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Hunter Biden should’ve faced “slam dunk charges”: IRS whistleblower

Internal Revenue Services (IRS) whistleblower Joseph Ziegler said on Saturday that Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, should have faced “slam dunk charges” in his tax fraud case.

Last month, Hunter Biden was charged on misdemeanor counts for allegedly failing to pay more than $100,000 in taxes in 2017 and 2018 after reaching a now-defunct deal with federal prosecutors that would allow him to avoid felony charges for allegedly being in possession of a firearm as a drug user. Republicans, however, knocked the agreement as a “sweetheart deal” that would provide preferential treatment to the president’s son. He pleaded not guilty to these charges after the deal fell through on Wednesday.

Ziegler, a 13-year IRS special agent, testified before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee earlier in June that the federal tax investigation should have resulted in more serious charges against the president’s son than a misdemeanor, citing department policy requiring prosecutors to use felony charges in all cases.

During a CNN interview on Saturday, he said the charges that Hunter Biden should have faced are known as “slam dunk charges.”

Biden should face "slam dunk" charges: Whistleblower
IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler testifies during a House Oversight Committee about the investigation into alleged tax fraud by Hunter Biden. Ziegler said during a CNN appearance on Saturday that Hunter Biden should have faced “slam dunk charges” in the case.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“The signed prosecutors, which included DOJ tax attorneys, all agreed to recommend the approval for the felony and misdemeanor charges. They actually call them slam dunk charges,” Ziegler said, adding that the charges Hunter Biden faced do not align with what the tax manual requires.

“If you have a felony charge, if you have the evidence for the felony, and you also have the evidence for the misdemeanor, it’s departmental policy that you have to charge the felony. The reason for that is an equitable treatment of taxpayers,” he said.

Newsweek reached out to Hunter Biden’s attorneys via email and the Department of Justice (DOJ) via their press contact form for comment.

Ziegler told CNN host Michael Smerconish he came forward because the IRS did not “follow the normal process to do things” in the case. Ziegler, who has previously said he identifies as a Democrat, said his testimony was not a “Democrat or Republican problem.”

“This is, ‘Is justice blind?’ We are bringing evidence forward that justice is not blind. That people are given preferential treatment, and that we need to change from that. That we need to learn from that so that this doesn’t happen again in the future,” he said.

Ultimately, the deal reached between Hunter Biden and the DOJ fell apart during a court hearing on Wednesday, as the two sides reached a revised, more limited deal that remains on hold.

During the hearing, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who is presiding over the case and is a Donald Trump appointee who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, asked if the deal offered Hunter Biden blanket immunity from prosecution in his plea dealings or only for his tax offenses. After federal prosecutors said it would not offer sweeping immunity, Biden’s attorney declared the agreement “null and void.”

The new deal would clarify that it does not shield Hunter Biden from future charges and that the federal investigation remains ongoing.

Under the Trump administration, the DOJ began investigating Hunter Biden in 2018. Led by another Trump appointee, U.S. Attorney David Weiss, the probe expanded to examine Biden’s overseas business dealings and whether they violated federal money laundering and foreign lobbying laws. After Joe Biden was inaugurated in January 2021, he kept Weiss on as the lead investigator to avoid interfering in his son’s case.

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