IRS commissioner denies intervening to retaliate against whistleblowers connected to Hunter Biden complaint
Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Daniel Werfel denied intervening to retaliate against whistleblowers in connection with the Hunter Biden complaint, according to a letter he sent to the majority and minority on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Fox News obtained the letter sent by Werfel on May 17, in which he responded to concerns that whistleblowers may have faced retaliation for voicing concerns in the probe into Hunter Biden.
‘I want to state unequivocally that I have not intervened – and will not intervene – in any way that would impact the status of any whistleblower,’ Werfel said.
However, the letter states that the particular whistleblower referenced by Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., in their initial letter experienced a change in work assignment at the direction of the Department of Justice.
‘The IRS whistleblower you reference alleges that the change in their work assignment came at the direction of the Department of Justice. As a general matter and not in reference to any specific case, I believe it is important to emphasize that in any matter involving federal judicial proceedings, the IRS follows the direction of the Justice Department,’ Werfel wrote in the letter.
In response to the May 16 letter sent by Smith, the IRS commissioner said that he contacted Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to learn more, but isn’t able to share particular details on the matter.
‘When I first learned of the allegations of retaliation referenced in your letter and in media reports on May 16, 2023, I contacted the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). In light of laws and policies designed to protect the integrity of pending proceedings, I am unable to provide details on this matter,’ Werfel wrote.
‘TIGTA confirmed that my role as Commissioner in any whistleblower proceeding is not an investigative one. When an IRS employee raises allegations of this kind, the Commissioner’s office does not run an investigation, seek the identity of the whistleblower, or similarly intervene; instead, the Inspector General serves as a critical guardian of the whistleblower process and conducts relevant inquiries into the matter,’ he added.
Attorneys for one IRS whistleblower told Congress earlier that the entire team that the individual was in charge of have been removed from the Hunter Biden probe.
The attorneys told Congress that the removal was based on the Department of Justice’s order.
‘Today the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Supervisory Special Agent we represent was informed that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation of the high-profile, controversial subject about which our client sought to make whistleblower disclosures to Congress,’ the letter states.
‘He was informed the change was at the request of the Department of Justice,‘ attorneys Mark Lytle and Tristan Leavitt wrote.