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Tipsheet

IRS Axes 'Entire Investigative Team' Probing Hunter Biden Taxes: Report

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI were left reeling in the wake of John Durham's report on the "sobering" finding that there was no basis for the investigation into Trump's "Russian collusion," the DOJ reportedly wasted no time apparently trying to use the fury of media scrutiny to make another confounding decision.

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According to an exclusive report late Monday night from The New York Post, the IRS "removed the 'entire investigative team' from its long-running tax fraud probe of first son Hunter Biden in alleged retaliation against the whistleblower who alleged a coverup."

In April, an anonymous IRS employee retained counsel after making protected disclosures at the federal agency and made contact with Republican House committee chairmen seeking to make additional protected disclosures to lawmakers about what the whistleblower called "preferential treatment" for Hunter Biden and knowledge of details that "contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee." 

The latest development regarding the IRS' probe of Hunter Biden came from a letter from the whistleblower's lawyers informing members of Congress of the allegedly DOJ-ordered removal of the team investigating Hunter Biden's taxes:

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.

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The letter also noted that the allegedly DOJ-ordered removal of the investigative team appears to contradict what IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel told lawmakers at the end of April: "I can say without hesitation there will be no retaliation for anyone making an allegation or a call to a whistleblower hotline." 

Given what the whistleblower's lawyers told Congress Monday evening, it seems as though clearing out the team on which the whistleblower served "is clearly retaliatory and may also constitute obstructions of a congressional inquiry," the letter continued. 

More from the letter via the Post:

Our client has a right to make disclosures to Congress … He is protected by 5 U.S.C. § 2302 from retaliatory personnel actions—including receiving a ‘significant change in duties, responsibilities, or working conditions’ (which this clearly is) because of his disclosures to Congress...

Any attempt by any government official to prevent a federal employee from furnishing information to Congress is also a direct violation of longstanding appropriations restriction. Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. § 1505 makes it a crime to obstruct an investigation of Congress...

We respectfully request that you give this matter your prompt attention. 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.

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When The New York Post asked for comment from the IRS, DOJ, White House, and Hunter Biden's lawyers, they received no "immediate response" while counsel for the whistleblower "declined" to provide comment beyond what was already stated in their letter to lawmakers.

This is a developing story and may be updated. 

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