Major developments in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into Hunter Biden closely mirror the release of whistleblower testimony.
A Sunday night court filing by Hunter Biden’s attorneys revealed their plea deal negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) began in May 2023, which is shortly after IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley sent a letter to Congress seeking to make disclosures, according to the letter obtained by the New York Post. But the DOJ’s decision to initiate negotiations is not the only instance of it taking major action in the probe on the heels of whistleblower revelations.
U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Martin Estrada declined to bring charges against Hunter Biden in January, leaving the case “dead,” according to Shapley’s testimony. Shapley alleged the DOJ “slow-walked” the investigation.
“There were multiple steps that were slow-walked — were just completely not done — at the direction of the Department of Justice,” he told CBS News on May 24. “When I took control of this particular investigation, I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past.”
The Department of Justice announced the plea deal, which had Hunter Biden plead guilty to two tax misdemeanors and enter into a diversion agreement allowing him to avoid jail time for a felony gun charge, on June 20.
The Ways and Means Committee released the testimony of Shapley and another IRS Whistleblower, Joseph Ziegler, on June 22. Republican Missouri Rep. Jason Smith noted the close timing of the plea deal announcement and the testimony release was “absolutely not a coincidence” in June.
“It smells very, very bad,” Smith said. “And I believe that the Justice Department and the IRS knew for some time that we were going to vote to release them this week. They just decided to move forward. It just does not smell right.”
“If not for the IRS whistleblowers coming forward, the case against the President’s son would be dead with no charges,” Empower Oversight President Tristan Leavitt tweeted. “But because of Weiss’s rush to CYA before the whistleblower testimony was released, it’s possible the President’s son has full immunity and STILL no charges.”
Hunter Biden’s lawyers wrote in a Sunday night court filing that the terms of the plea deal and pretrial diversion agreement were “largely dictated” by the DOJ. Prosecutors said in a motion Friday that the case will likely “not resolve short of a trial” as negotiations for a plea deal are now “at an impasse.”
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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