“There were multiple steps that were slow-walked — were just completely not done — at the direction of the Department of Justice,” the IRS agent told CBS News in his first public interview on Wednesday night.
“When I took control of this particular investigation, I immediately saw deviations from the normal process. It was way outside the norm of what I’ve experienced in the past.”
EXCLUSIVE: In his first interview, CBS News sat down with the IRS agent who is blowing the whistle on what he says was preferential treatment during a federal investigation that CBS has learned is tied to the president’s son, Hunter Biden, for possible tax crimes. pic.twitter.com/CUVjVVNsh2
“Had you ever encountered that before?” news anchor Jim Axelrod asked following Shapley’s comments. “I have not, no,” the fourteen-year IRS veteran maintained.
“I’m not involved with any of that stuff,” Shapley added in the interview. “It’s not what I want to do. I’m just simply not a political person. This is a job, and my oath of office is to treat everybody fairly that we investigate.
The probe, which first began in 2018, pertains to Hunter’s taxes as well as a false statement the president’s son allegedly made in connection with the purchase of a firearm.
Last October, a leak first published in the Washington Post revealed that federal agents with the FBI and IRS were confident that there was sufficient evidence to indict Hunter.
“It is a federal felony for a federal agent to leak information about a Grand Jury investigation such as this one,” Chris Clark, an attorney representing the president’s son, responded in an official statement to the newspaper at the time. “Any agent you cite as a source in your article apparently has committed such a felony. We expect the Department of Justice will diligently investigate and prosecute such bad actors.”
In mid April, Shapley, then-an anonymous criminal supervisory special agent, sought whistleblower protection from Congress in exchange for information concerning a “failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case.”
His letter, written by attorney Mark Lytle, stipulated that the case demonstrated “preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected.”
The revelation led House Republicans to demand answers from the Biden administration. “It’s deeply concerning that the Biden Administration may be obstructing justice by blocking efforts to charge Hunter Biden for tax violations,” Representative James Comer (R., Ky.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, said in a statement published at the time.
“It’s clear from our investigation that Hunter and other members of the Biden family engaged in deceptive, shady business schemes to avoid scrutiny as they made millions from foreign adversaries like China,” the Kentucky Republican added.
Last Tuesday, the Department of Justice removed the “entire investigative team” within the IRS charged with handling the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden after Shapley approached Congress with his allegations.
The move, Shapley’s legal team argued, was a retaliatory measure in response to his decision to come forward.
“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,” Lytle and lawyer Tristan Leavitt wrote to Congress.
Shapley is slated to appear before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday, although his testimony will not be made public.