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.

Hunter Biden leaves after President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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TICK TOCK: Grassley files criminal referral against Michael Avenatti and woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct

WASHINGTON — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday announced he’s referred attorney Michael Avenatti and Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick for criminal investigation regarding a potential “conspiracy” to provide false statements to Congress and to obstruct justice.

Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels in a failed defamation suit against President Donald Trump, also represented Swetnick, who accused newly appointed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of being part of “gang” and “train” rapes at high school parties she claims to have attended in the 1980s, claims that Kavanaugh has vehemently denied.

In a letter written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, Grassley questioned the timing of Swetnick and Avenatti’s allegations.

“When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee’s work, I take it seriously. It takes courage to come forward, especially with allegations of sexual misconduct or personal trauma. I’m grateful for those who find that courage,” Grassley wrote.

“But in the heat of partisan moments, some do try to knowingly mislead the committee. That’s unfair to my colleagues, the nominees, and others providing information who are seeking the truth,” Grassley went on. “It stifles our ability to work on legitimate lines of inquiry. It also wastes time and resources for destructive reasons.”

In the letter, Grassley called out contradictory statements made by both Avenatti and Swetnick in media interviews, specifically citing an NBC interview on Oct. 1, when Swetnick withdrew a claim that she saw Kavanaugh spiking punch at the parties with alcohol and/or drugs.

“I saw [Kavanaugh] giving red solo cups to quite a few girls,” Swetnick later admitted during the interview, adding that she didn’t “know what he did.”

Swetnick merely claimed she “saw him” by the punch—a comment that contradicted her sworn statement to the committee, Grassley pointed out.

An angry Avenatti was quick to fire back.

“This is clearly political,” he told Fox News. “And fortunately for us, Senator Grassley isn’t too smart — or I should say bright. This was a major mistake on his part. He just cracked open the door and I’m going to drive a Mack Truck through it.”

Avenatti then took to Twitter to call Grassley out, referencing what he referred to as Justice Kavanaugh’s ongoing “lies”.

“It is ironic that Senator Grassley now is interested in investigations,” Avenatti tweeted. “He didn’t care when it came to putting a man on the SCOTUS for life. We welcome the investigation as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.”

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DELAY TACTICS: Feinstein calls for postponement of Kavanaugh vote, FBI investigation of alleged assaults

Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Sunday sent a letter to Chairman Chuck Grassley calling for an immediate postponement of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination and a federal investigation into the sexual assaults being alleged toward Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court.

The full context of the letter reads as follows:

September 23, 2018

Honorable Charles Grassley
Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Grassley:

I am writing to request an immediate postponement of any further proceedings related to the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. I also ask that the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the FBI for investigation, and that you join our request for the White House to direct the FBI to investigate the allegations of Christine Blasey Ford as well as these new claims.

Today, Deborah Ramirez came forward with serious allegations of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh. The New Yorker article recounting her experience states that there are witnesses who can corroborate her claims and who challenge Mr. Judge’s account. An investigation needs to be conducted as part of Judge Kavanaugh’s background investigation by career professionals at the FBI – not partisan staff of the Committee. We need a fair, independent process that will gather all the facts, interview all the relevant witnesses, and ensure the Committee receives a full and impartial report. Should the White House continue to refuse to direct the FBI to do its job, the Committee must subpoena all relevant witnesses.

It is time to set politics aside. We must ensure that a thorough and fair investigation is conducted before moving forward.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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‘THE BIGGEST STORY’: Trump blasts ‘fake news’ for covering up Clinton’s role in Uranium One

WASHINGTON, D.C.– President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the mainstream media for hush hushing a newly unveiled scandal involving Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Russia.

Referencing a reported uranium deal between a Russian company, Clinton and key members of the Obama administration, Trump said “fake news” networks were scheming to keep the developing story from the American people.

“Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!” the president tweeted (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/920972261032648705?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2F2017%2F10%2F19%2Ftrump-blasts-fake-media-for-ignoring-russia-uranium-deal-sealed-with-clinton-help.html).

The controversy surrounds a report published Tuesday by The Hill (http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration) which claimed the FBI had obtained evidence as far back as 2009 suggesting that Russian operatives had used bribes, kickbacks and other unlawful methods to expand Russia’s atomic presence in the U.S. — but the Obama administration knowingly approved a uranium deal that benefitted Moscow anyway.

The president’s outrage comes one day after Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R)-Iowa, announced he has opened an investigation into the matter and demanded that federal agencies disclose what they knew of the corruption prior to the Obama administration’s approval of the uranium deal with Moscow.

Grassley said the Russian acquisition in 2010 of Uranium One raised “national security concerns” because it “effectively ceded” 20 percent of US uranium production capability to Russia.

He also said “millions of dollars” to the Clinton Foundation from backers of the deal could have coerced the approval.

“The sale of Uranium One resulted in a Russian government takeover of a significant portion of US uranium mining capacity,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Homeland Security. “In light of that fact, very serious questions remain about the basis for the finding that this transaction did not threaten to impair US national security.”

The Clinton Foundation received “millions of dollars” from willing parties in the Uranium One transaction and former President Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a speech in Moscow from a Russian government-aligned bank, Grassley said, citing official reports.

“This fact pattern raises serious concerns about improper political influence on the process by the Clintons during the Obama administration,” Grassley concluded.

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TIPPING THE SCALES: CONSERVATIVES PREPARE FOR ANOTHER POSSIBLE SCOTUS CONFIRMATION AMID REPORTS KENNEDY WILL RESIGN

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Just weeks after Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch faced a scathing confirmation battle, reports have surfaced that conservative justice Anthony Kennedy is preparing to resign.

Speaking on today’s Alex Jones show, political strategist Roger Stone, a Trump insider, said sources close to the Trump administration have confirmed the recent rumors on the jurist’s plans to retire (https://www.infowars.com/roger-stone-resignation-of-justice-kennedy-imminent-exclusive-from-white-house/).

“I don’t know. I have a lot of respect for Justice Kennedy, but I just don’t know,” president Trump said, when asked about the rumors of Kennedy’s departure. “I don’t like talking about it. I’ve heard the same rumors that a lot of people have heard. And I have a lot of respect for that gentleman, a lot.”

Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley hinted of another resignation this summer, but played coy in when it came to who may be stepping down.

“I have no way of knowing who it is, it’s just a very general rumor for the last six months around Washington, DC and I assume it’s somebody in their late seventies or early eighties,” Grassley said.

The conservative Kennedy, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan, has often been the tie breaker when it comes to some of the court’s most hotly contested cases and has ruled on the bench since November 11, 1987.

The news has worked Republicans into an uproar in regard to who may be Trump’s pick to replace Kennedy when the current court session ends in June.

The president’s selection will likely be pulled from his original list of 21 possible nominees, which he released prior to his pick of Gorsuch earlier this year. The likely choice, say most legal analysts, will be that of Judge Thomas Hardiman of the 3rd Circuit, who was a close runner up to Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch.

Whoever the president’s pick, the next Supreme Court nominee will not likely face the same hurdles forced upon Gorsuch.

Because the now infamous Democrat filibuster over Gorsuch’s confirmation prompted Senate Republicans to “go nuclear” by changing the rules to it easier to confirm Supreme Court justices, Democrats will have a much more difficult time in blocking the next Trump nominee. It now takes only 51 senators — a simple majority — to clear nomination once a Supreme Court nominee is presented for consideration.

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