Judicial Watch Files FOIA Lawsuit against Justice Department for Hunter Biden IRS Investigation Documents
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice for records from the Office of the Attorney General and Office of the Deputy Attorney General regarding the Internal Revenue Service investigation of Hunter Biden (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Department of Justice (No. 1:23-cv-02075)).
The lawsuit was filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a May 21, 2023, FOIA request for:
Records and communications, including emails, email chains, email attachments, text messages, calendar invites, calendar meetings, voice recordings, charts, correspondence, briefings, letters, memoranda, reports, notes, of the Office of the Attorney General or the Office of the Deputy Attorney General, or any person acting on their behalf, regarding the Internal Revenue Service investigation of Hunter Biden.
“Evidence shows Garland Justice Department obstructed an IRS criminal investigation implicating Joe Biden. And on top of this obstruction, Garland’s Justice Department is violating federal FOIA law to cover up this serious scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
In recent testimony before the House Oversight Committee, IRS whistleblowers detailed how the Garland Justice Department obstructed their criminal investigation of Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family, including President Joe Biden. According to the Committee:
The Department of Justice prevented investigators from following evidence that could have led to Joe Biden; divulged sensitive information to Hunter Biden’s attorneys; and allowed the clock to run out to prevent charging Hunter Biden with felonies. President Biden’s politically appointed U.S. Attorneys for D.C. and Central District of California denied the U.S. Attorney in Delaware’s request to bring charges, which [at that time] put Hunter Biden on the path to a sweetheart plea deal. Additionally, the IRS whistleblowers’ testimony confirms the Oversight Committee’s findings about the Biden family’s influence peddling schemes.
The IRS agents who provided testimony were Joseph Ziegler, a 13-year Special Agent with the IRS, and Supervisory Special Agent Gary Shapley.
In the Criminal Tax Manual, Chapter 10, found on the Department of Justice website, Tax Division policy states, “Cases involving individuals who fail to fil tax returns or pat a tax but who also commit acts of evasion or obstruction should be charged as felonies to avoid inequitable treatment.” In early August of 2022, federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice Tax Division drafted a 99-page memorandum. This memorandum recommended approving felony and misdemeanor charges for the 2017m 2018, and 2019 tax years. If the Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss followed DOJ policy as he stated in his most recent letter, Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax felony, and not only the tax misdemeanor charge. We need to treat each taxpayer equally under the law.
Shapley told the House Oversight Committee:
I am here to tell you that the Delaware USAO and Department of Justice handling of the Hunter Biden tax investigation was very different from any other case in my 14 years at the IRS. In this country, we believe in the rule of law, and that applies to everyone. There should not be a two-track justice system depending on who you are and who you’re connected to. Yet in this case, there was. At every stage decisions were made that benefited the subject of the investigation.
Shapley noted that “evidence, including the laptop, was concealed from investigators,” and that “the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office also slow-walked interviews, serving document requests, and pursuing physical search warrants.” He also testified that an “electronic search warrant on Hunter Biden’s Apple iCloud led us to WhatsApp messages with several CEFC China Energy executives where he claimed to be sitting and discussing business with his father Joe Biden, we sought permission to follow up on the information in the messages. Prosecutors would not allow it.”
Judicial Watch has multiple federal lawsuits focused on Biden family corruption:
In June 2023, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice for a copy of the FBI FD-1023 form that describes “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.” Judicial Watch also asked for communications about the FD-1023.
In May 2023, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against the National Archives for Biden family records and communications regarding travel and finance transactions, as well as communications between the Bidens and several known business associates.
On October 14, 2022, Judicial Watch sued DOJ for all records in the possession of FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten regarding an August 6, 2020, briefing provided to members of the U.S. Senate. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) raised concerns that the briefing was intended to undermine the senators’ investigation of Hunter Biden.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department on April 20, 2022, for messages sent through the SMART (State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolkit) system that mention Hunter Biden.
In December 2020, State Department records obtained through a Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit showed that former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch had specifically warned in 2017 about corruption allegations against Burisma Holdings.
In October 2020, Judicial Watch forced the release of State Department records that included a briefing checklist of a February 22, 2019, meeting in Kyiv between then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Sally Painter, co-founder and chief operating officer of Blue Star Strategies, a Democratic lobbying firm which was hired by Burisma Holdings to combat corruption allegations. At the time of the meeting, Hunter Biden was serving on the board of directors for Burisma Holdings.