Dec 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

GOP report repeats allegations of DOJ bias in Hunter Biden probe

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden departs a court appearance on July 26 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Department of Justice gave preferential, "kid-glove" treatment to Hunter Biden in its investigation of the president's son, according to a new staff report from three GOP-led House committees.

Why it matters: The report, which Politico first reported on, does not present a smoking gun showing that the Biden administration meddled in the probe, but its release comes at a critical juncture. House Republicans are seeking to hold a formal vote to authorize their impeachment inquiry into the president.

State of play: The report makes repeated reference to the testimonies of two IRS whistleblowers earlier this year, who alleged the DOJ "impeded, delayed, and obstructed" its Hunter Biden probe, which was they said was filled with procedural irregularities, per the report.

  • The whistleblowers, IRS agents Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, are set to appear before the House Ways and Means committee on Tuesday.
  • The report contends that the preferential treatment of Hunter Biden and slow-walking of the probe has been corroborated by other witness testimonies and documents.
  • As an example, it cites that FBI headquarters allegedly tipped off the Biden transition team a day in advance of the FBI and IRS' plan to interview Hunter Biden.
  • "The Department's concerning actions and kid-glove treatment of Hunter Biden serves as yet another example of the two-tiered justice system at the Biden Justice Department," the report stated.
  • "The Committees' work is not complete," it added.

Worth noting: House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) faced criticism earlier this year for allegedly exhibiting a "troubling pattern" of hiding information related to the probe.

  • Earlier this week, Comer mischaracterized monthly payments in 2018 from Hunter Biden's law firm to President Biden, saying they proved the president's involvement in "influence-peddling schemes," the Washington Post reported.
  • Hunter Biden's lawyers refuted the allegations, saying the payments were Hunter Biden repaying his father for a truck.

The big picture: Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) launched an impeachment inquiry into Biden in September.

  • The decision, which occurred without a vote, came amid pressure from right-wing Republicans and opposition from moderate GOP members.
  • The inquiry is focused on Biden's purported involvement in Hunter Biden's business dealings, but investigators have not yet produced direct evidence of any wrongdoing by the president.
  • House Republicans subpoenaed Hunter Biden and the president's brother, James Biden, in November.
  • Hunter Biden's attorney said in November that his client was willing to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee, but Comer shot down the offer last week.

Go deeper: What Republicans are accusing Biden of in their impeachment inquiry

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