In a party-line 25–18 vote, the panel voted to release transcripts of IRS whistleblower testimony relating to the allegations, which Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) discussed following the closed-door hearing on the whistleblower testimony. Every Democrat on the committee voted against making the transcripts public.
The vote came after members of both parties were given a full opportunity to view and discuss the transcripts in the closed-door hearing.
At a press conference after the hearing, Smith reported that the panel had "heard whistleblower testimony alleging government abuse that has resulted in preferential treatment for the president's son, Hunter Biden. This preferential treatment comes at a time when Americans are particularly concerned about the weaponization of government against them.
"Mr. Biden has been under investigation for tax crimes that include evading taxes on income from foreign sources," Smith said.
"There are three areas of focus in the transcripts [and] interviews with whistleblowers," he continued.
"Number one, the federal government is not treating taxpayers equally when enforcing tax laws."
"Number two, whistleblowers claim the Biden Department of Justice is intervening and overstepping when it comes to the investigation of the president's son.
"Number three, these whistleblowers report they have received almost immediate retaliation."
Smith emphasized that this testimony came from "not one, but two" IRS employees.
The whistleblowers in question began to work on the investigation into the president's son in November 2018 as an offshoot of a separate investigation into a corporation by the IRS.
"Let me emphasize: this was an investigation in the ordinary course of work at the IRS. It was not ordered by any individual, any chairman, or any political entity," he said.
The IRS ultimately recommended three charges against Hunter Biden: a felony attempt to defeat or evade tax charge, making felony fraudulent or false statements, and willful failure to file returns, supply information, or pay tax.
In total, Smith reported, the tax crimes account for around $2.2 million in unreported taxable income from global sources in Ukraine, Romania, and China. In total, Smith reported, Biden received around $17.3 million in total from these foreign sources.
That included $663,000 to Biden from the Chinese company State Energy HK, a large diamond worth $80,000, and a new Porsche worth $142,000.
"These payments are just a fraction of the total, but they provide insight into a world of wealth and influence that no ordinary American would recognize," Smith said.
DOJ Accused of 'Hamstringing' InvestigationThe DOJ, both prior to Joe Biden's nomination for the Democratic Party in 2020 and after he took over, faced accusations of "hamstringing" the investigation.
A whistleblower said, "After former Vice President Joe Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee for President in early April 2020, career DOJ officials dragged their feet on the IRS taking these investigative steps."
Smith relayed that testimony from whistleblowers "details a lack of U.S. attorney independence, recurring unjustified delays, unusual actions outside the normal course of any investigation, a lack of transparency across the investigation and prosecution teams, and bullying and threats from the defense counsel.
"This was a campaign of delay, divulge, and deny," Smith said.
In one case, the IRS investigators were able to authenticate a WhatsApp message in which Hunter Biden demanded payment from Chinese officials. In the text, Biden highlighted that his father was in the room with him by way of a threat.
"I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled," Biden wrote. Biden expressed the wish to "resolve this before it got out of hand."
"Now means tonight," Biden said, warning that if anyone but the Chinese official he was in communication with tried to reach out about the payment disagreement, "I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father."
The whistleblowers said IRS investigators were told by a U.S. attorney that because evidence needed for the investigation would be found in a guest house owned by Joe Biden, "there is no way" that a search warrant for evidence would ever get approved.
"Few Americans qualify for such soft glove treatment from federal investigators," Smith said.
Additionally, Hunter Biden's attorneys were allegedly given "crucial information" about the investigation.
In such an instance, Biden's attorneys were made aware that the IRS knew about documents stored in a Northern Virginia storage unit, giving the attorneys time to remove any documents that could be used in the case against Biden.
Testimony also showed that in March 2022, U.S. Attorney David Weiss sought to bring charges against Biden in the District of Columbia, but was denied. After this, Weiss sought to receive the status of special counsel from the DOJ, a status that would give him significant insulation from the DOJ and political office holders, but also had this request refused.
In Fall 2022, Weiss again sought charges in the Central District Court of California. Again, the request was denied in January 2023.
Whistleblowers Face RetaliationThe two whistleblowers reported facing "almost immediate retaliation" for coming forward with their testimony, despite myriad protections in both U.S. law and the IRS code protecting such whistleblowers.
The whistleblowers reported trying on multiple occasions to sound the alarm about their concerns internally through the IRS.
"Their concerns were not given fair consideration," Smith reported.
One of the two whistleblowers reported being passed over for a position despite being more qualified for the job than the candidate ultimately chosen.
"Now that they have testified to Congress, they have been removed from the investigation," Smith told reporters. "These investigators are risking their careers and their reputations to do the right thing."