House Republicans have released documents that shed new light on the investigation into Hunter Biden and reveal that IRS agents felt obstructed when President Joe Biden’s name came up. Senior Justice Department prosecutors, however, believed there were valid reasons to steer away from investigating the elder Biden and there is no evidence they were acting under pressure from senior leadership. The materials, which include emails, IRS reports, transcripts, and handwritten notes, were provided by IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joe Ziegler. Republicans hope the documents support their allegations that federal investigators protected Joe Biden and his family, while Democrats argue that the documents are selectively chosen and fail to implicate the President in any wrongdoing.
One key document is an email from August 2020, in which a deputy for David Weiss, the prosecutor overseeing the Hunter Biden probe, directs colleagues to remove Joe Biden’s name from a draft search warrant due to the lack of legal basis. Republicans argue that the alleged roadblocks they highlight demonstrate the legitimacy of their investigations, but Democrats contend that no direct evidence against Joe Biden has been found. The August 2020 email also identifies “Political Figure 1” as Joe Biden, indicating a redacted portion of the draft search warrant. Furthermore, an internal IRS report from May 2021 details frustration with Weiss’ deputy’s alleged obstruction and refusal to pursue potential campaign finance violations.
Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith has characterized the released documents as “new and alarming,” suggesting that Hunter Biden used Joe Biden’s political power and influence to benefit himself. However, Democrats have criticized the focus on these documents, arguing that Republicans are avoiding the necessary work of funding the government and addressing key priorities. During closed-door sessions, Democrats raised concerns about the credibility of the whistleblowers’ provided documents and questioned why they had access to them despite being removed from the case. The White House spokesperson criticized the Republican effort, urging them to prioritize preventing a government shutdown instead.