IRS commissioner denies retaliating against Hunter Biden whistleblowers: ‘I didn’t intervene’
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel has denied retaliating against whistleblowers who recently contacted Congress to allege a cover-up in the Hunter Biden tax evasion investigation.
“I want to state unequivocally that I have not intervened — and will not intervene — in any way that would impact the status of a whistleblower,” Werfel said in a May 17 letter to the House. Ways and Means Committee obtained by Fox News.
Werfel argues that the May 15 purge of the Biden investigative team from the IRS was carried out by order of the Justice Department, which matches what one of the whistleblower’s lawyers told the congressional leaders.
“The IRS whistleblower you are referring to alleges that the change in their work assignment came at the direction of the Department of Justice. Generally speaking and not in reference to any specific case, I think it is important to emphasize that in any matter involving federal legal proceedings, the IRS follows the direction of the Department of Justice,” Werfel wrote in the letter.
The IRS commissioner added that he contacted the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration in response to the allegations of retaliation.
“When I first became aware of the allegations of retaliation mentioned in your letter and in the media on May 16, 2023, I contacted the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA). In light of laws and policies designed to protect the integrity of ongoing proceedings, I am unable to provide details on this,” Werfel wrote in the letter to Ways and Means President Jason Smith (R -Mo.) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass.).
“TIGTA has confirmed that my role as commissioner in any whistleblower proceeding is not an investigation. When an IRS employee raises such allegations, the commissioner’s office does not investigate, does not seek the identity of the whistleblower or take similar action; instead, the Inspector General serves as a critical gatekeeper to the whistleblower process and conducts the relevant investigations into the matter,” he said. he adds.
Lawyers for an IRS whistleblower – an IRS criminal oversight special agent – told Congress last week that the agent “has been advised that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation into the controversial and highly publicized subject on which our client has sought to disclose whistleblowers to Congress and has been advised that the change was at the request of the Department of Justice.
The whistleblower notified Congress last month that he wanted to expose a cover-up in the tax evasion investigation focused on first son Hunter Biden.
A lawyer for the whistleblower told a group of congressional committee leaders last month that he wanted to expose the “preferential treatment” and false testimony to Congress of a “politically superior appointee,” including the Post. learned it was Attorney General Merrick Garland.
On Monday, a second IRS whistleblower, who has reportedly worked on the Biden investigation since it opened in 2018, emerged.
The agent joins his supervisor, who plans to testify behind closed doors before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, to publicly raise concerns about the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation .