A second IRS whistleblower is alleging he faced retaliation for raising concerns about Department of Justice interference in the Hunter Biden investigation.
The whistleblower is an IRS special agent who works in the agency's international tax and financial crimes group. He was a member of the investigative team working the Hunter Biden case — until it was abruptly shut down last week.
Attorneys Tristan Leavitt and Mark Lytle represent the first IRS whistleblower, a supervisory agent who came forward last month. In communications to Congress, the lawyers explained that one of the case agents working the investigation into Hunter Biden was allegedly retaliated against after repeatedly making protected disclosures to IRS leadership, the Washington Examiner reported.
In an email sent to IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and other agency leadership last Thursday, that IRS case agent — who allegedly worked the Hunter Biden probe since 2018 — said he believes he was removed from the case for doing the "right thing," i.e., raising concerns about interference.
The agent wrote in that email, according to Leavitt and Lytle:
The lack of IRS-[Criminal Investigation] senior leadership involvement in this investigation is deeply troubling and unacceptable. Rather than recognizing the need to ensure close engagement and full support of the investigatory team in this extraordinarily sensitive case, the response too often had been that we were isolated (even when I said on multiple occasions that I wasn’t being heard and that I thought I wasn’t able to perform my job adequately because of the actions of the USAO and DOJ, my concerns were ignored by senior leadership).
The ultimate decision to remove the investigatory team…without actually talking to that investigatory team, in my opinion was a decision made not to side with the investigators but to side with the US Attorney’s Office and Department of Justice who we have been saying for some time has been acting inappropriately.
Werfel, who has promised not to retaliate against whistleblowers, did not respond to the case agent's email.
However, a criminal investigations leader, the assistant special agent in charge of the D.C. field office, did respond, reprimanding him for going outside the chain of command and even suggesting that he may have violated law by disclosing information protected by law.
"You have been told several times that you need to follow your chain of command. IRS-CI maintains a chain of command for numerous reasons to include trying to stop unauthorized disclosures. Your email yesterday may have included potential grand jury (aka 6e material) in the subject line and contents of the email, and you included recipients that are not on the 6e list," that email read.
A second response to the email, from the acting special agent in charge of the D.C. field office, sent an email to the entire office reminding staffers that "there should be no instances where case related activity discussions leave this field office without seeking approval from your direct report." However, federal employees are permitted by whistleblower laws to make disclosures to Congress.
The response to the case agent's email, according to Leavitt and Lytle, amounts to "an apparent attempt to intimidate into silence anyone who might raise similar concerns" and a "reprisal likely to chill anyone from expressing dissent."
All communications related to the IRS whistleblowers from Leavitt and Lytle have been careful not to identify the subject of the investigation to which they refer. Sources have confirmed to multiple media outlets, however, that it is the Hunter Biden investigation.
The IRS supervisory agent whom Leavitt and Lytle represent is set to testify before the Ways and Means Committee on Friday.
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