House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded documents from the Justice Department on Thursday related to allegations that the department retaliated against an IRS whistleblower investigating Hunter Biden.
Jordan told Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter obtained by Breitbart News that he is seeking information about the removal of an “IRS Criminal Supervisory Special Agent and investigative team” from a “‘high-profile, controversial’ ongoing investigation.”
“The timing of the Department’s removal of the agent and investigative team raises serious concerns given that the investigation was the subject of the agent’s protected whistleblower disclosure,” Jordan wrote.
Read a copy of the letter below:
The letter comes in response to attorneys for the supervisory special agent, who later revealed his identity in a CBS interview as 14-year IRS veteran Gary Shapley, asking Congress to investigate Shapley’s removal from the case as potential unlawful whistleblower retaliation.
Shapley told CBS that he had been assigned to a “high-profile investigation” in January 2020, which Breitbart News confirmed from a source familiar is related to a years-long federal probe into Hunter Biden’s taxes.
Shapley is being represented by Empower Oversight, a firm launched by former Republican aides that works to protect whistleblowers. Empower Oversight alerted Congress on May 15 that Shapley and the rest of his investigative team had been removed from the case at the direction of the Justice Department, according to a letter obtained by Breitbart News.
Empower Oversight contended the move was “clearly retaliatory” and that it stood in contrast to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel recently vowing before Congress not to take such measures against whistleblowers.
Shapley detailed his whistleblower allegations, which he had initially made privately to Congress, in the CBS interview, saying that when he began investigating Hunter Biden, he “immediately saw it was way outside the norm.”
Shapley said he observed “multiple steps that were slow-walked at the direction of this Department of Justice” and that “deviations from normal process” seemed to “always benefit the subject” of the investigation.
It remains unclear why Shapley and his team were taken off the Hunter Biden case, and the Justice Department declined to comment on the matter.
Jordan wrote that his committee would “not tolerate the Department’s retaliatory conduct against this or any other whistleblower.”
He asked that Garland respond to him by June 8 with the requested documents and communications.
The letter comes the day before Shapley is set to testify behind closed doors with the House Ways and Means Committee, which is conducting a concurrent probe into the IRS’s handling of the whistleblower allegations and subsequent alleged retaliation.
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.
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