The anonymous IRS whistleblower alleging political misconduct in the Hunter Biden investigation revealed himself Wednesday as Special Agent Joseph Ziegler, a gay Democrat and 13-year veteran of the agency’s criminal investigative division.
Ziegler testified before the House Oversight Committee alongside his IRS supervisor Gary Shapley, who came forward in May to publicly blow the whistle on the political misconduct of prosecutors during the federal probe into Hunter Biden’s shady business activities.
“I had recently heard an elected official say that I must be more credible, because I am a gay democrat married to a man,” Ziegler, previously known as “Agent X” said in his opening statement. “I’m no more credible than this man sitting next to me due to my sexual orientation or my political beliefs.
I was raised and have always strived to do what is right. I have heard from some, that I am a traitor to the democratic party and that I am causing more division in our society. I implore you, that if you were put in my position with the facts as I have stated them, that you would be doing the exact same thing – regardless of your political party affiliation. I hope that I am an example to other LGBTQ people out there, who are questioning doing the right thing at a potential cost to themselves and others. We should ALWAYS do the right thing, no matter how painful the process might be.
The IRS criminal investigator accused prosecutors and attorney’s with the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office(USAO) and Department of Justice Tax Division of “not acting ethically and/ or appropriately” in the investigation and said he believed he and Shapley did “not have a seat at the table.”
The lifelong Democrat said that throughout the investigation he had witnessed a “corrosion of ethical standards and the abuse of power that threaten our nation.”
He said the federal tax investigation into the Hunter Biden supported criminal charges much more serious than the misdemeanor tax charges he is scheduled to plead guilty to next week as part of his plea bargain.
Ziegler explained that there were several instances in which prosecutors “did not follow the ordinary process, slow-walked the investigation, and put in place unnecessary approvals and roadblocks from effectively and efficiently investigating the case,” including prosecutors blocking questioning and interviewing of Hunter Biden’s adult children.
He testified that he made the decision to come forward after “multiple attempts at blowing the whistle internally at the IRS,” and pointed out that by coming forward he was risking is career and reputation, as well as his casework outside of the Biden investigation.
“I believe that the Delaware USAO and DOJ-Tax have a clear target on me and my supervisors back and I believe that they are just waiting for an opportunity to pounce on us,” Ziegler testified. “My own agency retaliated against me and threatened me with criminal conduct in response to an internal email I sent to IRS leadership, even after years of
essentially being left on an island when it came to this investigation. It is not my desire to become a martyr for this case – and I fear effectively ending my career. I did not ask to be in this position, nor did I want to be.”
Ziegler detailed in detail how the Biden-appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Wolf blocked his plan to search Hunter Biden’s storage unit in Northern Virginia. He said Wolf objected to issuing a search warrant, arguing “it might create more issues.” She allegedly suggested that the IRS investigators get the records they needed through a records request.
“I told AUSA Wolf that I completely disagreed with her, that we weren’t following the appropriate investigative steps, and that I thought she might be acting inappropriately,” Ziegler said.
The IRS investigator said the search warrant request was shot down, he came up with a alternative plan.
“I asked AUSA Wolf if they could not tell the Subject or his counsel that we know about the storage unit and see if he accesses it for 30 days, when the records request was due,” he explained. “If at this time he did not access the storage unit, we know that he was not complying with the records request and we could move forward with the search warrant.”
Ziegler said Wolf told him she would think about his request. He said he told Shapley about the call and his idea and Shapley said he would bring it up to the SAC and U.S.
Attorney David Weiss about this issue, which he told me that he did.
From what I was told, U.S. Attorney Weiss agreed that if the storage unit wasn’t accessed for 30 days, we could execute a search warrant on it. We later heard that AUSA Wolf and DOJ Tax Attorney Mark Daly had ultimately reached out to Hunter Biden’s defense counsel and told them about the storage unit, once again circumventing our chance to get to evidence from potentially being destroyed, manipulated or concealed.
Ziegler also testified that he wanted to interview and get records from Hunter Biden’s adult children and other members of the Biden Family regarding “expenses paid for the adult children, as well as potential credit card expenditures and Venmo payments, which were deducted on Hunter Biden’s 2018 tax return.”
Wolf allegedly shot down that idea, as well, telling the IRS investigators that it would get them “into hot water if we interview the President’s [adult] grandchildren.”
The whistleblower stated that “this again, was abnormal and a deviation from normal procedure.”
He noted that on May 15, 2023, he learned that he, Shapley, and all of the agents in the International tax group ‘were removed from the Hunter Biden Investigation and that the investigation would be transferred over to a brand new agent and supervisor from another group in the Washington DC Field Office.”
Ziegler asked Congress and the Biden administration to “consider a special counsel” for the Hunter Biden investigation and “all the related cases and spin-off investigations that have come forward from this investigation.”
IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler's opening statement on Department of Justice Corruption and the Biden Family's Crimes:
"In early August 2022 federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Tax Division drafted a 99 page memorandum. In so they reccommended for approval of… pic.twitter.com/tOOtmRimcL
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) July 19, 2023
Shapley told lawmakers that Biden’s Justice Department allowed Joe Biden’s political appointees to weigh in on whether to charge his son.
“After U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves, appointed by President Biden, refused to bring charges, I watched Mr. Weiss tell a room full of senior FBI and IRS investigators on October 7, 2022, that he was ‘not the deciding person on whether charges are filed.’”
Brave Whistleblower Gary Shapley says Biden’s DOJ allowed the President's political appointees to weigh in on whether to charge the President's son.
“After U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves, appointed by President Biden, refused to bring charges, I watched Mr. Weiss tell a… pic.twitter.com/KdAt5sVcVO
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) July 19, 2023
The two IRS whistleblowers described how they were retaliated against after coming forward with their allegations about political interference in the the Hunter Biden investigation.
“The Head of the IRS promised there would be NO RETALIATION for whistleblowers. This was a lie,” tweeted the Oversight Republicans.
🚨IRS RETALIATION 🚨
The Head of the IRS promised there would be NO RETALIATION for whistleblowers. This was a lie.
The two IRS whistleblowers detail the PAIN OF BEING RETALIATED AGAINST by the IRS after decades-long, successful careers that they are deeply proud of. pic.twitter.com/CjTHwj0nwS
— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) July 19, 2023