1 of 3 | Republican-led House committees have subpoenaed four IRS and FBI agents to testify on whether there was "preferential treatment" in the investigation into alleged tax evasion by Hunter Biden. Photo by Julia Nikhinson/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Republican-led House Ways and Means Committee and House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas Monday to two Internal Revenue Service investigators and two Justice Department officials to testify on whether there was "political interference and preferential treatment" in the Hunter Biden tax evasion investigation.
The subpoenas were sent to Michael Batdorf, IRS director of field operations; Darrell Waldon, IRS special agent in charge; Thomas Sobocinski, FBI special agent in charge; and Ryeshia Holley, FBI assistant special agent in charge.
"Our duty is to follow the facts wherever they may lead, and our subpoenas compelling testimony from Biden administration officials are crucial to understanding how the president's son received special treatment from federal prosecutors and who was the ultimate decision maker in the case," Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith, R-Mo., and Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a joint statement Monday.
At issue is a key October 2022 meeting where current Special Counsel David Weiss claimed he did not have the authority to bring charges against President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, for tax crimes.
According to sworn whistleblower testimony, Weiss -- the U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware at the time -- told IRS and FBI agents at the meeting that "he is not the deciding person on whether charges are filed" against Hunter Biden.
Weiss and Attorney General Merrick Garland both testified before Congress that Weiss had the authority to pursue those charges, with Weiss telling House Republicans that Garland granted him "ultimate authority over this matter, including responsibility for deciding where, when and whether to file charges."
Earlier this month, Garland appointed Weiss as special counsel in the case, two weeks after a plea agreement between Hunter Biden and the government fell apart.
Hunter Biden -- the first child of a sitting president to be charged by the Justice Department -- pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of failing to pay federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018. He also pleaded not guilty to possessing a firearm in October 2018 while addicted to a controlled substance.
Last week, the two tax charges were formally dismissed, allowing for Hunter Biden to be charged with the same or new offenses, which could be tested in trial.
Monday's subpoenas come after the House panels say they were refused "multiple requests for voluntary transcribed interviews with these key witnesses."
"Our committees, along with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, have sought these interviews since IRS whistleblowers came forward with concerning allegations of political interference in the investigation into Hunter Biden's foreign influence peddling and tax evasion," Smith and Jordan said.
"Unfortunately, the Biden administration has consistently stonewalled Congress," they added.
"Americans deserve to know the truth, especially now that Attorney General Garland has appointed as special counsel the same U.S. Attorney who oversaw Hunter Biden's sweetheart plea deal and botched the investigation into his alleged tax crimes."