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IRS agent seeks whistleblower protections to share allegations of mishandling in Hunter Biden probe

<i>William B. Plowman/NBC/Getty Images</i><br/>Mark Pomerantz appears on Meet the Press in Washington
William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty
William B. Plowman/NBC/Getty Images
Mark Pomerantz appears on Meet the Press in Washington

By Sara Murray and Evan Perez, CNN

An IRS supervisory special agent who claims to have information about alleged mishandling and political interference in the ongoing criminal probe into Hunter Biden is seeking whistleblower protections to share the information with Congress, according to a letter obtained by CNN.

“Despite serious risks of retaliation, my client is offering to provide you with information necessary to exercise your constitutional oversight function and wishes to make the disclosures in a non-partisan manner to the leadership of the relevant committees on both sides of the political aisle,” Mark Lytle, an attorney for the IRS whistleblower, said in a letter to a handful of Democrats and Republicans leading committees in the House and Senate.

The letter, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, describes the IRS agent as “overseeing the ongoing and sensitive investigation of a high-profile, controversial subject,” which a source familiar with the matter confirmed was Hunter Biden.

A spokeswoman for Hunter Biden’s legal team declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the IRS.

The special agent also claims to have information that contradicts Attorney General Merrick Garland’s sworn testimony before Congress on the investigation, the source familiar with the matter tells CNN.

A lawyer for the agent alluded to this information in the letter sent to Congress saying one of his client’s protected disclosures “contradicts sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee.”

Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March, Garland said, “I have pledged not to interfere with that investigation, and I have carried through on my pledge.”

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The White House said on Thursday the president has “made clear that this matter would be handled independently by the Justice Department” and the investigation would be “free from any political interference by the White House.”

Federal prosecutors have been investigating President Joe Biden’s son since at least 2018 and have weighed bringing charges against him for tax crimes and a false statement. So far no charges have been filed. GOP lawmakers in the House, meantime, have launched probes into the Biden family finances as well as the so-called “weaponization” of federal government agencies.

According to the letter, the IRS agent can provide information that contradicts sworn testimony before Congress from a high-ranking political appointee, information about “failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case” and “examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected.”

Some of the disclosures would contain taxpayer and tax return information, according to the letter.

The handling of the case has been the subject of internal wrangling, CNN has reported.

Some IRS and FBI investigators and Justice Department prosecutors have been at odds about the strength of the case during internal meetings last year. Some Justice officials have raised qualms about whether the evidence is strong enough, while some agents have expressed their belief they have enough evidence to bring charges.

A final decision rests with US attorney for Delaware David Weiss, a Trump appointee who was kept on to oversee the case. Investigators widely anticipated a decision on charges to come in December after last year’s midterm election. But the investigation remains ongoing. A spokeswoman for Weiss declined to comment.

The president has said he won’t interfere in the Justice Department’s independence.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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