The lead investigator in the Hunter Biden investigation, until his abrupt removal from the case, provided bombshell testimony about the case before Congress on Wednesday.
Joe Ziegler, the second IRS whistleblower, explained how the Hunter Biden investigation was corrupted in front of lawmakers.
His testimony follows in full below:
“And members of the committee today, I sit here before you not as a hero or a victim, but as a whistleblower compelled to disclose the truth. That said, in coming forward, I believe I’m risking my career, my reputation, and my casework outside of the investigation we are here to discuss. I ultimately made the decision to come forward after what I believe were multiple attempts at blowing the whistle within the Internal Revenue Service. No one should be above the law regardless of your political affiliation. I humbly view my role here today as providing the facts as I best understood them, and to let Congress and the administration and the public consider those facts and determine the best path forward. I recognize why I was present at the start of this investigation and was closely involved with the investigation for roughly five years.”
“I’m just a part of the story. Others, including my colleague and supervisor, Gary Shapley, who is here with me today, had their own views and understandings of what took place during this investigation. I’ve been an agent with the IRS since 2010. In 2007, I received my undergraduate degree from Ohio University, my MBA from John Carroll University. Prior to starting my career at the IRS, I worked at Ernst and Young as an external auditor. Throughout my career with the IRS, I have worked a variety of successful criminal tax and money laundering investigations. In 2018, I transitioned to being a part of the International Tax and Financial Crimes Group out of the Washington DC field office. I was the lead IRS case agent on the Hunter Biden investigation.”
“I’ve recently discovered that people are saying that I must be more credible because I’m a Democrat who happens to be married to a man. I’m no more credible than this man sitting next to me, due to my sexual orientation or my political beliefs. The truth is, my credibility comes today from my job experience with the IRS and my intimate knowledge of the agency’s standard and procedures. I was raised and have always strived to do what is right. Although I do have my supporters, others have said that I am a traitor to the Democratic party and that I’m causing more division in our society. I implore you to consider that if you were in my position with the facts as I have stated them, ask yourself if you would be doing the exact same thing.”
“I hope that I am an example to other LGBTQ people out there who are questioning doing the right thing at the potential costs themselves and others. We should always do the right thing no matter how painful the process might be. I kind of equate this to experience and feelings I encountered when coming out. It was honestly one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. I contemplated scenarios that would’ve been highly regrettable, but I did what is right and I’m sitting here in front of you today.”
“I would first like to take a minute to thank some people for their unfettered help and support. First off, God forgive me, the strength and courage to get through this process. My husband, who has been my rock, has put up with my stress and has had to deal with his personal information being out there. My attorney, Dean Zerbe, who has agreed to represent me through this matter, pro bono, and someone who has provided me so much help and guidance. My colleagues from the Hunter Biden investigation, the work that was done on this case was tremendous, but seems to be overshadowed by what is happening here today.”
“And I just want to say to the investigative team that I’m thankful for having worked with you. I also want to thank my family and friends back home in northeast Ohio and Georgia. I don’t live in the DC area. I had to fly here and have had to pay out of pocket for all my travel related expenses in being a whistleblower. On that note, I would like to make another statement that I have not accepted a single payment from anyone for being a whistleblower. For my written statement as well as my testimony before the Ways and Means Committee, I would like to touch on briefly seven specific matters.”
“First, in a recent letter to Congress, Mr. Weiss stated that he had been granted ultimate authority over this matter, but then later stated in the same letter that his charging authority is geographically limited and that he would need a President Biden appointed US attorney to partner with him in charging the case. Mr. Weiss stated that he was making all decisions necessary to preserve the integrity of the prosecution consistent with federal law, the principles of federal prosecution and departmental regulations.”
“In the Criminal Tax Manual, Chapter 10, found on the DOJ website, tax division policy states that cases involving individuals who failed to file tax returns or pay a tax, but who also commit acts of evasion or obstruction should be charged as felonies to avoid inequitable treatment. In early August of 2022, federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Tax Division drafted a 99-page memorandum recommending for approval felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017, 18, and 19 tax years. That did not happen here and I am not sure why. As the special agent on this case, I thought the felony charges were well supported.”
“When considering the elements of a felony tax case under the criminal code, there are two key considerations, willfulness and tax due and owing in the criminal context. Willfulness is defined as a voluntary intentional violation of a known legal duty. The tax loss is the monetary loss to the government. In early 2020, Hunter Biden’s unfiled and delinquent tax returns were being prepared, which included his 2018 tax return. During the 2020 time period by Hunter Biden’s own account, he was sober, newly married, and writing his memoir. Hunter Biden’s accountants requested that he sign a representation letter stating that all the deductions were for business purposes and were being reported appropriately. Statements Hunter Biden made in his book completely contradicted what he was deducting as business deductions on his 2018 return.”
Ed. note: This article corrected the previously unknown whistleblower’s name.