Top Senate Dem promises to 'take seriously' IRS whistleblower's claims about 'preferential treatment' in Hunter Biden probe
Hunter Biden attends a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony honoring 17 recipients, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 7, 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Responding to reports that an IRS whistleblower has informed Congress that he wants to come forward to reveal an alleged cover-up in the tax evasion investigation focused on Hunter Biden, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said he plans to take the accusations "seriously," the New York Post reported.

“We take all whistleblower statements seriously, as we should. Some turn out to be very important and some not,” Durbin said during a hearing on judicial nominees. “But we take them all seriously at the outset and look at them closely.”

Durbin was responding to GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham's call for a “bipartisan” approach to the unidentified IRS employee, who claims to have evidence of “preferential treatment” and false testimony to Congress regarding the case.

“I think [Senate] Finance and [House] Ways and Means have the first shot at this. But the whole idea that maybe the investigation was compromised was a DOJ matter, not just an IRS matter, and many of us worked in a bipartisan fashion with the Mueller investigation,” Graham said, adding that he hopes "the committee will take this seriously."

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“And I don’t know where this leads, but I do know we need to embrace the idea that we’re gonna look long and hard at any accusation that investigation was compromised. And I hope we can do that in a bipartisan fashion," Graham added.

The whistleblower's lawyer told Congress this Wednesday that he wants to expose “preferential treatment” in the criminal investigation and false testimony to Congress by a “senior political appointee.”

“My client has already made legally protected disclosures internally at the IRS, through counsel to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and to the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General,” attorney Mark Lytle wrote.

“The protected disclosures: (1) contradict sworn testimony to Congress by a senior political appointee, (2) involve failure to mitigate clear conflicts of interest in the ultimate disposition of the case, and (3) detail examples of preferential treatment and politics improperly infecting decisions and protocols that would normally be followed by career law enforcement professionals in similar circumstances if the subject were not politically connected," Lytle explained.

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The Washington Post reported last year that federal agents investigating Hunter Biden believe they have evidence of tax crimes and it will be up to a prosecutor to decide whether to bring any charges.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the case, said investigators also believe they have sufficient evidence to charge the younger Biden with making a false statement in connection with a gun purchase.

It would be up to the U.S. Attorney in Delaware, an appointee of former president Donald Trump, to decide whether to file charges against the son of the U.S. president.

Hunter Biden, a lawyer and lobbyist, acknowledged in a statement in December 2020 that his tax affairs were under federal investigation and denied any wrongdoing.

From 2014 to 2019, while his father was vice president, Hunter Biden served notably on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.

Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives in 2019 for trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up what he alleged was compromising information on Hunter Biden.

According to the Post, federal agents believe they have gathered sufficient evidence to charge Hunter Biden with tax crimes and lying on gun purchase paperwork in 2018.

With additional reporting by AFP