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WORLD NEWS | Top Republicans are preparing to investigate the Hunter Biden case.Here’s what you need to know

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WASHINGTON, July 8 (AP) – The Republican chairmen of three key House committees are teaming up to investigate the Justice Department’s handling of allegations against Hunter Biden following sweeping allegations of misconduct at the department.

The leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, Oversight and Accountability Committee and Ways and Means Committee launched a joint investigation into the federal case of President Joe Biden’s youngest son, days after President Biden announced he would plead guilty to misdemeanor tax charges as part of the investigation . Agreement with the Department of Justice.

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Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, James Comer of Kentucky and Jason Smith of Missouri have since spoken to top Justice Department, FBI and IRS officials as they investigate what they call improper interference. A series of requests for voluntary testimony were issued.

Republicans have also asked the special counsel to review possible retaliation against whistleblowers who make allegations.

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The congressional inquiry comes after Smith’s House Ways and Means Committee voted last month to publicly release hundreds of pages of testimony from IRS employees involved in the Hunter Biden case.

Transcripts from Greg Shapley and an unidentified agent detail what they called a pattern of “slow investigative steps” and delayed enforcement action in the months leading up to Joe Biden winning the 2020 election.

The Justice Department has denied the whistleblower’s claims and has repeatedly said that the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, David Weiss, who is leading the investigation, has “full authority” over the case.

Below is information about the ongoing investigation.

Investigating IRS Whistleblower Claims

In April, Shapley, the first IRS whistleblower, came forward when his lawyer contacted the Republican senator.

Chuck Grassley of Iowa said his client’s knowledge of the then-ongoing criminal investigation related to Hunter Biden “failed to mitigate an apparent conflict of interest in the final disposition.” Information.

Smith, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee that has jurisdiction over the IRS, tapped Shapley for an hour-long interview in late May in which he described how he and several other IRS agents were trying to interview individuals several obstacles encountered. In connection with an investigation or to issue a search warrant.

The whistleblowers insisted that their testimony reflected a pattern of reasoning and preferential treatment in the Hunter Biden case, not just a disagreement with superiors over what investigative steps to take.

Justice Department policy has long warned prosecutors to be careful charging potentially politically charged cases during an election to avoid any possible impact on the outcome.

The whistleblower’s most controversial claim is that Weiss — first appointed by former President Donald Trump and carried on by the Biden administration — asked the Justice Department in March 2022 for special counsel status to bring the case against Henry to the fore. Trump Biden’s tax case goes to Justice Department. Jurisdictions outside of Delaware, including Washington, D.C., and California, were denied.

Another IRS whistleblower, who asked the committee to keep his identity secret, described his ongoing dissatisfaction with the handling of the Hunter Biden case, which dates back to the Trump administration under Attorney General William Barr.

He said his investigation into Hunter Biden began in 2015, delving into his personal life and finances.

Investigate allegations of retaliation

Both testified that they faced retaliation from the IRS after raising concerns about the handling of the Hunter Biden case.

Shapley, a career oversight attorney, told the committee that Weiss helped block his promotion after tax agency employees reached out to congressional investigators in the Biden case.

A second whistleblower, who has not been identified, said he was dropped from the Hunter Biden investigation around the same time as Hunter Biden’s boss, Shapley.

Although IRS officials informed him of the decision, the second whistleblower believes his removal was actually ordered by Justice Department officials.

Neither of the men provided factual evidence to lawmakers, instead citing internal circumstances they had witnessed as they pushed for various investigative measures.

The three Republican chairmen, along with Wisconsin Senators Grassley and Ron Johnson, sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding an immediate review of the retaliation allegations.

“The importance of protecting whistleblowers from unlawful retaliation and informing whistleblowers of their rights under the law cannot be underestimated. After all, this is the law,” the lawmakers wrote.

Justice Department boycott

The Justice Department has denied the whistleblower’s allegations, saying Weiss “has complete authority over the matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to press charges as he deems appropriate.” He does not need further approval to do so. “

Attorney General Merrick Garland also rejected the idea of ​​veteran prosecutor Weiss asking to be designated as special counsel.

“The only person who has the power to appoint someone as a special counsel, or refuse to appoint someone as a special counsel, is the attorney general,” Garland told reporters last month. He added: “Mr. Weiss never made that request. .”

In a June 30 letter, Weiss further denied that claim, telling House Republicans that the Justice Department “did not retaliate against Shapley.”

He also said the Justice Department assured him that if he tried to bring charges against Hunter Biden outside of Delaware, he would be granted special status.

Generally, U.S. attorneys are limited to their own jurisdictions when bringing criminal charges.

Next step

Three Republican chairmen had set a Thursday deadline for the department to start scheduling nearly a dozen people for transcribed interviews.

They said they would resort to congressional subpoenas to force cooperation if the deadline was not met.

Weiss said in his most recent letter that he is open to discussing such topics with congressional officials, but reiterated that he cannot disclose information about the Hunter Biden case because it is an ongoing criminal investigation.

Garland has publicly stated that he will not prevent Weiss from testifying before Congress. “I will support Mr. Weiss in explaining or testifying on these issues as he deems appropriate,” the attorney general said. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)



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