*Image by Associated Press*
IRS supervisory agent Gary Shapley spent about six hours Friday privately testifying to Congress about an alleged coverup in the criminal investigation of first son Hunter Biden.
The Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee granted the panel’s Democratic minority equal time to question Shapley about his claims that prosecutors are slow-walking the five-year-old case.
Tax secrecy laws bar Shapley from publicly airing details about the investigation, but disclosures to Congress are legally protected. Republicans and Democrats alternated their questions in one-hour blocks and did not immediately publicize key exchanges.
“Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley testified for about six hours today to Democrat and Republican staff of the House Ways and Means Committee,” his legal team told The Post.
Exactly one week after Shapley first contacted Congress, Hunter Biden’s legal team met with Justice Department leaders in what experts interpreted as a sign that a charging decision was close. Shapley’s legal team attempted to broker a deal with the Democrat-led Senate Finance Committee for either a bicameral deposition or back-to-back hearings on the same day, but was unable to reach an agreement after more than a month of talks and decided to move forward only with the House questioning.
Shapley said in a “CBS Evening News” interview Wednesday that “I don’t want to do any of this,” but that he felt compelled to do so following a contentious meeting in October involving Justice Department tax lawyers and an unnamed US attorney.
Since he was assigned to the case, “I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past,” Shapley told CBS.
One of the whistleblower’s attorneys, Mark Lytle, said last month that, “It really doesn’t come down to his credibility, whether you believe him or not, because the things he’s been through are very well documented in emails, and other communications with the Department of Justice.”
Hunter Biden reaped millions of dollars from overseas ventures that Republicans call influence-peddling during and immediately after his father’s vice presidency.
Wealthy figures in China, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Romania, Russia and Ukraine are counted among Hunter’s past clients and associates. Many of the dealings remain murky, though details were chronicled in files from Hunter’s abandoned laptop and in bank files acquired this year by the House Oversight Committee.
Hunter wrote in emails retrieved from his former laptop that he had to share “half” of his income with Joe Biden and records show that the elder Biden met with many of his son’s partners and even appeared to be penciled in for a 10% cut of proceeds from a Chinese government-linked partnership under negotiation in 2017. Delaware US Attorney David Weiss is in charge of the Hunter Biden case. Weiss is a Trump administration holdover recommended to his post by the state’s Democratic senators, who are close Biden allies.
Shapley contends that Garland misled Congress about Weiss’ ability to make charging decisions without the approval of Biden appointees.
In addition to tax fraud, prosecutors reportedly have looked at charges against Hunter for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, money laundering and lying about his drug use on a gun-purchase form. The IRS supervisor testified to the Ways and Means Committee one day after the House Judiciary Committee demanded records from the Justice Department about his investigative team’s ouster. The House Oversight Committee, which is leading an investigation of President Biden’s role in his family’s lucrative foreign dealings, meanwhile, set a Tuesday deadline for FBI Director Christopher Wray to provide an informant file that allegedly links Joe Biden to a “criminal scheme” involving a $5 million bribe in exchange for US policy decisions during his vice presidency.