Amid whistleblower allegations that the Justice Department stymied the investigation of Hunter Biden by federal prosecutors and IRS agents, the president’s son was deposed Thursday in a civil suit regarding his laptop.
Lawyers in a defamation suit brought by computer repair shop owner Mac Isaac questioned the younger Biden, who Isaac has said abandoned a laptop computer that he dropped off to be fixed.
The contents of that laptop appear to implicate both President Joe Biden and his son, among others, in questionable overseas business dealings, two IRS agents testified recently to House investigators.
The deposition of the younger Biden comes one week after the House Ways and Means Committee released testimony from the two IRS whistleblowers that could extend Republicans’ investigation beyond alleged Biden family influence peddling and into potential misconduct by the Justice Department in shielding the president and his son.
Also Thursday, three House committee chairmen sent letters seeking interviews with more than a dozen employees at the Justice Department, the IRS, and Secret Service regarding allegations of politicization and misconduct at their agencies in the investigation of Hunter Biden.
“We need to investigate this and bring the whistleblowers before the [House] Judiciary Committee and obtain any recordings and documents that are out there,” said Rep. Harriett Hageman, R-Wyo., a member of the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,
“If the whistleblowers are willing to name names and provide evidence, we will bring in others to testify: [Attorney General] Merrick Garland, Hunter Biden, maybe we even consider Joe Biden,” Hageman told The Daily Signal.
“Hunter Biden was treated dramatically differently than any other person would be treated,” Hageman said, adding: “These whistleblowers have been treated horribly. They have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward.”
For his part, the president on Thursday disputed a WhatsApp text message in 2017 in which the younger Biden demanded payment from a Chinese business partner and said his father was sitting with him at the time.
A reporter asked Biden: “How involved were you in your son’s Chinese shakedown text message? Were you sitting there? Were you involved?”
The president answered: “No, I wasn’t.”
3 House Committees Investigate, 1 Focused on Impeachment
The IRS whistleblowers’ accounts of political interference in the investigation of Hunter Biden overseen by U.S. Attorney for Delaware David Weiss contradicted sworn Senate testimony by Garland, the attorney general, that Weiss had complete independence in the probe.
This development sparked talk of an impeachment inquiry into Garland by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.
House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky.; Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; and Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., signed letters Thursday that went to Garland, IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, and Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle.
Those the three committee chairmen asked to interview include three U.S. attorneys, IRS officials, and Secret Service employees who received a Dec. 7, 2020, tip-off from the FBI about the younger Biden, as well as all Secret Service employees who may have passed this information along to members of the Biden family or Biden’s presidential transition team.
Shapley testified that in December 2020, the FBI developed a plan to inform the Secret Service agents that investigators would be arriving at Hunter Biden’s residence in Los Angeles to conduct an interview.
“However, the night before, Dec. 7, 2020, I was informed that FBI headquarters had notified Secret Service headquarters and the transition team about the planned actions the following day,” Shapley told investigators. “This essentially tipped off a group of people very close to President Biden and Hunter Biden, and gave this group an opportunity to obstruct the approach on the witnesses.”
In the letters, the three chairmen say:
The federal government is supposed to work for the American people, but whistleblower evidence shows that several federal employees were working overtime to cover up for the Bidens. We need to hear from these federal employees and other witnesses about this weaponization of federal law enforcement power. Americans are counting on us to ensure bad actors are held accountable and restore the equal enforcement of the law.
The letters requested interviews with Weiss; Matthew Graves, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia; and E. Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California.
Weiss was appointed by former President Donald Trump; Graves and Estrada were appointed by Biden.
GaryShapley, a veteran IRS investigator of 14 years, told the Ways and Means Committee that Weiss sought to bring charges against Hunter Biden in both the District of Columbia and in California, but was denied.
Shapley, a supervisory agent, also said that Weiss asked Justice Department superiors to be named a special counsel, but was denied.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee has investigated potential Biden family influence peddling, and the Ways and Means Committee has investigated the IRS and tax side of the scandal.
“The committees will work together, but the committee that will be looking at the impeachment side is the Judiciary Committee,” Hageman told The Daily Signal.
‘Don’t Trust Mainstream Press’
After months of largely ignoring Biden scandals, reporters from CNN and The New York Times last week pushed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to answer questions about the two IRS whistleblowers’ testimonies.
On Tuesday, CBS News aired an interview with Shapley, who said the Justice Department blocked more substantive charges against Hunter Biden and resisted reviewing information connecting any impropriety to the president.
“I sure hope so,” Hageman said, when The Daily Signal asked whether the media appeared to be paying more attention to the Biden scandals.
“Perhaps they got annoyed about being lied to, just like the American public,” the Wyoming Republican said. “But I don’t trust the mainstream press. It makes me wonder if they are just trying to distract from something else.”
Still, most viewers of CNN and MSNBC were unaware of the Biden family scandals, according to a poll for the Media Research Center conducted by McLaughlin & Associates between June 15 and 19.
This week, some media commentators staunchly defended the Bidens.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote: “I see no clear evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden himself—but the president does offer the country a fine model of the love and support that people with addictions need.”
On ABC’s “The View,” co-host Ana Navarro defended the Bidens amid the revelations: “The Hunter Biden story, the scandal, the this, the that, it’s also a story of a father’s love. And Joe Biden has never and will never give up on his son Hunter and will never treat him [as] lesser than.”
Hageman told The Daily Signal that such arguments are advancing a White House cover-up.
“This is just more of the cover-up,” she said, adding:
A father wants to protect his son, so it’s OK? Maybe it’s like father, like son, parlaying his time as vice president into enriching themselves at the expense of, and at the risk to, the American people. To say he is the son of a vice president and a president doesn’t excuse him from taking a bribe and doesn’t excuse his father from taking a bribe. That just shows the extent to which these people will go to protect him.
Hageman was referring to a Ukrainian businessman’s allegation that Biden took a $5 million bribe as vice president.
The Media Research Center’s poll found that the largest portion of CNN and/or MSNBC viewers, 50%, said they were aware that the IRS whistleblowers went to Congress alleging political tampering with the investigation of Hunter Biden’s income tax liability.
By contrast, 76% of viewers of Fox News and/or Newsmax said they were aware of the development, the MRC poll shows.
The poll found a significant dropoff for other news stories.
Only 39% of those surveyed said they were aware that, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Biden administration has spared from sanctions two Russian oligarchs who have business ties to Hunter Biden, compared with 53% of Fox News and Newsmax viewers.
Less than half, 47%, of CNN and MSNBC viewers also said they were aware of the House report in May concluding that the Biden family had more than 20 shell companies that raked in over $10 million from foreign entities and individuals. By contrast, about two-thirds of Fox News and Newsmax viewers said they were aware of the report.
Interestingly, fewer than half of voters, 45%, also said they had heard that the FBI, despite a congressional subpoena, had withheld a report in which an informant alleges that an executive from the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma paid a $5 million bribe to Joe Biden during his second term as vice president.
Among MSNBC and CNN viewers, 39.5% said they were aware of the story; among Fox News and Newsmax viewers, 61% said they were aware.
“I will just follow the evidence wherever it leads and make my own judgments on the credibility of the information,” Hageman said. “I am a 30-plus year trial attorney, and I follow the evidence.”
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