(WATCH) Full Measure Season 9 Roundtable: Under-reported Stories

As always, we try to bring clarity to complicated stories, and cover under-reported angles to controversies. This season, that meant dissecting the Hunter Biden story with two IRS whistleblowers.

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.

The incredible story told by two federal whistleblowers starts in 2018. That’s when Joe Ziegler, a criminal investigator at the IRS, says he came across documents that prompted him to look into Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President, soon-to-be presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

Sharyl: Did you anticipate there might be some kind of pushback?

Joe Ziegler: So I talked to other agents within my group, and they’re like, “Big cases, big problems.” And I told them, I’m like, “We’ve got to treat everyone the same. Just because their last name is Biden, just because their last name is something, doesn’t mean that we should change the process of how we work that case.”

Sharyl: If someone says, “Well, what did Hunter Biden supposedly do wrong?” what would you say?

Ziegler: So the Biden family and the administration — it was access to those people for foreign, people in foreign countries, to include Romania, Ukraine, and China, in exchange for a significant amount of money. 

Sharyl (on-camera): We also investigated outstanding questions about the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. As part of our reporting, two agents experienced in federal undercover work raised questions about the behavior of key instigators captured on video in strange behavior.

More than a dozen FBI agents and other authorities analyzed the video for our investigation. Two agreed to appear on camera. Both have extensive experience working undercover with informants.

Sharyl: We would expect there to be federal law enforcement, and maybe local law enforcement, undercover in this crowd. What would cross a line? What are you not supposed to do?

Dodson: Well, you can’t incite violence or incite a riot. You can’t smash a door down and then have everyone come in and then charge everyone with trespassing. You’re not supposed to, you know, hype people up to a frenzy, to the point where they’re — where an otherwise law-abiding citizen is going to violate the law. 

Sharyl (on-camera): Lisa and Scott back with us. Lisa, as we continue to cover green energy issues, as we long have on Full Measure, you dug up a really interesting story about our attempted, continual tries to go to more wind energy. 

Lisa: Right. For the last three years, we’ve been covering the administration’s push to move toward more wind platforms. And what had seemed like a boom in wind energy has really hit a dead calm.

So, a year ago, it looked like the industry had the wind at its back, with projects underway or planned up and down the coast. But then, in August, the giant Danish energy company, Orsted, canceled two projects off New Jersey. The company saying “high inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain problems” had doomed their 2,200-megawatt plans.

For one congressman from Maryland, that economic bombshell was a breath of fresh air.

Lisa: When you first heard that two big offshore wind projects were being canceled in New Jersey, what did you think?

Rep. Andy Harris: Well, I thought finally people had seen the light, that people were rising up and raising objections to this really costly, just uncalled-for way to produce energy. Finally, people are paying attention, and these companies, I think, realize that these roads are long and hard.

Lisa (on-camera): It seems like the largest hurdle, for now, is cost. So, for example, a turbine could cost $3 million to $5 million, but the bigger number is building those platforms. A ship to install the platform is $625 million. And the cost to rent one for one day — $220,000. Plus, you’ve got the maintenance on the turbine, which can be about $45,000 a year.

Sharyl: And then, forget about trying to dispose of them when they’re all finished with their life. 

Lisa: That’s a whole other story. 

Sharyl: Scott, you traveled to do a really important follow-up for us in East Palestine, Ohio, about a year after that massive train derailment.

Scott: Yeah, sometimes Full Measure reporting is really spot-on. And in this case, we were working on a piece about federal funding and support in East Palestine, following the disaster there. And that is when the cargo ship brought down the bridge in Baltimore. And all of this became a much bigger story about whether or not the federal government really follows through on its promises.

Police dispatch audio: “Hold all traffic on the Key Bridge; there’s a ship approaching that just lost their steering.”

Within hours, local, state, and federal agencies arrive on scene, and as daylight reveals the scope of the damage, and what it will take to rebuild and reopen.

The president instantly promising $60 million just to start.

A much different response than one seen at another infrastructure disaster last year, when 38 cars of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in the tiny town of East Palestine, Ohio. Eleven tank cars ignited. 2,000 residents were evacuated. 

Three weeks after the derailment, former President Trump came. President Biden didn’t visit until a year later and declined to make a disaster declaration for the town.

Scott: Has this experience left you more or less confident in your government?

Kari Lentz: Probably a little bit less. I mean, I feel bad saying that.

Sharyl (on-camera): President Biden almost immediately promised to pay the full cost of repairing the bridge and so on, but did he do anything like that in East Palestine?

Scott: No, he hasn’t. And so far it’s unclear how much money that taxpayers are on the hook for with this one in particular. We do know, as far as money being spent, the majority of it has been by the rail company Norfolk Southern — somewhere around just over $1 billion.

Watch video here.

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