The previously unnamed Internal Revenue Service "Whistleblower X" revealed himself during public testimony before three GOP-led House committees Wednesday, saying he is a "gay Democrat married to a man" and wrongfully slandered as a partisan operative or a "traitor" to his party.
"In coming forward, I am risking my career, my reputation, and my casework outside of this investigation," Joe Ziegler, with the IRS for 13 years, said in his opening statement.
Ziegler testified with a 10-minute statement alongside his supervisor Gary Shapley, the second whistleblower, who previously came forward publicly.
"I'm no more credible than this man sitting next to me due to my sexual orientation or my political beliefs," Ziegler continued. "I was raised and have always strived to do what is right.
"I have heard from some that I am a traitor to the Democratic Party and that I am causing more division in our society. I implore you, that if you were put in my position with the facts as I have stated them, that you would be doing the exact same thing."
Ziegler and Shapley, career IRS criminal investigators, allege the Justice Department obstructed with their yearslong investigation into Hunter Biden.
"In early August 2022, federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Tax Division drafted a 99-page memorandum," Ziegler continued in his opening statement. "In so [doing,] they were recommending for approval felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017, '18, and '19 tax years.
"That did not happen here, and I am not sure why.
"And, as the special agent on this case, I thought the felony charges were well supported."
Leaders of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Accountability, and Ways and Means committees led the hearing, the first public testimony from the two IRS agents assigned to the federal case into President Joe Biden's youngest son, Hunter, which was focused on tax and gun charges.
"The decision to bring felony counts against Hunter Biden was agreed to by both prosecutors and investigators in the fall of 2021," Ziegler added. "I met with prosecutors assigned to the case, and we all agreed and decided which charges we are going to recommend to in the prosecution report, which included felony counts related to 2014, and '18.
"In March of 2022, the prosecutors requested Discovery from the investigative team and presented the case to the D.C. U.S. attorney's office and in later meetings, in early August of 2022, all four attorneys agreed to recommend felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017, '18, and '19 tax years, insofar as the Department of Justice Tax Division attorney sent an email about the process of bringing charges to include felony and misdemeanor tax charges in two separate districts, Delaware and Los Angeles."
The congressional inquiry into the Justice Department's case against Hunter Biden was launched last month, days after it was announced that the younger Biden will plead guilty to the misdemeanor tax offenses as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted to publicly disclose hundreds of pages of testimony from the IRS employees in which they described several roadblocks agents on the case faced when trying to interview individuals relevant to the case or issue search warrants.
One of Shapley's most explosive claims was U.S. Attorney David Weiss in Delaware, the federal prosecutor who led the investigation, asked to be provided special counsel status in order to bring the tax cases against Hunter Biden in jurisdictions outside Delaware, including Washington, D.C., and California, but was denied.
Both Weiss and the Justice Department have vehemently denied such claims, saying he had "full authority" of the case and never sought to bring charges in other states.
Ziegler described his persistent frustrations with the way the case was handled, dating back to the Trump administration under Attorney General William Barr. He said he started the investigation into Hunter Biden in 2015 and began to delve deeply into his life and finances. Republicans have also sought testimony from other agents involved in the case but have been mostly unsuccessful thus far.
Republicans, including the three chairmen — Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, James Comer, R-Ky., and Jason Smith, R-Mo. — have sought to paint the Justice Department's case as rife with political interference and bias.
"Bank records so far show the Biden family, their business associates, and their companies received over $10 million from foreign nationals and their related companies," Comer said in his opening statement.
"A lot of this money poured in while Joe Biden was Vice President.
"Despite creating many companies after Vice President Biden took office, the Biden family used business associates’ companies to receive millions of dollars from foreign companies in China, Ukraine, and Romania.
"After foreign companies sent money to business associates' companies, the Bidens then received incremental payments over time to different bank accounts.
"These complicated financial transactions were used deliberately to conceal the source of the funds and total amounts. No normal business operates like this.
"What were the Bidens' selling? Nothing but influence and access to the Biden network. This is an influence-peddling scheme to enrich the Bidens. We need to know whether Joe Biden is compromised by these schemes and if our national security is threatened."
They have also called the plea agreement Hunter Biden made with prosecutors to likely avoid jail time a "sweetheart deal."
High-ranking officials at the Justice Department have countered these claims by pointing to the extraordinary set of circumstances surrounding a criminal case into a subject who at the time was the son of a leading presidential candidate.
Testimony from Justice Department officials could come after Hunter Biden appears for his plea hearing next week.
Material from The Associated Press was used to compile this report.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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