An IRS agent who has been overseeing a lengthy, ongoing case involving Hunter Biden’s tax returns is seeking whistleblower protection to testify to Congress about what he asserts is political interference and improper handling of the case by the Biden administration.
Whistleblower claims administration is mishandling probe of Biden’s son
“Despite serious risks of retaliation, my client is offering to provide you with information necessary to exercise your constitutional oversight function and wishes to make the disclosures in a non-partisan manner to the leadership of the relevant committees on both sides of the political aisle,” the attorney, Mark D. Lytle, wrote to top lawmakers on several House and Senate committees.
The letter stated that the agent has already reported information to officials within the IRS that contradicts the sworn testimony of a “senior political appointee” and also has internally reported lapses that “involve failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case.”
These disclosures “detail examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected,” the letter said.
The letter, which The Washington Post obtained Wednesday afternoon, did not identify Hunter Biden but stated that the agent “has been overseeing the ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high-profile, controversial subject since early 2020.” The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the letter, identified the subject as Hunter Biden.
The federal investigation into Hunter Biden began in 2018, initially centering on his finances related to overseas business ties and consulting work. Over time, investigators focused more closely on whether he had reported all of his income and whether he had lied on gun purchase paperwork in 2018, The Post previously reported.
Hunter Biden and his legal team for months have been seeking closure in the federal investigation. He has paid the IRS more than $1 million in back taxes, using a loan that came from Kevin Morris, an attorney and close friend.
The Post reported in October that federal agents had gathered what they believe is sufficient evidence to charge him with tax offenses and a false statement related to a gun purchase, according to people familiar with the case. The case has remained unresolved, however, and the next step is for David Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware and a Trump administration holdover, to decide whether to file the charges.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has repeatedly said that Weiss has broad independence to steer the investigation as he sees fit and should be getting all the support he needs.
Lytle, a partner at the law firm Nixon Peabody, did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Hunter Biden’s attorneys also did not immediately comment on the report. The White House declined to comment, referring questions to the IRS and the Justice Department. A DOJ spokesman decline to comment.
“My client wants to come forward to Congress,” Lytle said in an interview that aired on “CBS Evening News.” “He’s ready to be questioned about what he knows and what he experienced under the proper legal protections.”
Lytle told the network that his client believes that the investigation into Hunter Biden has been handled differently from any other in his career at the IRS.
“Political considerations were having an impact on the decision for agents to make investigative steps in the case. And those political considerations are not normally a part of a career investigator’s tool kit,” Lytle said.
Lytle also said that his client has worked for the IRS for more than a decade and had documentation to back up his claims. “It really doesn’t come down to his credibility, whether you believe him or not,” Lytle said. “Because the things he’s been through are very well documented in emails and other communications with the Department of Justice.”
The whistleblower protections could free the IRS agent to speak in more detail about the case, especially given the strict rules that govern any discussion of matters involving a specific taxpayer.
Lytle would not disclose who is paying his client’s legal bills, telling CBS News, “I really don’t want to get into the specifics of his situation.”
Rep. Jason T. Smith (R-Mo.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax matters, said the panel would seek to quickly meet with the agent.
“We appreciate this outreach and look forward to sitting down promptly with this individual to better understand the scope and detail of the concerns raised,” Smith said in a statement. “The committee takes seriously any allegations of misconduct by government officials or offices and will, on behalf of American taxpayers, look into concerns that are brought to our attention.”
“We will go where the facts lead and conduct a review of this matter in an appropriate and timely manner,” he added.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.), who has already launched an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings, said Wednesday that the whistleblower’s allegations are “deeply concerning.”
He added that his committee would continue scrutinizing the Bidens’ corporate and financial records.
The Post reported last year that a conglomerate, CEFC China Energy, and its executives paid $4.8 million over 14 months to entities controlled by Hunter and his uncle, James Biden. The Post did not find evidence that Joe Biden personally benefited from or knew details of the transactions.
Devlin Barrett contributed to this report.