Two Republican House Committee chairs sent subpoenas Monday to IRS and FBI officials related to the Department of Justice’s investigation of Hunter Biden, the President’s son.
House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith (R-MO) sent the subpoenas to compel testimony from the federal officials about a meeting last year in which the Hunter Biden investigation was purportedly discussed.
Since taking majority of the House in January, Republicans, led by Jordan and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), have been probing what they assert is the “weaponization” of the DOJ, including threatening to impeach U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Earlier this month, Garland appointed career prosecutor and U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware David Weiss as special counsel in the Hunter Biden case. Weiss has been leading the investigation since 2019 during the Trump Administration and has remained on the case over the years.
Republicans in both the House and Senate had demanded that Weiss be named a special counsel in the case, but after his appointment by Garland they blasted the move, claiming that Weiss and his “whole team” had been “compromised.”
In July, an agreed-to plea deal between Biden’s attorneys and Weiss was put on hold after the initial guilty plea, related to tax and gun possession charges, hit a snag in federal court in Delaware.
Republicans blasted the plea agreement as a “sweetheart deal,” and have pointed to allegations by an IRS whistleblower as evidence of a criminal justice system that’s weighed unfairly in favor of the President’s son.
On Monday, Jordan and Smith sent subpoenas to IRS and FBI investigators they believe were present at, or had direct knowledge of, an October 7, 2022 meeting. According to that same IRS whistleblower, Gary Shapley, during the meeting Weiss said he was not the ultimate authority on whether charges would be filed.
Since the Republicans’ first voluntary requests for testimony were sent in June, neither IRS nor DOJ officials have complied.
In a July 24 letter to Jordan, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte wrote, “Our longstanding principles and duty to take care that the law be faithfully executed require us to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive law enforcement information and to protect line attorneys and agents so they can do their jobs for the American people free from improper political pressures,.”
In a joint statement Monday, Jordan and Smith said, “Our Committees, along with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, have sought these interviews since IRS whistleblowers came forward with concerning allegations of political interference in the investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign influence peddling and tax evasion. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has consistently stonewalled Congress.”
The four subpoenaed officials are Michael T. Batdorf, the IRS’ director of field operations; Darrell J. Waldon, the IRS special agent in charge; Thomas J. Sobocinski, the FBI special agent in charge; and Ryeshia Holley, the FBI assistant special agent in charge.
A White House spokesperson declined to comment on Monday’s subpoenas. A spokesperson for the Justice Department, which has a long-standing policy against responding to Congressional inquiries amid ongoing investigations, also declined to comment.