Special counsel Weiss played a key role in sidelining IRS whistleblower in Hunter Biden case

Special counsel David Weiss forced the IRS to take a top agent off the Hunter Biden tax fraud investigation after he told Mr. Weiss the case was being mishandled.

Gary Shapley, the individual who exposed information as an IRS whistleblower, claims that there was political interference from the Justice Department to shield Hunter Biden from tax fraud accusations. Shapley believes that Mr. Weiss initially attempted to remove him from the case following a heated meeting on October 7, 2022.

Mr. Shapley, an IRS Criminal Investigation special agent, eventually approached Congress to request whistleblower safeguards in order to reveal his concerns regarding the management of the case.

Hunter Biden has taken legal action against the IRS on Monday, alleging that the agency deliberately and repeatedly revealed his tax returns and neglected to safeguard the privacy of his tax records.

Mr. Shapely’s fallout with Mr. Weiss started at the Oct. 7 meeting, where he expressed concerns about “updates and communications” in the tax fraud case. The case had been open for years with no charges imminent for the president’s son despite evidence of hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. 

According to Mr. Shapley’s statement to Congress, the encounter with Mr. Weiss was unexpectedly heated and concluded in an uncomfortable manner.

SEE ALSO: Hunter Biden sues IRS, alleging agents illegally disclosed his tax information

After the meeting, Mr. Shapley’s legal team told The Washington Times, Mr. Weiss, then the Delaware U.S. Attorney, began reviewing “protected disclosures” Mr. Shapley had been filing to his supervisor about the Hunter Biden IRS probe dating back to 2020. The disclosures documented the ways Mr. Shapley believed the investigation was being slow-walked and mishandled.

“During the meeting on October 7, 2022, Gary expressed his concerns. Weiss became aware of this and began investigating Gary’s communications, ultimately discovering that Gary had made protected disclosures,” stated Tristan Leavitt, the lawyer representing Mr. Shapley.

Shortly after, Mr. Weiss advocated for Gary’s removal from the case, despite Gary’s supervisors asserting that he had not engaged in any misconduct, according to Mr. Leavitt.

Mr. Shapley’s lawyers are highlighting the timeline that led to his removal from the case amid new leaked congressional testimony disclosed by House Democrats eager to invalidate Mr. Shapley’s claims of political interference in the Hunter Biden tax probe.

Some of the testimony contradicts Mr. Shapley’s recollections of the Oct. 7 meeting, including his notes from the meeting that memorialize Mr. Weiss telling the IRS and FBI officials in the room that “he is not the deciding person” on charging Hunter Biden. The statement contradicted congressional testimony from Attorney General Merrick Garland, who said Mr. Weiss was “in charge” of the investigation and there would be no interference from him.

During closed-door testimony, a group of FBI and IRS agents stated that they have no recollection of Mr. Weiss claiming to be “not the deciding person” and they expressed their belief that political bias was not a factor in the case.

However, according to Mr. Shapley’s legal team, the testimony indicates that Mr. Weiss removed Mr. Shapley from the Hunter Biden investigation following Mr. Shapley’s complaint to his superior regarding the case’s management.

Mr. Shapley’s supervisor, Darrell J. Waldon, confirmed to House investigators that Mr. Shapley and Mr. Weiss had clashed at the Oct. 7 meeting and that after the meeting, Mr. Weiss told Mr. Waldon he would no longer be talking to Mr. Shapley, who had been the point person for the Justice Department in the Hunter Biden investigation up until that moment. 

“I remember him clearly stating that he would no longer respond to Mr. Shapley’s emails, and at some stage, he mentioned that he would communicate with me,” Mr. Waldon said, as stated in a transcript of the interview acquired by The Washington Times.

“I cannot reword”

In his later testimony, Mr. Waldon provided more information about why Mr. Shapley was removed from the investigation. He stated that Mr. Weiss refused to communicate with Mr. Shapley anymore because of a disagreement regarding the acquisition of evidence in the Hunter Biden investigation.

Mr. Waldon said it gave him no choice but to remove Mr. Shapley, not because of misconduct, but because Mr. Weiss’s refusal to talk to Mr. Shapley would hobble their investigation.

“I didn’t anticipate a quick resolution,” stated Mr. Waldon. “To expedite the investigation, I suggested his removal in order to maintain momentum.”

Mr. Shapley was informally excluded from the investigation in December 2022 and formally removed from the case on May 15, 2023.

At that time, Mr. Shapley had brought his complaint as a whistleblower to Congress. He informed lawmakers that the Justice Department had hindered his investigative team from accessing crucial evidence related to the case. This evidence included financial records of Hunter Biden that were kept on his father’s property, as well as inquiries about Mr. Biden’s role in his son’s business transactions.

On April 19, the media received information about Mr. Shapley’s whistleblower complaint, which was previously undisclosed. On April 25, a high-ranking official from the Justice Department contacted Mr. Shapley’s team to inquire about the specifics of the whistleblowers’ allegations. The following day, the same official had a meeting with Chris Clark, who was serving as Hunter Biden’s defense lawyer at the time.

Less than one month later, on the day Mr. Shapley was formally removed from the case, Justice Department officials offered a plea deal to Hunter Biden that would spare him any charges or jail time for either the tax fraud or lying on a gun background check form. They changed the deal weeks later, after Mr. Shapley’s CBS interview claiming political interference in the case.

The legal team representing Hunter Biden was informed by the Justice Department that he would be required to admit guilt for the two minor tax offenses and consent to participating in a pretrial diversion program for the gun charge.

There would be no suggested prison sentence for any of the charges.

During a July court hearing, the agreement collapsed dramatically when Judge Mary Ellen Noreika compelled prosecutors to reveal that Hunter Biden would be granted complete immunity from any additional charges pertaining to his offenses, such as engaging in unregistered foreign lobbying.

Mr. Garland appointed Mr. Weiss as special counsel on August 11th.

Last week, he charged Hunter Biden with three criminal counts related to owning a gun while a drug addict and reopened the investigation into Hunter Biden’s failure to pay taxes. 

The Times did not receive an immediate response from Mr. Weiss regarding the inquiry.