Two whistleblowers, Greg Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, testified before Congress regarding the investigation into Hunter Biden. Shapley and Ziegler, both Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees, alleged that the U.S. Justice Department officials hindered the investigation into President Joe Biden's son. They claimed that the U.S. attorney in Delaware, who was handling the case, was constantly restricted and marginalized by Justice Department officials and other U.S. attorneys. This was the first public testimony from the two IRS agents who were assigned to the case.
Hunter Biden ultimately pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of tax evasion and agreed to participate in a pretrial program. However, Republican officials and conservative activists have criticized the plea deal, viewing it as preferential treatment. Shapley stated that the investigation into Hunter Biden was treated differently from any other case he had worked on during his 14-year tenure with the agency. He claimed that decisions were made that benefited Hunter Biden at every stage of the investigation.
The Justice Department has denied the allegations made by Ziegler and Shapley. They maintain that the investigation was handled appropriately and that no preferential treatment was given to Hunter Biden.
During the hearing, Ziegler revealed his identity as "whistleblower x" and emphasized that he is a gay man and a registered Democrat. He compared testifying to the day he came out as a member of the LGBTQ community, stating that doing the right thing is important regardless of the potential costs.
Ziegler alleged that certain felony charges against Hunter Biden were warranted, but other Justice Department officials believed that he would not be convicted due to his drug addiction and the death of his brother, Beau Biden. He also claimed that Hunter Biden improperly claimed business deductions for personal expenses and was denied permission to interview Hunter Biden's adult children.
Shapley alleged that aspects of the investigation were delayed until after the 2020 election and were never pursued due to political optics. He stated that prosecutors instructed investigators not to ask about Joe Biden, referred to as the "big guy" in relation to the case.
Republican lawmakers have taken the allegations made by Ziegler and Shapley seriously, while Democratic lawmakers have questioned their testimony and the GOP's assertions. They argue that there is no concrete evidence of preferential treatment and that the whistleblowers simply disagree with the decision to accept a plea deal.
Overall, the hearing provided differing perspectives on the investigation into Hunter Biden and raised questions about potential interference and preferential treatment. The allegations made by the whistleblowers will continue to be examined and debated by lawmakers.