(WATCH) Biden Investigation, Part 2

We continue our report on two IRS whistleblowers who uncovered evidence in a five-year investigation that some say could have led to bribery allegations against Joe Biden himself during his presidential campaign. But they claim they were sidetracked, and decided to blow the whistle to Congress. After the IRS pulled them from the case, they learned about shocking FBI evidence that had been kept hidden from them when it mattered the most.

The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.

Last spring, after a rocky, five-year-long probe, IRS investigators Joe Ziegler and Gary Shapley were ready to file charges against Hunter Biden, but facing a steady stream of roadblocks from the Department of Justice. They decided to blow the whistle and testify to Congress.

Gary Shapley (July 2023, Congressional hearing): There should not be a two-track justice system depending on who you are and who you’re connected to. Yet, in this case, there was.

By the time they testified, the IRS duo had been removed from the Biden case, and the Justice Department negotiated a plea deal, giving Hunter broad immunity for alleged crimes dating back to 2014 and no jail time.

Joe Ziegler: The sweetheart plea deal.

The story might have ended there, but for a federal judge. She rejected the controversial plea deal in July, commenting, “I have concerns about the agreement.”

Under pressure, prosecutors took a fresh look and this time charged Hunter with a dozen felony gun and tax crimes that could bring 17 years in prison.

But Ziegler and Shapley say a crucial facet of the case may be lost forever. The Justice Department let the legal time limit to file charges expire on serious alleged felonies. They were from when Hunter was collecting millions from the Ukrainian company, Burisma, and his dad got the prosecutor targeting Burisma — fired.

Joe Biden (January 2018): Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.

With the Justice Department letting the statute of limitations pass for those years, Hunter’s taxes owed and any leads to other suspects or crimes, are gone.

Shapley: That would’ve brought up a bunch of ancillary evidence that would’ve likely proven either President Joe Biden’s involvement or other potential crimes.

Sharyl: Is that off the table now?

Shapley: 2014 and ’15 statute of limitations have expired.

They say there’s one final outrage: at the very time the Justice Department was blocking their questions about Joe Biden, the FBI had evidence corroborating their leads — even alleging bribery — but kept it secret.

A trusted Ukrainian-American source provided the FBI details of meetings with Burisma executives. According to the FBI report, Burisma’s founder said he’d been “coerced” to pay the Bidens millions, and had documents showing payments. He had text messages and 17 recordings of the Bidens, including Joe. And it would take investigators “10 years” to find the illicit payments to the “Big Guy,” understood to mean Joe Biden.

It was mid-2020, at the height of his presidential run against Trump, the bribery allegations stood to shake his campaign. But they were kept hidden.

This past week, as the Biden controversy heated up on Capitol Hill, prosecutors went after the FBI’s own informant, the source who outlined those bribery allegations against the Bidens in 2020: Alexander Smirnov. He’s charged with making a false statement and creating a false and fictitious record.

We asked Joe and Hunter Biden for interviews, but they declined.

Last June, President Biden was asked about the bribery accusations documented in the FBI report.

Joe Biden (June 2023): Where’s the money? I’m joking. It’s a bunch of malarkey.

He’s long denied any involvement in his son’s work.

Joe Biden(September 2019): I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.

Hunter’s lawyer has said “if Hunter’s last name was anything other than Biden, the chargeswould not have been brought.” And the Department of Justice prosecutor “bowed to Republican pressure” and “piled on nine new charges when he had agreed just months ago to resolve this matter with a pair of misdemeanors.”

As for the IRS whistleblowers, they’re off the Biden case, but still working for the IRS — at the moment.

Sharyl: Do you feel you may lose your job over this somehow?

Shapley: I’ve received information that they’re, they’re plotting and planning behind us, and we’re prepared for that when it happens.

Ziegler: Yeah. I mean, it is definitely a fear of mine. I mean, the fear of retaliation, the fear of losing my job, losing my income, the fear of what could happen, because you essentially fought with the hornet’s nest.

Sharyl: Certainly, supporters of the Bidens would probably say or suggest that you are “Trump people” or “conservative Republicans out to grind an ax.” What would you say to that?

Ziegler: I’m a Democrat. I am socially liberal, fiscally conservative. I’m a gay man. That is where my principles lie. And at the end of the day, it wasn’t about my political beliefs; it was about doing the right thing, holding people accountable if they committed crimes, and doing the investigation like we would normally do.

Shapley: I mean ultimately, Republican or Democrat, for us, it’s not about that. It’s about treating each taxpayer the same. And it was about the facts and the evidence.

Sharyl (on-camera): Hunter Biden is scheduled to give a deposition to a Congressional committee on Feb. 28. By the way, the computer shop owner who turned Hunter’s laptop over to the FBI is suing him for defamation. Hunter is countersuing, alleging invasion of privacy. Hunter has pleaded not guilty to three felonies, six misdemeanors, and failing to pay $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

Watch Part 2 video here.

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