Lawyers for IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley issued a statement Friday afternoon responding to a letter by Hunter Biden attorney Abbe Lowell that attacked their client and House Ways and Mean Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) over revelations in the investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden.
Gary Shapley, file screen image.
Statement by Shapley’s attorneys Mark Lytle, Jason Foster and Tristan Leavitt:
WASHINGTON — The following was issued today from the legal team of IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley in reaction to the letter from Hunter Biden’s attorney to the House Ways and Means Committee:
“Biden family lawyers have resorted to intimidation before—reportedly threatening federal prosecutors with “career suicide” if they charged Hunter Biden—so this attempt to intimidate our client and the oversight authorities scrutinizing the politicization of that case is no surprise. IRS SSA Gary Shapley has scrupulously followed the rules and blew the whistle to Congress about the unequal application of tax laws pursuant to 26 U.S.C. §6103(f)(5) and 5 U.S.C. §2302(b)(8)(C), a process facilitated lawfully by the authority of both Chairs of the tax committees, including Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR)—with whom we are still working cooperatively to arrange follow-up testimony to supplement for the Senate any topics not covered in the transcripts of questioning by Republican and Democrat staff already released by the House Ways and Means Committee.
“SSA Shapley referred the October 6, 2022 leak for investigation to the inspectors general (IGs) of his own agency and DOJ. He volunteered to make the referral to his supervisors as is shown in the very same email that reports that U.S. Attorney David Weiss “was not the deciding person on whether charges are filed.” Ex. 10. 5/23/2023 testimony of Gary Shapley. Falsely alleging that he was a leaker is just another baseless attack on him for blowing the whistle.
“All the innuendo and bluster that Biden family lawyers can summon will not change the facts. Lawful whistleblowing is the opposite of illegal leaking, and these bogus accusations against SSA Shapley by lawyers for the Biden family echo threatening emails sent by IRS leadership after the case agent also blew the whistle to the IRS Commissioner about favoritism in this case—as well as the chilling report that Biden attorneys have also lobbied the Biden Justice Department directly to target our client with criminal inquiry in further retaliation for blowing the whistle. These threats and intimidation have already been referred earlier this week to the inspectors general for DOJ and the IRS, and to Congress for further investigation as potential obstruction of their lawful inquiries as well as retaliation against our client.” – Mark D. Lytle, Nixon Peabody LLP & Jason Foster and Tristan Leavitt, Empower Oversight
The New York Post reported Lowell’s letter was “mistake-filled” (excerpt):
Lowell in his letter denied that Hunter’s laptop — which provided evidence for the federal probe into the now-53-year-old — had been abandoned or its data authenticated, despite Shapley testifying the FBI had verified its contents in November 2019.
Hunter’s attorney also falsely claimed the first son never responded to an email from associate Tony Bobulinski — who according to Lowell coined the phrase “10 held by H for the big guy,” — that dealt compensation from a 2017 joint venture with Chinese energy company CEFC.
Email evidence from the laptop shows the first son had responded: “It will all work Tony just trying to elaborate on certain existing pressures so we are all aware going in.” The “big guy” phrase was used by another Biden business partner, James Gilliar — not Bobulinski — and Hunter responded to that email both by demanding more money to help pay the cost of his divorce from first wife Kathleen Buhle, as well as that his longtime office manager Joan Peugh be brought in as well.
…Lowell said the WhatsApp messages posted by Smith were “fakes,” without acknowledging the images were based on Shapley’s testimony about communications obtained from Hunter’s iCloud via a search warrant in August 2020, and were not meant to be actual screenshots.
The Post also reported a statement by Chairman Smith to Lowell’s letter:
“It’s little surprise that Hunter Biden’s attorneys are attempting to chill our investigation and discredit the whistleblowers who say they have already faced retaliation from the IRS and the Department of Justice despite statutory protections established by law,” Smith said in a statement. “These whistleblowers bravely came forward with allegations about misconduct and preferential treatment for Hunter Biden – and now face attacks even from an army of lawyers he hired.
“Worse, this letter misleads the public about the lawful actions taken by the Ways and Means Committee, which took the appropriate legal steps to share this information with rest of Congress,” the chairman went on. “It doesn’t even address concerns that counsel for Mr. Biden was regularly tipped off about potential warrants and raids in pursuit of evidence that implicated him, as well as his father. We will continue to go where the facts take us—and we will not abandon our investigation just because Mr. Biden’s lawyers don’t like it.”
The House Judiciary Committee responded to Lowell’s letter in a tweet, “The White House is terrified. Full panic mode.”
The White House is terrified. Full panic mode. https://t.co/uRG9CxbaLg
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 30, 2023
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