The Department of Justice has disbanded an entire investigative team that was dedicated to probing Hunter Biden’s tax improprieties. The removal of the group on May 15 is believed to be in retaliation for a recent IRS whistleblower who reported to Congress that the team was slow-walking the case against the president’s son. The whistleblower’s attorneys delivered a letter to Congressional lawmakers documenting the action.
“Today the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Supervisory Special Agent we represent was informed that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation of the high-profile, controversial subject about which our client sought to make whistleblower disclosures to Congress. He was informed the change was at the request of the Department of Justice,” Mark Lytle and Tristan Leavitt wrote in the letter.
Is This Illegal Retaliation?
This comes in contrast to what an IRS commissioner told Congress on April 27 – that “there will be no retaliation” to anyone blowing the whistle or making a call to a phone line dedicated to taking complaints of wrongdoing. But the whistleblower’s attorney contend that the latest removal of the investigative group is a sign of retaliation.
The lawyers said that the whistleblower is being re-assigned his duties and responsibilities, which is potentially in violation of the statute for retaliation against those blowing the whistle on wrongdoing.
The whistleblower’s legal team added, “Removing the experienced investigators who have worked this case for years and are now the subject-matter experts is exactly the sort of issue our client intended to blow the whistle on to begin with.”
Hunter Biden Could Be In Trouble
Hunter Biden could face two misdemeanor counts that he purportedly did not file tax returns. Then he allegedly reported a false amount of business expenses that would have reduced his tax liability so did not owe as much to the IRS. This would be possible felony tax evasion.
No indictments have been filed at this time and Hunter maintains his innocence. He was spotted May 15 giving the thumbs up gesture to the media while sitting with the president during his daughter’s graduation from the University of Pennsylvania.
Hunter Biden: Nothing to See Here?
The IRS whistleblower countered that Hunter has received “preferential treatment” by the tax agency. The whistleblower informed this allegation to the inspector generals at the Departments of Justice and Treasury.
Multi-year Investigation Coming to Its Conclusion
The investigation into Hunter’s tax activity began in 2018. In 2020, Hunter Biden publicly admitted that he was the target of a probe into his taxes. Last month, the younger Biden’s legal team met with lawyer’s at the Department of Justice. This type of meeting typically means that formal charges are imminent.
It is not clear why the IRS removed the investigation team that was conducting the investigation into Hunter’s taxes. It could have been a routine re-shuffle and re-assignment unrelated to the president’s son or it could have been in retaliation for the group’s investigatory zeal.
Whatever the reason, it gives off the impression that the IRS and the Department of Justice are concerned that Hunter Biden could be charged with tax crimes and that the investigation had gone too far. This could also mean that the probe has ended, and the employees are not needed anymore. This move then may not affect Hunter, but it could mean that the whistleblower has zeroed in on the fact that the investigation is being covered up in some way.
Author Expertise and Experience
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.