Joseph Ziegler is one of the two IRS investigators turned whistleblowers who are accusing the U.S. Department of Justice of stonewalling an investigation into President Biden’s son, Hunter.
Ziegler, along with the other whistleblower, Gary Shapley, testified on July 20, 2023, before the U.S. House Oversight Committee.
The House previously released transcripts of testimony from both Shapley and Ziegler, although at that time Ziegler was not named.
Hunter Biden has entered into a plea bargain with DOJ that charges him with misdemeanor tax counts, according to The Associated Press.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Joseph Ziegler Told Congress He Is ‘Passionate About My Job and My Career at the IRS’
In the testimony transcript, Ziegler said, “I am a special agent with the Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation.”
I wanted to start out by saying I’m coming here to you today after someone from your committee reached out to my counsel to come in and testify. I paid for my own flight to be here in front of you, as I do not live in the D.C. area. I have not accepted any payments from anyone in coming here, and I have legal representation through my attorney, Dean Zerbe.
I felt that it was my duty as a government employee to abide by your request, and I think that it’s important that all you should know from my recollection of what happened during the Hunter Biden investigation so that we can learn from it, fix some things so justice is served, and create policy so that it doesn’t happen again to us in the future.
Ziegler described himself as “passionate about my job and my career at the IRS. I always strive to be the most efficient and best agent I can possibly be, always fighting for justice, and I always try make sure that we are doing the right thing for the right reason.”
He noted: “But in doing the right thing, I’ve found that people will fight me tooth and nail and do everything in their own power to protect their own self-interests.”
2. Ziegler Described Himself as a Gay Man & Democrat Who Is ‘As Middle of the Road as They Come’
In his testimony, Ziegler said, “I’m an American, and my allegiances are to my country and my government. I’m also a gay man. I have a husband, two dogs, a home, and a life full of family and friends. But above all else, I’m a human being. My sexuality doesn’t define me as a person. It’s just who I love.”
I’d like to say one more thing regarding this topic of sexuality, especially since it’s the start of Pride Month. But people have said that I’m gay and people have said, because I’m gay and that I am working as the case agent on this investigation, that I must be a far-left liberal, perfectly placed to fit some agenda. This was stuff that was on social media regarding me.
I can tell you that I am none of those things. I’m a career government employee, and I have always strived to not let politics enter my frame of mind when working cases.
I’ve tried to stay so nonpolitical that in the last Presidential election I voted but had decided to not vote for the Presidential candidate because I didn’t want to be asked that question in a court proceeding in the future and I didn’t want to show any potential bias.
My political beliefs are simple. I’m as middle of the road as they come but would consider myself to be a Democrat. When I was younger, I grew up in a conservative household. I also held conservative beliefs. But over time those beliefs have changed.
He made similar comments in his opening statement to Congress. “I recently discovered that people are saying I must be more credible because I’m a Democrat who happens to be married to a man,” Ziegler said. “I’m not more credible than this man sitting next to me (Shapley) due to my sexual orientation or my political beliefs. The truth is my credibility comes today from my job experience with the IRS and my intimate knowledge of the agency’s standards and procedures.”
3. Ziegler, Who Has Been an IRS Agent Since 2010, Worked as a Healthcare Fraud Coordinator & Public Information Officer
In the transcript, Ziegler provided some biographical background.
“I’ve been an agent with the IRS since 2010,” he said. He has an undergraduate degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration, according to the transcript.
“Prior to starting my career at the IRS, I worked as an external auditor,” he said.
“Throughout my career with the IRS, I have held multiple collateral positions, as well as worked a variety of criminal tax and money-laundering investigations. Over the years, I have received ‘outstanding’ on my performance evaluations in receiving multiple performance awards and have also received a quality step increase, which is one of highest-valued performance awards,” he said.
The transcript quotes him as saying:
I was [a] healthcare fraud coordinator, worked criminal tax and money-laundering investigations of physicians, pharmacists, and medical billing companies. I have authored and have been the affiant of multiple physical and electronic search warrants.
I have authored and been the affiant on multiple seizure warrants, having seized millions of dollars’ worth of criminal proceeds laundered through the purchase of homes, vehicles, jewelry, and the use of bank accounts.
I was a public information officer previously in which I worked as a liaison with the IRS and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, our law enforcement partners, and the media partners in helping get publicity for our tax cases.
4. Joseph Ziegler & Gary Shapley Told Congress That the Biden Investigation Was Handled Differently
The House Oversight Committee, in a tweet, summarized the testimony of both Ziegler and Shapley. “Today IRS whistleblowers provided evidence revealing how the Justice Department treated the Bidens differently. Thank you to the two brave whistleblowers, Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler, for having tremendous courage in coming forward,” the tweet said.
According to the tweet, from the testimony, the whistleblowers made the following accusations to House Oversight Committee:
– Hunter received millions of dollars from China, Ukraine, and Romania.
– There is evidence Joe Biden knew and was possibly involved in his family’s business schemes.
– Hunter Biden should have been charged with a tax felony, not just the tax misdemeanor charge.
– The assigned prosecutors did not follow the ordinary process, slow-walked the investigation, and put in place unnecessary approvals and roadblocks.
– The whistleblowers confirm they were not allowed to follow evidence that could have led to Joe Biden.
– Both whistleblowers confirmed they had never seen or heard of the FBI’s FD-1023 form alleging Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme during their investigation.
– Both Shapley and Ziegler confirmed they were retaliated against. Shapley, who is still employed by the IRS, has not heard from his direct supervisor in six weeks.
The FD-1023 form was also released by the House Oversight Committee.
It contains accusations by a confidential source that an Ukrainian executive with Burisma, an oil and gas company, felt forced to pay the Bidens $5 million each to stop a a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation into the company.
5. Ziegler Told Congress That He Believed That DOJ Officials Constantly Limited & Marginalized the Investigation
In his testimony, Ziegler told Congress, “It appeared to me, based on what I experienced, that the U.S. attorney in Delaware in our investigation was constantly hamstrung, limited, and marginalized by DOJ officials as well as other U.S. attorneys.”
However, David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney for Delaware, previously disputed testimony by Shapley, according to The Hill.
He said he never requested special counsel authority during the Hunter Biden investigation, The Hill reported.
“To clarify an apparent misperception and to avoid future confusion, I wish to make one point clear: in this case, I have not requested Special Counsel designation pursuant to 28 CFR § 600 et seq. Rather, I had discussions with Departmental officials regarding potential appointment under 28 U.S.C. § 515, which would have allowed me to file charges in a district outside my own without the partnership of the local U.S. Attorney,” Weiss wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill.
“I was assured that I would be granted this authority if it proved necessary.”
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