WASHINGTON – In the newly released transcript of the House Ways and Means Committee from the most recent closed-door testimony of IRS Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley and Special Agent Joseph Ziegler, committee members praised their public service for exposing “two-tiered justice system in America.” This testimony occurred before the Justice Department indicted Hunter Biden on three felony tax charges, but the full transcript was just released by the House committee on Dec. 12.
Other key excerpts of the Dec. 5 testimony include:
The IRS believed the Biden campaign was behind Kevin Morris paying Hunter Biden $4.9 million—a possible campaign finance violation.
Hunter Biden met Hollywood attorney Kevin Morris for the first time in November 2019 at a fundraiser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. On January 23, 2020—just 11 days before the Iowa caucus and the beginning of the presidential nominating process—Morris convened a “crisis meeting” at his home in the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles.1 Special Agent Ziegler noted in his most recent affidavit to the Ways and Means Committee: “During [this] time…Hunter Biden had a significant amount of external pressure related to [his] unfiled tax returns. The external sources of this pressure known at the time by the investigative team was from Hunter’s Arkansas child support court case and from potentially being in breach of his marital separation agreement with his ex-wife.”2 Hunter Biden’s accountant told the IRS they were concerned about media attention to the unpaid taxes,3 so in January 2020 Morris made a $160,000 payment of Hunter Biden’s 2015 tax debt.4 On February 7, 2020, Morris emailed Hunter Biden and other attorneys regarding other debts: “Still need to file Monday – we are under considerable risk personally and politically to get the returns in.”5 Since then, Morris has paid $4.9 million in both tax debts and personal expenses for Hunter Biden.6
- SA Ziegler: “[I]n 2020 through 2022…Hunter received approximately $4.9 million in payments for personal expenses…in the form of a loan or gift from Democratic donor Kevin Morris. Hunter did not pay his delinquent taxes. Kevin Morris did.”
“[In January 2020,] Morris made a $160,000 tax payment in an attempt to pay off Hunter Biden’s delinquent 2015 tax debt. [Hunter’s] tax accountant…stated…they were concerned about media attention at the time…This was further noted directly by Morris’ own words via his email in February of 2020. He noted the urgent need to file Hunter Biden’s delinquent tax returns as it could affect them, quote, ‘personally and politically,’ end quote.” (p. 39-40)
- SA Ziegler: “This is new information. In 2020, 2021, and 2022, Hunter Biden received approximately $4.9 million in payments for personal expenses, again, in the form of a loan or gift from Democratic donor Kevin Patrick Morris. We have a reason to believe that Kevin Morris was on phone calls with the Presidential campaign prior to Joe Biden securing the Presidency. So you have the email. ‘Personally and politically.’ Hunter Biden wasn’t running for office. So who was impacted politically by Hunter Biden’s tax returns not being filed? When did he meet Kevin Patrick Morris, and when were the tax payments made? It was about 2 months [after] meeting him.” (p. 174)
- Chairman Smith: “Okay. So, in this email, Kevin Morris tells Troy Schmidt, who is supposed to be helping Hunter Biden file his delinquent tax returns, that they, quote, ‘Still need to file Monday, are under considerable risk personally and politically to get the returns in.’ The political risk here could only have been to Joe Biden. This conversation was occurring at the beginning of February 2020 in the midst of a close race for the Democrat nomination for the Presidency. The Committee previously received material indicating that investigators wanted to pursue potential criminal campaign finance violations. Were those potential violations and concerns about Kevin Morris and his relationship to Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign?”
SA Ziegler: “That would be correct.” (p. 190-91)
- SA Ziegler: “This is February 7, 2020. I think it is important for the Committee to know that Hunter didn’t meet Kevin Morris until 2 or 3 months prior to this email…The $160,000 payment to the 2015 taxes, that was made a couple of months after meeting Kevin Patrick Morris, okay? There is the information that is corroborated from the other return preparer, Jeff Gelfound. Jeff Gelfound stated that they were trying to figure out which payments to make because there was a concern about this information getting into the media. If there was going to be a lien on it, that was important for them to prioritize[.]” (p. 192)
During the Hunter Biden tax case investigators obtained various pieces of evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden, but weren’t permitted to further investigate.
- Rep. Sewell: “I really have just one question. It requires a yes-or-no answer from both of our witnesses. Can either of you point to information, facts, or information that you have uncovered as whistleblowers that directly prove that Joe Biden has done something illegal, yes or no?”
SSA Shapley: “There is evidence that exists.”
Rep. Sewell: “I just – it is yes or no.”
SSA Shapley: “Yes, there is.” (p. 108)
- SA Ziegler: “Exhibit 1I…says the original agreement with the director believed to be CEFC was for consulting fees based on introductions alone at a rate of $10 million per year for a guaranteed total of $30 million. He goes on and says that this agreement is so much more interesting to me and my family. And I would like to remind you there is the WhatsApp message…a few days prior to this email which says, ‘I am sitting here with my father and we are ready to make the deal.’ And then you would go back a few months before that, and there is the SinoHawk deal, where there is the email regarding 10 percent held by H for the big guy. So those things altogether, when you put them all together, I mean it says a lot.” (p. 111-12)
- Rep. Fitzpatrick: “Did your gut tell you that President Biden was in any way benefiting from any of Hunter’s criminal proceeds?”
SSA Shapley: “I would just have to answer that by saying that we were interested in following leads that went to Joe Biden, President Biden, not because he was the Vice President or former Vice President or President. It was because in any normal investigation when we see financial transactions between the son and the father and email correspondence going back and forth, text messages like the WhatsApp message, in every single investigation we would ever work we would follow those leads to the father.”
Rep. Fitzpatrick: “What did they do to prevent you from doing so? Because I agree with you. I understand and agree.”
SSA Shapley: “…It is tough to answer that question very succinctly. But, for example, the WhatsApp messages. We wanted…location data, we want to look into that. And it just wasn’t supported…”
SA Ziegler: “So the interview of Anthony Bobulinski. He went into the FBI and offered information. They didn’t ask him questions. We were never afforded the opportunity,
as the investigative team, to go in there and interview him, to find out if the things that he was saying was true and correct. And that would have been a logical step that we would have taken. So we will never know what that might have accomplished.” (p. 123-24)
- SSA Shapley: “When you see [‘]10 held by H for the big guy[‘] and we have other correspondence where they are saying…’call dad something else, call him – because we are trying to confuse or conceal who it is,’ that is issue for concern. And was there 10 percent that went to the big guy? We will never know, because we weren’t allowed to investigate that.
SA Ziegler. “Can I add one more thing? So the money that comes in from State Energy HK March of 2017, the timing of that is so significant, I think, looking back at everything that it makes sense that maybe there was some sort of agreement there that they weren’t going to pay it while – pay that money while the former Vice President was in office. You look at the Burisma agreement. He was paid a million dollars a year over…2014, 2015, 2016. Joe Biden is out of office. That agreement changes, and they actually lower the amount of money he received from Burisma. That occurred April 1, 2017.”
SSA Shapley: “The significance of the March 2017 was that they withheld payment from that Chinese company until then-Vice President Biden was no longer in office.” (p. 125-26)
- SA Ziegler: “I would like to point out something that was recently reported. The $40,000 that was paid from James Biden to Joe Biden. Look at the time period of that. That is right around the same time that this Hudson West Three agreement was up and running, and then you have all this other indication that there was some sort of perceived involvement from the former Vice President Joe Biden. So when you put all of that together, it paints a pretty clear picture.” (p. 169)
- Rep. Doggett: “The next document is exhibit 2(a), and you point to it as evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden. In that agreement, is Joe Biden named?”
SA Ziegler: “So, in response to the question before, Joe Biden is a part of Hunter Biden’s family.”
Rep. Doggett: “Well, I will accept your definition of that family. But my question to you, on exhibit 2(a), does the agreement that you referred to name Joe Biden?”
SA Ziegler: “The agreement that I referred to does not name Joe Biden, but there was a belief in the investigation that James Biden was a cover for Joe Biden.” (p. 187)
- Chairman Smith: “Mr. Ziegler, the Biden administration has attempted to dismiss concerns over hundreds of thousands of dollars in money-exchanging hands between Biden family members – ultimately ending up in payments to Joe Biden – as stemming from loans and loan repayments. In your investigation of Hunter Biden, did you uncover any evidence that would prove or show these payments to, in fact, be loans or loan repayments?”
SA Ziegler: “In all the different scenarios – Burisma, CEFC, all those different scenarios – there was nothing to verify that they were loans in the evidence.” (p. 191)
Investigators’ questions about Joe Biden dated back when Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma in 2014, and information recently released by the House led IRS investigators to recognize the significance of some of their evidence.
When the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability made public a list of alias email addresses—some government addresses, some private—used by Joe Biden while Vice President, the fact that those addresses were in fact used by Vice President Biden was news to the IRS investigators. SA Ziegler matched those aliases against the email headers from various email accounts the IRS received as part of the investigation, revealing over 300 emails previously unknown to be from Vice President Biden. The day after this information was made public by the House Ways and Means Committee, the National Archives agreed to provide to the House Oversight Committee the 62,000 emails it had previously requested. However, whether the emails identified by SA Ziegler will be among those produced depends on whether then-Vice President Biden voluntarily provided the National Archives with those emails from his private Gmail account.
- SA Ziegler: “[In] Exhibits 202 and 203…this email asked the agents to remove anything about Political Figure 1, which we know is identified as Joseph Biden in the affidavit. Included in the draft of the affidavit was excerpts and references to emails and documents which were turned over to the Committee…[That included] an email from Vadym Pozharsky, adviser of the Burisma board of directors, to Hunter Biden. Vadym thanks Hunter for the opportunity to meet his father and spend some time together.
“[It included a] proposal sent October 2015 from Blue Star to Burisma Holdings to provide government relation support. The agreement states that part of the scope of the work was the closure of the file against Mr. Zlochevsky, CEO of Burisma…
“[I]n response to this email and proposal from Blue Star, Vadym calls out the scope of the work and states that it lacks concrete tangible results that we set out to achieve in the first place and states that if this was done deliberately to be on the safe side that he understands, and that if all parties understand the, quote/unquote, true purpose of the engagement, that they should proceed immediately. Hunter responded and said that he felt comfortable with what Blue Star was going to deliver. As an investigator, I would interpret these emails to mean that they didn’t want to show the true purpose of the agreement in writing but that everyone involved knew the unstated goal was to have the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Shokin removed, in an effort to close the criminal case against Zlochevsky.
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“As we know, that has been publicly reported, the Vice President threatened to withhold funding from the Ukrainian Government unless the prosecutor general was fired. Exhibit 313, Eric Schwerin forwards an email of the article referencing the closure of the criminal investigation related to Zlochevsky and…congratulates Blue Star on winning in less than a year.
“Even with all this evidence from the various individuals in the administration, at the direction of Hunter Biden and his associates, the assigned prosecutors did not want to include reference to Political Figure 1. Not including Political Figure 1 in the emails, emails related – emails [that] included the Vice President and his alias email accounts would have potentially been filtered out of the email review.” (p. 40-43)
- Representative Ferguson: “Okay. So if you knew about these aliases during the investigation, would that have aided you in your investigation?”
SA Ziegler: “Yes. I would have gone to the prosecutors and said, hey, we have these alias accounts. We have communication. I would have timed it up with other things that were going on.”
Rep. Ferguson: “Okay. So you would have put that – you would have looked at the relevant time periods and matched those up, correct?”
SA Ziegler: “That is correct.”
Rep. Ferguson: “Okay. Let’s talk about Eric Schwerin. Going back to 606, who is this in relation to Hunter Biden?”
SA Ziegler: “That is his business partner, friend, business associate.”
Rep. Ferguson: “Okay. So it appears 54 times in this exhibit that he, Mr. Schwerin, is emailing Joe Biden – a Joe Biden alias – with one-on-one and nobody else is copied? Does that sound close?”
SA Ziegler: “That sounds correct.”
* * *
Rep. Ferguson: “Mr. Ziegler, it appears also in this document that there are 38 emails from White House email accounts to a Joe Biden alias, where Hunter Biden is copied at that email address on his business email. So basically, 38 emails from a White House email to a Joe Biden alias with Hunter Biden attached. Why would Hunter Biden – do you have any idea why he would have been copied on these emails?”
SA Ziegler: “I have no idea. We were never able to be given that opportunity.”
Rep. Ferguson: “If you had been given the opportunity, would you have followed up on this information?”
SA Ziegler: “So I think it goes to the whole remove political figure one from the affidavit. If we are removing political figure one from the affidavit, it is going to be removed from our relevancy review of those emails, so it is going to be filtered out before it comes to the investigative team.” (p.94-96)
- Rep. Steube: “Joe Biden claimed there was an absolute wall between his official duties and his family influence-peddling schemes. That was a lie. There is evidence submitted today of Joe Biden directly emailing actors in the Bidens’ family business using fictitious email addresses. So I take the Committee to exhibit 606. What is this, Mr. Ziegler?”
SA Ziegler: “Yes. So that is a summary of a 2703(d) order. So email headers regarding what we believe to be alias accounts associated with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden and his associates.”
Rep. Steube: “So Joe Biden was using, for example, there is a multitude of them, but one of them is robinware456 email address to communicate with Hunter Biden. And on some of these emails there are actually cc’d people in the Vice President’s office on some of these email chains, correct?”
SA Ziegler: “In some of the emails, that is correct.” (p. 127)
- Rep. Doggett: “I am not sure if every one of them is in there, but a number that you referenced. Are you aware that that is public information also?”
SA Ziegler: “Yeah. All I was trying to present was why this would matter to me as a part of this criminal investigation.” (p. 148-49)
The IRS whistleblowers have called for a new special counsel to be named to investigate the actions of David Weiss.
- Rep. Davis: “Could you share, Mr. Shapley, when you filed your report, or when you decided to blow the whistle, as we say, what changes, if any, were you seeking?”
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SSA Shapley: “One thing that I do want to see – that I think Special Agent Ziegler is probably going to echo – is that we raised the requesting that there be a special counsel assigned in this investigation. It was after speaking with FBI agents on the telephone with Mr. Ziegler on it as well where they said they were wondering why our management wasn’t requesting that a special counsel be assigned. And I would like to see a different policy or procedures where someone other than the Attorney General of the United States can come up with some third party to investigate things when there are allegations of wrongdoing.” (p. 78-79)
- SA Ziegler: “So I think it is so important that, as we are going throughout this investigation, we were trying to formulate with our leadership, Hey, how do we call on a special counsel? We are in this. We are seeing not normal procedures being followed. We actually asked our leadership, How do we call…for a special counsel? And they had no idea how to do it. So it is a call for change to prevent this from happening again and to prevent two IRS agents from having to do what we are doing.” (p. 79-80)
SSA Shapley: “David Weiss cannot be the special counsel investigating Hunter Biden on this case. What we need is a special counsel to investigate David Weiss and the Department of Justice’s handling of this investigation. And that is going to include me too, you know. Look into everything that I did. Look into what David Weiss did. Whatever report he writes is going to be completely self-serving and is going to be a defense of the things that they did wrong during that investigation.” (p. 205)