he?

Mr. Shapley (01:16:54):

The answer to your question is no, he was not, but I don’t see where you referenced it for me to follow along.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:17:02):

Page 23. You were talking about how the election cycle is delaying decisions by the prosecution, and it turns out that the delay in the election cycle was happening at a time when Joe Biden was not the President.

Mr. Shapley (01:17:15):

I’m sorry, sir. That’s in Special Agent Ziegler’s transcript. That’s why I couldn’t find it.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:17:21):

Mr. Ziegler and you shared concerns about delays related to the election cycle, but at that time, Joe Biden was not the President?

Mr Ziegler (01:17:31):

I believe, at that time, he was the nominee for President.

Speaker 3 (01:17:33):

Not in 2019.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:17:35):

Well, he was not the President, was he? It’s just a simple question, sir.

Mr Ziegler (01:17:40):

Can you rephrase what time period [inaudible 01:17:43]?

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:17:42):

Joe Biden was not the President in the presidential primaries in 2020.

Mr Ziegler (01:17:48):

Correct. That is correct.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:17:50):

Sir, finally, Mr. Shapley, you said that warrants were ready as soon as April, 2020 to begin searching for records, but actions weren’t taken with regard to those warrants. Again, Joe Biden was not the President in April, 2020, was he?

Speaker 3 (01:18:10):

That has to do with [inaudible 01:18:11].

Mr. Shapley (01:18:11):

I’m confused by your line of questioning. We’re talking about an election to which now President Biden was a part of. So he didn’t have to be the President to have election meddling.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:18:20):

No, but the question is this, was he the President at that time, in April, 2020?

Mr. Shapley (01:18:26):

It’s been asked and answered.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:18:28):

And what’s the answer, sir?

Mr. Shapley (01:18:29):

The election issue-

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:18:30):

The answer is yes or no.

Mr. Shapley (01:18:33):

Is no, that-

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:18:35):

Thank you. I yield back.

Mr. Shapley (01:18:36):

Mr. Chairman, may I finish?

Chairman (01:18:40):

You may answer the question.

Mr. Shapley (01:18:41):

So it’s clear that he was not the President, but an election is for the purpose of electing a president. ANd Joe Biden, at the time, was a nominee for President of the United States. Therefore, the election clauses with DOJ policy took place and were in effect. And it wasn’t until September 4th of 2020 that the Department of Justice Public Integrity said that we can no longer take any actions on that case. And as early as-

Speaker 4 (01:19:08):

That’s Donald Trump’s DOJ.

Mr. Shapley (01:19:12):

… April to June of 2020, the Department of Justice, Delaware US Attorney’s Office was already invoking the election as a reason not to perform those search warrants.

Mr. Krishnamoorthi (01:19:22):

That was Donald Trump’s DOJ.

Chairman (01:19:23):

Gentleman’s time has expired. We’ve got a lot of questioners here. Chair now recognizes Mr. Jordan of Ohio.

Mr. Jordan (01:19:29):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Last month, David Weiss sent me two letters. In the first letter on June 7th, he said, “I’ve been granted ultimate authority over the matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges,” the quote that the ranking member just put up. Later that same month, he sent me the second letter where he said, “No, I don’t. No, I don’t have that charging authority.” So June 7th, he says, “I’m the boss, I can do whatever I darn well want, file it wherever I want,” and then June 30th, he says, “No, I can’t.” What happened in between those two events?

Your testimony went public. He goes, “Oh, my goodness, I got to change my story because now the truth’s coming out.” And it sounds like in this investigation, to me, Mr. Shapley, that the prosecutors and the investigators were in agreement for most of the investigation, and then we get to October of 2022. I see Mr. Ziegler nodding his head. And that meeting is where David Weiss told you something. Is that right, Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:22):

[inaudible 01:20:23].

Mr. Jordan (01:20:23):

What’d he say? Can you put your mic on there? What’d he say?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:26):

Yes, he told me he was not the deciding person on whether or not charges were filed. He told us that DC US Attorney had declined to allow charges. He told us that he had requested special counsel authority from man DOJ and denied that authority.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:39):

And was denied.

Mr. Shapley (01:20:40):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:41):

Were you the only guy in that meeting?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:42):

I was not.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:43):

How many other people were there?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:44):

There were seven total people, including me.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:47):

You and Mr. Weiss and five others, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:49):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:50):

And have any of them come forward and say what you just said is not true?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:55):

They have not.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:56):

No one has, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:20:58):

That is correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:20:58):

No one has disputed, refuted. No one said what you said is not true.

Mr. Shapley (01:21:01):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:02):

And did you memorialize what took place in that meeting? Did you memorialize that?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:06):

Yes, I did. That day when I returned home from the Delaware US Attorney’s Office, I put it in an email to the two senior executives at my agency.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:14):

You put it in an email that day.

Mr. Shapley (01:21:17):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:17):

Contemporaneous, when it happened, I got the email here, it’s Exhibit 10 in your testimony when you were in interviewed by the Way and Means Committee, October 7th, Friday evening, 6:09 p.m, that email, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:28):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:29):

Sent to Mr. Waldon and Mr. Batdorf. Who are those individuals?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:34):

Mike Batdorf is a director of field operations for Southern Division of IRCI and Darrell Waldon was the special agent in charge of the Washington DC field office.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:42):

These are your bosses, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:43):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:43):

Did Mr. Waldon get back to you?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:46):

Yes, he did.

Mr. Jordan (01:21:47):

Remember what he said?

Mr. Shapley (01:21:48):

He said, “Thanks, Gary. You covered it all.”

Mr. Jordan (01:21:50):

“You covered it all.” He didn’t say, “Thanks, Gary, but you’re wrong. That’s not what happened.” He affirmed what you said. You covered it all and you laid it out, and you spelled out just what you told me a few minutes ago, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:22:03):

That’s correct.

Mr. Jordan (01:22:03):

What Mr. Weiss told you in that meeting.

Mr. Shapley (01:22:05):


Mr. Jordan (01:22:05):

And when that goes public on June 22nd last month, Mr. Weiss says, “Oh, I got to change my story. I better send a letter to the judiciary committee,” where he says, “I stand by what I wrote, but I wish to expand. I wish to fix it.” And then he had to go further in July when he sent a letter to Senator Graham and said, “To clarify again.” They’ve changed your story. You guys have it. What do you think happened? Mr. Weiss was consistent with the investigators up until this October 7th meeting and then he changed it. What do you think happened, Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (01:22:46):

I don’t know what happened internal at the Department of Justice, but what I can say is that the story has been changing from Department of Justice and US Attorney Weiss and I think the only person that’s really had any documents that have been corroborated are my own.

Mr. Jordan (01:23:03):

Exactly. I think what happened, I think it’s obvious. Anyone with common sense can see what happened because he said it in Mr. Graham’s letter. He said, “I had discussions with Main Justice. I had discussions with the folks, the big … the Deputy Attorney General, the Attorney …” whoever it was, I don’t know, but he had discussions with the people at Main Justice, and suddenly, things change. And that all became evident on October 7th. And until October 7th, the investigators, to Mr. Raskin’s point, the investigators and the prosecutors, they were in agreement, ” Here are the facts, here’s how we do it, here’s how we’ve always done it. We got the two best agents in the place on the case. Let’s go,” and then shazam, something changes.

And I think it’s what Mr. Weiss conveyed to Senator Graham when he said, “I had discussions with folks at Main Justice.” We don’t know what we’re in those discussions, but it looks pretty obvious, what happened, looks pretty obvious. Initially, everyone was pounding their chest. David Weiss has complete authority. Now, suddenly, he doesn’t. He doesn’t, because you guys came forward and told the truth. I yield back.

Chairman (01:24:04):

Chair now recognizes Mr. Lynch from Massachusetts.

Mr. Lynch (01:24:10):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I wanted to thank the witnesses for their willingness to work with the committee and help us with our work. I am surprised, though, there seems to be a new level of hypocrisy here. As a longstanding member of this committee, I think most of the members who have served a long time here know full well what political interference and what sweetheart deals look like. And I think context is very important.

In 2017, we had a situation where a former national security advisor and Trump campaign surrogate, Michael Flynn, was indicted. Indicted by a federal grand jury, he pled guilty twice and he lied to FBI agents about his communications with the Russian Government prior to the inauguration of President Trump. He was only national security advisor for 22 days, but my colleagues on the other side of the aisle had no interest, zero interest in looking into that case. And in response, the President at the time, President Trump, repeatedly and publicly attacked the case and the agents who brought it, including by claiming that Mr. Flynn was the victim of, quote, dirty, filthy cops at the top of the FBI, close quote. He also described the prosecution as a disgrace and claimed that those who investigated Mr. Flynn were guilty of treason.

Those are public statements made by a sitting president, attacking the FBI. And despite the fact that Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI, President Trump’s Attorney General William Barr personally intervened in the case and that led the Department of Justice to abruptly reverse course and have the case dismissed on grounds that a federal judge found dubious, to say the least, and that’s a quote from the judge.

In the case of longtime Trump associate and advisor Roger Stone, a federal jury found him guilty in 2019 of obstructing a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election by lying to Congress and witness tampering. In response, a sitting president, President Trump, immediately took to Twitter, attacking the Department of Justice and accusing them of employing a, quote, double standard and committing a, quote, miscarriage of justice. President Trump also publicly attacked the department sentencing recommendation from Mr. Stone, leading seated officials to overrule the federal prosecutors who had investigated and brought the case.

So this blatant political intervention, not complained of at all by my Republican colleagues at the time, caused those prosecutors, some of them, to resign or withdraw from the case. President Trump even congratulated former Attorney General Barr for interfering. That’s what political intervention looks like and we know it on this committee. And in the case of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who worked to elect a pro-Kremlin president in Ukraine and was convicted in 2018 of bank and tax fraud, ultimately pleading guilty to conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, President Trump deemed it, quote, a very sad day for our country.

And in terms of sweetheart deals, in December of 2020, at the end of his term, President Trump granted full pardons to his close allies, his pals, Flynn, Stone, and Manafort, allowing them to escape accountability for their numerous crimes. Now, that is a sweetheart deal. They got away with everything, not like Hunter Biden who’s pleading guilty, suffers the reputational damage and embarrassment to his family, the widely publicized facts of his drug addiction, and this was a Trump-appointed US attorney that prosecuted this for four years, and President Biden did not seek to remove him, which normally happens when a new president comes into office. He has the full right to remove him. Never did so. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

Chairman (01:29:09):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognizes Mr. Timmons from South Carolina.

Mr. Timmons (01:29:14):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m going to try to help simplify this for the American people. We are here today because our institutions are broken. The DOJ, the FBI, the IRS have transformed from a balanced apparatus of justice into the political weapon of the left, a process that I believe began during the Obama Administration. They actively pursue individuals based on their ideological beliefs, specifically targeting Donald Trump, who poses significant threat to the political left. Upon his election, the bureaucratic resistance didn’t stop. Their hatred for Trump permeated throughout their work, attempting to cripple his administration almost every turn. And for the last 30 months, the DOJ, the FBI, and the IRS have worked to not only protect the criminal actions of the Biden family, but to continue persecuting President Trump.

Some describe this as a two-tier system of justice, but what it really is, it’s a system deliberately and systematically prosecute individuals within the Trump orbit due to their hatred for President Trump. Simultaneously … crimes of the current President and members of his family, all while issuing selectively timed and perfectly planned indictments against President Trump.

Today, we are joined by two whistleblowers from the IRS. There are also whistleblowers from within the FBI and the DOJ. All these people are stepping forward now because, after the 2022 election, the American people have entrusted the House majority to Republicans, granting us subpoena power. With gavels in hand, we now possess crucial evidence just months into our investigations. The American people can see plain as day the corruption, bribery, and criminal actions of the Biden family. We are here to do the jobs that the DOJ, the FBI, and the IRS refuse to do. They have failed to fulfill their duties and properly investigate the Biden family and their international bribery schemes, which resulted in million-dollar payouts.

I want to, again, thank you both for coming forward. I cannot imagine how difficult this has been on you and your family. I think the best use of my time is to help simplify the complex scheme for the American people. Help do the job that DOJ, IRS and FBI, they just refuse to do. We talk about China, we talk about Romania, Ukraine, it all seems complicated, but this scheme was born in 2014 in Ukraine and then replicated in other countries. Ukraine is the proof of concept, if you will. This is the scheme, simple, foreign client has a problem, pays a Biden, Vice President Biden travels to the country, Vice President Biden leverages US influence to force a favorable outcome for the client, the Biden family earns their fee. That’s the scheme.

So let’s just start with Ukraine. So I can just show you the proof of concept. I’m going to walk you through the timeline. In 2014, Burisma has a problem. They want to get their stock listed on Wall Street, but the prosecutor general is investigating corruption and they can’t get the outcome they want in New York. So what do they do? They hire Hunter Biden, pay him millions of dollars. Mr. Ziegler, my only question for you is going to be, if I can direct you to page 99 of your transcript, is it accurate to say Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from Burisma?

Mr Ziegler (01:32:20):

Yes, that would be accurate.

Mr. Timmons (01:32:22):

Thank you. To the American people, I want to point out briefly that Hunter Biden has absolutely zero qualifications in this industry or in business, in general, but he does have the big guy. November 2nd, 2015, an email to Hunter, Burisma executive says that he’s demanding a high-level US official visit Ukraine to force out Shokin. This is in an email obtained from Hunter Biden’s laptop. November 14th, 2015, Hunter Biden confirms the big guy is on the way, Vice President Biden’s coming, have no fear. December 7th through 9th, Biden has an official visit using US tax dollars, threatens President Poroshenko to withhold a billion-dollar loan guarantee if Shokin isn’t fired. He lied about this during the campaign. He specifically said it wasn’t true. Sure enough, Shokin’s fired. If you have any questions about whether he fired him, January 23rd of 2018, he brags about it years later.

Ladies and gentlemen, American people, that’s the scheme. That is the proof of concept. They replicated it again and again because they never dreamt Biden would be president. No one did, but he is our president. And because of his actions, because of him selling policy decisions to adversaries abroad for personal gain, he is vulnerable and our national security is vulnerable because of it. We are not here to prosecute Hunter Biden. We don’t care about Hunter Biden. We care about our country’s national security decisions and whether our president is compromised. That’s why we’re here. That is why we’re here. With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

Chairman (01:34:00):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognizes Mr. Connolly from Virginia.

Mr. Connolly (01:34:04):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you both for being here today. My friend from South Carolina said he was going to simplify it for the American people. I think he succeeded, so simple as to be unrecognizable. And if we’re going to talk about Ukraine and Burisma, let’s remember that the President of the United States, not Joe Biden, Donald J. Trump, was impeached over a phone call to the President of Ukraine, wanting to get dirt on this very subject, on this very individual, with this very company, and withheld military equipment desperately needed, as we now know, including javelin missiles, which are very useful in anti-tank warfare, to get it, for which he was impeached, quite correctly, but my friends on the other side of the aisle all voted against that. They had no problem with that kind of interference that directly affected national security.

Mr. Shapely and Mr. Ziegler, you both testified about the fact that you’ve been subject to criticism, ridicule, public disclosure, perhaps menacing comments because you’ve come forward. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (01:35:29):

Medicine comments? [inaudible 01:35:30].

Mr. Connolly (01:35:30):

No, no, no.

Speaker 5 (01:35:31):


Mr. Shapley (01:35:31):

Oh, menacing comments.

Mr. Connolly (01:35:33):

Menacing comments. And you too, Mr. Ziegler.

Mr Ziegler (01:35:36):

Yes, I have.

Mr. Connolly (01:35:37):

That must be a terrible feeling. And whoever does that, I think you’d probably both agree, is doing a disservice to the country and to you individually. You’re simply doing your duty as you see the light. Fair enough?

Mr. Shapley (01:35:55):


Mr Ziegler (01:35:56):


Mr. Connolly (01:35:56):

Mr. Ziegler?

Mr Ziegler (01:35:57):

I am doing my duties.

Mr. Connolly (01:35:58):

Yes. So can you imagine how the District Attorney in Fulton County, Georgia must feel, or the District Attorney in Manhattan must feel, or the Special Counsel of the Department of Justice, Mr. Smith, must feel when the very subject of an indictment or an impending indictment takes to public rallies and ridicules them by name, disparages them by name, characterizes them by name, putting them and their families at the same risk you’re experiencing?

If it’s wrong for these anonymous people to criticize you, it must certainly be wrong that the former President of the United States would demonize people doing their jobs, just like you try to do yours, as they see the light. You can disagree with their judgment, but it’s not right to disparage their character. And what’s so ironic about this hearing is, again, not one mention on the other side of the aisle about that malign behavior by the very subject of the indictment.

And speaking of interference, the American people know President Trump pressured the Justice Department, which we’re talking about here today, like, wouldn’t that be wrong if someone did that, to go easy on his friend, Michael Flynn. We know, when President Trump’s handpicked Attorney General William Barr took the reigns, he pressured officials to reduce the sentencing for Roger Stone and glossed over Robert Mueller’s 2016 Presidential Election report, saying it exonerated the President, when in fact Robert Mueller explicitly said, no, it did not, and listed 10 specific items of obstruction of justice he recommended be pursued and pointed out, lest we misunderstand the pursuit part, he couldn’t indict a sitting president, according to DOJ guidelines, but he said, in his report, an enterprising district attorney, once that president left office, might want to pursue it.

According to recent reporting in the New York Times, former President Trump explicitly told his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, that they, quote, ought to investigate and get the IRS on former civil servants that Mr. Trump considered his political enemies, explicit testimony from his own chief of staff. But again, absolute silence on the other side of the aisle, including from the Ways and Means Committee, which purports to be so concerned about any hint of interference by any political entity or individual over the pristine work of the Department of Justice and the IRS, an agency, I might add, another piece of irony of this hearing, that has been disparaged as the hobnob boot on the neck of the American taxpayer for so long by the majority and denied resources by the majority. As we speak, they cut $24 billion in the debt ceiling compromise agreement out of the $80 billion we provided to, in fact, give you more resources to do your job. I yield back.

Chairman (01:39:28):

Gentleman yields back, and we’re going to have two more questions. And at the request of the witnesses, at every 90-minute mark, we’re going to take a 10-minute bathroom recess. So we’ll recognize the next two questioners and then go to that recess right now. Chair recognizes Representative Turner from Ohio for five minutes.

Mr. Turner (01:39:50):

Gentlemen, thank you for being here. I appreciate your courage and I appreciate your dedication to the truth and your sense of obligation. Surprisingly, my questions are actually going to be about your testimony in the subject matter as to why we’re here. We’re going to have a little shift to actually talk about what you’re here for.

I’m going to cite specific spots of your transcript testimony for each of you, but I don’t think you’ll have to read along. I’m going to do it for the purposes of the record. If I ask a question after having cited one and you want to refer to it and take a pause, please let me know, but I think, pretty much, we’ll be able to follow along.

Mr. Ziegler, you stated on page 17 of your transcript that you started this investigation in November of 2018 after reviewing bank reports related to another case that you were working on on a social media company. Those bank reports identified Hunter Biden as paying prostitutes related to a potential prostitution ring. Also included in those bank reports was evidence that Hunter Biden was living lavishly through his corporate bank account. Mr. Ziegler, when you made the statement, did you actually review these bank statements? This is not knowledge, in other words, that you got from someone else, that someone is relating to you what they said. You’ve actually looked at these documents.

Mr Ziegler (01:41:04):

That is correct. I actually looked at them.

Mr. Turner (01:41:06):

Mr. Shapley, you testified on page 57 concerning the 2014 tax report that what Hunter Biden did is that he told Burisma to send that income to Rosemont Seneca Bohai and that, when the money came back to him, he booked it as a loan. You then go on to testify that it should’ve been taxable as soon as it became income from Burisma to Hunter and whatever he did with it after that was really just a scheme to evade taxes for that year. You add that Rosemont Seneca Bohai did not book this as a loan, itself, so Biden is treating it differently than they did. Did you look, actually, at those records? Is this actually your viewing of them to create the testimony?

Mr. Shapley (01:41:53):

Yeah, I looked at the evidence, but Special Agent Ziegler would be the expert that saw every single piece, but yes, I saw that evidence.

Mr. Turner (01:41:59):

So Mr. Ziegler,

Mr. Turner (01:42:00):

You also looked at these bank records, respect to the 2014 tax payment from Burisma?

Mr. Ziegler (01:42:05):


Mr. Turner (01:42:07):

Mr. Shapley, you went on to say, “This is like textbook. I learned basic training nominee stuff, and in all of these defenses it was a loan. You got to have a promissory note, you’ve got to have defined interest and you’ve got to have repayments, and none of them were included.” So, Hunter Biden claims this is a loan, but the company he got it from doesn’t claim it as a loan. There’s no promissory note, there’s no interest, there’s no repayments. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (01:42:31):

That is correct.

Mr. Ziegler (01:42:32):

And they actually booked it, Rosemont Seneca Bohai booked it as a deduction.

Mr. Turner (01:42:37):

As a deduction. Meaning, it would’ve been a payment to him and so it would’ve been deductible to them?

Mr. Ziegler (01:42:42):


Mr. Turner (01:42:42):

Income to him then payable with tax. Excellent. But it wasn’t just the bank documents that you looked at, you also had the opportunity to look at a memo from Eric Sherwin, and Eric Sherwin was actually Hunter Biden’s accountant. And Mr. Shapley, on your testimony, page 57, you included Exhibit Four, a memo from Hunter’s accountant saying you’re going to owe tax on this $400,000. So you’ve got the accountant even agreeing with your position that this is income and that there should have been income tax paid on it.

Mr. Shapley (01:43:15):

A correction to that is that I did not provide this document, this was provided by the committee.

Mr. Turner (01:43:21):

Ah, okay. Excellent. Well we have it then in the public testimony and public record of his accountant agreeing.

So both of you I think, indicate that the taxable amount of the $400,000 would’ve been about $125,000 that Hunter Biden would’ve had to pay on the $400,000 of income. Is that correct, Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (01:43:42):

That’s correct.

Mr. Turner (01:43:42):

Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (01:43:43):

Yes, that’s correct.

Mr. Turner (01:43:44):

And you’ve had no evidence in all the records that you’ve looked at that those taxes were ever paid?

Mr. Shapley (01:43:50):

No, they were not.

Mr. Ziegler (01:43:52):

They were not paid by a Hunter Biden.

Mr. Turner (01:43:55):

Since the statute of limitations was allowed to run, Mr. Shapley you go on to state that in order for him to pay this, he’d have to pay it voluntarily. That the government doesn’t have a way to compel him to pay it because they’ve allowed the statute of limitations. So it’s not just he got out of criminal, he got out of having to pay the tax, right?

Mr. Shapley (01:44:14):

That’s correct. The civil and criminal statute of limitations have expired for that tax year.

Mr. Turner (01:44:18):

So he has in his pocket $125,000 of money that should have gone to federal government as taxes. When in the State of Ohio you’ve got average family earning about $62,000 a household that’s like two full households of tax income that he got to keep in his pocket thing. I wonder is that he could pay that today, right? Voluntarily?

Mr. Shapley (01:44:41):

Oh, yes. If he chose to voluntarily, yes he could.

Mr. Turner (01:44:44):

Perhaps Mr. President who’s supposed to be in charge of taxes coming to our nation and who so frequently tells us that the American people aren’t paying enough taxes, might want to wander down the hall at the White House and turn to his son and say, “Hunter Biden, why don’t you pay your taxes for 2014? Because I got two men who just testified there’s 125,000 owe and he ought to cut the check.” Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman (01:45:08):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognize Ms. Norton from Washington DC.

Ms. Norton (01:45:12):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler, thank you for being here today. We’re obviously going to talk a lot in this hearing about the investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes. So I think it’s important that we set the scene and make it clear what type of investigation we are talking about.

Mr. Ziegler, what year did you open the Hunter Biden investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (01:45:42):

That was 2018. November of 2018.

Ms. Norton (01:45:47):

2018. Thank you. The Department of Justice announced a plea agreement with Hunter Biden last month. So I estimate that you spent four or five years on this investigation, Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (01:46:03):

That would be correct.

Ms. Norton (01:46:05):

Mr. Ziegler, in your testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, you said that when your time working on the investigation ended, it was both, and him I’m quoting, “99.9% done.” That’s end quote and that you had, here I’m quoting again, ” Worked to complete 95% of the investigation.”

Given this testimony, is it fair to say, Mr. Ziegler, that in the years that you spent on the investigation, you saw it nearly to completion?

Mr. Ziegler (01:46:52):

So that reference was to the tax case. So the tax investigation as far as all the work that we had done regarding that, 99% of that had been done to that date.

Ms. Norton (01:47:04):

Exactly. Mr. Shapley, on page 12 of the transcript from your interview with the Ways and Means Committee, you described the IRS team that worked on this investigation as consisting of, and here I’m quoting, “12 elite agents who were selected based on their experience and performance in the area of complex high dollar international tax investigations.”

Mr. Shapley, how serious are the investigations undertaken by these elite agents?

Mr. Shapley (01:47:49):

I’m not sure I understand how to answer your question. How serious the agents-

Ms. Norton (01:47:53):

Yes. Do they have to be very serious to be undertaken by such elite agents?

Mr. Ziegler (01:48:00):

Well, I think I can answer this. So we got to treat each taxpayer the same, that’s the most important part. We’re kind of the agents with the international tax group that come in there and that we have the expertise to work these complex financial investigations. So whether they’re more serious or… We have to treat each person, each taxpayer the same and that’s what I try to do in my job.

Ms. Norton (01:48:25):

Yeah, I was referring to this particularly complex high dollar tax concerns. I understand you have to give equal treatment.

Mr. Ziegler, you called Hunter Biden in investigations a, “Complex criminal tax investigation.” And I understand that it was an inter-agency effort involving the IRS, the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware and DOJ’s tax division in DC. Mr. Ziegler, is it fair to say that this sort of inter-agency team is only a assembled for serious and complex investigations?

Mr. Ziegler (01:49:14):

So I can only speak to what happened in this particular investigation, the reason why other agencies might join an investigation that just depends on the crimes we’re investigating. Us at the IRS, we are the only agency in the federal government that is allowed to investigate tax crimes. So that’s why if you have a tax crime case you have to have the IRS on that case.

Ms. Norton (01:49:38):

Yeah. And you had lots of other agencies as well.

Look, it sounds like Hunter Biden’s taxes were subject to a great deal of scrutiny and rigorous review by a large team of expert investigators who had experienced working complex cases. This investigation occurred over several years, spanned multiple agencies and divisions and had an expert team. The time, personnel and other sources devoted to this investigation make it abundantly clear that this investigation was taken seriously by both the IRS and DOJ. While our witnesses here today may disagree with the US attorney’s decisions, it is undeniable that Hunter Biden was subject to a thorough and rigorous investigation. I thank you. And I yield to the Ranking Member.

Mr. Chairman (01:50:31):

Gentlelady yields back. And as we promised the witnesses, we’re going to take a 10-minute recess, at which point we will reconvene in approximately 10 minutes. House is now in recess.

Speaker 6 (01:50:42):

[inaudible 01:50:53]

[inaudible 02:06:05]

Mr. Chairman (02:06:33):

Okay. Thank you. The committee will reconvene and is now back in order. Chair recognizes Mr. Palmer from Alabama for five minutes.

Mr. Palmer (02:06:41):

I thank the Chairman. I want to welcome the whistleblowers and thank you for your courage. But more than that, for your fidelity to your duty to faithfully enforce the laws of the United States. Mr. Shapley, the statute of limitations says run out on a number of possible felony charges for tax years 2014 and 2015. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:07:01):

That’s correct.

Mr. Palmer (02:07:03):

And there were huge tax liabilities for those tax years, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:07:07):

There were tax liabilities, yes.

Mr. Palmer (02:07:09):

But you didn’t have access to all of the evidence related to those sources of income, did you?

Mr. Shapley (02:07:16):

Based on the limitations placed on us by Delaware US Attorney’s Office that that’s very likely.

Mr. Palmer (02:07:23):

Okay. Well, the Oversight Committee recently reviewed a non-classified document from the FBI called an FD-1023 form, which is a form used by the FBI to memorialized information relayed to it by a confidential human source. This FD-1023 form was created in June of 2020. This is not a tip sheet, it’s not a hotline, it’s not a suggestion box. It’s a legitimate source used by the FBI, and it was used here.

Mr. Shapley, did you ever review the June 2020 FD-1023 form with the information about Hunter Biden and President Biden?

Mr. Shapley (02:08:05):

No, I did not.

Mr. Palmer (02:08:07):

I reviewed the form and there’s startling allegations in it. What would you have done if presented with this piece of evidence regarding this potential stream of income? Would that have constituted an additional area of investigation?

Mr. Shapley (02:08:25):

So since I’ve never seen the document I only know what’s been reported. So I can say that there were investigative steps that involved President Biden that were not allowed to be taken and that information like this would’ve been really helpful to have by investigators when we received any pushback. When we were asked to take names out of document requests or search warrants, it would’ve been nice to have information that helped prove why those names needed to be in those requests.

Mr. Palmer (02:09:07):

Well, I think it’s material to your investigation because it was, after all, other information related to Hunter Biden’s lifestyle that led you to launch the investigation to begin with. Was there other evidence in this investigation that you were denied access to?

Mr. Shapley (02:09:23):

Yes, there was.

Mr. Palmer (02:09:25):

Do you want to elaborate on that?

Mr. Shapley (02:09:27):

So one piece was the Hunter Biden laptop. There’s a memorandum that I documented contemporaneously in my House Ways and Means Committee testimony that states what assistant United States Attorney Lesley Wolf told us on that day. I think it was September 3rd, 2020. And that’s that they had information from the laptop that they were not providing to the investigators.

Do you want to add any?

Mr. Ziegler (02:09:59):

Yeah. Can I add something on that?

Mr. Palmer (02:10:01):

Yes sir. Mr. Ziegler.

Mr. Ziegler (02:10:02):

So when it came to questions, as a part of the investigation we interviewed a lot of people and as a part of that investigation, you want to feel free to ask questions. It should be an open environment. I realize that there are some attorney client privilege information involved in this, but there was an environment when we were interviewing witnesses where you were afraid to ask questions, questions that could lead to the presidential campaign. And this is after the campaign’s over. So questions like that, it was restricted. So things like that we were limited to talking about.

Mr. Palmer (02:10:43):

Well, it appears to me that you learned about the FD-1023 form through public domain sources. I can only imagine how you felt about having been denied another piece of relevant information. And I think it’s important that the committee understand that you guys who were trying to do due diligence, who were trying to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, were denied evidence relevant to your investigation. I think the 1023 form is a very important piece, Mr. Chairman.

I want to ask Mr. Ziegler, at one point you wanted to move the investigation to the District of Columbia, is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:11:24):

From the very onset of the investigation, yes.

Mr. Palmer (02:11:26):

Why did you want to move it to DC?

Mr. Ziegler (02:11:30):

There are two different scenarios on where DC is involved. So when we first start initiated the investigation and then when we referred prosecution. So which time period?

Counsel (02:11:43):

Explain why [inaudible 02:11:43] beginning. At the beginning why you wanted to be in DC?

Mr. Ziegler (02:11:45):

So as far as venue for the tax case, so venue for this case we saw that when we did our analysis that venue was either in California or DC. Well I guess at the time in the beginning it was DC, so that was where we wanted to start our investigation was in DC.

Mr. Palmer (02:12:05):

But you were told that Attorney Weiss could bring charges anywhere. Was that your understanding?

Mr. Ziegler (02:12:10):

Okay, so that fast-forward to March of 2022, I had a phone call with the prosecutors assigned to the case. They said that our prosecution report went to low level people at the DC US Attorney’s office. Those low level people reviewed it, said, “Hey, we’re going to assist you with this. Here’s what we’re going to do to help you finish the case here in DC.” A few days later, I get another phone call and it’s from the same assigned attorney and they tell me that now that the US attorney has reviewed it, that not only is it a no, but it’s a no, you should not work this investigation in the District of Columbia.

Mr. Palmer (02:12:57):

Well, Mr. Chairman, it appears to me that Mr. Ziegler was misled and that his instincts were right, that it should have been moved to the District of Columbia. Again, I want to thank you for your courage and your fidelity to the law. I yield back.

Mr. Chairman (02:13:13):

Gentleman yields back. Chair recognizing Mr. Khanna from California for five minutes.

Mr. Khanna (02:13:17):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Shapley for being here. I understand you see it as your duty to have the strict enforcement of tax laws. Is it true that you have often disagreed with charging decisions before?

Mr. Shapley (02:13:33):

I have agreed with charging decisions before-

Mr. Khanna (02:13:36):

I’m saying is it true that you have often disagreed, your recommendations have often been disregarded before when it comes to charging decisions, is that true?

Mr. Shapley (02:13:45):

I don’t think disregarded is a accurate representation.

Mr. Khanna (02:13:48):

People in your own IRS have disagreed with your decisions often before, is that accurate?

Mr. Shapley (02:13:54):

That’s not accurate.

Mr. Khanna (02:13:55):

Is it not true that the tax counsel has in the criminal department has disagreed often with your decisions in the past?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:02):

Oh, criminal tax attorneys, yes. And as I stated in my-

Mr. Khanna (02:14:07):

So how often have they disagreed in your opinion with your recommendation decisions?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:14):

Very often. Criminal tax attorneys, yes.

Mr. Khanna (02:14:17):

Can you give us a percentage of how often you’ve said, “We ought to charge someone” and they’ve said “No, that may not be a good idea?”

Mr. Shapley (02:14:23):

Yeah, I would say, I mean just ball parking a vast majority of what we do and that’s why they’re advisory-

Mr. Khanna (02:14:31):

Do you have respect for them?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:33):

They’re advisory-

Mr. Khanna (02:14:34):

Do you have respect for them?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:36):

Most prosecutors that-

Mr. Khanna (02:14:39):

It’s a simple question, sir. Do you respect those colleagues or not?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:42):

Often their opinion is not respected by me and prosecutors-

Mr. Khanna (02:14:48):

Do you respect them?

So do you have more respect for them or Mr. Weiss?

Mr. Shapley (02:14:51):

I don’t…

Mr. Khanna (02:14:53):

I just think because you have a history of wanting to charge people and then people pushing back by your own testimony under oath, you said about 90% of the time people are pushing back on what you want to do. And I’m not questioning, I mean you want a stickler for the law. It reminds me of Les Mis and the famous person wanted to get the person who had a sandwich. And then all those times you’ve got people pushing back on you and you say, “Well, they’re not very well respected.” I mean, do you respect Mr. Weiss?

Mr. Shapley (02:15:26):

So the criminal tax attorneys, I have never had a case that they declined, that they did not concur with, that we didn’t ignore their request and move forward with [inaudible 02:15:40]-

Mr. Khanna (02:15:39):

But at 90% they have disagreed with you, correct? By your own testimony.

Mr. Shapley (02:15:44):

Yes, I established that. But they’re [inaudible 02:15:46]-

Mr. Khanna (02:15:45):

And let me just ask you on the media, you’ve given testimony under oath that you have never spoken to the Washington Post, any report on this matter, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:15:56):

That’s correct.

Mr. Khanna (02:15:58):

Have you spoken to any media outlet

Mr. Khanna (02:16:00):

… outlet on this matter.

Mr. Shapley (02:16:04):

I have spoken after the House Ways and Means Committee [inaudible 02:16:08]-

Mr. Khanna (02:16:07):

Before that, have you spoken to any media journalist on this matter?

Mr. Shapley (02:16:11):

Absolutely not.

Mr. Khanna (02:16:12):

Do you know if any colleague of yours at the IRS who has spoken to any journalist on this matter?

Mr. Shapley (02:16:18):

Absolutely not.

Mr. Khanna (02:16:19):

Do you know of any investigation into the leaks on this matter?

Mr. Shapley (02:16:25):

The October 6th leak, I was the person who referred it to our Inspector General.

Mr. Khanna (02:16:31):

Do you know any of your colleagues who are-

Mr. Shapley (02:16:32):

There was also a leak December 9th, 2020, around the day of action.

Mr. Khanna (02:16:36):

Do you know if any of your colleagues are under investigation?

Mr. Shapley (02:16:41):

Did I know that the IRS Inspector General and DOJ OIG was looking into-

Mr. Khanna (02:16:42):

Sorry, if I could just finish. Do you know if any of your colleagues were under investigation for that leak?

Mr. Shapley (02:16:48):

I know of no colleague under investigation for that leak.

Mr. Khanna (02:16:52):

And just for the record then, it is your testimony under oath that you have never spoken to any media person before the House testimony about this matter?

Mr. Shapley (02:17:02):

It’s not only my testimony under oath today, I’ve provided an affidavit of House Ways and Means Committee, stating the same. I’ve said it to our Inspector General’s office as well, and I also said [inaudible 02:17:12]-

Mr. Khanna (02:17:11):

I appreciate that. I just want to make a final point on this, one I think would-

Mr. Shapley (02:17:15):

Mr. Chairman, would you mind if I … It’s fine?

Chairman (02:17:18):

Can the gentleman answer the question you asked, Mr. Khanna?

Mr. Khanna (02:17:20):

I just don’t want my time to be affected.

Mr. Raskin (02:17:23):

If you’re granting him the time, Mr. Chairman, that’s unusual.

Mr. Khanna (02:17:25):

I want a minute to wrap up, if you want to give him a-

Chairman (02:17:28):

Okay. You have a minute.

Mr. Khanna (02:17:30):

Okay. Here’s the point. I think this whole thing, our Ranking Member Raskin can summarize this. I don’t disrespect you, sir. I think you have a tough view on what you think the law should be, and this is why we have a prosecutorial system where you don’t get to decide, I don’t get to decide. We have a whole system. And it turns out that often your recommendations on who should be charged differ from some of the other folks and that’s what’s happened in this case. And as your testimony here, you yourself said, you think Mr. Weiss should come and explain his decision. You don’t question him.

And I think on the optics issue that some of my colleagues have brought up, obviously, Attorney General Barr is going to be concerned of the optics when you have a Donald Trump appointed US attorney potentially bringing charges against his rival son, that’s a real legitimate thing to do.

So I guess my view here is we’re spending hours on a disagreement about whether to charge someone. We have a whole democratic process that does that. You don’t get to… My final question, Mr. Shapley, do you think you should decide who gets charged, or do you think that should be the charging officer?

Mr. Shapley (02:18:40):

So each time you say this is a disagreement, you can say it multiple times, it doesn’t make it true. We’ve testified under oath here about the prosecutors agreeing with charging felony charges on multiple occasions. And just to say this is a disagreement would be a misrepresentation.

Mr. Khanna (02:18:59):

My last question though, who do you think gets to… Do you think you should have that final decision or a prosecutor should have the final decision?

Mr. Shapley (02:19:05):

No, I am a special agent for IRS criminal investigation. I do not make the final decision on whether to charge or not.

Mr. Khanna (02:19:12):

Appreciate that.

Mr. Shapley (02:19:13):

Mr. Chairman, may I have a second?

Chairman (02:19:15):


Mr. Shapley (02:19:16):

In terms of our criminal tax-

Mr. Raskin (02:19:18):

Point of order, Mr. Chairman. Are we instituting a new rule in the committee? Because I’ve never seen this happen before.

Chairman (02:19:23):

Okay. I didn’t know if it was to answer… Mr. Khanna, are you finished-

Mr. Raskin (02:19:28):

Someone else can follow up. [inaudible 02:19:30].

Chairman (02:19:30):

All right. Okay. You’re correct. Gentleman’s time expired. Chair now recognizes Ms. Green for five minutes.

Ms. Greene (02:19:38):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before we begin, I would like to let the committee and everyone watching at home that parental discretion is advised.

I would also like to remind everyone that on our oversight committee we provide oversight and to all parts of the federal government, including their Department of Justice and their willingness to prosecute and their unwillingness to prosecute and whether it’s politically motivated.

I would also like to say that when evidence and proof of a crime is presented, no prosecution should be denied no matter who the person is.

To the whistleblowers today, I thank both of you for your courage to come to the committee today and your commitment to truth. I have great respect for it, so thank you.

I would like to talk with you both about Hunter Biden and his tax write-offs with his law firm, Owasco. I would like to ask Mr. Ziegler, when did you start your investigation? In your testimony it was November 20 18th, is that correct, yes or no?

Mr. Ziegler (02:20:41):

Yes, that’s correct.

Ms. Greene (02:20:42):

Thank you. During your testimony with the House Ways and Means Committee, you stated that through bank records you identified Hunter Biden was paying prostitutes related to a potential prostitution ring. Is that correct, yes or no?

Mr. Ziegler (02:20:56):

Yes, that’s correct.

Ms. Greene (02:20:57):

I’ve also reviewed that those same bank reports commonly referred to as SARS, suspicious activity reports, and I’m very troubled by them. We read thousands of them in the treasury.

This particular excerpt from a SARS report talks about human trafficking and in regards to Hunter Biden and Owasco and payments he was making. What’s even more troubling to me is that the Department of Justice has brought no charges against Hunter Biden that will vindicate the rights of these women who are clearly victims under the law.

I would like to talk about in your prior testimony you stated that the prosecutorial team was investigating violations of the Mann Act. Is that correct, Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (02:21:47):

That is correct.

Ms. Greene (02:21:50):

Regarding the Mann Act, if a person is transported across state lines for sexual activity such as prostitution, that could be a violation of a federal law. Is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:22:03):

I actually recently looked at the federal law regarding Mann Act, and I believe that that is correct. But I would refer you to the DOJ manual.

Ms. Greene (02:22:11):

Thank you. I would like to present this to the committee. This is showing Hunter Biden paying for a victim’s united flight from LA to Dulles. This was a, I believe this is a violation of the Mann Act. This is Hunter Biden’s, this is his proof that he bought the ticket. He bought it for this woman right here. He flew her from Los Angeles to Washington on June 14th. Flew her back to Los Angeles, California on June 15th, 2018.

And I would like to point out that if he was purchasing her a plane ticket for sex and traveling across state lines, do you believe that to be a violation of the Mann Act, Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (02:23:08):

So I can talk to specifically what’s in my transcript regarding the Mann Act. So I know we were compiling the information together-

Ms. Greene (02:23:17):

Yes, but Mr. Ziegler, as the law states, by the code of the law, it states traveling, paying someone to go across state lines is prostitution. It’s a violation of the Mann Act.

Let me just move on just one more second here. So when Hunter Biden paid for this woman to do this with him to travel across state lines from California to Washington DC on June 15th, this is a violation of the Mann Act. This was prostitution.

Let me continue. Did Hunter Biden also use his company, Owasco PC, to pay prostitutes?

Mr. Ziegler (02:24:02):

Can you hold on one second?

Ms. Greene (02:24:08):


Chairman (02:24:10):

We’ll give you this additional time back.

Ms. Greene (02:24:12):

Thank you.

Speaker 7 (02:24:23):

We don’t know that for sure. We’ll provide additional information on that.

Mr. Ziegler (02:24:26):

So regarding Mann Act violations, what we can do is, given by the statute, we can turn those over to the House Ways and Means Committee, and then they can decide to vote to turn them over to you regarding Mann Act.

Ms. Greene (02:24:37):

Yep. Thank you, Mr. Ziegler.

So talking about Hunter Biden using his company Owasco PC to pay prostitutes, this was also a suspicious activity report showing that victim one, the woman that was paid for prostitution, that traveled from California to Washington DC paid for by Hunter Biden, this is an excerpt from a SARS report that we’ve read in the treasury, and I think you all have looked at these too, showing that victim one was supposedly an employee of Owasco. But I would like to point out this is not really what most paralegals do for law firms.

And it’s very serious that Hunter Biden was paying this woman through his law firm and then writing it off as business tax exemptions. Most people write off things for their taxes through their businesses like a meal or, say office supplies. But can you confirm for me that Hunter Biden had written off payments to prostitutes through his law firm, Owasco?

Mr. Ziegler (02:25:50):

I appreciate the question. Given by the statute, I’m limited in my testimony today, and I respectfully would need to turn those records over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Ms. Greene (02:25:59):

Okay, thank you, Mr. Ziegler.

One last question. You referred to one of the assistants as West Coast Assistant. I believe this is the West Coast Assistant. Could you agree with that?

Mr. Ziegler (02:26:13):

So I can tell you that there were deductions for what we believe to be escorts and then that $10,000 golf club membership. Yes, that was not a golf club membership. That was for a sex club payment.

Ms. Greene (02:26:27):

That was for a sex club payment. Payments such as this from Hunter Biden to prostitutes. Also. Mr. Shapley-

Speaker 8 (02:26:38):

Come on.

Mr. Raskin (02:26:39):

Mr. Chairman, we’re one minute and 53 seconds over. As long as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez can get equal time.

Chairman (02:26:45):

I will let Ms. Greene wrap up at five seconds, and then I’ll give Mr. Mfume additional time.

Ms. Greene (02:26:54):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Shapley, you started an investigation into Hunter Biden, code name Sportsman, which opened in November of 2018. It was an offshoot of an investigation the IRS was conducting into a foreign-based amateur online pornography platform. This is evidence of Hunter Biden making sex tapes-

Mr. Goldman (02:27:20):

Mr. Chairman, this is absurd. It’s over time.

Ms. Greene (02:27:21):

Excuse me, this is my time. Making pornography.

Mr. Raskin (02:27:24):

Should we be displaying this, Mr. Chairman, in the committee?

Chairman (02:27:27):

Gentlelady’s time has expired and went two and a half minutes over.

If Mr. Mfume wants the two and a half minutes, he can have it. If he wants to yield some to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez when she goes, she can have it. We’ll make it right, two and a half minutes.

You all have an extra two and a half minutes. Chair recognizes Mr. Mfume for five minutes.

Mr. Goldman (02:27:44):

Point of order, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman (02:27:46):

State your point?

Mr. Goldman (02:27:48):

My understanding is that this committee was provided the suspicious activity reports on the condition that it not publicize them for the reason that they are not actually even allegations, much less evidence of anything, and my colleague from Georgia has now just revealed it publicly.

Chairman (02:28:08):

That is a good point. However, that suspicious activity report has been public for years. That suspicious activity report was on the internet long before I became Chairman of this committee. So that particular suspicious activity report has already been publicized.

Mr. Goldman (02:28:24):

Thank you for that clarification. She had said it was part of the thousands she reviewed, but I appreciate the clarification.

Ms. Greene (02:28:29):

Public and that we all reviewed in the treasury.

Chairman (02:28:30):

Chair has reclaimed time. Chair recognizes Mr. Mfume for five minutes, and if you want more time, we’ll work with you.

Mr. Mfume (02:28:39):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. I am going to claim my five minutes and yield the two and a half additional minutes that you have given me to my colleague from New York, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

I’m glad somebody brought up the word suspicious activity because that’s just what’s taking place in this room. Make no mistake about it. And I want to congratulate my colleagues from across the aisle for gathering us here today, almost distracting us from the biggest investigation that is going on right now in our country and in our nation’s history involving the former president and the front-runner for the Republican nomination, who is currently facing a 37-count indictment this week, and maybe two weeks from now more and maybe two weeks from then more. But we’re spending our time talking about Hunter Biden, someone who has already pleaded guilty to not filing his taxes, having a gun charge, and now I hear also paying for prostitution.

But let’s just remember that there was a case in New York not too long ago where our former president also got into trouble regarding payments and regarding a stripper and was found guilty of a violation in civil court.

Now, there seems to be a lot of hemming and hawing about special treatment, special treatments. When the president, just a couple of days ago, tried to delay his federal documents trial and requested the US district Judge Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed, to somehow or another consider the fact that he was a candidate, and therefore maybe, maybe, maybe his trial should be put off until after the election, that seems to me like special treatment if I’ve ever heard of it before. But I’m grateful that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are taking at least tax evasion very seriously. And I would welcome also a hearing on the former president’s history of tax evasion and how long it took to see his tax returns covering 10 years, and what was the outcome of that decision?

The Trump Organization was hit with $1.6 million in Manhattan State Court being convicted of a tax scheme. So let’s be real when we talk about this, it’s not just Hunter Biden. But as long as we’re saying Hunter Biden, we forget everything else. And again, Hunter Biden did step forward and said, “I did not file taxes in two years. And yes, this gun charge, I will take responsibility for it.”

Now, I love the fact that we are so much in love with the IRS. In fact, Speaker McCarthy said when he was elected on the 15th vote that the first bill that he would repeal funding for was the bill that would provide for 87,000 additional IRS employees. My, don’t we love the IRS? We’re just going to cut their budget. In fact, there’s a member of this committee who on their own website said that they are proud to have voted to strip away the plan to empower the IRS with additional funding.

So I’m going to get back to those two words again about keeping it real, and I think we really have to do that. I just think Mr. Shapley, two quick things. Did Hunter Biden in any way, in your knowledge, not Hunter, but did any of his children receive money, yes or no?

Mr. Shapley (02:32:15):

I think Special Agent Ziegler would be better-

Mr. Mfume (02:32:18):

Yes or no?

Mr. Shapley (02:32:19):

Special Agent Zielger would be better-

Mr. Mfume (02:32:20):

Either one, yes or no.

Mr. Ziegler (02:32:21):

Congressman, thank you for your question. Given by the statute, I am limited in my testimony I can give here today. But we can turn over any of the records that relate to the adult children-

Mr. Mfume (02:32:31):

Yes, we’d like to see those.

Mr. Ziegler (02:32:32):

… to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Mfume (02:32:33):

We’d like to see those. Really, I would, since we are so concerned about tax evasion, and we’ve got people at the highest levels of government doing it and we don’t want to talk about that at all.

Now, here’s what galls me. I don’t like these attacks on the Department of Justice, the FBI, the IRS as if they are somehow anti-US agencies. Those agencies keep this democracy in check, it keeps them afloat. They provide the checks and they provide the balances.

And we could be, quite frankly, using our time to better talk about crime in America that’s affecting everybody, attacks on women’s health, the economy, budgetary issues, public education, housing, the need for senior citizens to be able to pay for prescription drugs, child poverty and mental health to name a few. And yet we are doing this all over again for the Hunter Biden Show to someone who has pleaded guilty and has taken responsibility for not filing taxes for two years. This is ludicrous. Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here. None.

I yield.

Chairman (02:33:48):

Time’s expired. Chair now recognizes Mr. Armstrong from North Dakota.

Mr. Armstrong (02:33:53):

Well, if I could plead guilty to two years of tax evasion when I was accused of six, I might consider that to be a pretty good plea deal. And let’s talk about what this is and what it’s supposed to be. Mr. Shapley, I think you were going to testify that IRS criminal tax attorneys are advisory only, and often DOJ prosecutors disagree with the IRS tax attorneys. Is that probably an accurate statement?

Mr. Shapley (02:34:14):

Yes, it’s an accurate statement.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:16):

And I think this is important because everybody continues to go after you two like you’re the only two people who were involved in this. You went to work for the IRS in 2008?

Mr. Shapley (02:34:25):

2009, correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:26):

2009. Mr. Ziegler, 2010?

Mr. Ziegler (02:34:28):


Mr. Armstrong (02:34:30):

So you started under President Obama, continued your career under President Trump and are continuing your career under President Biden. Is that accurate?

Mr. Shapley (02:34:40):

That is accurate.

Mr. Ziegler (02:34:40):

Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:40):

And in your entire career, excluding today, how many times have you talked about who appointed a US attorney?

Mr. Shapley (02:34:48):

I haven’t.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:49):

In the course of any investigation, have you talked about whether it was a Democratic appointee or a Republican appointee?

Mr. Shapley (02:34:56):

I have not. No.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:57):

Mr. Ziegler.

Mr. Ziegler (02:34:58):

I have not.

Mr. Armstrong (02:34:59):

Because it’s not supposed to matter. And that’s why you have lying US attorneys that also go across administrations and work through Republican administrations, Democratic administrations, and that’s the part of your investigative team.

Now, that investigative team recommended that you charge Hunter Biden for every tax year from 2014 until 2019, and felonies for at least 2014 and 2018. And this included income from Burisma and a scheme to evade taxes through a partnership with a convicted felon. Is that accurate?

Mr. Shapley (02:35:35):

Yes, that’s accurate.

Mr. Armstrong (02:35:36):

And the total amount of taxes not paid over that period or not paid timely was over $1.5 million, and that didn’t include interest and penalties or other enhancements that are typically involved in this case, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:35:49):

Yes, that’s correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:35:50):

And Mr. Ziegler, your testify identifies two separate criminal violations, which is an attempt to avoid taxes and filing false tax returns. And they both carry a six-year statute of limitations.

Mr. Ziegler (02:36:03):

That is correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:36:09):

And Mr. Shapley, you stated that the purposeful exclusion of the 2014 and 2015 tax year sanitized the most substantial criminal conduct and concealed material facts. Can you expound on that a little bit?

Mr. Shapley (02:36:23):

So, yeah, that statement made to the House Ways and Means Committee was in reference to the income from Burisma that was not reported. And therefore, if it wasn’t reported, it wouldn’t be on a statement of facts, and it would be completely left off the official record.

Mr. Armstrong (02:36:42):

And as far as you’re aware, that’s not part of any plea deal, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:36:46):

I can’t speak to the plea deal, but I don’t believe so.

Mr. Armstrong (02:36:49):

I want to talk to about something that is a little unique to this investigation. I want to take you back to December 7th and 8th of 2020. And you were planning your investigative team. This is the whole team, East Coast, all across the country, numerous interviews are going to be conducted. And Hunter Biden was going to be the subject of one of those in LA, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:37:07):

That’s correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:37:09):

And this is unique because Joe Biden has won the election, we’re walking into this and there are some, I mean if there’s Secret Service protectees, I’m assuming you have to contact the Secret Service. You’re not walking up with armed FBI agents to a Secret Service protectee?

Mr. Shapley (02:37:23):

Yes, we had a plan on how to approach Hunter Biden that day.

Mr. Armstrong (02:37:26):

Could you briefly explain that plan?

Mr. Shapley (02:37:28):

So the FBI SSA and I were assigned with interviewing Hunter Biden that day. And the day previous, we went to the LA FBI field office and asked the special agent in charge to contact the Secret Service special agent in charge from the LA field office at 8:00 AM on the morning of December 8th and tell them that two agents were going to approach Hunter Biden as part of an official investigation. And the night before, all of that changed.

Mr. Armstrong (02:37:59):

And all of that changed because FBI headquarters and Secret Service headquarters coordinated, and that information had gotten out to everybody the night before. And we can talk about whether it’s a highly political investigation and all of those different things, but there’s another group of people that was made aware of that the night before, wasn’t there?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:19):

Yeah, that’s correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:20):

And that would be the transition team?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:22):

That’s correct.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:23):

And the transition team is a political operation set up to help the president-elect vet cabinet employees, work on inauguration, do all of those things. Is that your understanding?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:34):

Generally, yes.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:35):

They have any special investigative powers I don’t know about?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:39):

Not that I would know of.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:40):

In your entire history and working in history with the IRS, you ever worked with a transition team of a president to help set up an interview with a subject of a criminal investigation?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:50):

I have not.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:52):

Last question, did you ever get to interview Hunter Biden?

Mr. Shapley (02:38:55):

We did not interview him.

Mr. Armstrong (02:38:57):

Thank you. I yield back.

Chairman (02:38:59):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognizes Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for five minutes plus the two and a half minute that we went over.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:39:07):

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Good afternoon, Mr. Shapley and Mr. Ziegler. And I want to thank you both for appearing before us today. I understand that this is not easy, and it is very important that both of you are respected during the course of this hearing.

Mr. Ziegler, in your deposition to the Ways and Means Committee, I believe you said that you began this investigation in 2018, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:39:37):

That is correct.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:39:40):

And so some of the events that you discuss in your deposition took place two, three, four years ago, correct? Over the last several years?

Mr. Ziegler (02:39:49):

Yeah, that would be correct.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:39:50):

In your deposition in front of the Ways and Means Committee and in your testimony before us today, you have relayed your memory of events that occurred over the course of a nearly five year investigation. And Mr. Ziegler, when you testified before the Ways and Means Committee, you also testified that you were told that it was then Attorney General William Barr who made the decision to merge the DC and Delaware Hunter Biden investigations, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:40:17):

I did testify to that, correct.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:40:20):

And a few weeks after that testimony, your attorney wrote in a letter to Congress, I quote, “Mr. Ziegler is confident he was told by his supervisor that the merging of the cases was at the direction of an official at the Department of Justice. However, on further reflection, Mr. Ziegler cannot definitively state that his then supervisor said that the Department of Justice official directing the merger of the cases was Attorney General Barr,” correct?

Mr. Ziegler (02:40:47):

That is correct. And I can tell you that I actually refreshed my memory from looking at my emails, and there was an email that I found from my supervisor at that time that stated what had happened. And I can turn that over to the House Ways and Means Committee at some point.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:41:03):

And in that updated email, does it include Attorney General Barr or not?

Mr. Ziegler (02:41:08):

So, I can’t speak to the contents of that email.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:41:11):

No problem. I think in light of the correction, and truly in good faith, these things happen all the time. The recollection of these investigations require an extraordinary amount of detail and the charges of what is being brought forward today are extremely serious, which require a high threshold of evidence, including investigations and depositions. But I hope you’d agree that even the best memory can be fallible at times, and that is the widely understood reality in our justice system.

Mr. Shapley, from your testimony today, I think you would agree that it is important that criminal investigations be conducted fairly and free from political influence. That’s why we’re here today, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:42:02):

Yes, that’s correct.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:42:03):

Now, as you stated and as was kind of discussed with Mr. Khanna and with others, there are often disagreements. It seems as though within some of the transcribed interviews that we read, it says “Yes, about 90% of the time there is this IRS reviewing attorneys disagree with the charging decisions of the agents in the group,” correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:42:26):

That was part of the testimony, not all of it.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:42:29):

In some of your comments, you’ve also noted that you’ve made reference to a special counsel in this situation. But I believe what there might be a reference to here is the question of a special attorney, not a special counsel, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:42:47):

So if you’re speaking about the October 7th, 2022 email that I documented contemporaneously on that day, that’s why I documented it on that day, so that nine months later, I’m not trying to recall a specific word. And so it says Special Counsel Authority, that’s what he said that day. That’s what a senior executive IRS corroborated when he responded to my email as well.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:43:13):

And I do think that that distinction is important because in this letter to Chairman Jordan, the issue at hand seems to be a special attorney, not a special counsel, which are two distinct, different legal authorities. And there also may be some confusion, I think with respect to that as well, which brings me to the point of political influence.

Where there actually is a set of breadcrumbs, however, is in a set of tweets and letters sent from former President Trump to several chairs to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee that we see here. In fact, according to New York Times article, which I’d like to present to the record today, President Trump’s attorney wrote to the Judiciary Committee chairman urging him to investigate what he called, quote, “a rogue local district attorney.” And after that, New York DA convened a grand jury that ultimately indicted Donald Trump. Chairman Jordan complied with that letter shortly after President Trump’s attorney sent that letter to the committee, which is highly unusual, a very highly unusual act.

And in fact, after that, on March 20th, Chairman Jordan, together with the Committee on House Administration Chairman Bryan Steil, as well as the chairman of this committee, wrote to District Attorney Bragg and then demanded a sweeping series of documents, including communications between the DA’s office and the Department of Justice. Also, highly unusual.

In fact, on his Truth Social account later on, Donald Trump claimed that the US attorney investigating Hunter Biden, a US attorney, by the way, that Donald Trump appointed, was, quote, “a coward.” And then in that he then urged that maybe the presiding judge will have the courage and intellect to break up this, quote, “cesspool of crime.”

Curiously, just a few days after this tweet, the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Jason Smith, sent a letter to US Attorney David Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who are implicated in this hearing, explicitly asking them to place the whistleblower testimony from the committee’s depositions into the court record, which were addressed during the chairman’s opening statements before Hunter Biden’s plea hearing at the end of the month.

And as you can see right here, Chairman Smith explicitly said, and I quote, “Entering this information into the formal record.” Additionally, those two chairman waived onto this hearing today. Highly unusual.

Mr. Raskin (02:46:05):

Will the gentlelady yield?

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:46:07):

One moment. And when we talk about political influence, we are not here today, unfortunately, because the facts have brought us here. We are here today because Donald Trump is exerting an influence campaign in Congress when he is no longer President of the United States.

In addition to that, if we want to talk about charges that have been dismissed, and if we do want to follow the evidence, perhaps we should discuss Ivanka Trump’s investigation who was close to being charged with felony fraud after Donald Trump’s personal attorney provided political contributions to the local DA. Those charges were dismissed, and ultimately we saw that DA Vance, President Trump’s attorney provided over $50,000 in political contributions after the case was dismissed. So when we talk about political contributions, I would hope if we are following the evidence, that we are willing, that this committee, if this committee’s going to go there, that they’d be willing to open investigations into the dismissal of charges against Ivanka Trump. And by the way, if the gentlelady from Georgia wanted to follow evidence, we should also take a look at hypothetically, a case where sex trafficking charges against a 17-year-old girl, potentially-

Chairman (02:47:30):

Gentlelady’s time’s expired.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (02:47:32):

Thank you. I yield back.

Chairman (02:47:33):

Chair now recognizes Mr. Gosar of Arizona for five minutes.

Mr. Gosar (02:47:37):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Now, Chairman Comer and his team have done an outstanding job of uncovering the millions of dollars sent to Hunter Biden from foreign sources located in places like China, Romania, and the Ukraine. It’s pretty obvious that Hunter Biden’s only avenue for making money is the influence over his father.

Now, the only thing missing is direct evidence that Joe Biden knew and participated in these bribery schemes. That is where you brave men have come in. Their investigative efforts have the potential to uncover direct evidence in a pay-to-play, and in some cases it did. Yet they’re very hindered by doing their jobs by the Department of Justice Deep State.

As Mr. Shapley put it, quote, “at every stage, decisions were made to benefit the subject of this investigation.” That’s Hunter Biden, and by extension Joe Biden. Now these men are not political people. They’re hardworking agents. The last thing they want to do is speculate. So I’m going to stick to confirming the most egregious examples of the DOJs prosecutorial misconduct, abuse and favoritism detailed in their testimonies and leave it up to the American people to draw their own conclusion.

Mr. Shapely, under US tax law, taxes owed on all income received from legal and legal sources, right?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:02):

Yes. Yeah.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:04):

Hypothetically, if a person is subject to US taxes receives a million dollars for serving as a director for, let’s say an oil company, they would owe taxes on that one million, perhaps as much as 38%. Correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:16):

If they’re a US taxpayer, yes.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:18):

Failure to declare the receipt of such income violates US tax code, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:23):

Yes. It would.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:26):

Failing to timely pay the tax owed in whatever amount violates the tax code, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:32):

Yes, it does.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:34):

And the tax code has criminal and civil penalties for these violations, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:37):

That is correct.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:39):

So, now hypothetically, if a person receives a million dollar payment and then conveys 10% of that amount to another person, that person making that payment may have to pay a gift tax on that amount, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:49:51):

Yeah. If they say it’s a gift, yes.

Mr. Gosar (02:49:54):

Or conversely, the person receiving the money has to pay income tax on the

Mr. Gosar (02:50:00):

… money as well, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:50:02):

If on the gift portion or on the income portion?

Mr. Gosar (02:50:04):

Yes. No, on the gift portion.

Mr. Shapley (02:50:06):

They would’ve to report the gift on their tax returns, but I don’t believe it would be taxable to them.

Mr. Gosar (02:50:10):

And then the failure to do is subject to criminal or civil penalties, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:50:16):

Yeah. Filing false tax returns is against the law. Yes.

Mr. Gosar (02:50:20):

Yeah. Now, is there definite confirmation that all evidence on the Hunter Biden laptop has been reviewed by federal agents and prosecutors?

Mr. Shapley (02:50:30):

The prosecutors stated that evidence was withheld from the investigators. We don’t know how much.

Mr. Gosar (02:50:36):

Did DOJ prosecutors allow your team to access the laptop?

Mr. Shapley (02:50:40):

I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question?

Mr. Gosar (02:50:41):

Yeah. Did the DOJ prosecutors allow your team to access the laptop?

Mr. Shapley (02:50:46):

Did the…

Mr. Gosar (02:50:48):

DOJ prosecutors.

Mr. Shapley (02:50:49):

So when the laptop comes in, their computer investigative specialists that review the laptop and they create reports and pull stuff from [inaudible 02:50:58]

Mr. Gosar (02:50:58):

And you were prohibited from looking at anything on the laptop, right?

Mr. Shapley (02:51:02):

We saw some, but not all.

Mr. Gosar (02:51:03):

Okay, gotcha. Is it normal for the DOJ to deny this type of access to investigators?

Mr. Shapley (02:51:10):

No. That’s the first time I’ve experienced being limited to evidence.

Mr. Gosar (02:51:15):

Did Assistant Attorney Wolf collaborate with the data on the laptop?

Mr. Shapley (02:51:19):

Did she…

Mr. Gosar (02:51:20):

… collaborate the data.

Speaker 10 (02:51:22):


Mr. Shapley (02:51:23):

Oh, corroborate. I wouldn’t know.

Mr. Gosar (02:51:25):

Okay. Now I guess my question comes back. And the reason I went down this rabbit hole is that, is it your conclusion that you were interfered with, and that those interfered with you are as guilty as those creating the problem? Are they accessories to a crime, is what I’m getting to.

Mr. Shapley (02:51:45):

Well, I would agree that there were investigative steps that were definitely obstructed by DOJ that I’d never seen in my 14 years, and honestly just makes no sense. We wouldn’t want to collect all of the evidence available. I can’t opine on the second part of your question.

Mr. Gosar (02:52:02):

Gotcha. Mr. Ziegler, did the DOJ prosecutors deny your request to look into the famous, “I am sitting here with my father” texts from Hunter Biden? Did they allow you to obtain location information to see where the text was sent from?

Mr. Ziegler (02:52:20):

So I know it was an issue that that came up, whether we can get the location data, and I know that that was a conversation that I would’ve had with the assigned prosecutors. I recall them saying to me that, “How do we know that he’s there? How do we know that that’s true, the statement that’s being made there?” And then I said, “Well, we would get the location data.” So as a part of my normal investigation, that’s what I would do. And what I can tell you is I know I didn’t do it. I don’t know if the FBI ever ended up doing it. It was kind of like a let’s wait, or I need to think about it, I guess is the proper response.

Mr. Gosar (02:53:00):

Gotcha. My time is up. I yield back.

Chairman (02:53:03):

Gentleman’s time is expired. Chair now recognizes Ms. Brown, it looks like is your name, Ms. Brown for five minutes.

Ms. Brown (02:53:11):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The American people have lost track of your supposed investigation of President Biden, or is it an investigation of his son who does not and has never worked at the White House or another family member? We can’t even follow which investigation we’re discussing. Today is at the FBI, the IRS, XXX, or something new. I know the American people are confused because we’re all confused what we’re doing here. Nothing this majority has claimed about the president or his family has merit. No wonder the folks back home are tuning out of this confused mess. My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have shredded all their credibility in this committee. They simply grasp at straws that do not exist. In this Congress so far, we’ve held more hearings on gas stoves than gun violence, and culture wars than kitchen table issues.

So let’s talk about the real two-tier justice system, the one in which big corporations pollute the air we breathe and the big banks cause meltdowns with their negligence and not one person is held criminally liable. They’re certainly not called by the majority to sit before this committee. Or Mr. Chairman, what if we talked about the other unspoken two-tiered justice system in this country, the one where people of color are subject to a deliberately harsher system at every turn, from policing to prison to parole. In this country, a black person is five times more likely to be stopped without due cause than a white person. And black defendants are 25% more likely to be held pretrial. Meanwhile, the twice indicted former president is out campaigning around the country and didn’t even have to post bail, yet hundreds of thousands of Americans sit behind bars, waiting for their day in court.

These are the types of lived experiences we should be addressing in this oversight committee. This is the real two-tiered justice system, and it’s the justice system Democrats are trying to fix after four years of Donald Trump’s misuse. Congressional Republicans however, are working to make these inequalities worse through their efforts to defund the IRS and other democratic priorities included in the Inflation Reduction Act. So since my colleagues claim to want stricter IRS enforcement, you would think we would at least agree on giving the IRS its proper funding. So let me conclude by asking a simple question. Mr. Shapley, yes or no? Do you know the rate at which black taxpayers are audited as compared to taxpayers who are not black?

Mr. Shapley (02:56:09):

No, I don’t know.

Ms. Brown (02:56:10):

Well, the answer is black taxpayers are audited at 2.9 to 4.7 times the rate of non-black taxpayers. Another question for you, sir. Yes or no, will this hearing alleviate the racial disparity in the rates of the IRS audits. No.

Mr. Shapley (02:56:27):

That’s not the topic of this.

Ms. Brown (02:56:27):

Thank you. And with that, I will…

Mr Raskin (02:56:27):

And will the gentlewoman yield?

Ms. Brown (02:56:30):

I will yield the balance of my time to the ranking member.

Mr Raskin (02:56:34):

But thank you kindly and for your excellent questioning and statement there. The chairman of the Judiciary Committee, when he was here, invited us to believe that the US attorney for Delaware had changed his tune or changed his story. But when you look at the letters he actually sent, he didn’t change his tune at all. He said the exact same thing every time, and even expanded the answer to be perfectly clear. In his June 7th letter, he says, “I’ve been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges and for making decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution consistent with federal law, the principles of federal prosecution, and departmental regulations. In other words, it’s up to him, it’s up to the US attorney. Then in June 30, the letter to the chairman, Jordan, he says, “Second, in my June 7th letter, I stated, ‘I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges, et cetera.’ I stand by what I wrote and wish to expand on what this means.”

And this gets to the heart, I think, of what we’re doing here today. “As the US attorney for the District of Delaware, my charging authority is geographically limited to my home district. If venue for a case lies elsewhere, common departmental practice is to contact the US Attorney’s Office for the district in question and determine whether it wants to partner on the case. If not, I may request special attorney status from the Attorney General pursuant to 28 USC 515. Here, I’ve been assured that if necessary, I would be granted Section five 15 authority in the District of Columbia, the Central District of California, or any other district where charges could be brought in this matter.” Okay? And it is the difference, as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was saying, between special counsel and special attorney, which might explain the confusion or the disagreement here.

In any event, the US attorney for Delaware had all of the authority he needed to bring whatever charges he wanted, wherever he wanted. And he is the witness for that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I’ll yield back to the gentleman.

Mr. Ziegler (02:58:37):

I would like to be clear that he was assured that authority. He was [inaudible 02:58:43].

Mr Raskin (02:58:42):

Yes, he was. And he said he was assured the authority.

Mr. Ziegler (02:58:46):

And he is limited within Delaware. [inaudible 02:58:48] Delaware.

Mr Raskin (02:58:49):

But that’s just the rules. You’re just restating what the rules are. That’s what he explained. You’re not a lawyer, right? You don’t work in the Department of Justice, correct? He’s explaining what the rules are.

Chairman (02:58:59):

Gentleman’s time is expired.

Mr Raskin (02:59:00):


Chairman (02:59:00):

Chair recognizes Dr. Fox from North Carolina for five minutes.

Ms. Foxx (02:59:05):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Shapley, Mr. Ziegler. Thank you for being here today. Blowing the whistle against a man as well connected as Hunter Biden is a truly courageous act, and I hope that all of my colleagues can appreciate that as well. Mr. Shapley, I’d like to start with a simple question. When did you start your career as an investigator with the IRS?

Mr. Shapley (02:59:34):

In July of 2009.

Ms. Foxx (02:59:37):

Thank you. And what year were you promoted to a supervisory role?

Mr. Shapley (02:59:41):

In 2018.

Ms. Foxx (02:59:43):

So that’s 14 years of service at the IRS, with five of those years in a senior leadership position, correct?

Mr. Shapley (02:59:52):

That’s correct.

Ms. Foxx (02:59:54):

Did you ever, in your 14 years of experience, see an investigation be handled in the same manner as the one we’re here to discuss today, the one in Hunter Biden’s taxes?

Mr. Shapley (03:00:09):

I have not, no.

Ms. Foxx (03:00:09):

And when were you made supervisor of the investigation in Mr. Biden’s Operation Sportsman?

Mr. Shapley (03:00:16):

In January of 2020.

Ms. Foxx (03:00:18):

By your estimate, at that time, when did you initially believe that the evidence was sufficient to request physical search warrants in California, Arkansas, New York, and Washington DC?

Mr. Shapley (03:00:32):

So special agent Ziegler drafted the affidavit in April or May. And that was for the search warrant.

Ms. Foxx (03:00:40):

Of 2020?

Mr. Shapley (03:00:42):

Of 2020, yes. I’m sorry.

Ms. Foxx (03:00:43):

And it was a short time after that you began to suspect that career officials at DOG were dragging their feet regarding the next steps in the investigation. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:00:56):

Yes, that’s correct.

Ms. Foxx (03:00:57):

And two months later, in June of 2020, you came to the belief expressing as such in communications with the IRS CL leadership, that if normal procedures had been followed, that these search warrants would’ve already been executed. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:01:16):

That’s correct, yes.

Ms. Foxx (03:01:18):

Was this within the typical timeframe for the self-imposed investigative pause that DOG historically tends to implement in cases preceding elections?

Mr. Shapley (03:01:31):

It was not. The official Department of Justice public integrity stand down came on September 4th, 2020.

Ms. Foxx (03:01:41):

After the initial steps were inexplicably denied, prosecutors continued to decline to advance on promising leads. There were, for example, many problematic text messages and emails on the infamous laptop in August, 2020. When were you informed by Assistant US Attorney Wolf that the DOJ would not allow physical search warrant on Hunter Biden?

Mr. Shapley (03:02:09):

So I don’t recall the exact date. Do you?

Mr. Ziegler (03:02:12):

And I don’t think that that’s in the confines of our testimony, but we can provide that information to the House Ways and Means Committee, a clarification to that, and then that can clarify that that issue,

Ms. Foxx (03:02:24):

My understanding is that it was October, 2020, but we appreciate your clarification of that. Did Assistant US Secretary Wolf’s decision not to execute a search warrant on Hunter Biden? Strike you as atypical Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (03:02:42):

Generally any other investigation, if we have probable cause and we believe there’s evidence in that location that could help prove our violations, then we would execute that search warrant.

Ms. Foxx (03:02:53):

So it was an unusual action?

Mr. Shapley (03:02:56):

Yes. Yes, Congresswoman.

Ms. Foxx (03:02:57):

Thank you. Is it fair to conclude that this pattern of odd, atypical, and sometimes bewildering actions taken by DOG tax and the District Attorney’s office happened over the course of the entire investigation and not just one or two occurrences?

Mr. Shapley (03:03:14):

That’s correct. And it was the pattern that really one of the things that drove me to come forward of that deviation from a normal investigative processes.

Ms. Foxx (03:03:25):

In your opinion, did these odd, atypical, and bewildering actions bolster or harm the investigation?

Mr. Shapley (03:03:30):

I believe they hurt the investigation

Ms. Foxx (03:03:36):

To our chairman, I would say that there’s something rotten in the state of Delaware, and that what has happened here with Hunter Biden would not have happened to other Americans. And this is totally unfair. And I think it’s very important that we get to the bottom of this investigation and find out who has been obstructing this sense of justice. The American people demand justice, and this committee demands justice, along with the other committees involved. And I thank you for this hearing. Thank our witnesses.

Chairman (03:04:17):

Gentlelady’s time is expired. Chair now recognizes Ms. Stansbury from New Mexico for five.

Ms. Stansbury (03:04:22):

Thank you. I’d like to get right into some basic vetting questions, as, unfortunately, our colleagues across the aisle failed to do so with some of the previous witnesses that they called. And so Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Shapley, I’m hoping that these are very simple, very straightforward questions, so I’d like to ask that you answer them with a yes or no answer. Mr. Shapley, are you now or have you ever acted as an unregistered foreign agent for the Chinese government or for any other government?

Mr. Shapley (03:04:53):


Ms. Stansbury (03:04:54):

And Mr. Ziegler, are you now or have you ever acted as a unregistered or registered for an agent?

Mr. Ziegler (03:05:01):


Ms. Stansbury (03:05:02):

And Mr. Shapley, have you ever participated in illegal arms trafficking?

Mr. Shapley (03:05:07):

No, I have not.

Ms. Stansbury (03:05:08):

And Mr. Ziegler, how about yourself?

Mr. Ziegler (03:05:11):

I have not.

Ms. Stansbury (03:05:12):

And finally, Mr. Shapley, have you ever been indicted of a crime, lied to investigators while under oath or run from the law?

Mr. Shapley (03:05:22):

No, I have not.

Ms. Stansbury (03:05:22):

And Mr. Ziegler, same question to you. Have you ever been indicted, lied to investigators or run from the law?

Mr. Ziegler (03:05:28):

I have not.

Ms. Stansbury (03:05:29):

Thank you for answering those questions. Obviously it would seem strange to have to ask these clarifying questions, but given the majority’s track record and calling witnesses on this matter, not to mention their own presidential candidate, it seemed necessary to clarify for our American folks who are listening today. So let’s get into the kinds of crimes that the majority claims that they’re interested in investigating here in the oversight committee, namely political influence, abuse of power, and other alleged crimes by a president and their relations. And again, because our time is limited, I’d like to ask our witnesses to stick with very simple, straightforward yes and no answers. Now, Mr. Ziegler, you are aware that Mr. Jared Kushner received a $2 billion investment from the Saudi government after working for his father-in-law at the White House, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (03:06:23):

Congressman, I thank you for the question. I’m here to talk about the Hunter Biden investigation.

Ms. Stansbury (03:06:27):

It is a widely known fact, and I appreciate your response. Mr. Ziegler, you are aware that while serving as a senior advisor to her father, Ivanka Trump had a number of trademarks fast tracked by the Chinese government, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (03:06:42):

Again, I have to stick to the confines of my transcript.

Ms. Stansbury (03:06:47):

I appreciate that. And finally, I want to remind everyone that the person who appointed US Attorney General David Weiss to handle the matter that we’re here to discuss today was Donald Trump. But this would be the same president, Donald Trump, the man twice impeached for abuses of power, and of course, recently indicted for 37 counts of criminal activity. Now, one would think that here in the oversight committee, we would want to investigate such blatant acts of criminal activity. And I truly could not agree more with our witness, Mr. Shapley, that there should not be a two-tiered system of justice for those who are powerful, and those who are wealthy and those who are not. But that is not actually what this hearing is about here today because it’s clear that this is yet another attempt by the majority to turn this committee into another in-kind donation to the Trump campaign.

Now, this follows on an earlier attempt this past month to undermine the FBI with a controversial markup, which thankfully did not occur, the very same day that Donald Trump was indicted under those 37 counts. In fact, if you look across the aisle, we have 13 members who have already endorsed Donald Trump. And now, here we are trying to distract the American people once more, even though it was a political appointee appointed by Donald Trump who was at the helm of this effort when the issues we are discussing today occurred. And yet we’re using the committee’s resources to advance this agenda. But I think it’s important that the American people actually understand that the real criminal and the actual threat to our democratic institutions is Donald Trump, the man found legally liable for sexual abuse, the man who refused to return classified documents to the government, the man who was inciting an insurrection that led to the deaths of five people and threatened the lives of people in this very room and who threatened the very foundation of our democracy.

So I find it hard to believe that members who witnessed the insurrection who have witnessed these criminal indictments continue to stand here today with Donald Trump and prop him up using committee resources. And I urge my colleagues to take a hard look in the mirror and to really reflect on what our oath of office means. And with that, I yield back.

Chairman (03:09:28):

Gentlelady yields. Chair now recognizes Mr. Higgins from Louisiana for five minutes.

Mr. Higgins (03:09:32):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Shapley. Mr. Ziegler. We’re going to be moving fast here. Let me make a statement to begin. Let’s just clarify for America, Republicans are only interested in Hunter Biden’s deceptions regarding his IRS confirmed receipt of $17.3 million from shady sources in Ukraine, in Romania, and China while his father was vice president because Hunter Biden had nothing to sell. He had no product, no service, no skill. All Hunter Biden had to sell was corrupted access to his father, the big guy. How dare Congressman Higgins called the President of the United States, may I say to the inaugurated president of the United States, how are we calling him big guy? Let’s go. December 30th, 2020, this investigator Shapley and Investigator Ziegler, the IRS criminal investigation team had a 12 hour long meeting with US Attorney’s Office in Delaware. The prosecution team, Wolf and Weiss, are in attendance.

Shapley shares an IRS plan to interview Biden associate Rob Walker. Wolf objects to this plan, to the dismay of those in the room. But she said, “We do not want to ask about the big guy,” and stated she did not want to ask about dad. December 8th, 2020, Investigator Shapley, Investigator Ziegler, meeting with Special Agent Joe Gordon, received a call from Hunter Biden’s attorneys stating that they would accept service for document requests but declined requests for the interview. The IRS investigators were only able to conduct one meaningful interview that with Biden associate Rob Walker. That day, investigations revealed to the press. December 9th, 2020, Wolf gets involved again to interrupt the investigation. December 14th, 2020, Assistant US Attorney Wolf tips off Biden counsel about an IRS plan. They had reached a threshold, a probable cause to execute a search warrant on a storage unit in northern Virginia.

US Attorney Wolf calls Hunter Biden’s attorney and alerts him to the pending search warrant being executed. You stated, Investigator Shapley, that at every stage during your investigation, decisions were made that benefited the subject of the investigation. Who was the subject of the investigation, good sir?

Mr. Shapley (03:12:14):

Hunter Biden.

Mr. Higgins (03:12:14):

Thank you very much. And I think I clarified for America why we were interested in Hunter Biden, because he sold access to his father to big guy. And you Americans out there may have a compromised president in your White House. You should certainly be concerned. Mr. Ziegler, how did the IRS investigation regarding Hunter Biden begin? Tell us briefly, sir.

Mr. Ziegler (03:12:41):

It was a review of bank records regarding another investigation I was working.

Mr. Higgins (03:12:46):

So it was ancillary to another criminal investigation, is that correct, sir?

Mr. Ziegler (03:12:51):


Mr. Higgins (03:12:51):

And you are a criminal investigator, is that correct, sir?

Mr. Ziegler (03:12:54):

That is correct.

Mr. Higgins (03:12:54):

Not civil.

Mr. Ziegler (03:12:56):

That is correct.

Mr. Higgins (03:12:56):

Thank you very much. Investigator Shapley, in the September 3rd, 2020 meeting with the prosecution team for the Hunter Biden case, Assisting US attorney Leslie Wolf told your team there was more than enough probable cause for the physical search warrant of the guest house at then former Vice Delaware residence where Hunter Biden stayed for a time. Did US attorney Leslie Wolf confirm your investigative effort that you had sufficient probable cause for search?

Mr. Ziegler (03:13:29):

Yes, she did.

Mr. Higgins (03:13:29):

Thank you very much. But you’ve told Congress that assistant US Attorney Wolf also said that the question was whether the juice was worth the squeeze, that’s a quote, and that optics were a driving factor in the decision on whether to execute a search warrant. Optics? Have you ever run into that, Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (03:13:51):

I have not, no.

Mr. Higgins (03:13:52):

Have you Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (03:13:53):

I have not.

Mr. Higgins (03:13:55):

Why do you think the Department of Justice might be concerned about optics in the search of the President’s son’s residence during the course of a criminal investigation? Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (03:14:06):

Just the sensitivities involved with that search warrant, and it would [inaudible 03:14:12]

Mr. Higgins (03:14:12):

It’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

Mr. Shapley (03:14:13):


Mr. Higgins (03:14:13):

There’s another search warrant. I’m going to touch on my remaining section. I’m going to have my time expired here. Let me just say, gentlemen, you’re courageous for coming forward. And let me ask you, did your job begin with an oath?

Mr. Shapley (03:14:30):

It did.

Mr. Higgins (03:14:30):

Have you up upheld that oath?

Mr. Shapley (03:14:33):

Yes, I have.

Mr. Ziegler (03:14:33):

Yes, I have.

Mr. Higgins (03:14:34):

And is it your core principles that have driven you to reveal the corruptions that you’ve witnessed in your criminal investigations coming before Congress today?

Mr. Shapley (03:14:42):

Yes, it was.

Mr. Ziegler (03:14:43):

Yes, it was.

Mr. Higgins (03:14:44):

Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I yield

Chairman (03:14:46):

Very good. Chair now recognizes Mr. Gomez for five minutes, Garcia for five minutes. Sorry.

Mr. Garcia (03:15:01):

Thank you Mr. Chairman. So let’s first zero in on the bottom line. What we have is two IRS investigators who clearly worked very hard on the Hunter Biden investigation. And thank you both for being here today. You both gave recommendations to prosecutors based on your work, which you’ve described today. And then Donald Trump’s handpicked prosecutor then made recommendations to charge Hunter. He acted independently, and he himself has confirmed this. You did your job making recommendations, and then the prosecutor did his job. You don’t have to agree with his conclusions, but that’s the bottom line of what we have today at this hearing. But today’s hearing is like most of the majorities investigations and hearings, a lot of allegations, zero proof, no receipts, but apparently some dick pics. Now, at a certain point, the American people will need some actual evidence, actual evidence, but we’ve seen absolutely none.

So let’s go back and review what’s gone over the course of the last seven months of this smear campaign against this White House. First, the committee is clearly obsessed with Hunter Biden, massively obsessed with them. Now, keep in mind there’s been no evidence of any wrongdoing or transactions of the person that’s actually in government, Joe Biden. A lot about Hunter, not a lot about Joe Biden. And Hunter Biden, I want to remind the majority, is actually not the president of the United States. And I want to point out that no Biden family members hold government positions of any kind. Now, this is of course in stark contrast to the Trump crime family. The majority conveniently glazes over the Trump’s family’s foreign dealings. The Trump family who of course were actually appointed to White House senior jobs, from Ivanka’s Chinese trademarks to Jared’s Qatari real estate bailout, and 2 billion in Saudi private equity money.

So where’s that investigation? They were actually in the White House and I think Chris Christie, one of the Republicans joining for president said it best, of course and the former governor. This is his quote, not mine. “The grift from the family is breathtaking. It’s breathtaking. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Kushner walk out of the White House, and months later, get 2 billion from the Saudis.” Continue. “You think it’s because it’s some kind of investigative genius or investing genius, or is it because he was sitting next to the president of the United States for four years and doing favors for the Saudis?” Now these are quotes from a man who’s known Trump and the Kushners for years. These people are in the White House every day formerly making policy, unlike Hunter Biden. Now, the Biden family attacks, of course, went nowhere. And so they tried, of course, to create a new storm, a new conspiracy theory with a so-called FBI Ukraine document, another fake scandal.

This new fake scandal had a lot of hype, a lot of scary headlines from our chairman, from a lot of members of this committee. But a lot of us actually read the document. And when you read the document, it was pretty clear this was all hype, just a wild accusation being passed along to the FBI with zero proof. And where did this accusation actually come from? Rudy Giuliani. Just another Rudy Giuliani tin, full hat conspiracy theory that went nowhere. Giuliani recommended that his law… Giuliani, by the way, whose law license is being recommended to actually be removed. Now, Rudy Giuliani’s longtime associate left [inaudible 03:18:25] just said that he’s prepared to testify under oath that there is no evidence that the president or his son Hunter interfered with Ukrainian politics, and there never has been. The Republican US attorney, Scott Brady, handpicked by Donald Trump, determined did not have sufficient evidence to further investigate Rudy’s claims.

Members of this committee, even today, repeat this narrative over and over again. More accusations, no proof, no receipts. So what’s next in this witch hunt? This man, Gal Luft. The Republicans were so desperate just last week to find someone who could tell them about what they wanted to hear that they promoted and collaborated with the Chinese spy trying to influence US policy, while selling weapons to Iran and Libya. So why is the so-called whistleblower missing? We don’t know. Skipped his bail, being searched upon after being arrested. Now, we’re so desperate to cling to this narrative for defending this alleged crook. I want to know we have questions. Was the chairman, was the committee staff in contact with Mr. Luft while he was a fugitive? Do we know where he is? What vetting does the majority do to make sure that there aren’t targets of foreign influence on this committee? These are the real questions that we need answers.

Chairman (03:19:30):

If you’re willing to yield, I’ll answer that question.

Mr. Garcia (03:19:32):

Sure. I just want my time.

Chairman (03:19:33):

I’ve never met Gal Luft in my life. All I know is he was getting money from the same company that the Bidens were getting money from, CEFC. I yield back.

Mr. Garcia (03:19:41):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m looking forward to also if anyone from the committee or any committee members or committee staff had any contact with who is now obviously a Chinese spy, which you and the committee have been hyping up for weeks.

Chairman (03:19:51):

Well, is the president’s son a Chinese spy? They took money from the… The only difference is the president’s son took a hell of a lot more money than Gal Luft did.

Speaker 9 (03:19:55):

What does taking money from the same company mean?

Mr. Garcia (03:19:59):

Sir, I’m sorry, Mr. Chairman, you were the one hyping up a Chinese spy and arms dealer for week. This is just another example.

Speaker 9 (03:20:04):

Who cares if they had up money from the same company?

Mr. Garcia (03:20:08):

So just to finish up my time, let me just say it’s clear to me that this majority will stop at nothing to try to impeach President Biden, the Attorney General, Secretary Mayorkas, and the list goes on and on. This is just another witch hunt that the majority continues to do week after week. The majority is trying to interfere in ongoing legal proceedings to cause chaos and to try to reelect Donald Trump, who obviously is pooling this extremist agenda. I yield back.

Chairman (03:20:34):

Chair now recognized Mr. Sessions from Texas for five minutes.

Mr. Sessions (03:20:38):

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Gentlemen, welcome, and thank you very much for taking time. We’ve been sitting here listen and strongly identify that both of you have chosen to do this as strong people who have an ethical and moral idea about your service to this country. We want to thank you. Today we have examples of the Department of Justice and the IRS that have not just given special treatment to those who committed tax evasion and financial fraud, but the president’s family. But I think there’s another point that we would want to make today, and that is that I believe that a taxpayer system where the agency is tasked with enforcing the laws fairly on regular citizens is also seeking the chance to shield those well connected to the President of the United States from consequences of illegal behavior in direct opposition to our nation’s founding principles.

We’ve established that. I think that’s pretty clear, what you’ve said today, but I have a question for both of you because I believe today’s hearing goes beyond that, and that is that there are strong whistleblower protections under 5C USC section 2302, the Whistleblower Protection Act, that afford you and any other person who works in this government, the protection from retaliation after making a legal legally protected disclosure. In doing your job, you felt like there was something wrong, you said something about it, and you filed for whistleblower status because you believed that something was being held against you. In fact, both of you had made several legally protected disclosures during this time for the record. Is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (03:22:37):

That’s correct.

Mr. Shapley (03:22:38):

That is correct.

Mr. Sessions (03:22:39):

So after making this disclosure to the committee, did the IRS comply with the statutorily required whistleblower protections? How were you treated in this endeavor?

Mr. Shapley (03:22:51):

I’ll start. So since I made these protected disclosures, they’re illegally protected. The IRS has chosen to retaliate against me in multiple ways. Even now. There’s major case initiatives, that actually Special Agent Ziegler started as well, that are now being put on a back burner and just being slow walked. Again, my immediate super. My immediate supervisor and two levels above them haven’t spoken to me since June 1st, 2023. Even though I’m sending them emails and trying to conduct my business on a daily basis, they literally have not spoken to me. There’s…

Mr. Sessions (03:23:32):

Would that be normal?

Mr. Shapley (03:23:33):

No, absolutely not. We’re running undercover operations. We’re doing interviews across the world, and really becomes when senior leadership really cuts off communication like that, it increases the chance of some officer safety type issue when we can’t communicate that those type of issues with senior leadership and we have no support from them.

Mr. Sessions (03:23:55):

Absolutely. Mr. Ziegler.

Mr. Ziegler (03:23:58):

To be completely honest with you, this is going to make me

Mr. Ziegler (03:24:00):

… me a little bit emotional, but-

Mr. Sessions (03:24:01):

And I’m sorry because I know this is personal. You spoke about it in your opening statement.

Mr. Ziegler (03:24:06):

Never have I thought that … It’s essentially like being left out on an island, and I don’t know if that’s done purposefully. But I essentially made disclosures up to the commissioner of the IRS. I said, “What happened?” and the response I got a few days later was I may have broken the law and, “Don’t ever do this again. Your emails need to go through your leadership.”

So to have that come to me was chilling. It was … I can’t even put words to it. But what I can say is there are some people within my agency, some people in leadership that have been a person that I can go to for support, but the vast majority of it has just … The impact on the person, it’s awful.

Mr. Sessions (03:24:56):

Well, retaliation is many times seen by people who know it when they see it. That is why the law exists. I want both of you to know as chairman of Government Operations Subcommittee for this committee, Government Reform and Oversight, Government Accountability, I will be coming to the IRS and I will be going to other agencies, specifically about their retaliation under the law within their agencies, that we should take as a committee, a whole committee and a subcommittee, very seriously, because this could be a number of matters that are taking place where people have chilling impact against the laws of the United States of America. Gentlemen, I’ve been taking notes. I want to thank you for being here today. Mr. Chairman, thank you. I yield back my time.

Chairman (03:25:51):

Gentleman yields back. Chair now recognize Mr. Frost from Florida.

Mr. Frost (03:25:54):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. First off, thank you too so much for your service working at the IRS. Very important work. Let’s get right into it. Mr. Shapley, you’re blowing the whistle today because you feel like the Department of Justice provided preferential treatment to Hunter Biden. Is that correct, yes or no?

Mr. Shapley (03:26:08):

That’s correct.

Mr. Frost (03:26:09):

That’s correct. And you believe that Hunter Biden received that preferential treatment because his father is the Democratic President, Joe Biden. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:26:17):

I can’t conclude why he’s receiving the preferential treatment, but that is one conclusion you can come to.

Mr. Frost (03:26:22):

Yeah. I mean it’s evident in your deposition that you believe that. Mr. Ziegler, did any of your supervisors explicitly tell you you’re not allowed to investigate Hunter Biden because he’s the president’s son, yes or no?

Mr. Ziegler (03:26:33):

I was never told that.

Mr. Frost (03:26:34):

You were never told that. Thank you. I mean nowhere in your deposition did you suggest that there’s some larger conspiracy at play here, which is what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would have us believe, that there’s a two-tiered justice system that privileges Democrats over Republicans. That’s what my colleagues are doing. They’re using you and using your story and using your work to make this argument for themselves.

Since January 6th, these Republicans and Trump have complained about a two-tiered justice system co-oping the language of the decades-long civil rights movement for Black lives and Black freedom of movement that they actually are actively looking to eliminate. There is a two-tiered justice system, but it’s not about Democrats versus the Republican.

This language two-tiered justice system has a real history. It has a real history of Emmett Till. It has a real history with Breonna Taylor. It has a real history with George Floyd, the Central Park Five, Derek D. as a young man who was just an unarmed young man, who was just killed in Central Florida not but a week ago.

And it has a real history with the Groveland Four, four Black boys from Central Florida who were falsely accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a white woman when they pulled over to help her when the car was broken. The fourth boy, who isn’t pictured here, Ernest Thomas, wasn’t apprehended initially. He was actually shot to death in his sleep.

A 100-person mob wanted to get their hands on the remaining three black boys and couldn’t. And so, they took it out on the predominantly Black town, shooting residents, looting, setting fire to their homes. Charles Greenlee was sentenced to prison for life. He was 16 years old.

Now just a quick trigger warning here for Black death and trauma, but it’s an important story to tell when we talk about the two-tiered justice system, because on the way back from the courthouse, the sheriff took it upon himself to shoot the two remaining individuals, Walter Irvin and Samuel Shepherd. Walter Irvin actually ended up living because when he was shot, he played dead. But the other one was killed, Samuel Shepherd.

They were both handcuffed, as you can see in the photo, and were shot to death. They all died in either prison or on parole as convicted criminals. In 2021, 72 years later, a judge exonerated them and the trial was considered a fraud. In closing, there is a two-tiered justice system. It does exist. But it’s not what my Republican colleagues want to say it is using your story for that. It’s not Republican versus Democrat. It’s Black, Brown, and poor people versus everyone else. I won’t accept when Republican politicians look to appropriate the language of the movement for Black lives and civil rights to fit a political agenda to defend Donald Trump.

This is the two-tiered justice system. This is the two-tiered justice system. And so, we have to continue to fight for a world where this doesn’t happen.

This case about Hunter Biden is a case closed. I’ll close with a question with the chairman. Considering the “falsehoods, abuses, and misrepresentations of sensitive information” that you’ve presented here, when we’re done with this made-up investigation, are you expecting to be censured by the House?

The reason I ask is because it’s in line with the logic and actions of the Republican Party here in the 118th Congress. Thank you. And I yield back-

Mr Raskin (03:30:00):

Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. Frost (03:30:00):

I yield to the ranking member.

Mr Raskin (03:30:02):

Thank you very kindly. Mr. Ziegler, you referred to an FBI supervisory special agent who went with you to try to interview Hunter Biden. Is that someone that you respect?

Mr. Ziegler (03:30:18):

That wasn’t me. That would’ve been my supervisor [inaudible 03:30:21].

Mr Raskin (03:30:21):

Okay. Sorry. Mr. Shapley, you went with this SSA. Was that someone that you respect?

Mr. Shapley (03:30:27):

Yes, I respect the FBI SSA.

Mr Raskin (03:30:30):

Because he came and did an interview with us, and he testified that over his decade of experience with the Delaware US Attorney’s Office, the FBI agent never knew the assistant US attorneys in office or US Attorney Weiss to allow any political considerations to influence their prosecutorial decisions in any case. Do you accept his judgment or you disagree with his judgment about that?

Mr. Shapley (03:30:54):

So, yeah, the FBI SSA I respect, and it’s a matter of timing. He retired in June of 2022. At that time, I haven’t even overcome the burden that it took me to say that this has been political and been politicized. It wasn’t until October 7th, 2022. So the FBI SSA made … He came to his conclusions and he wasn’t there for that October 7th.

Mr Raskin (03:31:26):


Mr. Ziegler (03:31:27):

Can I mention something regarding that?

Mr Raskin (03:31:28):

Let me just say I respect very much your service and I respect very much your testimony today, but I think it’s completely within the realm of prosecutorial discretion and just subjective differences of opinion that people have.

Chairman (03:31:42):

Your time’s expired.

Mr Raskin (03:31:42):

Those of us who’ve been in prosecution understand that happens all the time with prosecutors and investigators.

Chairman (03:31:47):

Chair recognizes the gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Biggs, for five minutes. [inaudible 03:31:51].

Mr. Biggs (03:31:51):

Thank you. It’s good to have you here. Appreciate it and I appreciate your courage and your willingness to testify. Mr. Shapley, I’m going to go to pages 18 through 20 of your testimony. Mr. Ziegler, I’m going to go to about page 104 to 105 of yours to start with. But while you’re going there, I’m going to ask this question. We’ve heard a lot about this. Well, this 2014, 2015, 2016 tax things, Trump … We’ve heard a lot about Trump. But in 2014, ’15, and ’16, those tax years, Donald Trump wasn’t elected. But who was the Vice President of the United States, if you know?

Mr. Shapley (03:32:37):

Joe Biden was the Vice President of the United States.

Mr. Biggs (03:32:39):

Right. I think that’s right. When the statute of limitation ran on those ’14 and ’15 years, who was the President of the United States when the statute expired?

Mr. Shapley (03:32:52):

It expired in November. So that was President Biden.

Mr. Biggs (03:32:55):

Under President Biden. Well, there’s some indicia in the statements and testimony that you made that I want to go over. Mr. Shapley, why did you want to interview Rob Walker?

Mr. Shapley (03:33:09):

So I think Special Agent Ziegler would be better to answer that question.

Mr. Biggs (03:33:13):

All right.

Mr. Ziegler (03:33:14):

I didn’t interview.

Mr. Biggs (03:33:15):

So I’m looking at page 18 of your testimony, Mr. Shapley.

Speaker 11 (03:33:19):

[inaudible 03:33:20]

Speaker 12 (03:33:19):

Could you repeat the question?

Mr. Ziegler (03:33:23):

Yeah, can you repeat the question, please?

Mr. Biggs (03:33:25):

Yeah. I’ll tell you what, I’ll rephrase the question. On the day of action, you guys were intending to interview 12 people, one of whom was Rob Walker, a business associate of Hunter Biden. In particular, you wanted to talk about, I think the quote is, “10 held by H for the big guy,” right?

Mr. Ziegler (03:33:47):


Mr. Biggs (03:33:49):

So who did you infer that the big guy may be?

Mr. Ziegler (03:33:55):

So all I can do is speak to the evidence there. What I can say is I think I know what you’re referring to is when we’re preparing for that, we’re preparing for that interview and we’re referencing that email, “10 held by H for the big guy.” From what I understand that to be his dad, President Biden.

Mr. Biggs (03:34:17):

Okay. I’m sorry, I just want to ask Mr. Shapley a similar question, because the AUSA Wolf interjected, and I’m reading from your transcript now, and said, “She did not want to ask about the big guy and stated she did not want to ask questions about ‘dad'”. Who did you take dad to be when she refers to dad?

Mr. Shapley (03:34:41):

The father of the subject is President Biden.

Mr. Biggs (03:34:44):

President Biden. And so, even by her response, she’s inferring that Joe Biden may be involved in Hunter Biden’s transactions. Then you get to the FBI agent, and you give some detail about his … Mr. Shapley, you give some detail about what he is saying in the transcript, if you will, of his interview. In particular, the FBI agent asks Mr. Walker, “So you definitely got the feeling that that was orchestrated by Hunter Biden to have an appearance by his dad at that meeting just to bolster your chances of making a deal work out?” Walker answered, “Sure.”

The FBI agent continued, “Any times he was in the office, or did you hear Hunter Biden say that he was setting up a meeting with his dad with them while dad was still in office?” Walker answered, “Yes.” That’s the quote that you gave in your transcript.

And so, I guess the question there is what did you infer that … And then you said the FBI agent inexplicably ceases that line of questioning. I want to know what you thought the FBI agent was inferring. What did you think? What did you think when you heard that, of the relationship between Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and his business transactions when he is still in office?

Mr. Shapley (03:36:05):

Yeah. So I can’t go beyond what you’ve quoted me as saying in my testimony. So I’ll just leave it there.

Mr. Biggs (03:36:12):

Okay, thank you. Mr. Ziegler, on page 104 of yours, you mentioned that Mr. Biden, Hunter Biden, attempted to obtain a business tax deduction on his return for hotel rooms that were used by his father, Joe Biden. Tell us about that, please.

Mr. Ziegler (03:36:37):

So, yeah, on his tax return, he deducted a hotel room for his dad, so Joe Biden. We actually got the invoice from the hotel that showed the dad’s name on it.

Mr. Biggs (03:36:48):

So for that to be a valid business deduction, he would have to be doing business with Hunter Biden. Is that not true?

Mr. Ziegler (03:36:57):

So we would typically … A typical part of the process would be to interview that person to find out what might have happened. Why did you go to that hotel room? Based on statements he made in his book, I mean you can correlate to what was going on around that time.

Mr. Biggs (03:37:17):

How does it become a valid business deduction if Joe Biden’s just there on vacation?

Mr. Shapley (03:37:25):

Generally speaking, to be a valid business deduction, it would have to be some type of business activity being conducted at that time.

Mr. Biggs (03:37:33):

The last one is the WhatsApp. I won’t get into it because we’re just about out of time, but I would just say the WhatsApp where he says he’s sitting, “My dad’s sitting next to me.” You remember that, and that’s on … I want to say page 105. That’s where you talk about it, Mr. Ziegler, in page 105 of your transcript. I guess the question there is how would you be able to determine whether he was actually next to Hunter Biden? How would you be able to determine that?

Chairman (03:38:02):

The gentleman’s time’s expired, but if you can please answer the question.

Mr. Ziegler (03:38:04):

So typically, in that situation, you’d want to get location data, contemporaneous data that would show where that person’s at. So that’s what we would typically look to.

Mr. Biggs (03:38:13):

That’s why.

Chairman (03:38:14):


Mr. Biggs (03:38:14):

That’s why.

Chairman (03:38:15):

Thank you so much. Very good. Chair now recognize Miss Lee from Pennsylvania.

Miss Lee (03:38:19):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Republicans have been invoking this term two-tier system of justice a lot recently, so I want to talk about what the real two-tier justice system is where Black and Brown people are overcriminalized and overincarcerated.

On June 20th, Chairman Comer claimed in a committee press release, “The Department of Justice’s charges against President Biden’s son, Hunter, reveal a two-tier system of justice.” As you see or have seen from the knockoff social media site, former President Trump has also used this phrase in connection with the Hunter Biden investigation.

I’d like to address the way my Republican colleagues are attempting to co-opt the phrase two-tier justice system to make it sound like Trump and his cronies are somehow the victims here, when the reality is that the term two-tier system of justice is meant to refer to the very real system that exists in the United States and which affects Black and Brown folks, not powerful former presidents and their political allies.

The real two-tier system of justice is one in which, in 2021, according to the DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the imprisonment rate for Black men aged 18 and 19 was 11.6 times the rate for white males. The real two-tier justice system is one in which, in 2021, according to those same statistics, the imprisonment rate for Native American males aged 18 and 19 was 5.1 times the rate for white males.

The two-tier justice system is one in which, according to a May 2018 Vera evidence brief, and I quote, “Black men comprise about 13% of the male population, but about 35% of those in incarcerated. One in three Black men born today can expect to be incarcerated in his lifetime compared to one in six Latino men and one in 17 white men.”

The two-tier justice system is one in which an analysis of nearly 100 million traffic stops across this country found that Black drivers were about 20% more likely to be stopped than white drivers.

My Republican colleagues seem to think that using criminal law as a weapon or a political tool is objectionable only when directed against someone who should be out of reach of the criminal system, someone too rich, too powerful, or too white to be charged. But let’s face it, that same system has been used as a weapon and a political tool against Black people since the Emancipation Proclamation. These racial disparities are rooted in a two-tier view on race, the belief that Black people were inferior, that was created to justify the enslavement of Black people, which has now evolved to include the belief that Black people are more prone to criminality.

During the decades of lynchings that followed enslavement, white people defended the torture and murder of Black people as necessary to protect property, families, and a way of life from Black criminals. In 1980s, Nixon’s war on crime evolved into Reagan’s war on drugs, and we saw harsher and more frequent punishments and the start of mass incarceration. In both cases, it was Black people who were targeted and suffered under those policies.

There’s a reason that crack cocaine, which carries a stereotype of being used by Black people, was at one point punished far more harshly than powder cocaine. Prior to 2010, that ratio was 100 to one, meaning someone convicted in a federal court of possessing crack cocaine will receive the same sentence as someone who possessed 100 times more powder cocaine.

I want to say that PA’s extreme sentencing practices have overwhelmingly impacted people of color, but most specifically Black people who make up less than 11% of the population in Pennsylvania, but more than 65% of those serving life without parole sentences and 58% of those serving non-life sentences of 20 years or longer.

How many times have our elected officials and judges ran on a promise of a tough on crime approach? Even now, Republicans still tell that they’re the party of law and order while in the same breath claiming that Donald Trump should not be prosecuted.

Don’t get it twisted. Republican efforts to use the term two-tier justice is to distract from those who are truly the victims of a disparate treatment in our criminal justice system. Whether we say it out loud or not, we all know who those people are. I yield the remainder of my time to the ranking member.

Mr Raskin (03:42:54):

Thank you, Miss Lee, for that very eloquent statement. I wonder if you remember, you might be too young for this, but when there was this horrific assault, a gang rape in Central Park, Donald Trump ran ads in The New York Times, saying that the Central Park suspect should be given the death penalty. Of course, they turned out to be completely innocent of the offense. So I think that’s just to reinforce your point. There’s a history of profound racism in the criminal justice system and in the rhetoric around it. There’s something very disappointing about our colleagues co- opting, as you say, and prostituting the critique of the system as two-tier on behalf of Donald Trump. I yield back to you.

Chairman (03:43:37):

Chair recognize Mr. Grothman from Wisconsin for five minutes.

Mr. Grothman (03:43:40):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this important hearing. I found it interesting that the 12 witnesses the FBI and the IRS wanted to interview on December 8th, 2020, including Hunter Biden, they only got one interview. That was Rob Walker, a friend of the Biden family, and it was company Robinson Walker, LLC, sent millions of dollars to the Bidens that originated in Romania and China. President Biden said his family didn’t receive money from China, but that wasn’t true. Mr. Shapley, according to your testimony before ways and means, on page 18, on December 3rd, 2020, did you have a long meeting with the prosecution team at the US Attorney’s Office in Delaware?

Mr. Shapley (03:44:21):

That’s correct, on December 3rd, 2020.

Mr. Grothman (03:44:23):

Is it true that US Attorney Weiss was in and out of that meeting?

Mr. Shapley (03:44:27):

Yes, that’s true.

Mr. Grothman (03:44:28):

And during the meeting, did you share your plan to interview Hunter Biden’s associate, Rob Walker?

Mr. Shapley (03:44:38):

All the interview outlines for the witnesses were discussed that day, yes.

Mr. Grothman (03:44:42):

Okay. You wanted to question Walker about the email that said, “10 held by H for the big guy.” Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:44:49):

That was included in the interview outline, yes.

Mr. Grothman (03:44:51):

Okay. But US Attorney Leslie Wolf told you she did not want you to ask questions about dad, meaning Joe Biden. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:44:59):

That’s correct.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:00):

Okay. So Assistant US Attorney General Wolf was, you felt, conceding that the big guy was Joe Biden. Do you think that’s accurate?

Mr. Shapley (03:45:11):

I mean I don’t want to conclude what she was thinking.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:15):

Okay. You did have an interview with Rob Walker in Arkansas, correct?

Mr. Shapley (03:45:20):

I did not, but agents did, yes.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:22):

Okay. Did Rob Walker tell you that President Biden had ever showed up to a meeting with his son’s business associates?

Mr. Shapley (03:45:30):

He told us that he had shown up at the meetings, yes.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:33):

Okay. Can you elaborate on that at all?

Mr. Shapley (03:45:36):

I can only stick to what’s in the transcript. The witness described an instance where CEFC executives were … Or people involved in the CEFC were meeting at the Four Seasons and that the subject’s father, President Biden, showed up at that meeting.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:53):

So President Biden was there physically.

Mr. Shapley (03:45:55):

That’s what the witness said, yes.

Mr. Grothman (03:45:57):

Okay. Mr. Ziegler, maybe I’m going back here a little bit further, but earlier today you wanted to elaborate on one of your questions and you were cut off by one of the Democratic congressmen. Is there anything that you want to say that you could remember that you weren’t able to say?

Mr. Ziegler (03:46:12):

[inaudible 03:46:12]. I appreciate that. So I wanted to say that one thing that was mentioned regarding the retired FBI supervisory special agent, I’ve actually recently reached out to some of my former colleagues that I worked this investigation with at the FBI. I’ve asked them, “Was there anything I misstated in my transcript?” They said no from their best understanding of reading it. So I want to be clear on that, that they’ve read my transcript, or they’ve referenced that they did, and that they’ve said that they didn’t see any issues with what I said in my transcript.

Mr. Grothman (03:46:48):

Okay. Thank you. Mr. Shapley, anything else from you?

Mr. Shapley (03:46:53):

Yeah. I want to speak briefly about our criminal tax attorneys at IRS criminal investigation. So first they’re only advisory. I can’t recall an instance where they nonconcurred with any of my actions within the group and that we didn’t send it forward anyway with our senior leadership approval.

The issue here was the manner in which it became a nonconcur. The line CT attorney who took more than 50 days to review all the evidence, she concurred with all of the charges in that prosecution report. This is exhibit two. When she sent it forward, a panel of five lawyers at the National Office of Criminal Tax Attorneys, they concurred with the line attorney’s assessment that it was a concur on all of the charges that were recommended. It then went to the senior leadership at CT council and the top said that, “You need to change this to a nonconcur.”

So even something like that could happen in practice. The issue here was that I contacted the line attorney’s manager, the area counsel, and I said that we didn’t know this was going to be a nonconcur. She’s been saying it’s going to be a concur. She told us that it had always been a nonconcur, basically obfuscating the entire events that occurred at the senior levels, with the panel agreeing with the law and recommending concurring those charges.

So I don’t know why CT counsel would lie to us or provide false information about it being a nonconcur the whole time. Special Agent Ziegler had some communication with that line attorney and said, “Do you know that they are saying that it’s always been a nonconcur?” and she said, “What? No, I sent a yellow light, which is a concur.”

And so, that was the issue with CT council that really perplexed me, and that’s something that I wanted to add to the congressman back there. So thank you for the extra time.

Mr. Grothman (03:49:12):

Thank you. Just one other thing I think with regard to what happened in Central Park years ago. The mischaracterization of what happened there is I’m sure very hurtful and harmful to the Central Park jogger. I wish you wouldn’t have … There’s more to that story. I knew him very well. Thank you.

Chairman (03:49:30):

Very good. At the request of the witnesses, we’re going to take two more questioners, and then we’ll have another 10-minute recess. So I’ll just recognize Mr. Casar and then Mr. Donalds. Right now the chair recognize Mr. Casar from Texas for five minutes.

Mr. Casar (03:49:50):

It’s clear from this hearing that Democrats are pro-accountability, equal treatment under the law, and for paying your taxes. In the Hunter Biden case, we’ve heard that the Trump-appointed US attorney took the extensive work of the IRS investigation and got the most severe penalty that he thought was possible, and he was held accountable.

But there are so many millionaires and billionaires and big corporations that are never held accountable for tax evasion. In fact, they are shielded by this GOP majority. Republicans are not interested in that kind of accountability. Instead, they’re interested in trying their hardest to embarrass the president and prevent our government from operating as it should.

If Republicans were truly interested in holding the powerful accountable, we would be holding hearings on making sure the IRS has the resources to investigate every billionaire in every big corporation who cheats on their taxes.

But, instead, the first bill that I voted on, the first bill brought forward by this Republican majority, was to slash funding dedicated to the IRS in order to chase down billionaire tax cheats. That would have brought us more revenue for us to … If we spend some money on the IRS to chase down tax cheats, that would’ve brought ultimately more revenue to the United States and reduced our deficits and improved programs for the American people.

A 2021 Treasury Department paper found that the wealthiest 1% may owe more than $160 billion in uncollected taxes. According to The New York Times, ” Tax compliance rates are high for low and middle-income workers, who have their taxes deducted automatically from their paychecks. The rich, however, are able to use accounting loopholes to shield their tax liabilities.”

So I’d like to reiterate, low and middle-income Americans have high tax compliance rates. They pay their taxes. It is the very wealthiest and the biggest corporations who refuse to pay their fair share and rig the system here in DC in their favor. So, Mr. Chairman, I’m interested in whether you could commit in short order to holding a hearing about holding billionaires and big corporations accountable for evading their taxes. I think this could be a bipartisan hearing. It could result in reductions to the deficit. If we have interest in holding folks accountable on tax evasion, I think we should be looking at the biggest fish we can across the board.

Chairman (03:52:23):

We’re starting here today.

Mr. Casar (03:52:25):

No, but I’m … And we can have … And we’re having a hearing about accountability. But what I want to know is why it is folks have voted for cutting billions of dollars in order to let folks off the hook. So I’d be interested if we could have a hearing on the fact that the IRS has lost to attrition thousands of employees, including those with sophisticated skills.

It used to be that 41,000 audits happened a year for millionaires. That was 10 years ago. But in fiscal year 2020, the IRS only audited 11,000 millionaire returns. Only about 7, 100 of those returns were audited by revenue agents who are the most highly qualified auditors. So I want to know, Mr. Chairman, can we have a hearing?

I think this is something we could all get behind, have a hearing about billionaires and big corporations at large scale potentially getting away with, from the latest reports, we’re talking about $160 billion in uncollected taxes. I would like to see whether there might be interest from anybody on the other side of the aisle on us having that kind of a hearing. Any interest? Really, I have over a minute of time.

Mr. Sessions (03:53:33):

Yeah, count me in.

Mr. Casar (03:53:34):

Mr. Sessions, that’d be great. I think that it would be a good hearing for us to have.

Mr. Sessions (03:53:37):

[inaudible 03:53:38] follow the law.

Mr. Casar (03:53:39):

Yeah, we want everybody to follow the law. I agree. With that, I yield back my time to the ranking member.

Mr Raskin (03:53:46):

Will you yield?

Mr. Casar (03:53:47):

Yes, [inaudible 03:53:50].

Mr Raskin (03:53:49):

I mean we’ll yield to the gentlemen from New York.

Mr. Goldman (03:53:51):

Thank you. I appreciate the gentlemen from Texas yielding. I want to bring up that October 7th meeting real quick in just the minute we have. You’re familiar with an October 6th Washington Post story entitled Federal agents see chargeable tax, gun-purchase case against Hunter Biden. Is that right, Mr. Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (03:54:10):

Yes, I’m familiar. Yes.

Mr. Goldman (03:54:11):

Yeah. Then this meeting occurred October 7th, the day after this, right?

Mr. Shapley (03:54:17):

That’s correct.

Mr. Goldman (03:54:17):

Was this article discussed at that meeting?

Mr. Shapley (03:54:19):

It was.

Mr. Goldman (03:54:20):

And what was the nature of the discussion?

Mr. Shapley (03:54:24):

It’s in that document, that email that basically says that we’ve got to keep the sphere small and that [inaudible 03:54:32]-

Mr. Goldman (03:54:32):

So it was pretty clear, though … You would agree it was pretty clear that this was a leak to The Washington Post by law enforcement agents since it describes what federal agents believe, right?

Mr. Shapley (03:54:43):

So it wasn’t actually clear to me that it was because usually they’ll say that it’s a law enforcement source that provided it. If you see in the bottom, it says that they corroborated it independently and they did not mention law enforcement.

Mr. Ziegler (03:54:55):

And there were-

Mr. Goldman (03:54:56):

So you don’t think it’s the federal agent, the agents who leaked this when the headline says, “Federal agents see chargeable tax, gun-purchase case against Hunter Biden”?

Chairman (03:55:06):

Gentleman time’s expired, but feel free to answer the question.

Mr. Shapley (03:55:08):

There you go.

Mr. Ziegler (03:55:09):

So prior to that, if you go back to December of 2020, there was another leak to The Washington Post that, I mean, we had to get Department of Justice OIG involved, TIGTA involved. So there was other leaks that happened prior to this to The Washington Post that I think are important for us to understand as well in that situation.

Mr. Shapley (03:55:33):

It had similar information as the October 6th leak.

Mr. Ziegler (03:55:36):


Chairman (03:55:37):

Chair now recognizes Mr. Donalds from Florida.

Mr. Donalds (03:55:41):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To the witnesses, thank you for being here today. I want to get quite to it because we have a lot to cover. Mr. Ziegler, you are the agent that opened up this investigation. From your transcript, page 17, what it says is is that you were investigating a social media company. Through the process of that investigation, you found out that Hunter Biden was paying potentially four prostitutes in a potential prostitution ring. Is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (03:56:13):

That is correct.

Mr. Donalds (03:56:14):

Okay. You also say that in the beginning phases of that investigation reviewing bank reports that there was evidence that he was living lavishly through his corporate bank account. Is that correct? When I say him, I mean Hunter Biden. Is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (03:56:27):

That is correct.

Mr. Donalds (03:56:28):

Okay. Question for you, and also for Mr. Shapley, is it a clear line of potential investigation if somebody is charging a massive living expenses through a corporate account and not doing that through their own personal accounts and not accounting for that properly on their income tax returns? Is that the basis of a criminal investigation?

Mr. Shapley (03:56:50):

Generally speaking, that would definitely be factors that would spur a criminal investigation, yes.

Mr. Donalds (03:56:54):

Okay. Let me ask you this question. Let me ask you this question real quick. So there was reference to the WhatsApp text message referring to, and everybody knows it now, “Hey, I’m sitting here with my dad. Tell the chairman to give me my money, because we’ll remember and we’re not going to forget because we’re the Bidens and we have all these connections, yada, yada, yada.” We all know that text message now.

Mr. Ziegler, on page 105 of your testimony, page 105, gentlemen, you state, “I know we wanted to get location data because I went to the prosecutors with this and they again came back at me with, ‘Well, how do we know that? He could just be lying and claiming that dad,'” Joe Biden now, “‘that dad was there and dad was not there.'” Were you allowed to get location data dealing with the WhatsApp text message?

Mr. Ziegler (03:57:50):

So from my memory of it and from the notes that were taken, I never obtained location data regarding that

Mr. Ziegler (03:58:00):


Mr. Donalds (03:58:01):

Did Ms. Wolf, the AUSA in Delaware, did she say, “Oh wow, look at this text message, let’s figure out the location data and see where Hunter Biden was when he sent said message.”? Was she excited about this as a prosecutor?

Mr. Ziegler (03:58:17):

So when I asked her about the location data, in her response right here, it was her responding with, “Well, how do we know that?” It wasn’t a, “Yeah, let’s try and figure that out.” It was like, “Well, how do we know that?”

Mr. Donalds (03:58:31):

Well, did she read the text message? Because if I read that text message as a prosecutor, I’m saying, “Wait a minute, dad is sitting next to him, and dad happens to be the now president, then Vice President of the United States. Shouldn’t we find out where Hunter was when he sent said text message?” I’m not a prosecutor, I’m a finance guy, but that just seems like common sense to me.

Mr. Ziegler (03:58:50):

Yeah, and I think with the previous email that was referenced, “10 held by H for the big guy.” Now that you have those two things kind of correlating with each other, as a normal process or procedure that we would go through, you would want to figure out is that information truthful in that WhatsApp message?

Mr. Donalds (03:59:09):

I totally agree with you Mrs. Ziegler, which is why I think it is the view of members on this committee, and frankly a lot of Americans at this point, that there are elements at the Department of Justice who did not want this information out, who did not want to go down the line of actually going through the evidence gathering process to deceive the depths to which this International Pay for Play scheme that was actually happening around Joe Biden, going through Hunter Biden, and all the money that the Biden family was occurring. That’s not a question for you, that’s just a statement from me. Last question, through year investigation, how much money did you uncover was coming from Ukraine, Romania, and China?

Mr. Ziegler (03:59:54):

If you Hold on one second, let me reference the… $17.3 million approximately.

Mr. Donalds (04:00:01):

Okay, so 17.3 million through your investigation, and you and Mr. Shapley, you are the guys that investigate criminal tax evasion on an international scale. Is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:00:13):

That is correct.

Mr. Donalds (04:00:14):

Okay. Question for the chairman. Mr. Chairman, through the investigation of the oversight committee, about how much money have we seen come from Ukraine, Romania, and China?

Mr Comer. (04:00:27):

Over 10 million.

Mr. Donalds (04:00:28):

Okay, so we have two separate investigations, one done by the investigative branch of the IRS, that is charged with doing these types of investigations, these are the people you want doing them, and an independent investigation by the oversight committee, and we’re coming up with the same amount of money, give or take a couple million, going through the same person in Hunter Biden, and his investigation is slow walked. And we’re supposed to sit here and think that Joe Biden knows nothing. I think for the record, Mr. Chairman, that the relevant committee needs to have questions for Lesley Wolf, the AUSA of Delaware, for David Weiss, the Attorney General of Delaware, for Lisa Monaco, who is the Deputy Attorney General, and for Merrick Garland himself, the Attorney General of the United States, because if this action is allowed to occur and investigations are slow walked with this level of detail, this ain’t Donald Trump y’all, these are facts. I yield back.

Mr Comer. (04:01:23):

Thank you. Great job. And I will add, we just got bank records for Ukraine, so we’ll be going through that. At the request of the witnesses, we’re going to recess for 10 minutes and then we’ll promptly reconvene. Committee in recess.

Speaker 13 (04:01:41):

You’ll need to count the votes.

Mr Comer. (04:19:18):

Yeah, sure. Yeah. I think after.

Speaker 14 (04:19:34):

Ready, sir?

Speaker 13 (04:19:37):

We ready.

Mr Comer. (04:19:40):

All right. The oversight committee will reconvene. We’re now back in order. The chair recognizes Ms. Crockett for five minutes.

Ms Crockett (04:19:49):

Thank you so much Mr. Chairman. The problem with going this late in the game is there’s so much that’s been put out there, you’re just kind of all over the place, so just rock with me for a little bit. First of all, I want to get the elephant out of the room. Just to be clear, both of you provided deposition testimony, and in your depositions, neither one of you ever stated that President Joe Biden interfered with your investigations, correct?

Mr. Shapley (04:20:16):

The transcript doesn’t include that, no.

Mr. Ziegler (04:20:18):

Yeah, the transcript does not include that.

Ms Crockett (04:20:19):

Nor does it include that Merrick Garland interfered with your investigations, correct?

Mr. Shapley (04:20:26):

The transcript does not say that. No,

Ms Crockett (04:20:28):

Thank you. The reason that I say that is because it’s the insinuation that this committee is trying to make, or at least one side of this committee is trying to make, is that for some reason there was interference and my colleagues continue to make sure that they outline the fact that this investigation actually started under the Trump administration, so that’s the reason about who appointed who comes up. But at the end of the day, we have no evidence whatsoever that the president nor the Attorney General of the United States interfered. But I also want to make sure that we outline some legal principles since we’ve got so many newfound prosecutors today on this committee. Number one, just to be clear, just because you investigate something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a conviction, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:21:13):

That’s correct. That is correct.

Ms Crockett (04:21:15):

Okay. In fact, in our criminal justice system, you are cloaked in a presumption of innocence, that is what happens under the Constitution, okay? So we all have a role to play, your role is investigative, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:21:27):


Ms Crockett (04:21:28):

All right, so then you have an AUSA, who usually is the one that is responsible for taking the evidence… Actually, they probably have an investigator in their office, there’s usually an investigator that is directly within their office that will review any documentation that you provide, and then they will sit down and talk to the AUSA’s office about recommendations like what the charges will look like and things like that. Is that not correct?

Mr. Shapley (04:21:54):

If that’s correct, I’ve never seen that.

Ms Crockett (04:21:56):

Okay. Well, let me be clear. There is a level after you get done with your investigation in which the US Attorney’s office then will look at the evidence that you’ve provided and they will make decisions, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:22:10):

Yes. And all four assigned attorneys agreed with recommending felony and misdemeanor tax charges.

Ms Crockett (04:22:19):

I heard your testimony before, I’m not going to dispute that. The difference is I’ve done the defense side of this before, so as far as I’m concerned, it sounds like a sweetheart deal because I’ve never pled anyone to every single count of a federal indictment in the first place unless they only had one count. I have always negotiated, and unlike on the state level, I typically do my negotiations a lot of times before there’s even an indictment, because a lot of times my clients are actually turning evidence over and all kinds of things. But the thing is those conversations have never taken place with an investigator, they always take place with the US Attorney. So the point is you don’t have the ultimate charging authority, the people that did, they decided to do what they decided to do for whatever reasons, correct?

Mr. Shapley (04:23:06):

So in my experience, I’ve always been a part of that, at that table talking to the AUSA and talking about the charging decisions. So that’s not accurate to say that investigator aren’t involved in that process?

Ms Crockett (04:23:20):

So this time it was a little different for you and that’s why you felt as if something was wrong, but I want to get to something else really quickly. I want to talk about what we should be prosecuting. We should be looking at the fact that in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, he also made $6.5 million from China, his tax returns show. The source of the China payments is not clear from the returns, the payments were a surprise since Trump is an outspoken critic of the $5.8 million that Hunter Biden made. The difference is Trump was our president when he made this money from China, whereas I’m sure you would agree with me, Hunter Biden has always been a private citizen. We’ve got a lot of other stuff. In fact, it’s clear that Trump never paid more than $750 in taxes for, I want to say a total of two years of his taxes, which is absolutely insane.

But we also know that it showed that Trump claimed large cash donations to charities but the report said the IRS did not verify them. The report also said that while Trump’s tax filings were large and complicated, the IRS does not appear to have signed experts to work on them. That is shameful. In addition to that, we heard testimony earlier that talked about whether or not you executed a search warrant under Section 913.420 of the DOJs Justice Manual. It specifically states that when searching the premises of an attorney that is the subject of an investigation, prosecutors are expected to take the least intrusive approach consistent with vigorous and effective law enforcement. It’s kind of what they did for Trump when they gave him a number of opportunities to turn over the documents, our national secrets, that he kept in the toilet, but he chose not to, and that’s why he is facing federal charges down in Florida.

And finally, I just want to make sure that we clear up something about the Central Park Five, because I don’t think my colleague from the other side of the aisle understands that not only were they found to be not guilty, they were paid $41 million in a 2014 settlement because their civil rights in that lawsuit were violated. In addition to that, we do know that one of the Central Park Five now serves on city council, Yusef Salaam. So I ask unanimous consent that I allow this New York Times article be admitted.

Mr Comer. (04:25:37):

Without objection, so ordered and the lady’s time’s expired. But would the lady yield to a quick question?

Ms Crockett (04:25:42):

To who?

Mr Comer. (04:25:44):

Would you yield a question?

Ms Crockett (04:25:46):


Mr Comer. (04:25:48):

You made the argument that Trump received $6 million from China or something, and Hunter Biden received the money from China. Do you know exactly what Hunter Biden did to receive the money from China, because that’s something we’ve had a hard time trying to figure out? I think I know what Trump’s businesses were, I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, I just know what his businesses are. I don’t know what the Biden’s businesses are?

Speaker 15 (04:26:12):

And you don’t know what it’s not.

Mr Comer. (04:26:12):

I’m sorry.

Speaker 15 (04:26:13):

And you don’t know what it’s not either.

Ms Crockett (04:26:19):

But what I’ll say is-

Speaker 15 (04:26:19):

So you have no idea why or why not he received that money?

Ms Crockett (04:26:24):

What I will say is-

Speaker 15 (04:26:25):

You have no evidence about it.

Ms Crockett (04:26:27):

Can I submit this NBC article for the record as well?

Mr Comer. (04:26:31):

Without objection, so ordered.

Ms Crockett (04:26:33):

And I will say that in this article, it specifically says that the source of a number of Trump’s monies, it was unclear. It just said that he did have businesses there, he did say that he had opened some bank accounts in China, but they could not find the source of the monies that were paid to him from China.

Mr Comer. (04:26:57):

Chair recognizes Mr. LaTurner from Kansas for five minutes.

Mr. LaTurner (04:27:00):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you both for being here today. There’s a lot of information, let’s try to quickly lay this out for the American people. Okay, so quick answers. How long have each of you worked for the IRS? Mr. Shapley, you first?

Mr. Shapley (04:27:13):

14 years.

Mr. Ziegler (04:27:14):

13 years.

Mr. LaTurner (04:27:15):

Is it fair to say that you both have had successful careers at the IRS? You’ve both been recognized for your achievement there?

Mr. Shapley (04:27:23):

I believe so, yes.

Mr. Ziegler (04:27:24):

Yeah, absolutely.

Mr. LaTurner (04:27:25):

Are either of you overly partisan people?

Mr. Shapley (04:27:28):

I am not, no.

Mr. Ziegler (04:27:31):

I’ve made an effort to be partisan, I apologize.

Mr. LaTurner (04:27:38):

Do either of you have a burning desire or have you ever to be a spectacle at a congressional hearing? Are you wanting to be on TV? Are you looking for your 15 minutes of fame here?

Mr. Shapley (04:27:49):

I would prefer not to be here.

Mr. Ziegler (04:27:51):

Yeah, I never imagined that this would happen, but here I am.

Mr. LaTurner (04:27:55):

Then quickly, for the American people, why did you step forward?

Mr. Shapley (04:28:00):

Because we need the equal application of justice and we hear all these stories about these crimes that are committed that are horrible, but without the equal application of justice, I don’t understand how we move forward and I don’t understand how I meet my oath of office if I don’t do what I can to ensure that occurs. There are 300 million taxpayers out there that they think that this hearing is a big deal because they’re paying their taxes and they see someone who isn’t

Mr. LaTurner (04:28:25):

And Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (04:28:26):

So it’s a matter of accountability. So it’s twofold. A matter of accountability, we need to hold those accountable who basically for the last five years hasn’t been following proper procedure. And the second part of this is that I think we need to have some reform or something that’s built in there that this doesn’t happen to people again, investigators.

Mr. LaTurner (04:28:50):

Let’s get the facts out. The Biden family and their associates received millions in global payments from companies linked to Ukraine, Romania, and China funneled through various shell companies. Mr. Ziegler, is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:29:01):

That is correct. It’s $17.3 million.

Mr. LaTurner (04:29:03):

Quickly, Mr. Shapley, what is a special agent report?

Mr. Shapley (04:29:07):

It’s the report that recommends prosecution for various charges, each of which have been proven each element.

Mr. LaTurner (04:29:15):

Approximately how many of these over your career have you been a part of or have you prepared? Guess?

Mr. Shapley (04:29:22):


Mr. LaTurner (04:29:22):

Hundreds. Did you complete a special agent report for the Hunter Biden case?

Mr. Shapley (04:29:27):

Special Agent Ziegler authored that report.

Mr. Ziegler (04:29:29):

I completed that report.

Mr. LaTurner (04:29:30):

And when this special report was sent up, the chain of command, just like you all have been involved with, in your case Mr. Shapley, hundreds of times, did you notice anything outside of the normal process that you have grown used to over the years?

Mr. Shapley (04:29:43):

So the changing criminal tax attorneys was definitely inappropriate and out of the norm, but no, after that, the senior leadership quickly trumped CT counsel and they concurred with the charges so we send it forward to Department of Justice Tax Division for further approval.

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:03):

And Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (04:30:05):

Everything that he just said was correct.

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:07):

Now, Mr. Shapley, you recommended felony charges in this special agent report, and we all know the answer, but was Hunter Biden ultimately charged with those felonies?

Mr. Shapley (04:30:17):

No, he was not.

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:18):

Mr. Ziegler, what role did Lesley Wolf play in the investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (04:30:22):

She was an assistant United States attorney out of the District of Delaware assigned to the investigation.

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:28):

You met with her and her team during the Hunter Biden case, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (04:30:31):

That is correct.

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:32):

In your testimony to Ways and Means, you describe Assistant US attorney Lesley Wolf, who was once again overseeing the case out of Delaware, as saying during a meeting that, “She did not want to ask about the big guy and stated she didn’t want to ask questions about Dad.” Is that statement accurate, and I want to remind you that you’re under oath? Is that accurate, your testimony to Ways and Means?

Mr. Ziegler (04:30:53):

Can you ask that question one more time so I can…

Mr. LaTurner (04:30:57):

She said,, Lesley Wolf said during a meeting that, “She did not want to ask about the big guy and stated she didn’t want to ask questions about dad.”

Mr. Ziegler (04:31:06):

So there’s twofold to that. There’s that line in the email that said, “10 held by H for the big guy.” That was something that came up as a part of us reviewing what we were going to say during that day, and she immediately says, “No, we’re not going to ask that.” And then we essentially had to argue our stance on why we should ask it, and then it was ultimately that we didn’t know, it was unknown.

Mr. LaTurner (04:31:33):

I appreciate that. Mr. Shapley, you stated in public interviews that you and your team were stopped from taking certain investigative steps that you believe could have potentially connected this Hunter Biden case to President Biden, is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (04:31:45):

That’s correct.

Mr. LaTurner (04:31:46):

Now I just want to summarize as quickly as I can. Here we have two credible nonpartisan IRS investigators confirming that there are millions of dollars in foreign payments to shell companies to the Biden administration. We have Hunter Biden, who most of us wouldn’t

Mr. LaTurner (04:32:00):

… Hire to dog sit receiving these millions of dollars for services that they cannot come forward and tell us about. And that potentially this is linked to President Biden, but we don’t know that for a fact because you were shut down. You were not allowed to pursue the investigative angle that you wanted to. This is something that we have to get to the bottom of. It’s shameful what’s happening, and I want folks to mark my words that we will not be stifled. This committee will not be stifled by the Department of Justice or anyone in the Biden administration. We are going to pursue this and get to the bottom of this no matter what. Thank you, Mister Chairman. I yield back.

Speaker 16 (04:32:37):

Chair recognize Mister Gomez for five minutes.

Mister Gomez (04:32:40):

Thank you so much Mister Chairman. I just want to be clear. Whistleblower allegations should be taken seriously, period. I had a whistleblower approach my office during my first term, but one of the things I learned from that is that there’s a clear fact-based process that needs to be followed to ensure a whistleblower investigation is executed properly without political interference. This is not what is happening here today where this originated in Ways and Means Republicans threw that process into the gutter. Here’s how. One, there were more than 50 people identified in the Ways and Means committee’s depositions on this same topic that were not spoken to and not interviewed before the Republican majority released these allegations to the public. They didn’t take the time to check their fact. And the Republicans even admitted during questioning that they never interviewed or asked questions or sought to ask questions of these individuals.

Instead, Republicans cherry-picked 13 people who they knew agreed to corroborate their claims. Why wouldn’t they conduct a thorough investigation and interview all people identified who might have information in this case? There are more than 50 people who weren’t given the opportunity to defend their names, respond to allegations, or give this inquiry important context and facts.

Two, the whistleblower transcript contains unauthenticated, unverified documents from unknown searches on the internet. The exhibit used by the gentleman from Ohio in the early part of this hearing is one of those unverified documents pulled from the internet, yet they treat it as a smoking gun. You can literally find anything on the internet, that doesn’t make it true and Republicans refuse to verify their sources. They’re trying to give the appearance that these documents are from IRS files provided by the whistleblower or from some trusted source, but in fact, they are not. These documents are unauthenticated and we don’t even know their real source. What kind of basis is this for a serious investigation?

Three. The majority released this transcript with all these errors I cited to the public before verifying any of these allegations. They put the cart far before the horse declining to speak to over dozens of valuable witnesses, refusing to verify the information they pushed to the public, throwing this whole process and its credibility out the window. Additionally, this process has been tainted by the fact that one of these whistleblowers attorneys has made substantial contributions to the Republican chairman of Ways and Means as recently as February of this year. And one of these whistleblowers didn’t even come voluntarily. He was asked to testify by his supervisor. None of this inspires confidence in these efforts of my colleagues across the aisle or in the process that has been taken.

And if my colleagues were serious about these allegations, they would have gone through the proper steps to ensure this investigation was done correctly. But they didn’t. They rather drag this investigation and this committee into the gutter, and that was proved by the gentle woman from Georgia. If the gutter is where they choose to live, and the only purpose of this hearing is to drag us all down there with them, I don’t want any part of it. I asked for Ian Matt’s consent to submit for the record a letter from Ways and Means ranking member Richard Neil outlining the improper steps taken by the majority in this investigation.

Speaker 16 (04:36:15):

Without objection, so ordered.

Mister Gomez (04:36:17):

Thank you. With that, I’d like to yield my remaining time to Mister Goldman of New York.

Mr. Goldman (04:36:22):

Thank you Mister Gomez. Gentlemen, I want to return to the Washington Post October 6th article and I’d ask unanimous consent to enter it in the record. In your testimony, Mister Shapley, before the Ways and Means committee, you stated, “There was a leak. It appeared to come from the agent’s level who was critical of the prosecutors for not charging the case.” What you testified earlier was a little different. Which one do you stand by today?

Mr. Shapley (04:36:58):

I’m sorry, could you repeat that?

Mr. Goldman (04:37:00):

There was a leak. It appeared to come from the agent’s level who was critical of the prosecutors for not charging the case.

Mr. Shapley (04:37:09):

So it appeared because it said it came from the agent’s level, but the source was a source familiar with the topic and it didn’t say it was a law enforcement source.

Mr. Goldman (04:37:19):

Okay. It seems to be a distinction, I think, without a difference. And then you understand that obviously leaks of grand jury information is a felony, right?

Mr. Shapley (04:37:31):

Leaking investigative information includes 61 03 would be a felony. Yes.

Mr. Goldman (04:37:36):

Well, that’s true as well. So would you agree that there would be some skepticism from any prosecutors about which of the agents may be the source of a leak.

Speaker 16 (04:37:50):

And gentlemen times retired, but feel free to answer the question.

Mr. Shapley (04:37:53):

Oh, since there have been multiple leaks in this investigation and the one on December 8th or December 9th, 2020, that appeared to have come from someone as Leslie Wolf stated, where-

Mr. Goldman (04:38:03):

I was just asking about October 6th, 2022.

Mr. Shapley (04:38:06):

So I-

Mr. Goldman (04:38:09):

It would cause anyone suspicion, right?

Mr. Shapley (04:38:11):

If it says it comes from an agent level.

Mr. Goldman (04:38:13):

Yeah, that’s what you said,

Speaker 16 (04:38:15):

Gentlemen. Gentlemen, times expired. Go to the next questioner after Mister Fallon from Texas for five minutes.

Mister Fallon (04:38:21):

Thank you, Mister Chairman. We’re just talking about I’d be skating and diverting and distracting and spin and a whole lot of word vomit from the other side of the aisle, makes no sense as to what we’re here for today. And you hear a lot of Trump, Trump, Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Giuliani, Giuliani. I’m not talking about either of those gentlemen today. I want to thank both the witnesses for being here. I think it’s been established that you’re very credible, you’re very experienced, you’re subject matter experts at what you do. Mister Shapley, you led a team of 12 elite agents in this investigation. How long were you investigating the sportsman, the Hunter Biden investigation. How long did you lead it for?

Mr. Shapley (04:38:59):

I started in January of 2020.

Mister Fallon (04:39:01):

Okay, so two to three years.

Mr. Shapley (04:39:04):

That’s correct.

Mister Fallon (04:39:05):

Okay. You both are, I’m sure, are aware that one of Hunter Biden’s lawyers has accused you of having axes to grind and that you’re disgruntled agents. Mister Shapley, are you a political activist?

Mr. Shapley (04:39:16):

I am not. No.

Mister Fallon (04:39:17):

You are not. Mister Ziegler, are you a part of the MAGA movement?

Mr. Ziegler (04:39:22):

I am not.

Mister Fallon (04:39:23):

You are not. Okay, thank you. So I have to ask you a direct question and it’s an important one. Are you two out to get Hunter Biden or are you out to get justice?

Mr. Shapley (04:39:33):

It’s all about justice here and that’s why when people ask me to comment about the plea agreement, it’s just everything is outside of my control.

Mister Fallon (04:39:42):

Mister Ziegler, justice or you want to get Hunter?

Mr. Ziegler (04:39:44):

It’s justice.

Mister Fallon (04:39:44):

Thank you. Okay, so the ranking member who is a rather skilled order rather bombastically claimed when he was speaking earlier that this is all, and I quote, “Normal stuff and there’s no evidence that Hunter Biden received preferential treatment.” So Mister Ziegler, do you agree with those statements? That this investigation was normal stuff, nothing out of the ordinary, and that Hunter Biden didn’t receive any preferential treatment?

Mr. Ziegler (04:40:08):

Based on my transcript, I would believe that that question would be incorrect.

Mister Fallon (04:40:16):

Would you fair to say that you vehemently disagree with those statements?

Mr. Ziegler (04:40:19):

I don’t think it changes my perspective of it. All I can say is that we came forward with the information of slow walking, not following the investigative steps. And-

Mister Fallon (04:40:29):

So it was out of the ordinary.

Mr. Ziegler (04:40:31):


Mister Fallon (04:40:31):

Okay. Mister Shapley, do you agree with those statements or disagree with them?

Mr. Shapley (04:40:34):

Yes. This was out of the ordinary.

Mister Fallon (04:40:36):

Okay. So when you read your transcribed interviews, which are pretty massive in and of themselves, it’s clear that the levels of interference and roadblocks that the DOJ and other federal government personnel put in front of you was astounding if not unprecedented. In these pages I was really shocked to see how an assistant US attorney stonewalled and scuttled your investigation. So let’s go back. It’s December of 2020. The prosecutorial team is meeting to discuss next steps. Hunter Biden has received millions of dollars in foreign payments. One of his shell companies, Owasco, to this day, no one can tell what the hell it ever did other than except money. So nobody knows what services the company’s ever provided. And it’s December of 2020. Hunter is vacating Owasco’s DC offices and he’s moving those documents to a storage unit in Northern Virginia. Mister Shapley, were you pretty interested in what some of those documents might reveal?

Mr. Shapley (04:41:34):

Yes, we were.

Mister Fallon (04:41:34):

Okay. And maybe possibly it could have shed light on criminal activity, felony committed?

Mr. Shapley (04:41:41):

Unfettered access to the documents there before defense counsel can filter them and would’ve been very advantageous-

Mister Fallon (04:41:47):

Could have been a treasure trove. We don’t know, okay, because of what happened later. So I’m going to get that in a second. So did you prepare an affidavit to search that storage unit?

Mr. Ziegler (04:41:56):

Yeah, I was the one that prepared that.

Mister Fallon (04:41:57):

Okay. Mister Ziegler did that. Did US attorney Weiss agree that if the unit wasn’t accessed for 30 days, then you could execute the warrant?

Mr. Shapley (04:42:04):

That’s correct.

Mister Fallon (04:42:04):

Okay. So now that in and of itself seems weird though, doesn’t it? To wait 30 days and how are you going to know if somebody accesses it? Is it going to be under 24 hour surveillance? Is it going to be a stake out? Are we going to have to call Emilio Estevez and Richard Dreyfus and have them there with the binoculars checking things out?

Mr. Shapley (04:42:21):

So it wasn’t in the transcript, but this was a little bit of a unique location where it would’ve been easier than what you just described. See if it was accessible.

Mister Fallon (04:42:32):

But you didn’t have to wait the 30 days, did you? Because Assistant US Attorney Leslie Wolf, what did she do when she learned that you wanted to execute the search warrant on this storage unit?

Mr. Ziegler (04:42:41):

So she actually first approved and was saying that it’s going to take approvals for us to get this done. But then came back a few days later and said, “No, we’re not going to move forward with this.” And I was the one who proposed, “Well, let’s just wait 30 days. We’ll get the approvals, we will make sure that the storage unit is not accessed and then we can move forward with the warrant.” Her response was, “I’m going to think about it.” And then we come to find out a few days later that they had let defense counsel know that we know about the storage unit.

Mister Fallon (04:43:14):

Okay, so that’s key. So a US attorney tipped off the lawyers of a person who was a subject of a years’ long criminal felony investigation. Is that what you’re saying? Did Leslie Wolfe tip off Hunter Biden’s lawyers?

Mr. Ziegler (04:43:25):


Mister Fallon (04:43:25):

The storage unit.

Mr. Ziegler (04:43:26):

… the storage unit.

Mister Fallon (04:43:26):

That you guys had interest in the storage unit. Because once you know that, if you’re the subject of a criminal investigation, any of those documents that can incriminate you are probably going to need a match and some gasoline. So that’s astounding to me. That is direct evidence, clearly of preferential treatment and that is not normal stuff. Is that normal?

Mr. Ziegler (04:43:43):

So I can tell you that that was actually my red line situation. A little bit different than how Shapley refers to it. But I didn’t think we had a seat at the table. It disappointed me so badly, but I knew this was something that we were up against and that it was like, “Okay, that’s what they decided to do.”

Mister Fallon (04:44:02):

Have either of you ever seen anything like that before in your decades of experience?

Speaker 16 (04:44:07):

And gentlemen times retried, but please feel free to answer the question.

Mr. Shapley (04:44:11):

No, I have not.

Mr. Ziegler (04:44:13):

I have not either.

Mister Fallon (04:44:14):

Well, I want to thank you. I think you’re both excellent public servants and you’re courageous. And justice is the only thing I want to be blind. Not our democratic colleagues, not the legacy media and certainly not top administration officials. Mister Chairman, I yield back.

Speaker 16 (04:44:27):

Chair, recognize Mister Goldman from New York.

Mr. Goldman (04:44:29):

Thank you Mister Chairman. I’d love to get the extra minute that Mister Fallon got as well. Thank you guys for being here today. We don’t have a lot of time here. I have a lot of questions. If I cut you off I’m not trying to be rude, I’m just trying to get through them. And I want to talk a little bit about the evidence you did have. Mister Ziegler, you were the case agent. So how many documents would you say you had gathered during the five-year investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (04:44:56):

So however, I do believe I may have documents, I am limited by the statute, but I would be more than welcome to turn those documents over to the-

Mr. Goldman (04:45:05):

No, I don’t them. How many, just the number?

Speaker 17 (04:45:08):

Just say the number of documents. Can you just talk about the volume of the-

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:09):

It was a significant amount of documents. I apologize.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:11):

100s of thousands, millions.

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:14):

I don’t want to put a number to it, but there was a lot.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:16):

Right. Bank records, right? You had a lot of bank records?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:19):


Mr. Goldman (04:45:20):

Both domestic and foreign?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:22):

That is correct.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:23):

And you conducted search warrants?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:27):

Yes, there was reference in our transcripts to conducting electronic search warrants.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:32):

And did you do other search warrants as well?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:34):

When you say other search warrants, what do you mean?

Mr. Goldman (04:45:36):

Any other search warrants? Electric, otherwise physical.

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:40):

So I’m going to stick to what I stated in my transcript. There were multiple electronic search warrants that we executed.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:45):

And you said that you conducted more than 60 interviews as part of this investigation. Is that right?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:50):

That is correct.

Mr. Goldman (04:45:51):

That’s a lot for any investigation, right, for a tax investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (04:45:56):

I wouldn’t say that. I would say that more-

Mr. Goldman (04:45:58):

In my 10 years, I don’t know how many investigations I did with 60 interviews. So I want to focus though for a second on the WhatsApp that we went through. And Mister Shapley, in your testimony, your opening statement, you said that the text message, the WhatsApp message that we’ve been talking about shows Hunter Biden discussing business with his father. Could you show me where in the text message it says anything about discussing business with Joe Biden?

Mr. Shapley (04:46:34):

So if you’d like me to go through it, I mean I can take time to review it, if you’d like me to.

Mr. Goldman (04:46:38):

Well, I don’t have the time unfortunately, as you point out. I will tell you the only thing it says about it is that Hunter Biden was sitting with his father. It does not say anything about discussing any business. And Mister Shapley, you also said in your testimony, and we’ve talked about this a bunch, that the agents were prohibited from pursuing leads related to Joe Biden and the big guy, but the agents did that anyway, right?

Mr. Shapley (04:47:08):

The agents-

Mr. Goldman (04:47:09):

Interviewing Rob Walker.

Mr. Shapley (04:47:10):

… interviewed Rob Walker. Did not use-

Mr. Goldman (04:47:11):

And they asked him about that, right?

Mr. Shapley (04:47:13):

… the word big, they would use-

Mr. Goldman (04:47:15):

They didn’t use the word big guy, but they asked about it in reference to that text. And do you recall that Rob Walker actually said in response to that, that he was not aware that Joe Biden was ever a part of anything that he and Hunter were doing?

Mr. Shapley (04:47:35):

That’s what the witness said. Yes.

Mr. Goldman (04:47:36):

Yes. And then you describe a lunch where we talked about earlier where Joe Biden came to say hello at the Four Seasons Hotel to a lunch that he was having with CEFC executives, right?

Mr. Shapley (04:47:51):

That’s correct.

Mr. Goldman (04:47:52):

But what you didn’t talk about is what Rob Walker said the origination of that lunch was. And you testified that Hunter told his dad, according to Rob Walker, “I may be trying to start a company or try to do something with these guys.” Now let me ask you something. That doesn’t sound much like Joe Biden was involved in whatever Hunter Biden was doing with the CEFC, if Hunter Biden is telling him that he’s trying to do business with them, does it?

Mr. Shapley (04:48:27):

No, but it does show that he told his father he was trying to do business and he was talking to his father about the business-

Mr. Goldman (04:48:32):

Well, that is true. Hunter Biden, does business try to do business. That’s correct.

Mr. Shapley (04:48:36):


Mr. Goldman (04:48:36):

So you not only have no direct evidence connecting Joe Biden to any of Hunter Biden’s business deal, you actually had proof that he wasn’t involved. That is the proof that you had. And in the end of the day that this was a five-year criminal investigation with tens of thousands of documents, maybe hundreds of thousands unusual warrants, aggressive techniques. You wrote a report recommending felony charges, it went to DOJ tax, they wrote a 99-page memo approval and neither of you saw that, did you?

Mr. Shapley (04:49:12):

That’s correct.

Mr. Ziegler (04:49:13):

That is correct.

Mr. Goldman (04:49:13):

And what was their recommendation?

Mr. Ziegler (04:49:17):

So all I know is-

Mr. Goldman (04:49:18):

Approval, discretion, or declination.

Mr. Ziegler (04:49:21):

So I have to stick to the confines of-

Mr. Goldman (04:49:25):

Okay, you testified that it was discretion, which means that it wasn’t an approval, it was to the discretion of the US Attorney’s office, which had that DOJ tax memo, which had information from the defense lawyers that they spoke with. And they are the ones who have to prove this case in court. And I will tell you, as a federal prosecutor for 10 years, and I worked with many of your colleagues who do great work, and I’m sure you do great work as well, but I never met an agent who didn’t want to charge every possible case. But what I notice in five hours of testimony today is that neither one of you has ever mentioned a portion of the case that may not be so strong or may be suspect or may have a defense. And that’s because that’s what the prosecutor has to think about before charging a case. And that is not what this special agent report does.

Speaker 16 (04:50:22):

Gentlemen times expiry, went a minute over.

Mr. Goldman (04:50:24):

Okay. Thank you.

Speaker 16 (04:50:24):

Chair now recognizes Mister Perry from Pennsylvania.

Mister Perry (04:50:27):

I thank the chairman. Mister Shapley, if you can turn to page 30 of your transcript. And I want to say to Mister Shapley and Mister Ziegler, we sure appreciate you coming forward. Look, we’ve heard of alleged so-called whistleblowers in the past, they couldn’t reveal themselves and it led to an improper impeachment of a president that was unjustified and unsubstantiated. So I really do credit you, I think this has probably very been very, very difficult and a hard choice for you to make, but I think it was the right one and I commend you for it. Mister Shapley, page 30 of your transcript. Let me see, middle of the page, last sentence, second paragraph. Starting with every single day. Every single day was a battle to do our jobs. Now I understand that in Congress, but you’re following the letter of the law. You’re taking in information, you’re prescribed, you do this, you do this, and you get that. That’s a chilling line. What did you mean when you said that?

Mr. Shapley (04:51:32):

So every time we tried to communicate investigative steps and get support for investigative steps, it was always slow walked. It was always pushed off that we needed DOJ public integrity’s approval or DOJ OEO’s approval. And it was just used as a crush. The process was really used to stall the investigation. And ultimately, which some people seem to be overlooking, is that these prosecutors agreed with these charges.

Mister Perry (04:52:02):

And you finally reached your red line. You said previous in answer to Mister Fallon’s question, you were seeking justice. I believe you were. I don’t think you were picking winners and losers, you just seeking to see who’s following the rules. You finally reached your red line October 7th, 2022 at the meeting with US Attorney Weiss. Is that a reasonable characterization?

Mr. Shapley (04:52:24):

That’s correct.

Mister Perry (04:52:25):

And what did you mean when you say you reached your red line?

Mr. Shapley (04:52:29):

So throughout the investigation starting in the summer of 2020, my case agents were coming to me with certain concerns. And because we were worried about the discovery process with agents turning over documents at the end of the investigation, we wanted to protect that investigation. So I documented them on a recurring basis, issues that we’re having. And it was after discussions with my agents, I also saw these things firsthand. So we got to the point, it’s a heavy burden. I have a very deep respect for the Department of Justice and AUSAs and US attorneys I’ve worked with in the past. And to ultimately conclude that they were doing the wrong thing was just such a high burden.

Mister Perry (04:53:16):

You concluded that. And Mister Ziegler, your red line, I think you said, I don’t want to mischaracterize as a little later December 14th, 2020 when AUSA Wolf tips off the Biden Council about your plan to search the storage unit. Is that right or?

Mr. Ziegler (04:53:34):

Absolutely, because that storage unit, the method that we were planning to do was the least intrusive. It was a storage unit we needed to get those records.

Mister Perry (04:53:46):

And again, you were just seeking justice, right. Seeking the truth.

Mr. Ziegler (04:53:48):


Mister Perry (04:53:49):

Truth’s going to take wherever it takes you, make decisions based on what you learned. Turning back to you, Mister Shapely. What was your agency’s leadership’s response when you tried to alert officials outside your chain of command?

Mr. Shapley (04:54:01):

So most recently when Special Agent Ziegler emailed the commissioner, they basically threatened and intimidated Special Agent Ziegler that he had violated some type of law.

Mister Perry (04:54:15):

Threatened and intimidated.

Mr. Shapley (04:54:17):

And forced him, this chain of command requirement does not meet the legal requirement.

Mister Perry (04:54:24):

So you’re trying to seek justice, you’re trying to seek the truth, and they’re throwing an obstruction in front of you. They’re obstructing you from doing it, aren’t they?

Mr. Shapley (04:54:34):

So my complaints for IRS criminal investigation and senior leadership is not necessarily for blocking this investigation. I do believe that we raised things on a continual basis and they just stuck their head in the sand and took no action. But in terms of the retaliation, that’s when they first reared their head. And there’s no doubt about it that after protective disclosures were made, that they took primitive personnel practices against me.

Mister Perry (04:55:07):

Mister Shapely, Mister Ziegler, have you ever been threatened before in an investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (04:55:13):

I have not. And I’ve come to learn that this 6E grand jury threat may have happened before to other people inside the IRS.

Mister Perry (04:55:24):

Mister Shapley?

Mr. Shapley (04:55:26):

No. Not from my own agency. Not from the team.

Mister Perry (04:55:29):

So when my friends on the other side of the aisle say that Treasury hasn’t retaliated against you, it’s simply not true. There’s a law 5 USC 2303 B 13, and they placed unlawfully you and your fellow supervisors under a gag order. Mister Shapely and Mister Ziegler, my time has expired, but what we’re talking about here is obstruction of justice. You were seeking justice and you were obstructed. It’s against the law. Mister Chairman, I yield the bout.

Speaker 16 (04:55:58):

Gentleman yields back. Chair recognize Mister Moskowitz from Florida.

Mister Moskowitz (04:56:02):

Thank you, Mister Chairman. And gentlemen, thank you for appearing today. Thank you for being a public servant and there should be no retaliation against you as whistleblowers. Unlike my colleagues that said nothing and supported President Trump when he retaliated and fired Vindman and escorted him from the building for appearing in an investigation. That shouldn’t happen to you. But of course they said nothing when it happened to other people. We heard a lot about the Bidens, the Bidens, the Biden family, Biden Associates, right. Biden’s, plural. The S what does the apostrophe mean? But not Joe Biden. Didn’t hear a lot about Joe Biden. Why? Because he didn’t do anything. This has nothing to do with him. My colleagues talked about foreign countries, foreign entities, trying to make it all scary for the American people. Of course, President Trump got $5.4 million from the Chinese while he was president because they were leasing space in Trump Tower.

He goes out and air kisses President Xi. Totally perfect. Jared Kushner gets $2 billion from the Saudis, even though he oversaw Mid East’s peace, totally kosher. Ivanka Trump, she’s doing business with the Chinese while she’s working in the White House. Totally beautiful, right. Why do I bring that up? They want to say you have credibility. The problem is they have none. They have no credibility. And because you’re here at their behest, their lack of their credibility questions your credibility. Not because of you personally, but because of what they’ve done over the last several years. So the chairman says you’re credible. You want to know actually what they feel about you, people like you who work in government? I got pages of it. It goes on for years. But you know what? I’ll just read a couple of adjectives. Trump has called people like you, so-called whistleblowers, fake whistleblowers, partisan people, political hack jobs, scams, frauds, traders, cowards, spies, losers, clowns, thugs, puppets, unelected bureaucrats, the swamp and my favorite, the Deep State.

By the way, are you members of the Deep State? You members of the Deep State, did you stop paying? It’s a rhetorical question. Did you stop paying your Deep State dues? Did you not attend the latest Deep State meeting? Is that why you’re not in the Deep State. I can’t tell when they want people like yourself to be in the Deep State, not in the Deep State, depending upon what the Deep State is saying. Again, it undermines their credibility. It undermines government, it undermines the American’s trust in government. It undermines our institutions. And throughout all of this, for years, four years of it, they said nothing. And now in an effort to own Hunter Biden, okay, they’re assembling nude photos of him, right. Having some intern have to sit in a room and blow up these photos and put it on poster board and figure out, “Oh, which ones are beyond the pale?”

Mister Shapely, you said that the DOJ was slowing down the investigation, but some of that happened when President Trump was president. And I found it strange that when my colleague tried to ask both of you these questions about when your perceived slowness of this happened, you all struggled for a period of time to admit that it started under President Trump. Was President Trump directing that DOJ to slow down the investigation. He wasn’t, just like President Biden isn’t now. So if there’s any perceived issues with DOJ, it’s with DOJ. It’s not with the president.

Mister Ziegler, you said no one’s above the law regardless of political affiliation. Not as an IRS agent, as a person, do you think the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who worked in the White House couldn’t get security clearance until the president made it happen? Was put in charge of Mideast peace and with no investment experience, got 2 billion from the Saudis. You guys made a lot of noise today about 17 million, but what about 2 billion? Do you think as a person that should be looked at? Sounds a little strange.

Mr. Ziegler (05:00:17):

Congressman, thank you for that question. Given the statute, I am limited to my testimony today.

Mister Moskowitz (05:00:22):

I understand. I got it. But think about it, $2 billion from a foreign country that he was put in charge of their policy while he worked in the White House. They got no questions about that. That’s totally great, totally wonderful. Right. Joe Biden has been in Washington for almost 50 years. We didn’t hear about Hunter until a couple of years ago. Why? Because it’s a pay no attention to the man behind the curtain like The Wizard of Oz, right. Donald Trump is in so much trouble and they can’t save him.

But what they can do is they can spend taxpayer money and all the time while they control these hearings, to convince the American people that somehow Joe Biden has done something wrong. But there’s no evidence. None, zero, zilch, nuddah, zippo. And you know how I know that? Because they couldn’t even bring up their own impeachment. They had to bury it in committee. On Immigration, not on this topic, right. There are members of this committee that filed articles of impeachment, didn’t bring it up for a vote, buried it in committee. Again, not on this topic because there’s no evidence on Joe Biden. Thank you Mister Chairman. I yield back.

Speaker 16 (05:01:35):

Chair recognize Miss Boebert from Colorado.

Miss Boebert (05:01:38):

Thank you Mister Chairman. And thank you gentlemen for being here today. I appreciate you. Now Mister Shapley and Mister Ziegler, if you could each just quickly, maybe 20 seconds or less, summarize what did each of you find when you criminally investigated Hunter and Joe Biden, particularly as it relates to China.

Mr. Ziegler (05:01:59):

Yes, sir. So specifically related to China, there is CEFC, Hudson West three, State Energy HK. Those are I believe the three entities in my transcript.

Miss Boebert (05:02:18):

Mm-hmm. Mister Shapley.

Mr. Shapley (05:02:24):

So I mean I would just echo the same thing that is in my transcript.

Miss Boebert (05:02:25):

And so there’s a Ye Jianming, a Chinese billionaire and he’s tied to a CCP Intelligence Gathering Agency. And his company is CEFC. Excuse me. What is the connection between Hunter Biden and CFC?

Mr. Ziegler (05:02:42):

So I’m going to have to stick to the confines of my testimony, but what I can tell you is that there may be some documents that are responsive to that. And then I can turn those over to the House Ways and Means committee and get those over.

Miss Boebert (05:02:56):

I welcome those. Yes.

Mr. Ziegler (05:02:57):

Or if they would vote to get those released.

Miss Boebert (05:02:59):

Yes, we would love to get those in. And I see that Hunter Biden received more than $8 million in foreign payments, including $100,000 made from CEFC directly, $664,000 from State Energy HK, as you mentioned, another Chinese company. And a $325,000 capital contribution made into Bohai Harvest on Hunter’s behalf, a Chinese equity investment fund. Were you shocked to find that the then Vice President’s son received all of these payments, particularly the ones from Chinese entities?

Mr. Ziegler (05:03:39):

Well, as I tried to state earlier, in this position you have to be nonpartisan. It isn’t a matter of shock, it’s just you follow the evidence.

Miss Boebert (05:03:48):

Well, it’s not the political position, not the party, but just the Vice President’s son. So I’m not accusing you of political bias here.

Mr. Ziegler (05:03:58):

So it is just follow the evidence, see where the transactions are coming from, interview witnesses and try to figure out what the purpose of those transfers of money were for.

Miss Boebert (05:04:09):

And Mister Shapley, in March of 2017, Robinson Walker LLC received a $3 million wire from a Chinese company, State Energy HK Limited, which took place just two months after Joe Biden left office as vice president. And I believe it was in your testimony that you said that it seemed that this would be getting into place. Or it was in a testimony that was said today that this being assembled before he left office. And then just shortly after it came to fruition. So can you quickly discuss the Robinson Walker connection to the Biden family?

Mr. Shapley (05:04:47):

So I mean I’d have to defer to Special Agent Ziegler.

Miss Boebert (05:04:48):


Mr. Shapley (05:04:49):

I don’t think I spoke about the $3 million.

Mr. Ziegler (05:04:52):

So any of that information related to the $3 million, we can turn over the House Ways and Means committee and they can vote to release that to you.

Miss Boebert (05:05:00):

Thank you. And I see that Hunter Biden and Gowan Dong, a CEFC associate establish HUDSON WEST III LLC, and each owned 50% of the company between August 2017 and October 2018. HUDSON WEST III LLC sent over $4 million to Hunter Biden and over $75,000 to James Biden, Hunter Biden’s uncle. Now can you discuss these payments because my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are wondering what the apostrophe is when we’re talking about the Biden’s. And it seems there are more Biden’s right here who are receiving money.

Mr. Ziegler (05:05:41):

So in an answer to his question regarding President Biden, and in an answer to this question, any documents that we believe that we may have in our possession, we can turn over to the House Ways and Means committee, they can vote to release it to you guys.

Miss Boebert (05:05:53):

Okay. I request that you release those to them. And then also we have the

Miss Boebert (05:06:00):

The situation with Gal Luft that he was doing business with CEFC, and I guess that makes you a Chinese spy. So I guess Hunter Biden is a Chinese spy according to their allegations. But do you have any information regarding Gal Luft that you could also turn over to the Ways and Means Committee?

Mr. Ziegler (05:06:18):

So any information that I have in my case file at the direction of my attorney, we can turn over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Miss Boebert (05:06:24):

Thank you so much. I appreciate you gentlemen for being here. Your bravery, your courage for standing up. We saw a lot of evidence today about millions of dollars being shuffled through these shell companies. We’ve seen delayed warrants to impact a 2020 election. Prosecutors instructed not to involve the big guy because optics, well, the optics are very, very clear. Hunter Biden sold access to his father with an influence pedaling scheme, which in my opinion, compromises the current President of the United States. The Biden family has never sold anything in their life, but their influence in Washington, DC. Every business they have is monetizing their grift of the American people. Thank you for making that very clear today, gentlemen. I yield.

Chairman (05:07:18):

Gentle lady yields back. Chair, now, recognize Ms. McClain from Michigan.

Mrs McClain (05:07:23):

Thank you guys for being here. I know it’s been a long day, but we appreciate you, the American people appreciate you to get some truth and honesty back in the American justice system I think is great. So thank you again. We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric today, and I just want to talk about as much as we can just the facts, just stick to the facts. So Mr. Shapley, in August of 2020, your team obtained a July 2017 WhatsApp message from Hunter Biden to Zhao, a Chinese businessman. And I want to read a few lines from that message. I’m sure you remember it, but I’ll just refresh your memory.

And I quote, “Z – Please have the director call me – not James or Tony or Jim, have him call me tonight. I’m sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled, and Z if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zang or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. And I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” That’s a fact. I didn’t make that up. That’s not my opinion. That’s not rhetoric. This is a message from Hunter Biden’s WhatsApp app, correct?

Mr. Shapley (05:09:02):

It’s from a search warrant from an Apple iCloud backup. Yes.

Mrs McClain (05:09:07):

From where? From whose phone? My phone, your phone?

Mr. Shapley (05:09:10):

It was from Hunter Biden.

Mrs McClain (05:09:11):

Okay, thank you sir. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful.

Mr. Shapley (05:09:13):

It wasn’t from his phone, but it was from Hunter Biden’s device.

Mrs McClain (05:09:15):

Yes. Okay, thank you. But it was linked to Hunter Biden, correct?

Mr. Shapley (05:09:19):


Mrs McClain (05:09:19):

Okay, thank you. Now, Mr. Shapley, were the Biden’s contemplating a deal with CEFC in July 2017 timeframe?

Mr. Shapley (05:09:28):

So I would just have to stick to what was in my transcript. I don’t know if I really described that. Have you?

Mr. Ziegler (05:09:34):

I think that’s a portion of the WhatsApp message. However, I do believe there’s a full chain that if it’s relevant, we can turn that over to the House Ways and Means Committee, and they can decide to vote to release that to you.

Mrs McClain (05:09:48):

That would be appreciated. I just wanted to give in my limited time just to set the stage. One person has come forward. Tony Bobulinski, I believe, has alleged that the Bidens were contemplating a deal with CEFC even earlier than 2017. And he’s come forward and said that. Is Tony Bobulinski, the Tony referenced in the WhatsApp? I’m trying to connect the dots.

Mr. Ziegler (05:10:14):

Yeah, I think we need to stick to the transcript, and I think in my testimony I referenced SinoHawk, the SinoHawk deal, and we know that that deal never went through and that relates to CEFC and China.

Mrs McClain (05:10:28):

Okay, So the Tony that he’s referencing, do you believe that to be Tony Bobulinski?

Mr. Ziegler (05:10:34):

So in my transcript I did not mention anything regarding Tony Bobulinski, but what I can do again is provide any information that I have related to him over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mrs McClain (05:10:45):

Thank you so much. And then the reference to James, is there a reference to James in there? Is that James Gilliar, another Biden associate?

Mr. Ziegler (05:10:55):


Mrs McClain (05:10:55):

We might have to get that one too. That’s okay. And again, I think it’s just critical that we stick to the facts and not my opinion. So I appreciate the fact that you’re only speaking with fact, not on a partisan basis.

Mr. Ziegler (05:11:07):


Mrs McClain (05:11:08):

But if you could get those, that would help. Because in another message, Zhao responds to the earlier message, “Copy, I will call you on WhatsApp.” And Hunter writes back, “Okay, my friend, I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.” Again, my concern is the ability to tell the truth, right? The coverup is always worse than the crime. How many times did we hear Joe Biden say not involved, not involved, not involved. I have no idea? Yet his son says he’s sitting right there while he’s making these alleged influence peddling. So Mr. Shapley, what do these messages indicate to you? Can you comment on that?

Mr. Shapley (05:12:01):

Yeah, I mean they indicate that we needed to take additional investigative steps to find out what the facts and circumstances were of this WhatsApp message, and simply, it was not supported.

Mrs McClain (05:12:12):

Well, can you explain to us what do you mean it wasn’t supported?

Mr. Shapley (05:12:15):

So special Agent Ziegler, I mean, spoke-

Mr. Ziegler (05:12:17):

Yeah, so as a normal part of a tax investigation, you want to understand why individuals are earning money if someone’s paid a significant amount of money in order for that to be income, not a gift, not a loan. You need to understand the substance to why that person is paying them. And that’s why you need to understand the four corners of that transaction.

Mrs McClain (05:12:39):

Sure. And that’s standard operating procedure that is usually held for normal members of society. I mean, that’s standard operating procedure, but what you’re telling me is you weren’t able to pursue that, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (05:12:53):

That’s correct.

Mrs McClain (05:12:54):

I am out of time. Thank you so much Mr. Chairman and thank you again.

Chairman (05:13:00):

Chair recognizes Mr. Burchett from Tennessee.

Mr Burchett (05:13:04):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members. Thank you all for being here. When I was younger, man, the country wasn’t going too well and one night it really culminated in something, and I remember my daddy praying. At the blessing, he just said, “Lord, please don’t let us lose our country.” That’s the prayer I’ll be making tonight after hearing this testimony, because it sickens me. And Mr. Ziegler, I know you’re a man of faith. Mr. Shapley, I guess, after tonight, maybe you are, or you aren’t. I’m not sure where it will drive you, but I will be remembering you all in my prayers. And Mr. Ziegler and I appreciate you all’s incredible courage. It takes a lot of guts to get up here and put your families and your spouses through all this garbage, and it’s not right. And thank you all sincerely.

Mr. Ziegler (05:13:51):

I appreciate that.

Mr Burchett (05:13:52):

Yes, sir. Mr. Ziegler, it’s also come to my attention that today after this hearing was already underway, apparently APO Research is circulating from “Hunter Biden’s legal team” suggestions that you had leaked SARS and other investigative information to someone who had released that information online. Is there a statement that you’d like to make about whether you have leaked any investigative information to someone to reveal on the internet? And I’m sure Hunter Biden’s legal team, who’s obviously watching right now. And these dirt bags are trying to smear you through the press, and it’s disgusting, and I’d appreciate hearing a direct answer from you brother.

Mr. Ziegler (05:14:36):

So there’s two parts to this. There was that release of that bank report, my name was listed in there. So my name was out in the public as one of the IRS agents working this case, and that was maybe two or three years ago. So that came out and then on top of that, me and my husband were in a report that’s out on social media on Twitter by a person with the same last name that I have who I’ve never met, I’ve never turned over information to, we just happened to have the same last name, right? I was for my sexuality, my sexual orientation, my husband was put out there. Information related to me. So it was in an effort to discredit me that I’m this person working for the liberal side and I must be a plant. And it was awful the things that they were saying about me, but I can tell you that I’ve never turned over any information regarding this case to anyone related to that Marco Polo report or someone with the same last name that I have.

Mr Burchett (05:15:44):

Thank you and I appreciate that. And I’m sorry you.

Mr. Ziegler (05:15:46):

Thank you so much, sir.

Mr Burchett (05:15:48):

You and your husband had to go through all that misery. Mr. Ziegler also, how much do you think Hunter Biden and his business associates received from the Burisma board?

Mr. Ziegler (05:16:02):

I’m going to need to refer to my transcripts, if you give me two seconds.

Mr Burchett (05:16:06):

How about this? How about if I just help you out? $666,667. Does that sound about right?

Mr. Ziegler (05:16:14):

So is that a monthly transfer?

Mr Burchett (05:16:18):

I’m not sure. Well, if it’s a monthly transfer, I’m in the wrong line of work.

Mr. Ziegler (05:16:23):

Yeah. So Burisma paid to everyone involved 6.5 million.

Mr Burchett (05:16:27):

Okay. Okay. And when did Hunter leave the Burisma Board?

Mr. Ziegler (05:16:35):

Can you hold on one second?

Mr Burchett (05:16:36):


Mr. Ziegler (05:16:39):

It’s not in the confines of my transcript, so that would be something I’d have to turn over to the House Ways and Means.

Mr Burchett (05:16:45):

I’d like to get that. Was the money you think received from Burisma sent directly to Hunter Biden in 2014 and 15?

Mr. Ziegler (05:16:54):

It was not. It was sent to an entity called Rosemont Seneca, Bohai.

Mr Burchett (05:16:57):

Okay. Why would they do that, and why would they send it to his business partner, Devon Archer and all that?

Mr. Ziegler (05:17:09):

So I can talk about my normal experience. Hold on one second.

Mr Burchett (05:17:14):

Can you give me a couple seconds?

Mr. Ziegler (05:17:17):

Yeah, so I can provide this in an additional testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee to explain that.

Mr Burchett (05:17:23):

Okay. I’d like to get that. Mr. Ziegler also Rosemont Seneca, Bohai, they didn’t do anything. They didn’t produce anything. Skinny Atlas, they didn’t obviously do anything. Owasco did not do anything. Hudson West III didn’t do anything. But are all these Hunter Biden affiliated companies to your best of your recollection?

Mr. Ziegler (05:17:51):

I believe, I referenced in my testimony that I knew of those, but I didn’t reference how I knew of them.

Mr Burchett (05:17:57):

Okay. And I should have directed that Mr. Shapley, I believe. But my point is you’re familiar with these companies, but have you ever been able to identify what the Biden’s did here in the business of selling or what they did with these companies? Either one of you all, Mr. Shapely.

Mr. Ziegler (05:18:19):

The response to that, the reason why some of these payments were received, we can turn over as a part of an additional testimony process.

Mr Burchett (05:18:27):

I guess my point is they didn’t sell tough stakes or crappy ties. They sold influence in my opinion, and I’m out of time, Mr. Chairman, I apologize. I would like to close and say, if a buddy of mine, Rob DeLozier texted me during all this and said, I hope you all get to the bottom of this and I hope you all do something about it. So that would be my wish for this committee. Thank you guys so much. God bless.

Chairman (05:18:49):

That’s the goal. Thank you. Chair, now, recognize Mr. Fry for five minutes.

Mr Fry (05:18:54):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Ziegler and Mr. Shapley, were you able to pursue this investigation in areas that may implicate the President’s involvement in his family’s businesses?

Mr. Ziegler (05:19:06):

We were hindered from following that line of investigative steps.

Mr Fry (05:19:09):

Would you echo that Mr. Ziegler?

Mr. Ziegler (05:19:10):

Yeah, specifically in my testimony I referenced the campaign.

Mr Fry (05:19:14):

In 2020. President Biden, candidate Biden at the time said during a debate, and I’m going to quote, “My son has not made any money in terms of this thing about… What are you talking about? China? I have not had… The only guy who made money from China is this guy, Donald Trump. He’s the only one. Nobody else has made any money from China.” Mr. Ziegler was the president telling the truth when he said that his son, Hunter Biden, had not made any money from China.

Mr. Ziegler (05:19:39):

So I don’t know what the president at the time was thinking, but what I can tell you based on what I testified in my transcript, that he did earn money from China.

Mr Fry (05:19:51):

Right. And in March of 2023, just a couple of months ago, the committee showed through bank records that Hunter Biden, the president’s son, James Biden, Hallie Biden, all received money originating from China funneled through Robinson Walker LLC, a company owned by Rob Walker, who’s a well known Biden associate. When presented with this evidence by a reporter, the president said, “That’s not true.” Mr. Ziegler. Is it true that the president’s family received money originating from China, which was funneled through the Robinson Walker account?

Mr. Ziegler (05:20:24):

That is correct.

Mr Fry (05:20:26):

As it pertains to the Hunter Biden investigation, Mr. Shapley, you sat on a meeting on October 7th, 2022 with Mr. Weiss. You’ve testified to that, is that correct?

Mr. Ziegler (05:20:36):

Yes, that’s correct.

Mr Fry (05:20:37):

And later this year on June 7th, Mr. Weiss publicly stated in a letter to the judiciary committee the following, “As the Attorney General has stated, I have been granted ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when, and whether to file charges.” That statement is dramatically inconsistent with your recollection of a meeting that happened in October of 2022. Is that correct?

Mr. Shapley (05:21:01):

Yes. Documentation of that meeting clearly shows that that’s not accurate.

Mr Fry (05:21:11):

How was that not accurate from your recollection of that meeting?

Mr. Shapley (05:21:14):

Because during that meeting, United States Attorney Weiss said that he wasn’t the deciding person set it right out, and he further went in, that Department of Justice tax Division had to approve any charges first to which as of March 16th, 2023, we know that they had not approved anything yet. He further goes, it says the DC US attorney had declined to allow charges to be brought there. And that he requests a special counsel authority around that time and was denied and was told to follow the process. That process would lead him to another. President Biden appointed US attorney in the Central District of California. And he told us at that meeting on October 7th, 2022, that if California declined it, that he would have to request those special authorities again.

Mr Fry (05:22:04):

All right, so during that meeting and in subsequent letters that Mr. Weiss produced to both Senator Graham and to the Judiciary Committee, he seems to corroborate that meeting or some of the facts from that meeting that maybe he didn’t have that authority, right?

Mr. Shapley (05:22:18):

So, yes, the second letter on June 30th clearly shows that he’s saying that he has full authority, he has ultimate authority. He immediately goes in and says, but my authority is geographically limited. I don’t understand how you can conclude any way from that statement in the June 30th letter that he has full authority.

Mr Fry (05:22:40):


Mr. Shapley (05:22:41):

It’s just simply not accurate.

Mr Fry (05:22:42):

Correct. And that was something that you saw early on, or you all saw as a potential problem. Mr. Ziegler, if the US Attorney Weiss could not gain special counsel authority, what options remained in bringing charges against Hunter Biden in California or in the District of Columbia?

Mr. Ziegler (05:22:57):

So I guess it would’ve been the Special Attorney Authority that I’ve seen recently referenced. But I mean, essentially when DC said no, and we know that DC said no, we were having conversations with our FBI counterparts of how do we bring in a special counsel into the situation. Once we knew that there was going to be potential problems with going to President Biden appointees with moving this case forward, we were actively trying to figure out how as agents do we get that to happen. And still to this day, there is not a special counsel assigned to this investigation.

Mr Fry (05:23:36):

Right. So the approach was, and I’ve got to go quickly here, but the approach was to go to DC with Matthew Graves, where he was not able to bring charges under a Biden appointee. He went to the Central District of California, and Mr. Estrada was not able to bring charges. So to both of you, in conclusion, in relation to the US attorney’s inability to obtain that special counsel authority and bring these cases in either California or DC, do you agree with Attorney General Garland’s testimony that quote, the United States Attorney Weiss has been advised that he has full authority to bring cases in other districts if he needs to do that?

Mr. Shapley (05:24:15):

I don’t believe that’s accurate.

Mr. Ziegler (05:24:16):

And I think the key word there is he has, and I don’t think that that’s accurate, and I think that that’s refuted in the later letter by US attorney David Weiss.

Mr Fry (05:24:26):

Thank you both. In conclusion, thank you both for being here for your bravery and testifying today. I know it’s not been easy on you or your family, but the American people and this committee appreciates the work that you do, that you continue to do and the truth that you’re shedding light on. With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

Chairman (05:24:42):

Yield back. Chair recognizes Mr. Edwards from North Carolina for five minutes.

Mr Edwards (05:24:47):

Thank you Mr. Chair. Mr. Ziegler, did you ever ask for access to Hunter Biden’s laptop in your investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (05:24:55):

I do recall asking for access, yes.

Mr Edwards (05:24:58):

And were you granted that access?

Mr. Ziegler (05:25:00):

I don’t believe that’s in the confines of my transcript. So when we’re talking about the-

Mr Edwards (05:25:09):

Did you look at the laptop?

Mr. Ziegler (05:25:12):


Mr. Shapley (05:25:12):

I can jump in there because I documented a meeting where we had this discussion, and it was included in my House Ways and Means Committee transcript. And special agent Ziegler asked multiple times that he had certain pieces of certain downloads from the devices, but he did not have access to all of them. And that’s when Leslie Wolfe said that, well, that’s because prosecutors decided not to give it to you all.

Mr Edwards (05:25:36):

So you effectively were denied access. Mr. Shapely, in your interview with the Ways and Means Committee, you stated the following regarding efforts to obtain a search warrant for at the time former Vice President Biden’s guest house. We talked about the storage unit earlier. Let’s talk about the guest house now, where Hunter Biden had been staying, and assistant US Attorney Leslie Wolf’s assessment of the situation regarding the likelihood of such a warrant being approved. There was more than enough probable cause for the physical search warrant there, but the question was whether the juice was worth the squeeze. And I find this in quotes, she continued that optics were a driving factor in the decision on whether to execute a search warrant. She said, “A lot of evidence in our investigation would be found in the guest house of former Vice President Biden,” but said that there’s no way that we’ll get it approved.

I open this question to both of you. In the course of your distinguished careers at the IRS, has a DOJ official ever attempted to argue against the execution of a search warrant while acknowledging that such a warrant being carried out would likely yield positive evidentiary results for the investigation, Mr. Shapely?

Mr. Shapley (05:27:05):

So my response would be that the argument wouldn’t be required. It would be discussion with the investigators, working with the prosecutors. And if you weren’t on the same page, then you just simply would move on. And with the circumstances of probable cause being achieved, and knowing evidence was there, I don’t know how she could have not allowed us to execute that search warrant.

Mr. Ziegler (05:27:27):

And I mean it goes further and even to the storage unit, when you talk about access to something, and you’re relying now on them to turn the records over to you versus you having access to those records, they’re not being potentially destroyed. I mean, there’s a multitude of reasons why you’d want to execute a search warrant.

Mr Edwards (05:27:50):

Mr. Chair, I’d just like to share some thoughts. This hearing is much like arguing with my wife. We start out on a topic, and then we go in all kinds of different directions. And it seems like that is what I’m hearing, at least from the other side today. And I’ve heard over and over that President Biden has not been implicated or proven for any wrongdoing here. And I acknowledge that for now. But I know that it is the intent of this oversight committee to continue to look at the evidence that we have here. The issue in at hand, however, is that it is Joe Biden’s son that is the target of this and seems to have had preferential treatment on a number of levels. The investigators were denied access to the laptop.

The Biden family was tipped off with the warrant on the storage unit, and the investigators were denied access to the guest house, even knowing that or suspecting that there was evidence in that. And that is what concerns the American people. That’s the real two tier justice system that we see here. It’s not that Joe Biden has been proven to do anything wrong yet, it’s that Joe Biden’s son has received preferential treatment through the Department of Justice. I think that’s a shame, and I appreciate these gentlemen being here to share their brave story with the American people. I yield back.

Chairman (05:29:45):

Gentlemen, yields back. Chair recognizes Langworthy from North Carolina… From New York, Buffalo, New York. I’ve been to his place. Buffalo, New York.

Mr Langworthy (05:29:52):

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to these two very brave whistle-blowers for what’s been a very grueling hearing today. And I just am very grateful for openly testifying in front of everyone. And this must be challenging despite you providing accurate and credible testimony. But that goes directly to my point. I think it’s important to sum up a few things. So I just want to ask a series of questions to you, Mr. Shapely and Mr. Ziegler. It is true that you provided testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, correct?

Mr. Ziegler (05:30:24):

Yes, correct.

Mr Langworthy (05:30:26):

And how long did each of your interviews last?

Mr. Shapley (05:30:29):

Say around seven hours.

Mr. Ziegler (05:30:31):

Yeah, a little bit more than six, seven hours.

Mr. Shapley (05:30:32):

Six or seven hours.

Mr Langworthy (05:30:33):

Okay. And when did those interviews occur?

Mr. Shapley (05:30:37):

Mine was late May.

Mr. Ziegler (05:30:38):

June 1st.

Mr Langworthy (05:30:40):

Of this year?

Mr. Ziegler (05:30:40):


Mr Langworthy (05:30:42):

Were Democratic staff present during your interviews and did they question you?

Mr. Ziegler (05:30:48):

Yes, they did. Democratic staff was present, and actually the Chairman Smith was present at my testimony.

Mr Langworthy (05:30:56):

Did you give your testimony knowing that you could be criminally prosecuted if you lied to Congress?

Mr. Shapley (05:31:01):

Yes, I did.

Mr. Ziegler (05:31:02):

Yes I did.

Mr Langworthy (05:31:03):

Now, how long has your testimony been public for the American people to read?

Mr. Ziegler (05:31:09):

For the last three plus weeks probably, yeah.

Mr. Shapley (05:31:13):

Yeah, around, yeah, three weeks, or four weeks.

Mr Langworthy (05:31:14):

Okay. And you’ve been questioned by both Republican and Democratic members today, correct?

Mr. Shapley (05:31:19):

That’s correct.

Mr. Ziegler (05:31:20):

That is correct.

Mr Langworthy (05:31:21):

Okay. Now, given all that you have just told us, you gave over 15 combined hours of testimony to ways and means, hours of public testimony today. And these facts have been public now for weeks, and yet not one single person has been able to contradict a single fact about your testimony. That’s incredible, because it’s that impressive and that speaks to your credibility, your attention to detail as investigators and now as whistle-blowers. The attacks you hear today aren’t actually because of your testimony, they’re democratic talking points meant to protect the Bidens just like the DOJ and the IRS. Your testimony speaks for itself and is powerful, and I am so glad you were willing to voluntarily come in today and that’s why Mr. Chairman, I am so pleased that you held this hearing today and show yet another example of why this committee must continue this investigation into these matters. And I’m proud to yield back.

Chairman (05:32:17):

Gentleman yields back.

Mr. Ziegler (05:32:18):

Can I say something real quick regarding-

Chairman (05:32:20):


Mr. Ziegler (05:32:21):

So one of the topics that was brought up over here regarding the 99-page pros memo and then that there was discretion given in there. From what I understand discretion, there is also language that I have seen included in DOJ tax memos that references the need to charge the felony, that you have to charge the felony essentially. So I would ask Congress when Mr. Weiss comes to testify here, at that point in time, what did that memo say? In August, when he got it from his team, what did that memo say? Did it approve felony and misdemeanor charges? And then what happened to that after, that I think is crucial for you guys to understand.

Mr Langworthy (05:33:10):

Thank you, I just got a little time left. Mr. Shapely, do you have anything else that you’d like to add?

Mr. Shapley (05:33:15):

Yeah, just to add on to that, the Department of Justice Tax Division has a policy called a major count policy. And that basically mirrors what special agent Ziegler is saying. They actually teach it when they come out to speak to agents and provide training to agents. And that major count policy is that they have to charge a felony. They can’t just plead away the felony just to get out of a potential trial. They can’t just rely on charging a misdemeanor or give someone a misdemeanor when there’s felony charges on the table. And as we’ve said all along, we’ve shown all along that these prosecutors agreed with multiple felonies and none of them were charged.

Mr. Ziegler (05:33:55):

And I have one more thing to add to that. We were always, and I go back to last spring, David Weiss is going to do the right thing. He is absolutely going to do the right thing. Let’s hold off, we’re moving forward. We get to August, and we get approval or recommended approval for the felony and misdemeanor charges. So how do we end up where we’re at today? I just don’t know.

Chairman (05:34:23):

Gentlemen, would you yield your last 30 seconds?

Mr Langworthy (05:34:25):

I would be glad to.

Chairman (05:34:26):

And we were told the same thing about Mr. Weiss as well. So we share your disappointment. Mr. Ziegler, you said there were foreign documents related to this matter, related to the investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (05:34:39):


Chairman (05:34:40):

Would you provide those documents to the committee?

Mr. Ziegler (05:34:45):

Yeah, I can provide those documents to the Ways and Means Committee.

Chairman (05:34:48):

Thank you.

Mr. Ziegler (05:34:50):

A normal process for obtaining foreign documents, correspondent bank requests. So you can actually request those corresponding wires and that’s a step that you can take.

Chairman (05:35:00):

Very good-

Mr. Ziegler (05:35:01):

… in getting foreign money transfers.

Chairman (05:35:04):

Would you also provide the full Rob Walker transcript?

Mr. Ziegler (05:35:09):

So I will consult with my attorney, and we will turn that over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Chairman (05:35:13):

Thank you. Thank you. Chair, now, recognizes Mr. Burlison from Missouri.

Mr Burlison (05:35:19):

Thank you Mr. Chair. Good news. I’m the last one.

Chairman (05:35:22):

Next to last.

Mr Burlison (05:35:23):

Next to last. So I want to reiterate, thank you for your bravery. Thank you for what you’re doing. I think the American people should be pissed. They should be very angry about this. No one gets away with not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and having just blown over or been turned into a misdemeanor charge, especially when you have other criminal activity involved, and what’s funny, in this hearing, no one denied the facts that he’s guilty of this stuff. We all know he is guilty. I think the question at hand is to what extent was his father aware? In a way, it’s kind of like Schrodinger’s cat. Either he was aware of what’s going on, and he knew what his son was doing, and he was involved or he wasn’t.

Maybe he was completely clueless, absent-minded, whatever, unaware of what his family was doing. But one or the other is the truth. You can’t come to any other conclusion other than that. And the problem is you were not able to determine or lift that box, the Schrodinger’s cat box and determine is the cat dead or not? Was Joe Biden truly involved or not? So Mr. Ziegler, throughout the investigation, what investigative steps that would’ve involved Joe Biden would you have liked to have pursued but were unable to?

Mr. Ziegler (05:37:00):

So I guess in my testimony I talked about the atmosphere when we’re interviewing witnesses and talking about specific areas or specific… Being the campaign that we were prevented. There were rolling eyes at us. I mean, it was a very harsh environment to be in.

Mr Burlison (05:37:23):

And you were directly turned down as well.

Mr. Ziegler (05:37:26):

So there were situations to where I was not able to ask certain questions.

Mr Burlison (05:37:32):

So you weren’t able to lift the box and find out what’s underneath

Mr. Ziegler (05:37:38):

In our investigation, you want to follow the facts. That’s a part of our job, is you follow the evidence, and you work the case.

Mr Burlison (05:37:45):

So I know that it was tipped off about the storage unit before you were able to actually search it. Can you say what you were looking for? Because you’ve built up to this point, and then now there’s strong indication that there’s something there.

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:04):

So I believe in Garish’s testimony there was that he moved his prior office. So he, being Hunter, moved his prior office into that storage unit.

Mr Burlison (05:38:13):

And so this was off computers or files?

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:19):

Yeah. I don’t know specifically what would’ve been in there.

Mr Burlison (05:38:24):

Okay. Besides any tax crimes, or violations, what other violations were being investigated by any other agencies?

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:33):

So those aren’t in the confines of our testimony what other charges are being invested. Any offshoots, but-

Mr Burlison (05:38:43):

Were there other agencies that were working with you that were working on other-

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:47):

Yeah, FBI was working this case with us.

Mr Burlison (05:38:50):

Okay. But you can’t speak to whether there was a Foreign Agent Registration Act, or?

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:57):

I cannot speak to that.

Mr Burlison (05:38:58):

Okay. My other question-

Mr. Ziegler (05:38:58):

But what I can tell you is not only do we investigate tax crimes, but we also investigate money laundering. So any instances of money laundering us as IRS agents, we are allowed to investigate those crimes.

Mr Burlison (05:39:11):


Mr. Shapley (05:39:12):

So Mr. Congressman, if I can add, so in my transcript I do say that there’s a FARA issue at play during the investigation.

Mr Burlison (05:39:20):

Okay. So there was a FARA issue, a Foreign Agent Registration Act issue. And has that been pursued?

Mr. Ziegler (05:39:29):

We are not a part of the investigation anymore. And I mean, that’s our whole point of a special counsel. If there’s these offshoot investigations, we’re going to just rely on the same thing to happen.

Mr Burlison (05:39:41):

In your investigations, you knew that there was foreign bank accounts or foreign money wires. Are you aware if the Biden family has, or they own foreign bank accounts, and do you have the ability to get access to those?

Mr. Ziegler (05:39:53):

So any records that I would have related to that, I can turn over to the House Ways and Means committee, and then they could

Mr. Ziegler (05:40:01):

… Vote to release that.

Mr. Burlison (05:40:03):

Thank you. I yield back the remainder of my time.

James Comer (05:40:06):

Were you all ever given access to the form 1023 that alleged Joe Biden and Hunter Biden were a part of a bribery scheme with Ukraine? The reason I ask that is because that allegation is consistent, the way that the oligarch claimed he gave the Bidens the bribe is consistent with what we’ve seen in Romania and other countries where they set up all these shell companies and then they launder the money through the shell companies back down to different Biden family members. I wondered if you knew about that form before it became public.

Mr. Shapley (05:40:49):

I can speak to that. In my original transcript I wouldn’t have been able to say that I knew anything about 1023, but I provided a supplement after I saw open source information from the former Attorney General Bill Barr that said that he saw this document and they sent it to Delaware for further investigation and that the team, to the best of my knowledge, never saw that document.

James Comer (05:41:14):

The team that was in charge of investigating the Biden family for tax crimes never received the FBI document that alleged Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme?

Mr. Shapley (05:41:29):

For the IRS investigators on the case, the answer is no.

James Comer (05:41:34):

Is that odd? Everybody knew you were investigating the Bidens for at least tax evasion.

Mr. Shapley (05:41:42):

Generally speaking, if there’s any types of money coming in and there’s a criminal tax investigation ongoing, I don’t see how that information could be withheld from the investigators.

Mr. Ziegler (05:41:51):

And I can tell you, and I can provide this in my testimony, but there is things that are contained on that document that could further corroborate other information that we might be having an issue corroborating because it could be regarding a foreign official. If we have information regarding that in a document or a witness, we can further corroborate later evidence. And like I said, if that’s something that we have, we can turn that over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

James Comer (05:42:19):

Thank you. Chair recognizes Mrs. Luna, from Florida.

Ms Crockett (05:42:23):

Mr. Shapley, did the FBI first learn of the Delaware computer shop processing a laptop that allegedly belonged to Hunter Biden and contained evidence of potential crimes, in October of 2019?

Mr. Shapley (05:42:34):

Did the FBI first learn of it?

Ms Crockett (05:42:41):


Mr. Shapley (05:42:41):

I don’t know if I can speak about who first learned of it.

Ms Crockett (05:42:44):

Okay. The answer would be yes, but thank you. And isn’t it true that the FBI verified the laptop’s authenticity in November of 2019 by matching the device number against Hunter Biden’s iCloud account?

Mr. Shapley (05:43:10):

Yes, I believe that’s in my transcript and that’s accurate.

Ms Crockett (05:43:10):

Correct, transcript 12.

The answer would be yes, but thank you. And isn’t it true that the FBI verified the laptop’s authenticity in November of 2019 by matching the device number against Hunter Biden’s iCloud account?

Mr. Shapley (05:43:10):

Yes, I believe that’s in my transcript and that’s accurate.

Ms Crockett (05:43:11):

Correct, transcript 12.

The FBI analyzed the computer, correct? There was a report that the FBI CART team analysis had taken place.

Mr. Shapley (05:43:19):

Can you point to just a page in my transcript so that I-

Ms Crockett (05:43:22):

Page 12.

Mr. Shapley (05:43:22):

Okay, page 12.

Ms Crockett (05:43:26):

Or transcript 12.

Mr. Shapley (05:43:27):

Could you repeat the question, please?

Ms Crockett (05:43:29):

Just isn’t it true that the FBI verified the laptop’s authenticity in November of 2019 by matching the device number against Hunter Biden’s iCloud account?

Mr. Shapley (05:43:37):

Yes, that’s correct.

Ms Crockett (05:43:38):


And they performed an FBI CART team analysis?

Mr. Shapley (05:43:44):


Ms Crockett (05:43:45):

Mr. Ziegler, did you see this report?

Mr. Ziegler (05:43:50):

I don’t think that I talked about that in my transcript.

Ms Crockett (05:43:52):

Correct. I’m assuming that that was probably very frustrating being that you were conducting an investigation.

Mr. Shapley (05:43:59):

I can speak to this again because I did contemporaneously document a long meeting about the laptop and Special Agent Ziegler confirmed in that and it was released in the House Ways and Means Committee testimony that he pointed out individual pieces of data that he was provided, and then he asked why he hadn’t seen other pieces of data. And that’s when Assistant United States Attorney Wolf told them that prosecutors were withholding information from the investigators.

Mr. Ziegler (05:44:25):

And I think what’s important with withholding, they never said what they were withholding. I think that is important.

Ms Crockett (05:44:33):

To my understanding, the US Attorney said that you haven’t seen it because for a variety of reasons they kept it from the agents. They kept this information from you. I think it’s important to know, correct?

Mr. Shapley (05:44:42):

That’s correct.

Ms Crockett (05:44:44):

Okay. Isn’t it relevant evidence for you and your team to review, Mr. Ziegler, that this types of evidence would help you to conduct your investigation?

Mr. Ziegler (05:44:53):

In an everyday normal investigation, you’re the investigators, we’re the ones that are supposed to process the information and provide the relevant information to the prosecutors. We should know absolutely everything that we’re looking at because we might testify to it one day.

Ms Crockett (05:45:10):

It’s safe to say that it’s not a normal practice to withhold evidence from agents reviewing the case?

Mr. Ziegler (05:45:15):

It’s not a normal practice to withhold and not tell us what you’re withholding from us.

Ms Crockett (05:45:20):

Do you know who made that decision to withhold information from the agents?

Mr. Ziegler (05:45:24):

That I do not know.

Ms Crockett (05:45:26):


Mr. Ziegler (05:45:26):

And it’s not in my transcript.

Ms Crockett (05:45:27):


Mr. Shapley, and your team are learning about the existence of this information and you were being denied information at the same time. This is October 2020, correct, timeframe?

Mr. Shapley (05:45:39):


Ms Crockett (05:45:40):

At that same time, did you remember Hunter Biden’s laptop being discussed or rather suppressed by the media?

Mr. Shapley (05:45:46):

I generally remember the discussion of the laptop. I think everybody heard about the laptop. I don’t know if I knew about the media suppressing it.

Ms Crockett (05:45:56):

I think it’s important to note that the FBI learns about the laptop in 2019, that’s 2019 not 2020. And in fact, the FBI authenticated the laptop in November of 2019, then takes possession of the laptop, does analysis. But these analyses and information are not provided to you guys, the IRS agents conducting the case. Mind you, the folks running the nuts and bolts of the criminal tax fraud case. They’re learning about all this information and yet at the same time being denied access to it. Meanwhile, the media is actively working to suppress that. And at the same time, 51 national security officials sign on to a letter which the FBI has authenticated saying that it is Russian disinformation.

This is, mind you, Joe Biden’s son, which I think it’s important to note that many of my colleagues try to make this about race and saying that there’s a two-tiered justice system for black and brown people and yet we are investigating, according to their terms, a man of white privilege who is being aided and abed by this administration and being criminally covered for by the Department of Justice. And yet somehow that’s not supposed to be a topic of discussion.

I have 41 seconds left. Would you guys like to say anything for the record so the American people can know what’s really happening in this country?

Mr. Ziegler (05:47:07):

I do have something. There’s two things. I believe that AUSA Lesley Wolf and US Attorney David Weiss, would say phenomenal things about my work. And I know they have said that. They have said that we did a great job in this investigation. I want to make that clear to everyone, that we’re not disgruntled, we’re not out here to get people. We’re here for accountability and that we learn from this. That’s the most important part of why we’re here.

Ms Crockett (05:47:40):

You are doing great. And I know that you are not Conservative, I know you’re not a Republican, but I will say this: thank you for at least bringing faith back to some part of the IRS so that people understand that, just because your last name is Biden, does not mean that you’re held above the law.

Thank you. Chairman, I yield my time.

James Comer (05:47:55):

The gentlelady yields back, and that concludes our questions. Again, I want to thank you all for being here. I’m going to yield to the much improved ranking member Ms. Ocasio-Cortez from New York, for closing statement.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (05:48:12):

I’ll take the gold star. Thank you, Chairman.

And I’d like to thank our witnesses here today, once again. We acknowledge fully that this is not easy and that your service and your public service here is respected and acknowledged and valued. Thank you. Thank you for your testimony.

I think it is important for us to summarize much of what we heard and saw today, and overall what this matter is about. A US Attorney handpicked by Attorney General Barr has for four years investigated, together with a dozen agents and at least four prosecutors from his office and the tax division of the Department of Justice, the son of President Biden. Hunter Biden has been charged with a felony and two misdemeanors, and he is pleading guilty to several crimes and submitting to sentencing by a Trump-appointed judge.

However, what we are also seeing today is an effort to find some issue with this existing prosecution, this is a person who has admitted to crimes, and finding evidence of political interference, a very serious charge. Much of what we saw today, the testimony, honed in on a conversation that one of today’s witnesses was involved in, in which Mr. Shapley heard Mr. Weiss to say that he was denied special counsel status. That account had been contradicted by the US Attorney Weiss who has reiterated several times that he had full authority to bring any charges in any district, and had received assurances from the Department of Justice that, if he needed special attorney status, not counsel, but rather attorney status to bring those charges, it would be granted.

We are left here with two possible options for this story. That either Mr. Weiss, who was appointed by President Donald J. Trump and trusted by Attorney General Barr, also serving under Trump, was lying to protect the Biden administration, or he respectfully disagreed with the charges that today’s two witnesses wanted to bring as professionals, in their professional opinion. Disagreement over charges is not uncommon. The IRS Criminal Tax counsel attorneys have disagreed in charging decisions, as we heard here today, 90% of the time. And in this particular case, reviewing attorneys at IRS in the tax division raised issues with the proposed charges. And the witnesses described how Mr. Weiss expressed some concerns about the charges. In fact, in some of the testimony we saw, Mr. Shapley recognized with regard to at least one of the charges which he himself recommended he could, and I’m quoting from testimony, “See some issues with that, that would preclude it from being charged.”

Now, I understand why the two witnesses who testified here today are disappointed after five years of investigation. I believe you all are honorable serving professionals, truly, and that Mr. Weiss disagreed with this analysis of facts. There was absolutely frustration to not, “Have a seat at the table,” that Mr. Weiss made his decision about how to charge in this case and he did charge. And that was a decision that he, as the US Attorney in charge of the case, was empowered to make. The question though, I believe, that is very important to address is why we are holding these hearings today despite what we have seen as deliberate lobbying for this hearing by a political candidate, Donald J. Trump?

What we also saw today was the revival of certain conspiracy theories around Ukraine, first promoted by Rudy Giuliani during Trump’s first impeachment in 2019 and his reelection campaign. We did not bring that up. That was first brought up by the Republican side that required addressing here today. Chairman Comer started this hearing by asking these witnesses about Burisma, and other members of the committee again raised the specter of these debunked conspiracy theories. It has been debunked time and time again, including by Trump’s own Department of Justice.

But that being said, this is the problem with bringing these conspiracy theories into this committee. They beget more. It does not stop. And today we have gotten a new conspiracy theory, one that requires us to believe that David Weiss, a Trump-appointed US Attorney trusted by Trump-appointed attorney General Barr, has somehow been complicit in abetting and concealing a deep state conspiracy to protect Hunter Biden on behalf of the Biden administration when they were selected by Donald Trump. This is a theory which has apparently been proven unsuccessful given that Hunter Biden is now criminally charged and facing sentencing by a Trump-appointed judge. Today also marked a new low when pornographic images were paraded in this hearing room.

Chairman Comer, last October you told Time Magazine that you were not interested in the sordid details of Hunter Biden’s life. You were quoted as saying, “That’s counter to a credible investigation.” And I agree. Sadly, that is a reflection of how low some individuals here have been willing to go in their efforts to attack the President and his family. And frankly, I don’t care who you are in this country, no one deserves that. It is abuse, it is abusive.

If Republicans truly want to get to the fact here and they want to understand why Mr. Weiss decided to charge Hunter Biden the way he did, let’s hear from Mr. Weiss. But until then, we must move on from these theories and focus on the issues that matter to the American people, like ending the scourge of gun violence that is plaguing our country, confronting and combating the climate crisis and standing up for our constitutional rights and, yes, going after the enormous amount of inequity and injustice in our tax system.

And with that, I yield back to the Chair.

James Comer (05:54:59):

Gentlelady yields back.

Before I close, I want to ask for consent to enter into the record three letters from myself, Judiciary Chair Jordan, and Wage and Means Chair Smith to the Director of Secret Service, Director of the IRS and the Attorney General, requesting more information pertaining to our investigation, without objections so ordered, as well as enter into the record the two bank memorandums that we’ve already submitted to our friends in the media that we’re trying to teach financial literacy to. I’d like to enter those two memorandums into the record.

Again, I want to thank you all so much for what you’ve done today. I can’t imagine what you’ve been through. I apologize for what you have been through. This is what this committee is all about. The mission for the House Oversight Committee is to identify and root out waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement in the federal government. To do that, we depend on whistleblowers, whistleblowers coming forward and telling their story. And that’s what you all have done. And to think that there are people on the committee who have tried to question your credibility is a pretty low mark for the history of the House Oversight Committee. Again, thank you.

And what we learned today, let’s just go back six months when this investigation started, when we became the majority, the laptop, according to many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and many of our friends in the media, was Russian disinformation. And what we now know is the laptop contains many of the financial records, the financial documents, the communications between both the president as well as other members of his family with many of these associates, with many of these foreign nationals. There’s a clear path of evidence.

I say that investigating the Biden family influence peddling is like investigating a bleeding bear through a snowstorm. There’s so much evidence laying around. We’ve confirmed today what we’ve been saying in this committee for several months, that the Bidens took in over $10 million, $17.3 million to be exact, from adversaries. We have no earthly idea what they did to receive that money. I think that’s concerning to every American. We have that Hunter Biden spoke to his father about his businesses and that Hunter used his father’s name to shake down the Chinese Communist Party back person. We saw that in the WhatsApp message that you all released, we’ve seen that in other emails and correspondence from the laptop. We learned unfortunately that these brave incredible whistleblowers have been retaliated against at the IRS and intimidated by the Biden shady legal team and their lapdogs in the press. And for that, I apologize and I hope that that does not deter other brave incredible whistleblowers from coming forward.

All roads lead to Joe Biden, the big guy, the guy who was set to go in business with the Chinese Communist Party-linked entity that wired money to the Biden family as well as to Gal Luft, who was mentioned earlier by one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Joe Biden was even set to share office space, according to an email, with this Chinese Communist Party-backed entity. And that’s a concern. That should be a concern to every American because, whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, whether you’re rural or urban, one thing that we can agree on is that Americans detest public corruption. That’s why we have an IRS, that’s why we have an IRS Criminal Division, that’s why we have an Oversight Committee, that’s why we have an Ethics Committee. That’s why we’re supposed to have a judicial system in America that provides equal justice for all.

But we have to work together and we have to be honest, and we have to respect our checks and balances. And what we learned today, as troubling as anything, is that your investigation that you spent years of your life on, that we’ve spent six months investigating, where you see a pattern of suspicious activity, where money flows from shady foreign companies and from shady foreign nationals through shell companies that are then laundered, and that’s according to six different banks in the Suspicious Activity Reports, laundered down in incremental payments to the Biden family for things that we have no idea what they did to receive the money. And as part of that years long investigation, the FBI sitting on, the whole time, a document that alleges Joe Biden and Hunter Biden took a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian oligarch where there are bank records that show that the Bidens were receiving money from this entity. There was already evidence there to show that.

Now, I don’t know whether that allegation is true or not. I know the FBI never investigated it and, what we know from today, they never communicated with the IRS Criminal Division that spent years investigating this. There’s two things that’s happening here with the Oversight Committee with respect to the President of the United States: there’s the investigation of the Biden corruption and there’s the investigation of the coverup.

Again, I want to thank you all for the work that you have done over the years. We appreciate that, the American people appreciate that, the taxpayers appreciate that, and we look forward to receiving the additional information through the Ways and Means Committee, through the proper process as we continue our investigation.

With that and without objection, all members will have five legislative days within which to submit materials and to submit additional written questions for the witnesses, which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their response. If there is no further business, without objection, the committee stands adjourned.

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