FULL REPORT: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6936176-Autopsy-2020-3700-Floyd
Author: Breck Worsham
REPORT: Grassley Shut Out of Hunter Biden IRS Whistleblower Investigation
WASHINGTON– A top Senate Republican with a long history of advocating whistleblowers is being shut out from the Hunter Biden IRS whistleblower investigation by a Democratic Senate chairman despite the whistleblower wanting the GOP senator on the case.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and a co-chairman of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus,is being denied access to the investigation by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Washington Examiner has learned.
Lawyers for the IRS whistleblower sent letters to Congress on April 19 and May 15 providing details about their client’s protected disclosures alleging wrongdoing related to the federal investigation into President Joe Biden’s son. The attorneys have gone out of their way in both letters to include Grassley despite the Iowa Republican not being a current chairman or ranking member for a committee with specific jurisdiction regarding the tax code, but he is a leader of a Senate caucus dedicated to protecting whistleblowers.
The IRS whistleblower’s legal team told the Washington Examiner on Monday, “Naturally, we addressed letters to Sen. Grassley because he is co-chair with Sen. Wyden of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus as well as a senior member and past chair of both the Finance and Judiciary committees. Also important, though, is that he is more trusted than any other public official by whistleblowers to give them air cover regardless of the political implications and keep fighting to protect them when others cut and run. What whistleblower wouldn’t want Chuck Grassley in on their case?”
Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code requires the chairman of congressional tax committees to grant access to sensitive tax return information, and Wyden has refused to provide that access to Grassley or his team.
Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy told the Washington Examiner the IRS whistleblower’s lawyers had “specifically included” Grassley “in their communications with Congress, so there’s no legitimate reason to exclude Grassley’s staff from participating in this investigation.”
The Grassley spokesman said that “Grassley and his investigations unit are subject matter experts on both whistleblower protections and the Biden family business controversies” and that “they also happen to be very familiar with the specific statutes protecting sensitive tax information.”
Grassley and Wyden are co-founders of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, and the whistleblower’s attorneys are warning about “clearly retaliatory” action against their client.
The whistleblower’s attorneys said Wyden and Grassley have historically had a good relationship and should be able to cooperate — “unless partisanship is getting in the way.”
“Although our client is an IRS supervisor, his protected disclosures implicate the Justice Department, so the Judiciary Committees and others in Congress will need to have access to some version of the disclosures in order to give the Justice Department’s conduct in this case the public scrutiny that it deserves,” the legal team said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. “Our client’s interests and the country’s interests would be best served if Congress would resist the urge to be distracted by jurisdictional turf wars or playing partisan defense and offense.”
Grassley, a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, designated six Wyden staffers as agents under Section 6103 in 2019 related to a whistleblower complaint his office had received that year.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), the ranking member on the Finance Committee, also received the IRS whistleblower letters, and the Washington Examiner learned that ranking member Crapo’s staff is not objecting to Grassley’s staff participating in the IRS whistleblower investigation, but Wyden is refusing to provide access to any Grassley staffers.
Wyden’s chief communications adviser, Ryan Carey, told the Washington Examiner that “the committee is handling this matter on a bipartisan basis according to its standard procedures governing legally protected taxpayer data” and insisted that “those procedures are designed both to protect taxpayer confidentiality and the integrity of any ongoing investigations.”
The IRS whistleblower’s legal team said last week that the IRS had removed the entire investigative team in the Hunter Biden tax evasion investigation at the request of the Justice Department, according to a letter attorneys Tristan Leavitt and Mark Lytle of Empower Oversight and Nixon Peabody, respectively, wrote to Grassley and multiple heads of the House and Senate last week.
Republicans have demanded an “urgent briefing and explanation” from IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel about the whistleblower’s claims.
Lytle also sent a letter to Grassley and the heads of multiple congressional committees in April, alleging politics and preferential treatment had been “infecting” decisions in the investigation. While the letters consistently do not name Hunter Biden, rather a “politically connected” subject, congressional sources have revealed the allegations involve the president’s son.
The IRS agent’s allegations also “involve failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case” against Hunter Biden and “contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee.”
A source familiar with the whistleblower letter confirmed to the Washington Examiner that Attorney General Merrick Garland is the unnamed senior Biden official whose testimony before Congress is being challenged.
The IRS whistleblower attorneys also sent their letters to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the committee’s ranking member; to Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the committee’s ranking member; and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), its ranking member.
Grassley and Wyden have clashed over investigations in the past, including when Wyden sought to undermine Grassley’s investigation into the shady foreign business dealings by Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s family, including in Ukraine and with Chinese intelligence-linked businessmen. Wyden claimed in 2020 that the Grassley evidence was a product of Russian disinformation, while Grassley argued his evidence was based on U.S. government records and interviews with Obama administration officials. Grassley said his investigation has since been corroborated by bank records.
Grassley said on the Senate floor in the summer of 2020 that “the hard truth is that it’s the Democrats who are engaged in a disinformation campaign, all because the facts don’t fit their political narrative” and that “their silence regarding the Steele dossier and fake Russia investigation yet public complaints about my legitimate oversight investigations is proof of that.”
Wyden claimed on Twitter in September 2020 that Grassley’s investigation with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in Biden family finances was “laundering Russian propaganda” and that Russian “disinformation” was “the basis” of the GOP investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden. Wyden further claimed on the Senate floor that the GOP report on Hunter Biden was part of “the spread of the spread of Russian propaganda.” Wyden also co-authored a lengthy September 2020 rebuttal claiming the Grassley-Johnson report “amplifies discredited allegations that are part of a known Russian campaign to interfere in the 2020 election.”
Grassley and Johnson denied all of this, and further evidence to buttress their 2020 report has emerged since then.
Grassley has also been deeply involved in whistleblower investigations related to Joe Biden’s son.
Whistleblowers told Grassley last summer that Timothy Thibault, the former FBI assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office, “ordered closed” an “avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting” in October 2020, even though “all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants.”
The whistleblower disclosures made public by Grassley also alleged that FBI supervisory analyst Brian Auten “opened an assessment, which was used by an FBI headquarters team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease” in 2020.
Grassley also sent an October letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and others that said the FBI is in possession of “significant, impactful, and voluminous evidence” of “potential criminal conduct” by Hunter Biden related to his overseas business dealings with China and Ukraine.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Introduces Articles Of Impeachment Against FBI Director Christopher Wray
WASHINGTON– Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will introduce articles of impeachment against Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray.
The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the articles of impeachment.
“Under Wray’s watch, the FBI has intimidated, harassed, and entrapped American citizens that have been deemed enemies of the Biden regime. As such, Director Wray has turned the FBI into Joe Biden and Merrick Garland’s personal police force. The Soviet-style tactics used by the FBI against normal Americans are unprecedented in this country. FBI whistleblower Garret O’Boyle told congressional investigators that the FBI created a terrorist threat tag following the Dobbs Supreme Court decision in 2022. O’Boyle confirmed that the purpose of the tag was to target pro-life individuals. On September 23, 2022, armed FBI agents in tactical gear raided the family home of Mark Houck, a pro-life Catholic and father of 7 young children, because he obstructed access to an abortion clinic,” Greene’s office said in a statement.
“FBI whistleblower Kyle Seraphin obtained a leaked FBI document that targets Traditional Latin Mass Catholics. The document, titled “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) and their interests in ‘Radical-Traditionalist Catholics’ or RTCs,” was reported out of the Richmond Field Office and dated for January 23, 2023. This leaked document outlined a plan for the FBI to spy on Catholics, particularly Latin Mass-attending Catholics, who, according to the document, have harbored “white supremacy.” The FBI document indicated intentions to have informants within the Catholic Church, on advice from the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the statement continued.
“In October 2020, a group of men allegedly attempted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Several of the men were acquitted in their cases, as the FBI was found to have entrapped them in the scheme. Most of the members involved with the plot were FBI informants,” they added.
“Not only has Director Wray persecuted political opponents in an unprecedented and partisan way, but he has also overseen his agency take actions to shield and protect the current President and his family. A senior FBI official left the agency under a cloud of accusations that he shielded a laptop belonging to the President’s son, Robert Hunter Biden, from a criminal probe,” Greene’s office said.
“It is unacceptable for the Director of the FBI or any civil officer to exercise his power in a way that targets one political class while doing favors for the other,” they continued.
“Therefore, by the powers vested in Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene as a duly elected Member of the House of Representatives, she is officially introducing Articles of Impeachment against the corrupt FBI Director Christopher Wray,” they added.
Jury finds Trump liable for sexual abuse, accuser awarded $5M
NEW YORK (AP) — A jury found Donald Trump liable Tuesday for sexually abusing advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in 1996, awarding her $5 million in a judgment that could haunt the former president as he campaigns to regain the White House.
The verdict was announced in a federal courtroom in New York City on the first day of jury deliberations. Jurors rejected Carroll’s claims that she was raped, but found Trump liable for sexually abusing her.
Hours earlier, U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan read instructions on the law to the nine-person jury before the panel began discussing Carroll’s allegations of battery and defamation shortly before noon.
Trump, who did not attend the trial, has insisted he never sexually assaulted Carroll or even knew her.
Kaplan told jurors that the first question on the verdict form was to decide whether they think there is more than a 50% chance that Trump raped Carroll inside a store dressing room. If they answered yes, they would then decide whether compensatory and punitive damages should be awarded.
If they answered no on the rape question, they could then decide if Trump subjected her to lesser forms of assault involving sexual contact without her consent or forcible touching to degrade her or gratify his sexual desire. If they answered yes on either of those questions, they will decide if damages are appropriate.
On defamation claims stemming from a statement Trump made on social media last October, Kaplan said jurors needed to be guided by a higher legal standard — clear and convincing evidence.
He said they would have to agree it was “highly probable” that Trump’s statement was false and was made maliciously with deliberate intent to injure or out of hatred or ill will with reckless disregard for Carroll’s rights.
Meanwhile, Trump posted a new message on social media, complaining that he is now awaiting the jury’s decision “on a False Accusation.” He said he is “not allowed to speak or defend myself, even as hard nosed reporters scream questions about this case at me.”
Trump said he will not speak until after the trial, “but will appeal the Unconstitutional silencing of me … no matter the outcome!”
Trump never attended the trial, which is in its third week, and rejected an invitation to testify, which the judge extended through the weekend even after Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said Thursday that his client would not testify.
Tacopina told the jury in closing arguments Monday that Carroll’s account is too far fetched to be believed. He said she made it up to fuel sales of a 2019 memoir in which she first publicly revealed her claims and to disparage Trump for political reasons.
Carroll’s attorney, Roberta Kaplan, cited excerpts from Trump’s October deposition and his notorious comments on a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which he said celebrities can grab women between the legs without asking.
She urged jurors to believe her client.
“He didn’t even bother to show up here in person,” Kaplan said. She said much of what he said in his deposition and in public statements “actually supports our side of the case.”
“In a very real sense, Donald Trump is a witness against himself,” she said. “He knows what he did. He knows that he sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll.”
Carroll, 79, testified that she had a chance encounter with Trump at the Bergdorf Goodman store across the street from Trump Tower. She said it was a lighthearted interaction in which they teased each other about trying on a piece of lingerie before Trump became violent inside a dressing room.
A nearly 30-year-old rape claim against Donald Trump went to trial Tuesday as jurors in the federal civil case heard a former advice columnist’s allegation of being attacked in a luxury department store dressing room.
Tacopina told jurors there was no reason to call Trump as a witness when Carroll can’t even recall when her encounter with Trump happened.
He told the jury Carroll made up her claims after hearing about a 2012 “Law and Order” episode in which a woman is raped in the dressing room of the lingerie section of a Bergdorf Goodman store.
“They modeled their secret scheme on an episode of one of the most popular shows on television,” he said of Carroll.
Two of Carroll’s friends testified that she told them about the encounter with Trump shortly after it happened, many years before the “Law and Order” episode aired.
FOX GETS TUCKED: Fox News to Part Ways With Tucker Carlson Effective Immediately, Says Network
NEW YORK– Tucker Carlson’s wildly successful evening news show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” is no more effective immediately, according to a press release issued Monday by the Fox News Network.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the statement reads.
“Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st,” the statement continues. “Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.”
The announcement came just days after the network announced it had parted ways with conservative commentator Dan Bongino and spurned an immediate backlash from loyal Carlson fans, many of whom say they will no longer watch the network.
“Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News. This is the biggest mistake Fox has ever made,” political commentator Robby Starbuck wrote on Twitter. “I don’t know the reason for the exit but the timing couldn’t be worse for Fox.”
The sentiment was echoed by former Fox News associate producer Kyle Becker who tweeted, “Dan Bongino & Tucker Carlson are out at Fox News. Fox News just got rid of two of its most-watched conservative commentators. It is hard to believe this is about business and not about politics. This strikes me as the beginning of a purge of conservatives on cable news.”
Report: Hunter Biden’s Attorneys to Meet with Justice Department
WASHINGTON– Hunter Biden’s legal team is scheduled to meet next week with the U.S. attorney overseeing the investigation into the president’s son, according to reports.
The meeting was granted after Mr. Biden’s lawyers reached out for an update on the Justice Department probe that is believed to be focused on tax evasion and making false statements when purchasing of a gun.
At least one official from Justice Department headquarters is expected to attend the meeting with the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, David Weiss, according to CNN which cited multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Hunter Biden has been under investigation for several years but has not been charged. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The meeting is scheduled to occur amid increased pressure on President Biden and his son after an anonymous IRS whistleblower came forward this week with a letter to lawmakers alleging that the Biden administration is improperly handling the investigation into the president’s son and giving him preferential treatment.
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Donald Trump Issues Statement on Manhattan Grand Jury Indictment
TRUMP INDICTED: Manhattan Grand Jury Indicts Trump Over Stormy Daniels Probe
NEW YORK (AP)– A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict Donald Trump on charges involving payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter, the first ever criminal case against a former U.S. president and a jolt to Trump’s bid to retake the White House in 2024.
The indictment, confirmed Thursday by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump, and other people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss sealed criminal charges, is an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump lied and cheated his way to the top and embolden supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.
Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked the investigation as politically motivated, was expected to surrender to authorities next week, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss a matter that remained under seal.
In bringing the charges, the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is embracing an unusual case that had been investigated by two previous sets of prosecutors, both of which declined to take the politically explosive step of seeking Trump’s indictment.
In the weeks leading up to the indictment, Trump railed about the investigation on social media and urged supporters to protest on his behalf, prompting tighter security around the Manhattan criminal courthouse.
Trump faces other potential legal perils as he seeks to reassert control of the Republican Party and stave off a slew of one-time allies who are seeking or are likely to oppose him for the presidential nomination.
The district attorney in Atlanta has for two years been investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to meddle in Georgia’s 2020 vote count. And a U.S. Justice Department special counsel is investigating Trump’s storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.