Lawyers for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) supervisor investigating Hunter Biden claimed in a letter to Congress that their client and his entire team were removed from the case by order of the Department of Justice (DOJ). In the document, the lawyers allege that this was "retaliatory" because the supervisor had agreed to appear before the House committee investigating the president's family business and the whistleblower protection protocol had been activated.
"Today the [IRS] 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…
— Empower Oversight (@EMPOWR_us) May 16, 2023
Is the DOJ protecting Hunter Biden?
What is known about the purged supervisor, whose name has not been released, is that he is a decorated officer who had been leading the investigation into Biden's son for years. His attorneys, Mark Lytle and Tristan Leavitt, said the decision to remove him came from the DOJ:
Today the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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.
"It's clearly retaliatory"
The investigator's legal team recalls that this contradicts the statements IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel made to Congress, in which he assured that there would be no retaliation against those who decided to collaborate with the ongoing investigation in the House. In addition, the lawyers point out that the decision to withdraw the team of investigators "may constitute an obstruction" of the investigation.
On April 27, 2023, IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel appeared before the House Committee on Ways and Means. He testified: "I can say without any hesitation there will be no retaliation for anyone making an allegation or a call to a whistleblower hotline." However, this move is clearly retaliatory and may also constitute obstruction of a congressional inquiry.
Failure to comply with federal whistleblower protection law
The lawyers urged lawmakers to investigate this incident since federal law prohibits a whistleblower from any reprisals, including "receiving a 'significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions' (which this clearly is) because of his disclosures to Congress."
Lytle and Leavitt noted in closing that what happened with their client "is exactly the sort of issue" that the supervisor intended to report. "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," they note.